Sat, Aug


Jack WarnerWarner said on CCN TV6's Morning Edition programme yesterday that things are looking up for local football.

He expressed his "undying faith" in the level of T&T football and felt the TTFF's current approach is the "correct" one.

"They are trying to settle the matter with the football players who they haven't paid...that is my fault, not theirs," Warner told Morning Edition host Fazeer Mohammed yesterday, referring to the bonus he promised members of the national team which qualified for the 2006 World Cup.

"They have appointed a new coach, they have the support now of the Government because (Prime Minister) Mrs (Kamla) Persad-Bissessar has said she supports them on their road to Brazil…," Warner declared, adding that with a new coach, management staff and training regimen, "slowly but surely they (the T&T football team) will be on the right track."

Warner also disclosed that a lack of finances prevented T&T from securing a friendly match during the FIFA international dates of June 3-7.

"In fact, I will tell you that it's not that they can't get teams to play," Warner said. "It is that it costs a level of funding and I've been stretched literally for so long."

When quizzed about his support for incumbent president Sepp Blatter at FIFA's elections this year, Warner replied that it was not a done deal.

"Who say so?" Warner responded when asked about his endorsement of Blatter.

Mohammed pointed out that Warner had previously noted his satisfaction with Blatter's performance.

Warner replied by saying he had not yet heard the proposal of Blatter's opponent, Asian Football Federation president Mohamed Bin Hammam.

Bin Hammam arrived in T&T yesterday and will meet with CONCACAF today at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Wrightson Road, Port of Spain from 10 a.m. At that meeting, Warner said, Bin Hammam will get his chance to impress CONCACAF officials before they decide whom to support.

"Fair play suggests that (Bin Hammam should have his chance). If that was the case (that Blatter has won my support), I would have endorsed Blatter since in Miami. Bin Hammam is coming here to put his case to 30 of us, and why we should support him."

The CONCACAF president, who is also a FIFA vice-president, says there is still room for Bin Hammam to win him (Warner) over.

"While he is my colleague and I've known him for a long time, I want (him to tell me) how he would do things differently," Warner stated.

"How would FIFA benefit, how in four years' time we could have a better FIFA. If you could tell me that, then of course you'd have me."