Local fans will get to witness Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior Men’s Team in action against India in a friendly international at the Hasely Crawford Stadium at 5pm on Sunday August 21.
This was one of several announcements made by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation at a media conference held at the Jaffa Restaurant, Queen’s Park Oval on Friday morning.
Additionally Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Anil Roberts, during his address, pledged Government’s backing towards the National Team’s 2014 World Cup campaign, expressing satisfaction with some of the new measures being taken by the TTFF.
National Head coach Otto Pfister expressed his feelings strongly about his time with the T&T team thus far, stating his concerns over the level of negativity around T&T’s football currently but maintained his optimism of the team’s chances for Brazil 2014, adding that he has seen enough from the players based at home and from overseas to suggest that the players are fully committed to the cause and capable of going the distance.
The German-born coach also revealed that he has held talks with Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones and has entrusted in him the responsibility of team captain.
It was also disclosed that all three of T&T’s home matches in the second round will be played at the Hasely Crawford Stadium at 7pm.
There was a huge gathering of media correspondents including a representative from the "Warrior Nation" supporters group which was acknowledged by Minister of Sport Anil Roberts, officials from current and potential partners as well as TTFF Exco members and senior team staff officials.
TTFF President Oliver Camps gave the welcome address and thanked ex-special advisor Jack Warner for his contribution over the years. Read Camps' speech
Top among the the revelations was the appointment of All Sport Promotions by the TTFF to handle all marketing and sponsorship responsibilities as well as oversee the management of international matches on the TTFF’s behalf in conjunction with the staff of the TTFF.
All Sport Promotions managing director Anthony Harford meanwhile provided details of some of the new measures being implemented by the TTFF to ensure proper transparency and accountability.
Tickets for the friendly international versus India will go on sale shortly and will be priced at TT$200 for covered stands and TT$100 for uncovered. Details on ticket locations will be announced shortly.
Harford also announced that Carib Brewery Limited and TSTT will be coming on board for the 2014 campaign as well as Gatorade and other corporate bodies are engaged in discussions to partner for the qualifiers.
“Most of them are very keen to come back into the fold as sponsors but it is understandable that while they are keen, they are also extremely cautious.
We feel that things needs to change, The TTFF has therefore appointed to ensure that this change takes place, All Sport, and they have given us a clear mandate that things must be done differently,” Harford stated.
“So how are we going to achieve this difference and convince all the stakeholders including the general public who pay their hard earned dollars to see football?
“The first step is that All Sport in conjunction with the Ministry of Sport and the TTFF, is appointing an Authorization Committee. This committee will contain a representative from All Sport, a representative from the TTFF and there are three independent members.
One is a high level official from the Central Bank of the Trinidad and Tobago whose name we cannot reveal yet as this has to ratified by his employers . The other is Mr Ian De Souza, General Manager Corporate and Investment Banking, Republic Bank Trinidad and Tobago,” Harford revealed.
De Souza has over 34 years experience in the banking industry with extensive regional and International experience and is a certified management accountant as well as chairman Maple Leaf International School.
The other member of the committee is Mr Caryl Kellar, Advisor to the Minister of Sport. The TTFF will name its representative shortly and All Sport Promotions will chair this Authorization Committee.
Harford further added “We are also setting completely new accounts through Republic Bank, a TTFF marketing account , this account will be presided over and signed off on by members of the committee only on the presentation of invoices that are verified and are verifiable.
“We feel this is necessary and it is not that we feel there is any dishonesty in the hierarchy in the TTFF as it exists but we feel that there is enough of a cry among the public and certainly from the Ministry of sport that things have to be done differently and so we have agreed to act that way.
We also have committed ourselves to issuing a statement publicly at the end of every game that Trinidad and Tobago plays from here on as to how much money was taken in at the gates, how much money came in through sponsorships, how the money was spent and if there is a positive or negative difference … we will advise the public via an insert in the daily newspapers and through press releases.
“At the end of every month, sponsors and Government will be given an update as to the state of affairs of this account, how the money is being spent, on whom and why. This is our commitment initially to the end of 2011.
The reason we have not decided to go beyond 2011 is of course things could change… if the worse happens and Trinidad and Tobago does not make it to the next round then the focus will be changed to a more developmental approach where the sponsorship requirements will be less but that is not to say that we will not continue to advise the public on what is happening.
“We feel this is the right approach, this is what the public needs to see and hear. We also feel the honourable Minister also will be more comfortable with this approach,” Harford stated.
“I know there is a lot of deep suspicion around what has been transpiring. Today’s newspaper headlines don’t help but the fact is I think there is genuine concern and deep love for what is possible here in Trinidad and Tobago. We have considerable talent among our youth and we have to shape their lives positively and we have to do it together,” Harford ended.