November 28 – New Trinidad and Tobago FA president William Wallace has written to FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura rejecting claims in local and international media that he and his newly elected colleagues had the support of disgraced and banned former FIFA vice president Jack Warner.
Warner has conducted a series of interviews in Trinidad since the election on November 24 saying that he supported Wallace, a claim of support that Wallace is trying to distance himself from.
This is the first time Wallace has given his position on the reports in local and international media, though his competitors in the election are sceptical of his claim. Wallace defeated incumbent David John-Williams by 26 votes to 20 in the second round of voting.
John-Williams had come under increasing criticism for the poor performance of the national team and what his critics argued was the abandonment of national teams and football programmes. He said that there wasn’t enough money to do everything as the organisation was trying to work its ways out of more than TT$30 million of debt while still trying to develop players and the game in the country.
Wallace, in his open letter to Samoura, says: “This narrative was spread by parties unknown prior to the TTFA elections of Sunday 24, November 2019, and has grown in intensity since that date. This rumor has gained traction in major part due to the unsolicited support and comments of the former FIFA vice president in the Trinidad and Tobago media.”
Warner’s life ban from the game prohibits him from any interaction within the game and anyone involved in the game. Reports that he still might have influence over football matters in Trinidad and Tobago sent shockwaves through the Caribbean, regional confederation Concacaf and FIFA. The US Justice Department is still awaiting for rulings on Warner’s extradition to the US to face charges of embezzlement and corruption.
In his letter Wallace distances himself and his administration from Warner saying: “On behalf of the officers of the TTFA and myself I assure you, the president and members of FIFA, that there has [not] been, is not, and never will be a connection between the former FIFA vice president going forward from Sunday 24, November 2019.”
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