Acting President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Mr Timothy Hamel Smith, Prime Minister the Honourable Mrs Kamla Persad Bissessar and Minister of Sports, Mr Anil Roberts will attend Friday’s 2014 World Cup qualifier between Trinidad and Tobago and Bermuda at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
All of three of them will also meet both teams prior to kick off at 4pm. Anthony Harford, who is overseeing all marketing and promotions for the T&T World Cup campaign, said the news of the presence of the top trio was confirmed today.
“All three of them will attend the kick off the match and will be escorted onto the field before the official kick off to meet the two teams. The Honourable Prime Minister will take the time out to attend this opening match as she sees it fit with this being the first match for our country’s national team on the Road to Brazil 2014 World Cup campaign,” Harford said.
Meantime, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation and by extension captain Kenwyne Jones and members of the Men’s National Team is extending condolences to Stern John and his family on the passing of his mom Janet who had been ailing for some time. John received the news of her passing on Thursday evening and was excused from the team camp to return to his Trincity home.
Head coach Otto Pfister meantime will name his final 18-man squad on Friday morning, preferring to keep his full quota of 25 players in camp at the Crowne Plaza. All 25 players trained for 30 minutes on Thursday morning at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. The Bermudans trained from 5pm at the match venue today.
T&T captain Kenwyne Jones, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s clash, said patience and discipline would be the key to a complete T&T performance in a match where the hosts are expected to take all three points.
“I’m happy to be back home and leading the national team. It’s something a player dreams of and I thank god that this has happened. Today was our last day of preparations and things are looking good. We have to try and gel as quickly as possible. Hopefully tomorrow we can impose ourselves on the Bermuda team and win the game,” Jones said.
The former Sunderland player added that the match in itself was a huge occasion for the team.
“Regardless of the opposition it’s a big occasion, seeing that it’s the first game of the qualification. We all want to do well and the country wants us to do well. Of course, there is going to be a bit of nervousness. But I think from the time that the whistle blows everyone should be able to get into their own stride and hopefully we can go out there and right the wrongs of the past.”
When asked about the questions on his own performances for the T&T team, particularly in the past qualifying campaign, Jones replied: “In the last campaign, I guess I was not the only one to blame. That is the football life. Every player on the team has to do his job. My job is going out there to lead the team and also to score goals and help the team win matches.
“We have a good group of experienced players and some new players also. We have a lot of past players who have been through all the systems so it’s definitely a good mix.
We are in a stage where we are also planning for the future, not just for 2014 but also for the future of Trinidad and Tobago football so hopefully with what we have going on now… we can press forward,” the Stoke City forward stated.
Kick off time is 4pm and tickets will be on sale at the Match venue from 2pm.