Friday, June 15, 2007

Jack Warner's definition of a principled stand

Concacaf President Jack Warner saluted the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) for “its principled stand in resisting being blackmailed by certain players going into the CONCACAF Gold Cup.”

A quick recap of what 'blackmail' he is talking about. T&T World Cup players were only paid $5,000 a piece even though their contract, which the great and mighty Jack Warner negotiated, promised them a 50-50 spit of all money from licensing and endorsement deals made with the federation. The exact numbers are not known, but the TTFF did get $5.5 million from FIFA for making it to the World Cup and another $11 million from an agreement with Adidas.

So to FIFA Vice President and BFF of Sepp Blatter, players demanding their federation live up to the agreement they signed is equal to blackmail.

“I want to publicly commend you both, and, by extension, your entire Executive Committee and Federation, for the principled stand you guys have taken in resisting being blackmailed into doing what could never have been right for your country and/or your Federation by bending to the will of a mercenary few,” Warner said in a letter to TTFF President Oliver Camps and General Secretary Richard Groden.

The most interesting word in that whole sentence is 'mercenary' because it doesn't fit at all. A mercenary is someone from another nation that comes in to fight for pay. Unless Warner knows something we don't, all 23 members of the T&T World Cup squad were/are citizens of T&T and they didn't get paid.

One last thing, how much value can we give to Warner to know what a principle stance is? This is the same man who steered all of T&T's 2006 World Cup tickets to a travel company owned by his son, allegedly secured stadium construction contracts at more then twice their value, obtained the Caribbean TV rights to the World Cup for a fraction of the cost and then resold them at a huge profit, sold World Cup tickets on the black market, and sold 65,000 tickets to a 1990 World Cup qualifying match in a stadium that held about a third of that number. I don't know about you but my definition of a principled person does not include any of these sorts of things.

So why should any of us care about this? Jack Warner has massive control over soccer in our region and has the full backing of Blatter. If Warner doesn't like what federations are doing, he can force people out and replace them with his own supporters. This power stifles the ability of the region to improve the overall soccer being player.

For proof of this, look no further then T&T. Had the full team been present for the Gold Cup, they could have got out of the group, thus earning more money for the federation and more international praise. Both these things would lead to better development programs as well as more local boys signing overseas and that is the formula for growing a team long term.

For Concacaf to earn more international respect, we need more teams to challenge on the international stage. Warner's actions in T&T as well as other counties have made this task harder, thus even teams like the USA or Mexico suffer.

To learn more about Warner and FIFA, take a listen to this great interview with Andrew Jennings (thanks to fullback for the link).

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Blogger Allen said...

How do corrupt rat's like Jack Warner and Sepp Blatter manage to remain in power?

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack Warner is now trying to become Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. He has bought out one of the opposition parties and is hoping to win the election through massive spending. Another thing. Recently it was revelaved that the Trinidad football federation got $173 million for its World Cup 2006 campaign. A fact never revealed to the players until their lawyers in London dug it up

6:53 AM  
Anonymous monkeyboy said...

he is a complete scumbag. international court of justice - 40 yr prison sentence is the best answer

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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10:07 PM  

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