Despite Jack Warner's best efforts to buy them off (which he did by giving them all checks drawn on CONCACAF funds, not T&T funds) the T&T Players presented their case to a SPORTS RESOLUTION PANEL IN LONDON on Tuesday.
The players group, consisting of among others Shaka Hislop, Dwight Yorke, Stern John, Avery John and Cornell Glen are asking the board to find that the T&TFF lied to the players when they said the Federation only made £22,000 from the 2006 World Cup and that each player's share amounted to £485, an amount they later raised to £1,490.
The players lawyer filed a Freedom of Information request for the financial records last fall, and they now hold documents which prove that between sponsorship deals with British Gas, KFC, ebay and adidas, and their cut of the FIFA pie, the T&TFF brought in a cool £16 million in World Cup revenue.
(You'll see widely varying numbers, as HERE because T&T media reports the money in local currency. So rather than quote "$173 million T&T", most sources use "£16 million" so that everyone understand the amount involved.)
But the real underlying question, the one that everyone is avoiding for the moment but that is waiting around the corner with a lead pipe in it's hand is this:
Where is the money?
T&TFF says it's broke, they don't have fields or facilities, their national program goes begging for government funds and FIFA grants so they can hold practices on fields that look like Verdun in 1917, and yet they netted millions of pounds from the WC less than two years ago.
"Where's the money, Jack?" ought to be the first thing he hears from every crowd in the hemisphere.
Normally, Jack would tell everyone it's none of their business, call them all racists and refuse to discuss it further. But he has another problem.
Some of the players HAVE ORGANIZED SOMETHING THEY CALL FPATT, led by Hislop,which is working with the T&T government, particularly Minister of Sport Gary Hunt, to try and bring some order, accountability and transparency, not to mention some actual development, to a country which has seen untold millions stolen, squandered and wasted on everything except soccer.
Naturally, this makes Jack Warner unhappy. Soccer in T&T is his personal property, and the fact that a bunch of soccer players who are currently suing him for money combined with a government he opposes are the ones trying to bypass him only makes it all the worse.
Warner has ordered the T&TFF to "ignore" the FPATT, but the T&T government has AGREED TO FUND THEIR PROGRAMS and intend to move ahead without Jack and his band of thieves.
In other words, the T&TFF will continue to steal and plunder FIFA funds while the T&T government will finance soccer development there.
Any decent person should be outraged, but as long as Jack owns 35 votes in FIFA general assemblies, we're never going to hear a word from them.