Tim Kee, who returned from representing the TTFA at the world governing body’s elections in Zurich, Switzerland, on Saturday night, believes Warner was a major voice pushing for TT’s football development on both the regional and international stage during his reign. However, when Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands was appointed president of CONCACAF in 2012, things changed, and TT’s affairs were put on the bench by the provisionally sacked CONCACAF boss.
“Remember when Mr Warner was president of CONCACAF and CFU, he was very much inward thinking in terms of what Trinidad is getting into,” said Tim Kee yesterday. “Warner worked so hard to the point where our funny kind of thinking people felt that he was pulling strings for Trinidad’s benefit. All the rumours about Warner setting up matches for Trinidad to win and other ideas of the sort all of a sudden began to circulate.
“However, what Mr Warner was really doing was looking after Trinidad and trying to put Trinidad and Tobago in a position to have an equal chance because he would have known of course (about) where he sat, how many things were available and how many were not. Everything came and happened and he was then replaced by another Caribbean man, Jeffrey Webb,” Tim Kee added.
It was here, according to the TTFA boss, that Webb then began to redirect his attention toward more development in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Tim Kee said when he realised this country was not given any priority, he challenged the decisions being made but was told that “Trinidad must breathe a little.”
“It was not as equitable as it could have been (for TT). But the others (governing bodies) who were given opportunities to breathe, were not in a position to breathe either because they did not have any actual resource.
What I realised is that we were not getting a fair break as we would have liked for Trinidad,” he continued.
Now, with both Warner and Webb removed from their respective capacities in regional football and currently under investigation for racketeering and money laundering by the United States Department of Justice, Tim Kee is hoping to once again bring the Caribbean nations together in an effort to return transparency and strong sport development to the region. Following his vote in Zurich on Friday, Tim Kee conversed with several of the region’s association presidents with the intention of strengthening their voice on a global scale.
He also warned that the US, along with Central America, have been trying from behind the scenes to control CONCACAF. But, Tim Kee is intent on ensuring that his and the Caribbean’s voice are constantly heard. The Port-of-Spain mayor admitted however, that wooing the other regional territories to one sound conclusion might be a bit tougher than expected.
He further explained: “The position is that I’ve had some conversations with some president’s (football bodies) from the Caribbean.
I told them what my picture is of the situation and that we need to get our act together and so on. But you see a lot of them are intimidated because they got a lot of, what they consider favours and therefore they don’t want to rock the boat. And to a large extent not only in the Caribbean, but as well as the American and African continents.”
Speaking in relation to Blatter’s re-election for a fifth consecutive term, Tim Kee declared that the audience of Hallenstadion, Zurich, went silent upon hearing Prince Ali’s withdrawal from the second round of voting at the elections after being behind 133-72 in the initial round.
“You could have felt a sense of sadness (when Ali withdrew). Those who supported the incumbent (Blatter) were in glee. But you would have looked around the room at the 209 countries, each of which was represented by three delegates, and of course maybe about 100 observers, you would have sensed some form of quiet and sadness. It was then that I had a little bit of concern.. Ali and I have a good relationship and he calls me often. I was unable to speak to him after the elections, but I might speak with him tonight (Sunday). If there was some other candidate, or rather if Mr Blatter was not there, I’m sure Prince Ali would have won because nobody could have faulted him for his presentation and constitution,” he added.
Meanwhile, amidst all the allegations put forward against multiple ex and current members of FIFA last week, Blatter maintains his innocence and admitted that the cleanup of FIFA is good for the game. When asked how Blatter could have pleaded ignorance of the alleged corruption taking place in his organisation, Tim Kee declared: “If the top US and Swiss agencies working together, and they have been digging up for the past 20 years, have found nothing, possibly, there is nothing to be found but I do not want be conclusive and unfair to Mr Blatter. But how so many calls and comments could be made and there’s no truth? You have to sometimes consider the saying ‘where there is smoke, there is fire’. So how is there so much smoke, but no fire?”