Warner says he knows nothing about accounts: Judge

Port-of-Spain (Trinidad): A high court judge said Jack Warner denies any knowledge about the whereabouts of the Trinidad and Tobago accounts from the 2006 World Cup amid a dispute over bonuses owed to players from that national team.

Justice Devindra Rampersad said on Tuesday that Warner, who once led Caribbean football for more than two decades, submitted a letter stating his position.

Former defender Brent Sancho, the leader of the players’ group, said the letter contradicts what was said last year by Oliver Camps, the ex-president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation.

“He told the court that Mr. Warner was the only person who held the accounts of the 2006 world cup and the TTFF never had them,” Sancho said.

Thirteen players who represented Trinidad and Tobago during its 2006 World Cup run say they are owed millions in bonuses. Earlier this month, several of them seized office equipment from the TTFF.

The dispute began when then-captain Dwight Yorke and 12 teammates announced they would quit the team in 2006 before the World Cup unless the TTFF rewarded the players with 50 percent of the profits generated from its run to the event in Germany.

The players later withdrew their threat, saying their lawyers would fight the case in court.

The smallest country in size and population to qualify for any World Cup, Trinidad was eliminated in the first round.

Last week, Warner acknowledged he had promised the players a 30 percent bonus. The players say he met an initial payment ordered by the court last year but a second one has still not been paid.

Warner was a FIFA vice president until resigning all his duties last June to avoid a FIFA investigation into alleged election bribery. He remains a powerful government lawmaker in Trinidad.

Rampersad adjourned the hearing to give the TTFF more time to make a final decision on what it will do to make the overdue payments.

Bureau Report