Former national coach and TT football legend, Russell Latapy, will finally be paid his salary for his tenure at the helm of the Soca Warriors from 2009-2011.
The funds will be derived from the subventions to the TTFA and will be disbursed in quarterly tranches of US$200k, US$200k and US$100k respectively. The TTFA has been entrusted to come up with the remainder of what is owed to Latapy.
Smith, an ex-national youth football player, described Latapy as someone he always looked up to and believes clearing the debt owed to him was necessary.
“Russell has been someone who has represented Trinidad and Tobago and worn the red, white and black on his heart and sleeve since he was a young boy right up to the senior level up to Germany (World Cup). He also took the opportunity to coach which shows his patriotism.
“Whatever may have been the issue then, it is something the TTFA inherited, no fault of (Tim Kee), no fault of Russell, he wasn’t paid monies that was due to him and this is something that we want to clean up. When we were approached to assist in the payment of Russell as a start of the clean-up, we took it with two hands running.
We think it’s something that should be done and speaking with the public they are also in support because it’s taxpayers money. Once you put out efforts and work just like everyone in our daily lives, you should be compensated.
Russell did it almost for free for that period of time. It’s the past, we move on but the only way we could move on is to rectify that,” he said.
Latapy, 47-years-old, thanked the Minister for intervening and also lauded TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee for the conciliatory approach he adopted on the matter.
“I’m delighted that we are at this particular position right now. In my mind it’s a situation that is long overdue. I know that Mr Tim Kee inherited a situation that he didnt create. He was really good in our conversations and he agreed to take up the responsibility that he inherited. It’s been a long overdue situation and I am happy that we’re in this place right now. It took a lot of hard work and conversations but we’re here.
“It’s difficult for football to move on when you have so many situations like this hanging over your head...It’s difficult for coach (Stephen) Hart to work under situations where players are not being paid, he is not being paid.
We have a lot of talent in this country and for these young people to have a good opportunity we need to clean up sport.” Raymond Tim Kee, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) was present and expressed delight that Latapy was finally getting what was due to him. He lamented the previous TTFA approach of not paying its debts which he said he could not understand.
“I cannot sit by and allow a person who has brought so much joy and happiness to us to have to go to court to fight for his own money,” he stated. Tim Kee, questioned whether having to pay Latapy with Government subvention would hinder other programmes of the TTFA including the Road to Russia World Cup qualifying campaign, said he was optimistic it would not be affected.
“We have started to put income generating initiatives in place to help us do what we have to do.
It’s something I want to raise with the Minister about national teams who representing the country. My position is any team that represents the country is not representing the TTFA - it’s representing the country and therefore the state has a responsibility to take care of (them)...Those income generating initiatives will demonstrate to the national stakeholders both state and corporate....
The constitution will allow for confidence to come back once more because once your (good) name is lost that’s a huge task to regain but we are pursuing winning back the confidence of the national community. As the team continues to win and move forward...As the Minister said once you start to win people will come forward and want to assist.
Latapy to finally receive payment.
By Ian Prescott (Express).
The long awaited process to pay remaining money owed to local football icon Russell Latapy began yesterday with Sport Minister Darryl Smith committing to 50 per cent of the US$1 million owed to the former national football captain, for his services as Trinidad and Tobago's senior men's national team coach between 2009-2011.
Payment will be made in quarterly instalments, beginning with a first payment of US$200,000, and will be made through the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association's annual subvention from the Ministry of Sport (MOS).
Meanwhile, the former national player and coach, is quietly confident the Trinidad and Tobago national football team will do well during the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign.
A former assistant coach at Inverness Caledonia Thistle in Scotland, Latapy, 47, was on hand to witness the Soca Warriors draw 0-0 with the United States in a World Cup qualifier in Port of Spain on Tuesday night.
“From what I saw on Tuesday night, I am quietly confident we will do very well,” Latapy said. “I do believe in this group of players.”
Latapy warned against complacency. He urged national senior men’s coach Stephen Hart and his players to continue working hard and take every opponent seriously. “I want to say congratulation to coach Hart.
VIDEO: - Ministry of Sport's press conference concerning the payment of monies owed to former Head Coach, Russell Latapy