The date, November 22, 1986, The place, the Las Vegas Hilton hotel in the United States. The occasion, the WBC heavyweight championship clash between Jamaica’s Trevor Berbick and the USA’s Mike Tyson. Round two. Tyson almost knocks Berbick’s head off with a massive overhand right. Berbick, his faculties barely intact, initiates a clinch. Tyson wants none of it. He frees himself enough to land a booming right to the body, shifting Berbick’s intestines and internal organs like a housekeeper rearranging living room furniture. The the-20-year-old demon then goes for a murderous uppercut with the right. He misses. Tyson then connects with a left hook that must have felt like a crowbar as it crashed into Berbick’s left temple. The Jamaican falls. Legs like jelly and a brain giving his limbs 500 commands all at once, undermines Berbick’s attempts to stand and fight on. As he falls into the ropes like a bag of yam flung off a truck at the Coronation Market, referee Mills Lane gives the universal gesture signalling the fight is over.

History should by now have attached significance to what happened inside Committee Room 15 at Britain’s House of Commons in London on May 10, 2011. It was there that the former head of the Football Association in England, Lord Triesman made damning allegations about Austin Jack Warner as he addressed Members of Parliament sitting on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Triesman told the MPs that Jack Warner asked for £2.5 million to build an Education Centre in Trinidad and Tobago, with all the cash channelled through him. Lord Triesman also alleged that Warner asked for £500,000 to buy Haiti’s World Cup TV rights, again with all the money being channelled through him. The claims were shocking if only for the fact that it was the first time such a senior administrator had accused Jack Warner of corruption. It wasn’t only what Lord Triesman had said though. It was about where he said it. It wasn’t him talking at an after-dinner event or giving an interview to a journalist. He was, for all intents and purposes testifying to the highest decision-making body in Britain about the reasons for England’s failure to secure the rights to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Now Warner had long been rumoured to be jowl deep in corruption as he wielded awesome power as a FIFA Vice President, CONCACAF boss and head of the CFU. Indeed, the British journalist Andrew Jennings achieved fame through his ravenous hounding of Warner, whom he believed to have been the most corrupt administrator in all of sport. But despite numerous claims of wrongdoing, nothing ever stuck. It birthed the nickname ‘Teflon Jack’ as none of the mud slung at this son of Santo Claro could ever sully his reputation. In his heyday, which lasted for decades, Jack Warner was one of the most powerful men in the world, let alone sport or football. He was there on the couch at the White House in 2009 when his old friend, Joseph Sepp Blatter, presented jerseys to US President Barack Obama. He was the man who any nation preparing a bid for World Cups and big tournaments in CONCACAF and the CFU had to get on side if they were to have any hope of success in the voting process. He was a man who had an extraordinary work ethic, famously inviting associates for meetings at 5 am at his office, only for them to turn up at a quarter to five and be told that Warner could not chit-chat with them as he was already in a meeting with other associates. The same Warner would then be sending emails at 10 pm, leaving persons to wonder if he ever slept.

So Lord Triesman’s testimony was the start of the tide changing for Warner. Only 19 days after that statement to British MPs, Warner was suspended by FIFA for what was alleged to have been his role in the corruption of officials of the CFU at a now-infamous meeting held at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port of Spain. A month later, on June 20, 2011, Jack Warner resigned as FIFA Vice President and his long list of enemies now undertook the task of turning his fall from grace into imprisonment.

There’s no need to retell too much of his recent history. We all know Warner has gone to the UK Privy Council to fight his extradition to the USA to face multiple charges of bribery and corruption related to the awarding of rights for the hosting of World Cup tournaments. On March 18 this year, a fresh indictment was filed at the United States District Court (Eastern District Court of New York), naming Jack Warner among 17 defendants charged with a massive and sophisticated corruption of football as a sport and FIFA as a governing body.

With two hefty US Federal indictments and a laundry list of charges against him, Jack Warner appears to be Trevor Berbick fighting against Mike Tyson. The now 77-year-old has always maintained his innocence, staying true to his vow to fight the charges with every resource available to him. But the game appears to be up. If the first indictment and attendant charges were like the body punch that Tyson hit Berbick with 34 years ago, then this second indictment is like that left hook to the temple. Even if by some miracle he beats the charges, Warner’s name will never be cleared. For the tapestry of crimes woven by US prosecutors you feel that even if he’s acquitted, Jack Warner will always be in jail, just minus the bars. This is Warner’s extended Trevor Berbick moment. And the US prosecutors are like a prime time Mike Tyson, sizing up their target and going in for the kill. What chance does uncle Jack’s glass jaw have against a raging Iron Mike? Selah.

Former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president and Port of Spain Mayor, Raymond Tim Kee is dead.

The 71-year-old Tim Kee, passed on Sunday at his Flagstaff home after a long ailment, leaving the football fraternity in mourning.

TTFA President William Wallace issued condolences to the family, saying he had lost, not just a colleague in football, but a friend.

“He was a good human being who cared for his fellow men. As an administrator, he never micromanaged but instead allowed guided initiative. He had the game at heart and was one of those persons who hurt over the last couple years,” said Wallace in an interview with T&T website Wired868.

Wallace was the National Senior Team manager during Tim Kee’s term in office.

“I salute the memory of an exceptional man who I knew as a voice of reason. My heartfelt sympathy condolences to his entire family,” he said.

Wallace’s comments were made on the back of a TTFA statement, which also issued condolences, remembering Tim Kee as a kind-hearted man, ‘devoted and committed to serving his country the best way he could.’

Tim Kee took over presidency of the TTFA in 2012 after Jack Warner was forced to resign amidst a US investigation into corruption within FIFA that implicated him.

Tim Kee’s presidency saw a resurgence of the Soca Warriors but also an increasingly troubling financial situation. Constant squabbles with his board over those financial issues led to his eventual ousting in 2015 by recently deposed president, David John-Williams.

Trinidad and Tobago Super League president, Keith Look Loy, as well as Strike Squad captain Clayton Morris have also expressed their condolences.   

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