Midfielder Kevin Molino received no further punishment when the board of directors of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) met on Friday evening at the TTFA office at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, to iron out the issues in local football.
However, players are expected to receive playing contracts that will include a strict code of conduct before they take the field on November 11 for their opening match in the Final Round of the Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Molino, who broke a team camp for a night out with friends before a Caribbean Cup clash with Martinique two weeks ago, was banned for the match by coach Stephen Hart, leading to a 2-0 loss for T&T which confirmed their exit from the Cup. The men from the twin-island republic will now enter a play-off for a chance to qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Yesterday in the midst of calls for stiffer punishment for the player, Tobago Football Association (TFA) president Anthony Moore said the board decided not to take further action against the player in a bold move not to sacrifice the country ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.
“We took a number of factors into consideration, such as the injuries to captain Kenwyne Jones and midfielder Joevin Jones, the fact that he was already punished by the coach, as well as other concerns the coach encounters to secure the services of players for key matches,” Moore said.
“We also took into consideration the fact that the player offered an apology but the decision was really based on the fact that the country will be entering a crucial qualifying match in two weeks time and we felt that the country came before anything else.”
The Tobago football boss believes the new player contracts and code of conduct which players will be required to sign on to before being accepted on the team, will help in alleviating situations like Molino’s own as well as other disciplinary issues, as they will be aware of what’s acceptable and what is not. He explained it will also strengthen the hands of the management team.
The football association, being led by David John-Williams is currently in a race to have the documents ready for the November 11 match, working daily with the assistance of the CONCACAF to produce a comprehensive document that players will be guided by and which is expected to eliminate actions of indiscipline.
Hart who was present at the meeting was also said to be happy to see an end to the problems affecting the team.
The Canadian has had to penalise Molino, Jones (Joevin) and defender Mekeil Williams by handing them heavy fines for similarly breaking team camp to go on a boat ride before the Guatemala encounter at the stadium almost two months ago.
Upon meeting the board for the first time on Friday, Hart took the opportunity to explain his philosophy and to outline his plans for the team and what he wants to achieve.