Fri, Jul


Former national player Stern John has raised some concerns about the testing methods Trinidad and Tobago defender Akeem Adams might have undergone at his Hungarian Club Ferencvaros prior to having a heart attack on September 25.

John was speaking on Wednesday at the Eddie Hart Ground in Tacarigua, where he was one of several former national players giving their views on development work to be done at the Tacarigua Recreation Ground..

The former T&T captain, who has played for international clubs such as Sunderland and Southampton, is questioning whether Adams’ Hungarian club did a proper analysis of his physical condition before he got the heart attack.

All indications from Adams’ Hungarian club are that proper methods were  followed and that the player showed no sign of heart disease. Also, Adams had played two junior FIFA World Cups with T&T, during which time he was tested and given a clean prognosis by Dr Terrence Babwah.

John’ s concern is that Adams might be the latest local player to suffer mistreatment and poor treatment in the international arena. With the situation as it is, John said it is unfortunate Adams got the heart attack so early in his international career.

Meanwhile, John is among several football personalities who are supporting plans by the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) to build a modern sporting facility at the Eddie Hart Ground. Others backing the move are former PNM MP Eddie Hart, who has successfully run the Eddie Hart Football League for 47 years at the venue, former national team manager Sam Phillip, and ex-national youth player Kevin Jeffrey.

The Eddie Hart Ground, soon to be renamed the Eddie Hart Regional Sport Complex, will be getting a $190 million face-lift. The new venue is expected to be fitted with a 900-seat covered pavilion, an athletics track, and a multipurpose court for other sporting disciplines. There has been an argument from some quarters for the venue to remain a green space, but Hart is among those who feels that development is a proper step.

Shush Stern: Akeem’s agent defends Ferencvarosi on player’s condition
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)

Dion Sosa, the local manager for stricken Trinidad and Tobago footballer Akeem Adams, has responded angrily to suggestions that Hungarian club, Ferencvarosi, might be responsible for the medical condition of the “Soca Warrior.”

Adams is in ICU at the Varosmajori Heart Clinic in Budapest after suffering a massive heart attack, two weeks ago. At present, the former Presentation College (San Fernando) student has a mechanical, artificial heart and is in urgent need of a heart transplant. On Tuesday morning, Adams’ left leg from below the knee was amputated due to circulatory problems.

Record Trinidad and Tobago goal scorer and 2006 World Cup player Stern John, a former England Premier League player with Birmingham City and Sunderland, told CNC3 yesterday that Adams’ employer might have to answer questions in the near future as to how the 22-year-old defender passed a medical at the club.

Adams only joined Ferencvarosi on 7 August 2013.

However, Sosa emphatically dismissed any suggestion of wrongdoing by the club.

“That is very irrational statement,” Sosa told Wired868. “You are trying to imply (that) the people saw something and then looked away. But even Dr (Terence) Babwah said Akeem went through all the FIFA protocol and testing for two FIFA World (Youth) Cups and nothing showed up…

“So that is rubbish.”

Since Adams’ heart attack, Ferencvarosi paid for the player’s mother, Ancilla Adams, and brother, Akini Adams, to travel to Hungary to be at his bedside while the club also provided accommodation and transport to and from the hospital for the two Point Fortin residents.

Ferencvarosi’s insurance policy for the player has also completely covered all his medical bills so far.

Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison sympathised with the Hungarian club as well. Central FC, a Couva-based Pro League team, was Adams’ last employer before he went to Europe.

“No club in the Caribbean would be able to cover the medical costs of this situation and I don’t believe that a visit to a local doctor would have identified this condition,” Harrison told Wired868. “It is in a club’s interest to ensure, wherever possible, that any new signings are free from injury or medical conditions, as it is they who make the investment and carry the burden of medical bills… Some medical conditions just don’t present themselves unless you specifically test for them.

“But at this point, our focus should be on Akeem’s recovery rather than apportioning blame, and we offer prayers and support to Akeem, and his family.”

Sosa said he contacted Ferencvarosi to apologise for John’s comment. But he hopes that persons temper their comments and wait for information before indulging in harmful speculation.

