Thu, Feb 16, 2012 - Page 19 News List

FIFA waits to hear where its Haiti aid money went

Reuters, BERN

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, right, speaks with FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke during a press conference in Libreville, Gabon, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

FIFA has confirmed that it is waiting for an explanation over emergency aid for the Haiti earthquake disaster which failed to reach its destination after being sent to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF).

Soccer’s governing body said that the money had been sent to the TTFF in 2010 at the request of former executive committee member Jack Warner, who was head of the North, Central American and Caribbean Confederation (CONCACAF) at the time.

FIFA said in a statement that US$250,000 was wired to the TTFF, but the Haiti federation said it had only received US$60,000.

Soccer’s governing body said it still has not received “a satisfactory response” about what happened to the remaining US$190,000 and has stopped further payments to the Trinidad federation.

“We can confirm that FIFA wired immediately after the devastating earthquake US$250,000 as an emergency aid for Haiti to the account of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF),” the statement said.

“This was on request of the then CONCACAF president Jack Warner and subsequently transferred to the TTFF account, in order to immediately provide support to Haiti. FIFA can also confirm that it had been informed by the Haiti Football Association (FHF) in autumn 2011 that it had only received US$60,000 of this emergency aid,” it said.

“Consequently FIFA, in a letter, requested in October 2011 a full explanation from the TTFF into those funds. As FIFA has not received any satisfactory response, FIFA has stopped with immediate effect any payments to the TTFF until it will receive proper accounts of these funds allocated as an immediate relief support to the FHF,” the statement said.

FIFA said it had allocated a further US$3 million to a special Haiti fund which it controlled directly.

“The fund went towards restarting the Haitian championship and purchasing sporting equipment and various materials for the national technical center, which was renovated and extended,” FIFA said.

“In addition, the fund was used to build the completely new FHF Headquarters on the training center property, as the old one was completely destroyed in the earthquake,” it added. “Lastly, the Sylvio Cator Stadium in Port-au-Prince was renovated, with an artificial pitch one of the principal new features.”

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