OLIVER CAMPS, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF), has lauded the contribution made by Jack Warner, who stepped down yesterday from three football governing bodies - FIFA, CONCACAF and CFU.
In a media release, Camps said, “it is with deep regret that we learn of the decision of our long-standing friend and supporter Jack Warner to resign from his position with FIFA.
“We at (TTFF) have observed all the occurrences of the past few weeks with interest and great concern,” Camps continued. “But let me say that we are in full support of whatever decision Warner has taken and we will do our best to follow through on his wishes for the continued development of football in Trinidad and Tobago and, by extension, the region.”
The 68-year-old Warner, who is also the Minister of Works and Transport, was suspended from his roles due to alleged bribery and corruption claims on May 29.
In 1966, Warner became the general secretary of the Central Football Association and, from 1971-73, was the general secretary of the Central St George Football Association.
He was the TTFF secretary/treasurer from 1973-90, when he resigned to take over as CFU president (though he was appointed as the TTFF special advisor). In 1983, Warner joined the FIFA Executive Committee after becoming a CONCACAF vice-president and, seven years later, he replaced Joaquin Terrazas of Mexico as president of CONCACAF with American Chuck Blazer who, ironically, raised the bribery claims against Warner, as his secretary.
Warner, who is also the chairman of Joe Public FC, was appointed as a FIFA vice-president in 1997.
“For several (years), we have benefitted from Warner’s support and, by great extension, his position in FIFA,” Camps noted. “Had it not been for his role, this region would not have experienced some of the benefits brought to it, in terms of the various facilities, football development and assistance programme and, even the staging of (FIFA) World Cups (the Under-17 men in 2001 and Under-17 women in 2010) and, for that, we remain truly grateful.”
Camps ended, “we wish to take this opportunity to wish him and his family the very best for the future and particularly in his role in the continuing development of Trinidad and Tobago.” Sports Minister, Anil Roberts praised Warner for his long service in FIFA, CONCACAF and CFU.
“Warner has moved very high up into FIFA and therefore Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and CONCACAF region have been the recipients of many benefits over the years, not only new bodies being formed (CFU) but also management funds.
Trinidad and Tobago was able to host two (FIFA) Under-17 World Cups (and) the coaches and technical staff that he was able to attract,” said Roberts yesterday.
Roberts: Warner will be missed.
By Donstan Bonn (Express).
Sport Minister Anil Roberts said yesterday that the impact Jack Warner generated locally and regionally in football will be missed.
Warner yesterday announced his resignation from all positions within FIFA and CONCACAF.
"It's going to impact on Trinidad and Tobago and even throughout the Caribbean and CONCACAF because the position he held he was able to get the number of spots allocated to CONCACAF at the World Cup increased from one to three and a half.
"The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) has depended on Mr Warner in more ways than one to improve local football. Thus we will need someone strong to replace him if we are to maintain our status, especially since Asia and other confederations are making representations to increase their allotment," Roberts said.
He also stated that under Warner's stewardship funding for the Caribbean and Africa increased dramatically, resulting in FIFA's membership moving from 170 to 207, where all the small countries got recognition.
"The TTFF will have to restructure and reorganise now that Mr Warner's services are no longer available," Roberts concluded.
Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation technical adviser Keith Look Loy said there will be implications to Warner's resignation but he did not know if he (Warner) has given up on everything, including the TTFF and local football.
"I have not spoken to Mr Warner nor anyone at the executive level of the TTFF so I am unable to say if he has severed his ties with local football. However, if this is so, then the TTFF will have to stand on its legs and use that to go forward," he said.
Brent Sancho, former national defender and a member of the T&T team that participated in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, was a bit more optimistic.
"Obviously the leeway the TTFF had will not be there anymore, but I can't see that stopping the progression of local football. It may open the door for new blood because the federation has been stagnant for the past five years more or less.
"More importantly, the outstanding court matter between the 2006 World Cup players and the Federation has been subjected to a lack of transparency on the Federation's part and I hope that all this will change and transparency will be forthcoming," he said.
Sancho added that it's a sad situation for citizens because it is one of our own that has been accused of wrongdoing and this reflects poorly on our country, "so indeed it is a sad thing".
"I only hope that with his resignation a lot of unanswered questions will be answered and brought to light," he added.
When questioned on Warner's contribution to local football , Sancho said: "There's no true measure for what he has done as there's no accountability and transparency over the years he has been involved in local football.
"As a FIFA vice-president it does bring certain benefits but on the other hand those may have been negated by all the allegations levelled against Warner and it may have hindered others who were willing to contribute to the sport from doing so," Sancho said.