Lead Editor, Investigative Desk
A few months after the construction of the Home of Football began in 2018, FIFA boss Gianni Infantino was alerted by a former T&T Football Association boss about allegations of “impropriety, dictatorship and unconstitutional actions” on the part of then-president David John-Williams as it related to the Home of Football project.
But Infantino failed to respond to the email or even act on the information provided in it by former TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee and showed up for the facility’s opening in November 2019, just a week before John-Williams was ousted as president and replaced by William Wallace’s team.
Guardian Media exclusively obtained Tim Kee’s email to Infantino on October 16, 2018, from international insiders. The email was also copied to FIFA general secretary Fatma Soura, CONCACAF president Victor Montagaliani and Caribbean Football Union president Randy Harris.
Soura is the official who told the TTFA if it did not withdraw its court matter against FIFA in the local courts by Wednesday this week it would face possible suspension today at FIFA’s Congress.
In his email, Tim Kee, now deceased, told Infantino, “The presidency of David John-Williams has been plagued with allegations of impropriety, dictatorship and unconstitutional actions. Many of these issues now form the basis of a High Court action pursued by a member of the board.”
Tim Kee said he had been asked by TTFA members, the business community and the public to break his silence on the matter in the interest of football. He said while he believed in the principles of the FIFA Statutes, he felt John-Williams’ “actions could further harm an already wounded association rather than deliver it from the precarious position in which it now finds itself.”
Tim Kee was not only critical about the alleged transgressions committed by John-Williams but issues that cropped up with the Home of Football construction almost on a weekly basis. He highlighted to Infantino that the issues related to the project.
“The award of contracts, the money spent thus far on the project, the questionable purchasing of materials for the project undertaken by the TTFA president and the inability to produce documentary evidence re; the contracts and invoices relative to the project,” Tim Kee wrote.
In conveying his dissatisfaction, Tim Kee used strong language, stating, “The project has been fraught with controversy and deception from its inception. Mr John-Williams’ intimacy with it is therefore curious and invites suspicion. While all requests from the board for disclosure regarding the project have been met with outright refusal and display of gymnastics by the president (John-Williams). FIFA representative Mr Veron Mosengo-Omba has given the now controversial project the ‘green light.’ This situation begs for intervention by FIFA, as one of its agents might be compromising the organisation.”
Tim Kee added, “The genesis of the woes that are now confronting the TTFA and the development of football, in particular, is Mr David John William’s preoccupation with the Home of Football project. His fixation on this project has negatively impacted the operations of the TTFA and placed the organisation in the worst position it has ever been. The TTFA has been in ‘crisis’ mode since Mr Williams assumed the presidency.”
Tim-Kee added that John-Williams handling of TTFA affairs were also affecting national development programmes at every level.
“Mr Williams’ survival is due primarily to his manipulation of the constitution, disenfranchising board members and prevailing by the ensuing slim majority derived from such action. Akin to all dictatorships, a handful of people are holding a whole nation to ransom. In this particular instance, the entire Caribbean, as we have long been the leading football country that stood as a beacon of hope in the region.”
In closing, Tim Kee appealed for action from Infantino.
“On behalf of the concerned citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and myself, we are reaching out in our moment of desperation to you Sir, as President of the governing body, to put an end to this travesty and tyranny of David John Williams.”
His last line before his sign off read, “For the game for the world!”
Sources familiar with the contents of the email told Guardian Media that Infantino never responded to Tim Kee’s email despite the alarming concerns raised in his letter.
Only on Monday, the T&T Police Service White-collar Division opened a criminal probe into the T&TFA, John-Williams and the matters surrounding the Home of Football. This came after a Guardian Media exclusive investigation into the activities of the T&TFA under John-Williams uncovered a Panamanian bank account and questionable business transactions surrounding the project.