NOT ALL the members of the 2006 Soca Warriors team have been invited to today’s gala dinner and ceremony celebrating “50 Greatest Legends in Sport” from 1962 to present.
The dinner will be held at the Trinidad Hilton in St Ann’s and is being organised by All Sport Promotions in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and the Economy.
Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Brent Sancho, a member of the 2006 World Cup team, revealed that he only found out about the celebrations after reading a Newsday and was stunned when he found out that a ceremony was to be held to honour them.
“Neither me nor any of the others have been invited (with the exception of Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy and Shaka Hislop). I haven’t received any phone calls and I have spoken to (Anthon) Wolfe and Cyd Gray and they haven’t been contacted either. I only found out about it after reading your papers. It’s a disgrace,” he declared.
Sancho, who along with 12 other past and present national players, is currently involved in litigation with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) believes this fractious relationship may have played a role in their snub.
“At the end of the day, coming back from the World Cup we were made to feel like we had done something negative rather than some positive. We’ve been shunned from functions of the TTFF before but it’s not about us, it’s about a legacy that we want to leave for the youngsters coming up,” the ex-TT defender explained.
Meanwhile, Sancho expressed hurt that 2006 World Cup captain Dwight Yorke and the inspirational Russell Latapy were given invitations yet others weren’t.
“When you’re selecting such an important group of individuals, why select us and not invite everybody back. If you’re doing things properly, why celebrate only two?” he asked.
“I clearly remember when taking the field (at the World Cup) in Kaiserslautern that we played with 11 players and not two,” he remarked.
Asked whether he would still attend if he received a late invitation, Sancho was adamant that the damage had already been done.
“I’m very disappointed with how things went down. I don’t think I would attend. I don’t know what the other guys think but I believe it is a big disrespect. They’ve had more than enough time to put this together,” he pointed out.
The 35-year-old, who played in all three of TT’s group matches at the World Cup, did express elation though to be among the 50 legends despite not been invited to the dinner.
“When I read about it I almost fell off my chair because when you look back 50 years there have been a number of top sportsmen and women. I’m very proud of it and I’m really happy on a personal level,” he stated.
Contacted by Newsday yesterday to explain the omissions, a contrite Tony Harford, Managing Director, All Sport Promotions, explained what happened.
“I wrote all the teams that made the 50 and notified their manager or the relevant Association and asked them if they would inform the players (about the celebration),” Harford said.
“I dealt with Latapy, Yorke personally because they were nominated individually. I also invited Shaka because we have a personal relationship. The TTFF (Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation) informed me that the captain will receive the award (on behalf of the team). They clearly felt that Dwight should receive the award,” he said.
Meanwhile, Harford revealed that he spoke to Sancho yesterday who understands what took place and did extend a belated invitation to him. The All Sport Promotions official explained that he would call all the other players individually and apologise to them while also extending invitations to them as well.
50th Anniversary Sport Legends Committee:
Dave Lamy, Sedley Joseph, Sandra Charles-Montano, Lloyd Agard, Alexander Chapman, Brian Lewis.
Athletics – Hasely Crawford, Ato Boldon, Richard Thompson, T&T 4x440 yards relay teams 1964 &1966 (Wendell Mottley; Kent Bernard; Edwin Roberts; Edwin Skinner; Lennox Yearwood), Lalonde Gordon, Keshorn Walcott
Badminton – Debra O'Connor
Netball – 1979 T&T netball team
Cricket – Brian Lara, Deryck Murray, Larry Gomes, Ian Bishop, Charlie Davis, T&T Champions League team 2009, Willie Rodriguez
Cycling – Roger Gibbon, Gene Samuel, Leslie King [deceased]
Football – Dwight Yorke, Shaka Hislop, Sedley Joseph, Everald "Gally" Cummings, Lincoln Phillips, Joey Carew, Alvin Corneal, Russell Latapy, Tyrone De La Bastide
Hockey – Kwandwane Browne, Stacey Siu Butt, Sandra Charles-Montano
Shooting – Bert Manhin, Roger Daniel
Tennis – Alan Price, Peter Valdez
Weightlifting – Brandon Bailey, Hugo Gittens
Sailing – Cordell Barrow [deceased] and Rawle Barrow
Basketball – Merrick "Jim" Anatol
Bodybuilding – Mike Hercules (deceased)
Golf – Stephen Ames, Maria Nunes
Horse Racing – Emile Ramsammy
Administration – Ann Browne-John, Alloy Lequay (cricket); Lystra Lewis (netball); Alexander B Chapman (Olympics); Eric James (football)
Boxing – Giselle Salandy (deceased)