Sidebar

16
Mon, Oct

Typography

Latas and YorkeLocal footballing greats Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy are deeply hurt by Trinidad and Tobago's early elimination from the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

T&T's bid for a berth at the World Cup Finals in Brazil came to an end when the national senior team lost 2-1 in Guyana earlier this month.
 
Yorke and Latapy were inducted into the First Citizens Sports Foundation Hall of Fame, at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain, on Wednesday. Afterwards, they spoke about T&T's failed campaign.
 
"When you think of the kind of players that we possess," said Yorke, "and the history behind our country in terms of getting to the group stage (in World Cup qualifying), and we haven't been able to do that, there must be some serious questions we need to ask.
 
"Everyone knows that Jack Warner, being the person that he is, what he has brought to football for many years. I think he was highly underestimated, and he is a person that brought so much not to our country, but the whole of the CONCACAF region. He's a key factor in terms of development of our football over many, many, many years. That is a blow for us."
 
Warner, a former FIFA vice-president, resigned from all football activities amidst his alleged involvement in a bribery scandal.
 
"Whether they need young blood," Yorke continued, "or people with experience who have been there who can help them, they need to do something. We all need to really contribute back to our football, because the fact that we haven't qualified is a massive blow, and it's a serious warning for our football."
 
Latapy, a former coach of the T&T national senior team, said losing to Guyana was a painful blow.
 
"Because of all we've achieved in the past, it's very difficult and disheartening to take as fans--to know the point we reached in 2006, qualifying for the World Cup, to not having a chance to even play in the final group. I'm unhappy with where our football is."
 
Both Latapy and Yorke want to help T&T football.

"This is my country," said Yorke, "but the plain and simple fact that I haven't been asked, that's what it is.
 
"Football has given me a presidential lifestyle. I travelled the world, played in the best stadiums, happened to go along and win trophies along the way. That is something beyond my wildest dreams. It would be rude of me, in many respects, if I don't contribute something back to our football. I have gained a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience. No one in the Caribbean has even come close to what I have known and what I have experienced as a player.
 
"Despite my knowledge," Yorke continued, "despite my know-how as to the modern day...how the game is played, my coaching sessions that I've been doing, I've been able to pick the brains of Sir Alex Ferguson...I think I've got something to contribute. If the call comes in, and the sport's governing body asks me or the Government asks me to contribute, then I'm happy to do that."
 
Yorke had a short stint as assistant coach of the national team during the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.