Sat, Jul

Former National Football captain Russell Latapy has expressed regret in having to turn down an invitation from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation to rejoin this country’s National Team for the remaining 2006 World Cup qualifying matches.

Latapy, a former FC Porto and Hibernian standout, and Jack Warner, Special Advisor to the TTFF, discussed his possible return on Friday morning.

Latapy stated that at age 36 he didn’t think it would be suitable for him to return to international duty for T&T.

“He did call me and he apologized for not returning my previous calls and our discussion  was an extremely cordial and amicable one . He said that at age 36, having to come four days before a match to play is not something his body can take. He also has plans for himself as a player/coach which he is also negotiating at this time. Therefore he regrets he cannot accept the offer to represent the country again,” Warner stated from his CONCACAF Office, Edward Street, Port of Spain on Friday.

It was mentioned that Latapy did indicate that he would always be open to the offer of being a coach of the National Team.

“I said of course that my remit is to invite him to play on the field and if and when  the idea of a coach ever comes up there is a normal channel in which this will be considered,” Warner told TTFF Media

Currently Latapy is assigned as player/coach with Scottish First Division side Falkirk and is nearing promotion to the Scottish Premier League. And while he is anticipating the jump back into the big League, the “Little Magician” also wished his countrymen well in their attempt to qualify for the 2006 World Cup.

“I think their chances are as good as any and I do wish them well in their efforts to get to the next World Cup,” Latapy stated.

Meantime, the National Team continued training at the Larry Gomes Stadium on Friday and will continue same over the coming weeks leading up to the next 2006 World Cup qualifier against Guatemala on March 26 which will follow a warm up international against Honduras on March 22. T&T Head Coach Bertille St Clair will depart for England on March 9 to meet with this country’s UK-based pros as well as Special Technical Consultant Graham Taylor.