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Volume No. 2 Issue No. 28 - Monday February 11, 2008
Dominica FA stave off Warner
Trinidad and Tobago Express


jack warner
JOKING AROUND: FIFA vice-president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation special adviser Jack Warner, left, with ex-Liverpool and England star John Barnes, centre, and Digicel official Niall Dorrian during yesterday's launch of the Digicel Kick Start Football Clinic at Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Invaders Bay, Mucurapo. See Page 66. -Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK.
FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has run Caribbean football for nearly three decades but may be forced to rethink his interaction with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) countries after the global body failed to support his assault on the Dominica Football Association (DFA).

Warner flew to Dominica in mid-January and essentially sought to dissolve the DFA executive. The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association special adviser and Chaguanas West MP insisted that he was following a FIFA mandate and accused the DFA of "a lack of financial accountability" and the worse management he ever encountered.

But, a month later, FIFA disagreed and backed the tiny Caribbean island, which boasts a population of just over 72,000, over its own high-ranking official.

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, the second most powerful figure after president Sepp Blatter, wrote to the DFA on Thursday and assured its president, Dexter Francis, that there would be no future interference in FIFA's name.

"The FIFA Associations Committee in its meeting of February 5, 2008 has reviewed the situation of the Dominica Football Association," stated Valcke, "and thoroughly discussed the case.

"On behalf of the Committee, we would like to inform the Dominica FA and the Dominican football community (that) the Associations Committee fully recognises the democratically and rightfully-elected president Dexter Francis and his board as being in charge of the Football Association and the organisation of football in Dominica."

So what prompted Warner's "appalling conduct and flagrant abuse of power" as far as the DFA was concerned?

Francis has served as DFA president for just over a year and has already survived a vote of "no confidence" and a power grab prompted by ten of the island's football clubs, who have threatened to seize power in the local courts.

When the Sunday Express inquired, Francis insisted that the DFA's problems were down to retired Dominican Colonel, Patrick John, who is no stranger to coup attempts.

"People perceive that there is a big crisis in Dominican football," Francis told the Sunday Express, "but it is really the same group of people who are attacking us all the time. There are ten core supporters of (Patrick) John who are agitating and making it difficult for us to do our jobs."



FIFA's investigations seemed to confirm Francis' suspicions.

Valcke, in his letter to the DFA, said that FIFA will invite Francis and John to its Zurich headquarters later this month as "a first step" towards solving Dominica's woes.

"(Francis and John) will present their solution on how to overcome the impasse," said Valcke, "and concrete steps will be agreed upon under the auspices of FIFA and CONCACAF."

Francis may not have minced words when he complained about Warner's intrusion but his language is more tempered when the topic shifted to John. The latter figure is as controversial as they come on the island.

John, a former school teacher, trade union leader and mayor, became Dominica's first prime minister in 1974 but lasted just five years before he was replaced by the Caribbean's first female leader, Dame Eugenia Charles. The CIA described John's tenure as "corrupt and tyrannical".

But John really made the world take notice when, in 1981, he conspired with Ku Klux Klan (KKK) leaders Don Black and Wolfgang Droege to overthrow the Dominican government in an invasion called "Operation Red Dog".

The KKK had promised to restore power to John in exchange for the right to set up several lucrative businesses, including casinos and brothels, on the island. However, Black, Droege and seven other men were arrested in New Orleans with an array of weapons and a white Nazi flag as they were about to rendezvous with John and his own makeshift army.

John was jailed for 12 years, although PM Charles, who served Dominica for 14 years, pardoned and released the would-be insurrectionist in 1990.

Two years later, John came to power in a different field as he became DFA president. He held the post until 2006 when Francis was elected leader after convincing the island's stakeholders of the allegedly shoddy performances and poor accountability under John.

But Francis suspected something was amiss when, in 2007, Warner's CONCACAF inducted John into CONCACAF's Hall of Fame for his "profound impact" on the game in his island.

Eight months after John's tribute, the CONCACAF president, whose power within FIFA hinges on his ability to provide votes en bloc for the nominees of his choice, landed in Dominica in a bullish mood and anxious to ensure that Francis' term was a brief one. The DFA countered with an official protest to the FIFA Ethics Committee and, last week, Valcke indirectly told Warner to stand down.

For now, the Dominica FA has humbled the Caribbean "Godfather".
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Volume No. 2 Issue No. 12
Paradise, Eden
Skerrett's Letting Loose
Haitian Migration
Morne Aux Diables
Nature Isle gourmet
Cinderella gets gher dance

Dominica Academy of Arts and Sciences
Decatur Travel Agency
Dominica's Official Website
Volume No. 2 Issue No. 15
Street stories
In support of Dominica
Lil miss wob dwiyet
Community policing
Antigua new chair of G77
Failure of aids vaccine
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