Former national team player and sports commentator Brent Sancho says the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has some serious questions to answer over the resignation of T&T’s latest men’s senior football team head coach Tom Saintfiet.
Saintfiet resigned yesterday, claiming he was receiving no support from the TTFA and its president David John-Williams.
“Firstly, when he (Tom Saintfiet) was first hired... when you make such a decision as president of any organisation, hiring a coach who was relatively successful like coach Hart and replacing him with one who clearly doesn’t have the qualification, who doesn’t have the history to put us in the position, and the position is very clear, for T&T to qualify for Russia, then you put yourself in a very precarious position and that is what David John-Williams has done with that decision,” Sancho said.
He continued: “I think that is where he has some very strong questioning to face. I think the statements made by Mr Saintfiet contains some very serious allegations as it relates to staff selection and player selection. That is something I would hope the president would be able to clear up, Saintfiet making it known he was not able to select the right team, select the right players, the right staff around it. Those are some very serious allegations.”
Sancho said he was “absolutely not surprised at all” at Saintfiet’s resignation, after considering the Belgium-born’s history of short-term employment with various countries where he either resigned or was fired, “I am not surprised at all that he has resigned and the way it is turned out and how it panned out and the way it was said across Facebook. I am not surprised by anything of this at all,” added Sancho.
He said while the T&T 2018 World Cup Russia campaign is not completely off-rail, it would take a very highly-skilled coach and the funding to hire him.
“Remember of course we were in a similar position in 2006 albeit there are two things, a different crop of players now and, second, I think this is the most competitive CONCACAF ‘Hex’ I have ever seen,” Sancho said.
“I don’t think it’s a pipe dream. It has some sort of realism to it but you need the right person. You also need the players as well to start to take a bit of ownership. I just feel there is a disconnect between players and administration. Something is definitely up there.”