Infantino: Development Centre will change the face of football in T&T.

TTFA honours longstanding contributors at Dinner and Ceremony

FIFA President Gianni Infantino was the featured guest at Dinner and Appreciation Awards Ceremony hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association at the Queen’s Park Oval Ballroom on Monday night.

To mark the historic occasion, the FIFA President’s first official visit to this country since being appointed, the TTFA honoured persons for their longstanding contribution to local football. Among them were Randolph Price, a former player with Colts and a local women’s football coach, former national coaches and players – Sedley Joseph, Alvin Corneal, Edgar Vidale and Everald “Gally” Cummings, former match commissioners Boris Punch and Lennox Pilgrim, TTFA administrator and Women’s Football League President Sharon O’Brien and Merle Bagoo, the first local woman to officiate an international game and former FIFA referee Noel Bynoe.

In his closing interview on Monday night, Infantino spoke on the importance of the TTFA having its National Technical Development Centre – the home of football, which was announced at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Monday.

“The day has been fantastic. It’s been a day in which I have been able to witness really a new Trinidad and Tobago Football Association with a new spirit, with my friend David, who with his passion, brings everyone with him. I have witnessed the government who is fully behind the football association. I have been witnessing the population in Trinidad and Tobago who is absolutely passionate for football, you have here incredible, natural talent and if you manage really to structure it a little bit to foster the professional game then the results for the future will be bright,” Infantino told TTFA Media.

Infantino, a former UEFA General Secretary also touched in his relationship with TTFA President David John-Williams and why he believes his drive can benefit the local governing body.

“David is a completely crazy. He starts one thing and the same time he has a thousand new ideas and an energy which is absolutely incredible. I like him because he is a doer. Maybe he starts a thousand things and at the end he finishes only one of them but if you don’t do if you don’t believe, dream if you don’t believe in what you do then you will never get anywhere.

“And he is one of these persons who can really make things happen with his energy, his passion and his way of working. This is certainly inspiring and this is why I am really happy to be one of his friends,” Infantino said.

On the establishment of the National Training Centre in Couva, Infantino said this will change the face of the game in T&T.

“This will change Trinidad and Tobago football but also Trinidad and Tobago society. Football is a great game in which players, both boys and girls are taught not only how to play football and how to be sports persons but how to be human beings with values and respect. And this project will of course boost the whole football movement in Trinidad and Tobago. If you work around this talent you will have great results and it will send a strong message in the country and also in the whole Concacaf, Caribbean and Americas on what can be achieved if you work seriously.

“Obviously a collective effort is needed. One person or organisation alone cannot do anything but I am sure that with the help of the Government who is very committed and also a little bit of FIFA and Concacaf I am sure the results will be there,” Infantino concluded.

Highlight Video of Dinner and Awards presentation

TTFA honours longstanding contributors at Dinner and Ceremony to host FIFA President