Jack Warner still won’t pay Soca Warriors their 2006 World Cup money
HELPING DEFEND Warner against the righteous claims of the Soca Warriors is lawyer Mr Om Lalla of 41 Edward Street, Port of Spain, telephone 625 5074.
Mr Lalla must rank among the most talented lawyers on the planet. He specialises in constitutional, criminal and immigration law, employment, judicial review, matrimonial, land and sports, estates, foreign investment, government relations, contracts, crisis management, child custody, narcotics, fraud and embezzlement.
(Embezzlement. Isn’t that what the Warriors are accusing Warner of?)
Mr Lalla is a member of Ely Place Chambers in London, a director of Trinidad’s Professional Football League and sits next to Jack Warner hearing appeals at the T&TFF.
As if all this didn’t keep him busy, Mr Lalla is an Arbitrator at the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration in Sport.
Mr Lalla is the most kindly of men. However often Warner lies to him, Lalla forgives him.
It cannot be easy. His client doesn’t appear to have had any contact with truth during his entire 65 years. For example – in 2006 Warner instructed lawyer Lalla to write to the BBC claiming that reporter Andrew Jennings had hit Warner in the mouth with his hand-microphone at Piarco airport in Trinidad. Tens of millions of viewers around the world saw a few weeks later that Jennings didn’t have a hand mic, was wearing a clip mic on his shirt collar, had both hands free and that Warner didn’t suffer any blow from anyone. In fact it was Warner doing the punching.
Warner then alleged that local media had suppressed the violence inflicted on him. ‘It was not shown on television and it was not reported in the newspapers’ and urged his supporters ‘Change the channel, don't buy the newspaper.’ As a diversion Warner added that he had received ‘death threats.’
Poor Mr Lalla was again the victim of Warner’s mendacity in 2006. This time he was instructed to threaten the Caribbean distributor of FOUL! Lalla wrote, boldly, ‘We are instructed to institute legal proceedings against the author of the said book FOUL!’
Mr Lalla added the usual stuff about ‘very serious libel . . . caused (Warner) considerable distress and embarrassment . . . the attack on his character was unjustified . . . we have advised our client that he is entitled to substantial compensation.’
How odd then that Warner, despite his life-long love affair with other people’s money, never did risk legal action. And the book is freely available in Trinidad book stores.
ONE OF Warner’s closest associates in Caribbean football is Colin Klass, supremo of football in Guyana for the last 20 years. Now he faces a rebellion. The entire national squad confronted him at 3 am outside a Trinidad hotel two weeks ago, accusing him of gross betrayal (the list is long) and failing to pay them match fees.
The upshot is they have announced they will never play for their country again while Klass remains in power. Despite the squad emailing the Guyana media with their decision, Klass insists he knows nothing of this.
Warner gives Klass global luxury travel, appointing him for ‘Special duties’ at the 2002 World Cup. This gave him the opportunity with another notorious Warner acolyte, Chet Green from Antigua, to visit a showroom in Japan to negotiate importing used cars to the Caribbean.
AND FINALLY . . . A week ago Sepp Blatter was in Chile for the Under-20 Women’s World Cup. A reporter chilled Blatter’s press conference, asking how the ISL corruption case had damaged FIFA’s reputation – and what about ExCo member Nicolas Leoz from Paraguay being named in the Indictment for taking $130,000 in bribes.
Brazenly, Blatter insisted that the case did not relate to football and ‘the court did not give any names.’
(see Leoz named in an extract from the Indictment in ‘10 Reasons why Blatter Can Never Sue’ first page.)