Wed, Aug

John-Williams calls for police probe.

T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent David John-Williams is al­leg­ing fraud by the Unit­ed T&TFA over their use of a let­ter of com­mit­ment from the Ju­nior Sam­my Group of Com­pa­nies as a po­ten­tial spon­sor, if the group is elect­ed in­to of­fice at the as­so­ci­a­tion's An­nu­al Gen­er­al Meet­ing (AGM) and elec­tion on No­vem­ber 24.

Con­cerns arose on Mon­day af­ter the Ju­nior Sam­my Group is­sued a re­lease deny­ing it had made any fi­nan­cial com­mit­ment to the Unit­ed TTFA's elec­tion cam­paign.

In a hasti­ly arranged press con­fer­ence at the Home of Foot­ball in Cou­va on Mon­day, John-Williams said there ap­peared to be a forged sig­na­ture on the let­ter pre­sent­ed to the me­dia on Sat­ur­day bear­ing the al­leged sig­na­ture of Hugh Mur­phy as Ju­nior Sam­my Group chair­man.

Ju­nior Sam­my Group ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Ju­nior Sam­my, how­ev­er, dis­tanced his com­pa­ny from any af­fil­i­a­tion with the Unit­ed TTFA in the me­dia re­lease on Mon­day.

"It has been brought to our at­ten­tion that an un­dat­ed let­ter bear­ing our group's lo­go was pre­sent­ed at a meet­ing held on Sat­ur­day by the Unit­ed TTFA slate, pur­port­ing that our group of com­pa­nies sup­ports Mr Wal­lace and the Unit­ed TTFA Slate in the up­com­ing TTFA elec­tions to be held on No­vem­ber 24, 2019. We have al­so been ad­vised that the let­ter was high­light­ed in the pre­sen­ta­tion and is now avail­able on the var­i­ous so­cial me­dia plat­forms.

"The com­pa­ny wish­es to ad­vise that no such let­ter has been is­sued by the of­fice of the chair­man of our group of com­pa­nies or au­tho­rised to be is­sued by any of our com­pa­nies with­in the group for that mat­ter. We, there­fore, call on the pub­lish­ers of the pre­sen­ta­tion to im­me­di­ate­ly re­move this false doc­u­ment from its re­leas­es and to is­sue a suit­ably word­ed re­trac­tion re­gard­ing such grave mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion."

The re­lease added, "Our group of com­pa­nies has al­ways sup­port­ed the var­i­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion of the TTFA in their ef­forts to de­vel­op and pro­mote the tal­ents of our youth on the na­tion­al and in­ter­na­tion­al are­nas s part of our cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ty thrust and has en­joyed a healthy and am­i­ca­ble re­la­tion­ship with it."

Guardian Me­dia Sports learnt that Mur­phy is not the Ju­nior Sam­my Group chair­man but an em­ploy­ee at the com­pa­ny. Fur­ther, in­ves­ti­ga­tions al­so re­vealed that Mur­phy did not sign the let­ter pre­sent­ed at Sat­ur­day's launch of the Unit­ed TTFA team of can­di­dates at the Queen's Park Oval in Port-of-Spain.

Yes­ter­day, John-Williams, the in­cum­bent TTFA pres­i­dent, said up­on hear­ing the news he sought to do dam­age con­trol as the Ju­nior Sam­my Group has al­ways been one of the TTFA's cor­po­rate part­ners. He hint­ed that there could be se­ri­ous con­se­quences out of this lat­est de­vel­op­ment.

Dur­ing Sat­ur­day's at the Queen's Park Oval launch, William Wal­lace, who heads Unit­ed TTFA slate, told a large au­di­ence that he had re­ceived com­mit­ments, writ­ten and ver­bal­ly, from lo­cal and in­ter­na­tion­al com­pa­nies who were pre­pared to sup­port the Unit­ed TTFA if they got in­to of­fice. Apart from the Ju­nior Sam­my Group, glob­al sports­wear gi­ants Nike head­ed the list of in­ter­na­tion­al spon­sors he named.

John-Williams main­tained that com­ment about the sit­u­a­tion was in no way a ploy to ben­e­fit his re-elec­tion cam­paign but said he felt he had to main­tain the TTFA's re­la­tion­ship with the Ju­nior Sam­my Group of Com­pa­nies.

When con­tact­ed on the is­sue yes­ter­day, how­ev­er, Wal­lace had a dif­fer­ent view.

"I saw two dif­fer­ent things, John-Williams say­ing it was a fraud. I saw Ju­nior Sam­my say­ing it was unau­tho­rised and my in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­di­cat­ed to me that it was unau­tho­rised. Just as we have peo­ple work­ing for us in­ter­na­tion­al­ly, we have peo­ple on the ground here in T&T work­ing for us," Wal­lace said.