“When you make that kind of statement (about Ferencvarosi) you are sending the wrong signal,” said Sosa. “You are making people think it was a backdoor thing to get the guy the contract… Akeem’s mother and brother are being involved in everything by the medical people and they are the ones who know what is going on.

“The club doesn’t owe the Trinidad public any information; it owes the family the information. It is up to the family if it wants to reveal that information but I’m sure everything will be revealed in good time.”

Adams remains in the ICU but his circulation has improved since the operation on Tuesday morning and doctors are understood to be a bit more optimistic about his state. But, at present, he remains too weak to endure a heart transplant and medical staff is waiting for his condition to stabilise before he can receive the crucial operation.

Editor’s Note: Akeem Adams is not strong enough for a heart transplant at present and, as such, his name does not need to be on a donors’ list until his condition stabilises.

As such, a story in the print media that Adams’ name was supposedly taken off such a list is no need for alarm.


Sportt to give Eddie Hart grounds facelift.
T&T Guardian Reports.

Eddie Hart Grounds and Golden Grove Savannah will soon be a regional sporting centre.

The Sports Company of T&T (SPORTT) has been mandated to develop this sporting hub to accommodate multi-purpose sporting surfaces and amenities, so that quality surfaces can be easily accessible to nationals wanting to participate in sporting activities, up and coming athletes through community clubs and groups, while retaining green spaces for casual recreational users, in a safe environment.

Facilities will include an international standard football field on the east ground with stadium lighting; an athletics track on the east ground with lighting; a 900-seat covered pavilion, with dedicated changing facilities for players, public toilets and concessionaire spaces, and an indoor sporting facility building that will contain:

a) 25m swimming pool

b) Open gymnasium area

c) Aerobics and Spin Class Area

d) Boxing and Martial arts area

e) Multi-purpose Court

f) Squash Area
g) Administrative Offices

h) Change room, Shower and Toilet Facilities.

There are also plans for an international standard cricket field on the west ground with stadium lighting; a dedicated jogging path on the east ground with lighting; two (2) small goal football courts with lighting and a children’s play park with equipment.

A release from the Sports Company stated that the enhancement of the savannah was for sporting endeavours and will facilitate individuals who live in communities from San Juan to Arima who can use the established transport routes (Eastern Main Road and Priority Bus Route) to participate in sporting activities on upgraded fields and surfaces for cricket, football, netball and basketball.

Additionally, there will be a 25m indoor swimming pool at the indoor facility which can be used to address the lack of water competency skills of many. Outside of the community swimming pool in Sangre Grande, this will be the only public (ie free) swimming pool along the East-West Corridor, making it a vital addition to the fitness and health needs of the communities in this area.

According to the release: “All of the areas on the western end of the facility including the play park, recreation/picnic area, jogging track and cricket field will not be fenced and will therefore encourage community use as currently obtains. The only proposed fenced areas will be the football field and its surrounding athletic training track as well as the indoor facility.

These are the only areas that will require some level of formal scheduling for structured sporting events, but as part of the daily operation, citizens will be free to access and use these amenities at any time.”

The Sports Company is also examining the feasibility of setting up a community management committee drawn from the various interest groups to provide oversight for the entire ground/ centre once all works are completed. This is one way to ensure that the interests of the community will always be a priority.

Following recent consultations there were concerns raised by interest groups and current users of the savannah/grounds about the destruction of green space to erect concrete structures. However, almost 85 percent of total area under development will be grassed.

In order to address other key areas of the concern the following adjustments have been proposed.

These adjustments include: phasing of construction to minimise interruption to ongoing sporting activities increased width and length of jogging/running track to accommodate the large volume of casual athletes use of eco-friendly, permeable materials for the car park for drainage purposes preservation of water sources in the construction phase and the conservation of energy in the facility’s operation

The proposed centre/ground is meant to benefit the largest possible number of persons as they engage in sport and physical recreation. Far from displacing current users or interrupting the free flow of breeze and green space, the intent is to create an aesthetically pleasing and functional area that citizens will enjoy for generations.

It is hoped that not only will persons be able to stay healthy but also that many successful elite athletes will get their start in Tacarigua. Ultimately, sport must become inimical to our culture and livelihood and this facility is one means of achieving this lofty goal.