Trinidad wants WC tix amid charges of price gouging

January 6, 2006

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad -- Trinidad's government asked the country's soccer federation for World Cup tickets on Friday following allegations of cronyism and ticket price gouging against a top soccer official. Roger Boynes, minister of sports and youth affairs, sent the request in a letter to Oliver Camps, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation. "In the circumstances, the government will be approaching your organization with a view to acquiring a bloc of tickets for the respective games, as it is the government's intention to arrange charters with the national airline," Boynes wrote. Camps confirmed that his office received the letter but said he hadn't yet seen it. He didn't know how many tickets the government wanted but said he previously told Boynes that anyone who applied for tickets would be considered. The Trinidad and Tobago Express published a series of articles alleging that the sole agency selling World Cup tickets in Trinidad was owned by the family of FIFA vice president Jack Warner, a senior adviser to the T&TFA. Warner acknowledged Tuesday that he owned Simpaul Travel Service Ltd. but said the criticism was personal and political. Warner also denied that Simpaul had exclusive rights to Trinidad's allotment of tickets. Several phone calls placed to him on Friday seeking comment were not immediately returned. Trinidad's Soca Warriors are making their first World Cup appearance and play Sweden, England and Paraguay in the first round of the tournament in Germany, which starts June 9.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press