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Fri, Oct

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With all the Carnival fever in the air, I had decided to take a break and join the fun, but if I let national coach Bertille St Clair off the hook, I would not be doing justice to G-Sports readers.


So Carnival or no Carnival, let me say straight off that St Clair cannot be serious about a Dwight Yorke return.

St Clair, the T&T coach, has made no secret of his desire to have the 33-year-old Yorke back in the national squad.

His latest call for Yorke, who is struggling at Birmingham City, to rejoin the squad came after T&T qualified for the final round of the World Cup qualification tournament in December.

The volatile Yorke quit international football back in 2001, under then coach Brazilian Rene Simoes.

Firstly, the T&T Football Federation did not fire Yorke nor Russell Latapy. They both quit the team in the middle of the 2002 campaign because they refused to be accountable for their actions.

This was despite the fact that during the campaign, they travelled first class to and from Port-of-Spain, they were paid in US $ and before they changed into game kits, they stayed at the best hotels and most times, separate from the rest of the team.

The T&TFF also took out insurance for both Yorke and Latapy.

And if you ask most fans, they would even tell you that Yorke and Latapy never give us more than 60-per cent on the playing field.

So after all this, all the T&TFF and the public which idolised them got was contempt.

To make matters worse, after playing a World Cup qualifying match, the T&TFF organised a National Security helicopter to take Yorke to Piarco Airport so he would not miss his flight back to London.

Indeed, Yorke did miss his flight but he did so to stay in T&T and go partying.

If the truth is to be told, from the day Yorke signed with English Premiership team Manchester United, his attitude was ‘T&T cannot do without me’ and I am of the view that he has held us to ransom.

Also, there were many times he and Latapy arrived to practice late and when they took to the field they would play one-two among themselves.

The duo even refuse to wear the same practice kit as the rest of the team.

So Mr St Clair, after all of the above and those that I will not list, do you really want a Dwight Yorke influence on the present team?

The last time I checked football was still a team sport. Up to the time when both players quit the Soca Warriors, they displayed one thing, they were different from their colleagues.

Do not get me wrong, I am also a fan of both Yorke and Latapy even up to today, I am proud of their achievements and yes, they make me feel proud to be a Trini, but the buck must stop somewhere and if you want peace and harmony in the present team, then we press on with what we have.

On Tuesday, Shaun Fuentes, the T&T Football Federation press officer, told CMC Sports that the T&TFF had not received any official word of Yorke’s availability for the Soca Warriors’ opening fixture against the US on February 9.

He said: “From our standpoint at the T&T Football Federation, we have had no word from Dwight stating that he’s willing to come back,” Fuentes said yesterday.

“We know there has been some talk going on in the past … obviously coach Bertille St Clair has always been trying to see if he could get Dwight to come back into the fray but there is nothing that we can confirm at the moment.”

My question to Mr St Clair is: What can Yorke bring to T&T now that he did not deliver five years ago?

I am also disappointed that Yorke now has a new agent, Orville London, the chief secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, who has indicated Yorke’s willingness to rejoin the national team.

If Yorke wants to play for T&T again, he must first call the T&TFF and no one else. That is respect in my book.

He must make a public apology to T&T and agree to play for free. He must sign an agreement to attend all practice sessions, even if they are held on Carnival Monday and Tuesday and only then some consideration may be given to his request.

The purpose of history is to remind us of the past and not to make the same mistake twice.

Have peaceful C2K5.