T&T accuses Warner over missing funds
Funds donated for earthquake-hit Haiti that never made it to the Caribbean island were paid into a bank account controlled by former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) insisted on Thursday.
Some £440,000 of emergency aid money has gone missing since it was donated two years ago, and FIFA have frozen funding to the TTFF until they explain what has happened.
In 2010, Warner was special adviser to the TTFF and the cash from FIFA (250,000 US dollars) and the Korean FA (500,000 US dollars) was paid into a federation account that they claim only he controlled.
The TTFF say they "surrendered their authority" to Warner, who resigned from football last year after being accused of bribery and he has refused to explain what happened to the money.
A TTFF statement said: "The TTFF acknowledges it is aware of funds made available by both FIFA and the Korean football federation for the football victims of Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010.
"However, we are unable to confirm the quantum of funds received, as these monies did not go into the account used by the TTFF administration for its day-to-day operations, but instead to the TTFF’s LOC (Local Organising Committee) account as was requested by Mr Jack Warner, the former vice-president of FIFA and special adviser to the TTFF.
"The current executive is unaware of how these funds were disbursed or utilised and is awaiting the promised audited accounts from Mr Warner."
The statement added: "We never questioned his authority or actions and are now in a position of despair as we are starved of funds by FIFA until full disclosure, which we are unable to provide without Mr Warner’s input. Sadly Mr Warner seems disinclined to comply with our repeated requests."
FIFA are withholding Warner’s pension – reportedly worth £30,000 a year to the 69-year-old.
Warner, a government minister in his country, himself suggested on Trinidadian television that the allegations were a conspiracy.
He said: "I have nothing to answer to anybody. Who wants to make allegations, make allegations. Ask yourselves, as objective members of the media, ‘why now…?’ And after you get why now, just join the dots and see."
Lord Triesman, the ex-FA and England 2018 World Cup bid chairman, said last year that Warner had asked him for a £500,000 donation to buy the rights to the World Cup for Haiti so that games could be shown to survivors of the catastrophic earthquake on big screens.
"I was later told Jack Warner owned the television rights for Haiti," Triesman told a Parliamentary committee. "I don’t know if it is true."