Former Soca Warrior Brent Sancho is hoping that episodes like the near boycott of the Caribbean Cup final by the senior men’s football team earlier this week become things of the past.
Sancho, one of 13 players who won a judgment against the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association for millions of dollars in outstanding fees from the 2006 World Cup, was a key figure in facilitating the settlement of the $10 million debt to the current squad so that Kenwyne Jones and his team could take the field for the Caribbean Cup final against Jamaica on Tuesday.
Both Jones and Minister of Sport Dr Rupert Griffith acknowledged Sancho’s role in mediating an agreement.
“When I saw the report in the newspapers I spoke to (Mr Adrian) Raymond (Acting CEO of the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago).
It would have been a travesty for (such) a situation like that to arise,” he told the Express on Thursday where he witnessed the handing out of cheques to players and technical staff by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Dr Griffith.
Sancho added: “I understood the cabinet note was approved a long time, and being a very good friend to the captain Kenwyne, after a conversation with Mr Raymond, decided to give Kenwyne a call and come to some sort of agreement. I tried to bring the both sides together to make sure we averted any further embarrassment.”
Sancho, who had been kept abreast of the situation over the last year by the Cardiff City striker, said further that, “I am a huge fan of the game and a huge fan of these players so I was just happy to assist.”
Sancho sympathised with Jones and company, describing the situation of being owed huge sums of money and going unpaid for months on end as “difficult” and “ a burden”.
“As captain, you know players are coming at you and asking what is the situation and he (Jones) reached a point where it was a bit too much.
We spoke about that and what would make it possible for them to play that night and after a couple of phone calls back and forth we tried to make these players happy so they could play at their optimal best and that was what I was trying to do,” Sancho said.
Sancho also said the situation of the players being endlessly owed money by the TTFA needed to be rectified.
“We need to carefully look at how we do things to make sure this does not happen again,” he said.
Sancho also added that the 13 2006 World Cup players , who received their gifts from the Government earlier this year, are still pursuing legal action in an effort to recover funds that have not been accounted for during the 2005 World Cup qualifying campaign.
“We are hoping that the current administration in football joins us in this quest because I think when you look at these situations, the sums of money that are missing, you think this would not happen if we were to go after the funds.
So we hope they realise the importance of doing this and then if they don’t, then we would have to find other means and ways of doing it, but it is something that we are going to pursue.” he concluded.