How­ev­er, he re­fused to ac­knowl­edge that the let­ter was fake.

"We re­ceived three let­ters of in­tent which we re­ceived dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion and there­fore here was no rea­son to doubt any­thing. As a mat­ter of fact, one of the per­sons who sent that let­ter was sit­ting in the room, of Caribbean Chem­i­cals. I sub­se­quent­ly found out that that let­ter (from Ju­nior Sam­my Group of Com­pa­nies) was sent out by an ad­min­is­tra­tive staff and that per­son is ac­tu­al­ly will­ing to send a let­ter of apol­o­gy to both the Unit­ed TTFA and the Ju­nior Sam­my Group of Com­pa­nies."

He added, "From what I gath­er, dis­cus­sions did take place be­tween the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of the com­pa­ny Mr Mur­phy and the per­son with­in the ad­min­is­tra­tive staff who sent out the let­ter on be­half of of the com­pa­ny. That dis­cus­sion did take place but I think the per­son went ahead be­fore any fi­nal de­ci­sion was made."

Wal­lace, the cur­rent pres­i­dent of the Sec­ondary School Foot­ball League (SS­FL), said what was im­por­tant to make clear is that the Unit­ed TTFA was not part of craft­ing any let­ter. He said he will have more in­for­ma­tion soon but he said he did not fore­see this de­vel­op­ment ham­per­ing their chances at the elec­tion as they had agree­ments with many oth­er com­pa­nies still on the ta­ble.


John-Williams calls for police probe.
By Joel Bailey (Newsday).

Jr Sammy denies agreement with United TTFA –

THE UNITED TTFA (TT Football Association) is being accused of presenting a false document, allegedly issued by the Junior Sammy Group of Companies, at their election campaign launch, on Saturday, at the Queen’s Park Oval, St Clair.

But William Wallace, the United TTFA’s presidential nominee, has admitted that the document (an undated letter bearing the group’s logo and purporting that the company supports Wallace and his team at the November 24 TTFA elections), was an error from someone seeking sponsorship for the group, in the event that they emerge victorious in the elections.

According to a media release signed by Junior Sammy, executive chairman of the Junior Sammy Group of Companies, “The Company wishes to advice that no such letter has been issued by the office of the chairman of our group of companies or authorised to be issued by any of our companies within the group for that matter.”

The media release read, “Our group of companies has always supported the various administrations of the TTFA in their efforts to develop and promote the talents of our youth on the national and international arenas, as part of our corporate social responsibility thrust and has enjoyed a healthy and amicable relationship with it.”

TTFA president David John-Williams, in a hastily-arranged media conference, at the Home of Football, Balmain, Couva yesterday, said, “I met with the Junior Sammy Group (yesterday), purely to address the situation and do some damage control.

“As president of the TTFA, I met with them to do some damage control...The rest is going to be left with the Police Service. I call upon them to investigate this matter seriously because it involves a forged document being used (and) forged signatures being appended. The TTFA is utterly dismayed and apologises to the Junior Sammy Group for what has transpired.”

Wallace, in a response last evening, commented, “(United TTFA) have a couple people who have been working, trying to get some sponsorship for us on the ground. We received three letters of intent from two of those persons – Junior Sammy Group of Companies being one of them, Joe Pires Caribbean Chemicals and the Club House.

“It came (with) a letterhead and signed by the CEO of Junior Sammy Group of Companies,” he added. “Now that we’re hearing this, an investigation has taken place and we found out that one of the persons who’s actually seeking sponsorship for us – an administrative person working for that person – sent out that letter. That letter should not have been sent out.”

Wallace, who is also the president of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), said, “This has put us in a very funny place and we have decided that the (wrongful) person will issue a letter of apology to us, to the Junior Sammy Group of Companies and to (their) CEO.”

John-Williams, during yesterday’s media conference, said, “People would see (this) as an election ploy. No, it is not. This is only one of a few statements that (are) going to be coming out by the TTFA.”

John-Williams pointed out, “Junior Sammy has been a big corporate sponsor for us achieving what we have achieved with the Home of Football. They’ve invested over $1 million in equipment to bring a facility like this to fruition. They have been a very good corporate sponsor. It’s unfortunate something like this had to happen.”

However, John-Williams remained coy about if he will be seeking re-election. “When the time is ready for that announcement, I would make it,” he said. “It’s for the electoral committee to announce.”

About his four-year-long tenure thus far, the TTFA boss said, “My track record speaks for itself.” And John-Williams gave a new time frame for the opening of the Home of Football. “I can say publicly that this facility will be opening within the next two weeks. I’ll leave it like that. I don’t want people to say that I’m making an election campaign.”