18 Dec 2008
- Written by Ed Hodge (scotsman.com)
- Hits: 1432
Jack Warner, Fifa vice-president and special adviser to the Trinidad and Tobago FA, claims the iconic veteran has been recruited to help steer the Soca Warriors through the final stage of Concacaf qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
He said: "I was able to confirm with Latapy that he can now return on December 23 to take up his full-time coaching appointment and to join the local staff."
Falkirk were last night unaware of an agreement being in place with the former Rangers and Hibs midfielder, but it is understood they will not stand in Latapy's way if a suitable compensation offer is forthcoming.
Falkirk manager John Hughes has only used the player four times this season, but his input has been bigger off the park, helping mentor young players and coach the reserve team.
Warner noted that a major sponsorship agreement with a local company – Telecommunications Services of Trinidad & Tobago – helped in offering the position to Latapy, who would join head coach Francisco Maturana and his two current assistants, Cesar Maturana and Anton Corneal.
Warner stated earlier this month that he wanted the Falkirk player-coach for the entire qualifying campaign next year, and it seems Latapy could now quickly swap Scotland for the Caribbean.
The playmaker, whose contract with Falkirk expires at the end of the season, came out of international retirement in October to inspire his country to the final round of qualifiers for South Africa in 2010.
He performed a dual role as player and assistant coach and scored in the 2-1 win over the USA that kept alive their qualification hopes, while he became the oldest scorer in qualifying history.
Trinidad's next set of qualifiers in a six-team group kicks off away to El Salvador on 11 February, and ends with a home meeting with Mexico on 14 October.
Latapy's five-year stint at Falkirk – and his decade in Scottish football – was honoured against Hibs last month when the club inducted him into their Hall of Fame before the 1-1 draw.