Trinidad soccer federation to sue Warner for funds

Trinidad and Tobago’s soccer federation said Friday that it

plans to sue former FIFA vice president Jack Warner to recover

millions of dollars in funds, including those slated for Haiti as a

post-earthquake donation.

Federation lawyer Derek Ali told a judge that he planned to file

a lawsuit and accused Warner of not releasing the audited accounts.

High Court Judge Devindra Rampersad ordered Ali to send Warner a

protocol letter advising him of the federation’s intentions.

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation recently

acknowledged it had ”surrendered its authority” to Warner, who

had served as the federation’s special adviser and resigned last

year to avoid a bribery probe by FIFA.

Warner spoke briefly to reporters after the federation made its

announcement.

”That is their right to do so,” he said. ”Let us see what

happens.”

The federation has said that Warner controlled a bank account in

its name that was set to receive $750,000 pledged by FIFA and South

Korean soccer leader Chung Mong-joon for soccer rebuilding projects

in Haiti.

Haitian officials recently told The Sunday Times in Britain that

they received only $60,000, and FIFA announced it was temporarily

freezing its funding to Trinidad and Tobago.

Trinidad’s soccer federation also is seeking to recover millions

of dollars in bonuses that 13 players from the island’s 2006 World

Cup team claim Warner promised them but never paid.

Last year, Judge Devindra Rampersad ordered Warner to make an

interim payment to players of more than $700,000, but Warner has

not done so.

Warner previously made a $1 million payment and said he has

offered $2.3 million to the players, whom he accused of being

greedy after they demanded $3.9 million.

Warner resigned last year after nearly 30 years as president of

soccer’s governing body for North and Central America and the

Caribbean. As a result, FIFA cannot discipline him but has said

that it will withhold his pension payments.

Warner, a member of Trinidad’s ruling party, still serves as the

island’s Minister of Works and is considered to be a powerful

legislator.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said Friday that

authorities are investigating several projects launched by Warner’s

ministry. She declined further comment.