Technical Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation Anton Corneal is expressing heavy regret over the circumstances within local football involving the 2006 World Cup players and their latest action on the local governing body.
Corneal, appointed technical director last month, has embarked on a series of development programmes with the TTFF Technical Committee including an elite coaches symposium, a goalkeepers’ coaching course and a youth development programme involving the various national youth teams.
While aware that the 2006 players exercised their legal rights, Corneal was disappointed over the lack of consideration shown towards the youth teams that are preparing to engage in international competition.
“Mixed signals has been sent by some of our former Soca Warriors over the way in which they treated the levying of the Trinidad and Tobago Federation. It seemed as though it was a feather in their cap to stop all National teams from participating in their various tournaments.
Even though I understand the process of the court, this would have been and ideal situation to show their genuine intentions towards our country and the qualifications of the Olympic football team and the U-17 women’s national football team in their upcoming tournaments,” Corneal said.
“Opportunities come once in a life time and to think any former player or players are prepared to take this away, leaves one to believe their intentions are selfish and counter productive.
“These young players from both teams will now have to play under unjust adversity which either brings out the best or worst in performances on the field. Hopefully the coaches involve can take steps in repairing any psychological damage that might have occurred.
These teams need all energies focusing in one positive direction to attain optimum performances, as a federation we fully support their progress towards these events,” Corneal added.
“I have coached some of these same players, especially during the 2006 World Cup when we were all part of a unit that represented this country with such pride and dignity. But just like them, we too as coaches and officials within the TTFF have gone through frustrating nights and days. We’ve also felt the pain. There are those of us who are not fighting the players.”
“Some of us have worked with salaries that have been cut but we have labored on to ensure that football continued and that our young players could get the chance to not only represent but also have an avenue to channel their energies especially away from crime. We too have hoped for and worked towards a better governing body and better state of local football,” he said.