Barely a day goes by without CONCACAF president Jack Warner being involved in a dispute -- either on the political front in his native Trinidad & Tobago, or on the international soccer scene. His latest fracas manages to involve both local politics and international soccer, and as usual, there's money involved.
Earlier this year, Warner arranged for England to play T&T on June 1 in an exhibition game to mark the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation's centenary. This suited England, as it would help ensure the support of Warner, also a FIFA vice president, in the country's bid for the 2018 World Cup. It suited Warner, who could repair the damage done by his remarks that "nobody in Europe likes England," while landing him domestic kudos for securing such a prestigious opponent.
Now, however, there's a fight over the cost of renting the government-owned Hasely Crawford Stadium, with the country's sports minister Gary Hunt reportedly raising his demands on the share of gate receipt money to 10 per cent, an estimated $125,000. Warner, who knows about these things, says the government is reneging on the original deal, and has accused the minister of perpetrating "an evil." If the government doesn't back down, he'll call the game off, refund the ticket money to the fans, and this will all "cause irreparable damage to the reputation of the TTFF and subject each and every citizen of T&T to shame and humiliation."