National football coach Otto Pfister on Tuesday called on the media for assistance despite his team’s 4-0 shut-out of Barbados in the World Cup qualifier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
“If you don’t help me, this will be my last interview with you, because this is terrible,” Pfister said as he pleaded for help to get the local Pro League clubs to support his efforts and for the exploitation of several local players to stop.
Pfister, in an emotional post match press conference, spoke little of T&T’s impressive second half performance, but rather voiced his distaste at the manner in which Pro League clubs are allowing their players to leave for trials during his training camps.
Despite Lester Peltier’s hat-trick and Hughton Hector audacious chip over the Barbados goalkeeper for T&T’s late, fourth item, Pfister was in no mood to celebrate.
After being asked if he was relieved at the result, following last week’s 2-1 loss to Bermuda, Pfister said he was pleased with the result but noted T&T played under pressure for the first 20 minutes. “We took 20 minutes to come into the game.
We played a much better second half. We played the second half just like we do in training.” Pfister criticised Pro League clubs Caledonia AIA, W Connection and Super League outfit bmobile Joe Public for sending players off to trials during World Cup training camps.
He was visibly angry that Carlyle Mitchell left his camp to take up a contract in Colorado. “I am not happy with this. I will fight FIFA.” He noted that Densill Theobold was handled like an animal when Caledonia transferred him.
Pfister referred to W Connection’s Clyde Leon who is off to Vietnam after playing for Colombian club Itagui Ditaires. “He was in Colombia, he writes a two-year contract for $3,000 monthly.
The agent makes a deal. He shows him a letter in Spanish, he signs and cancels the contract.” Pfister said this was not allowed. “If a player started a league here, nobody can contract the player before the season is finished.” Pfister said he asked Leon what was his salary and taxes in Vietnam and what was the transfer fee involved but he did not know.
“How the boy not know your own transfer sum?’ Pfister asked. He explained that when a player walked away from national training, he was walking against the Government.
“I hope the Government can help me. Football is a matter of character for this country. If I walk against the national team, I walk against the Government.”
Pfister also spoke of Darryl Robert who left recently for a trial in South Africa, despite being out of the national line-up because of a broken arm.
“I don’t know who sent Darryl to South Africa.” He emphasised that it was difficult to play with one line up, and one week later, change five players.
He is happy that Roberts, Kenwyne Jones and Carlos Edwards would be available for next month’s matches against Guyana.
…says bad transfers hurting T&T football
By Kern De Freitas (Express).
"You have to help me, help our football. This is (a) crime [against humanity]."
Trinidad and Tobago head coach Otto Pfister was anything but happy after the Soca Warriors' 4-0 World Cup qualifying shutout win over Barbados at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday evening and his displeasure had nothing to do with their performance in the match.
Instead, he took issue with some local club owners' attempts to trade players and send them on trials with foreign clubs.
And within his emotional rant over the situation at the post-match press conference, the 73-year-old German made an impassioned plea to the media to assist him in stopping this trend of transfers that he claimed is not only hurting local football, but the players as well.
"If you don't help me, it's my last interview here. Because this is terrible," the veteran coach said.
According to Pfister, midfielder Clyde Leon, who hails from W Connection, and more recently has played in Colombia, has been transferred to Vietnam.
Yet the player, the senior national coach said, is unhappy over the situation and does not know what his salary will be, his transfer fee, or even how much tax he is supposed to pay.
Goalkeeper Marvin Phillip was sent on trial in Vancouver, Canada ten days before T&T's World Cup qualifier away to Bermuda last Friday and the custodian was not himself during that encounter, Pfister complained.
Defender Carlyle Mitchell has also been transferred to Vancouver Whitecaps FC, while midfielder Densill Theobald of Caledonia AIA—who Pfister rates as T&T's "best midfielder"—is also on the move.
A number of T&T players have been on trial in different parts of the globe, including unattached striker Darryl Roberts, who suffered a broken arm in South Africa and returned without a contract. Previously, he had a stint in Turkey with Denizlispor.
Hayden Tinto and Connection's Hughtun Hector are also being pursued to play in India, Pfister stated.
"I am not happy. In the middle of the preparation, these club owners take the boys out like animals," an angry Pfister said. "This is humanity crime... If we cannot stop this, we have no future in football. This boy (Leon) is not (an) animal. That is a man...he has family. We have to look (after) him."
Pfister is also asking the Government to intervene in the matter and has vowed to go to FIFA to "fight this".
The issue has also affected T&T's qualifying campaign, the coach said.
"Somebody who is doing this for money in his pocket and we do not know what is happening with our boys? It makes problems, not only for me. As a coach it's the same problem, I have to change the team."
He accused the agents brokering the transfers of making money their priority and inferred that they may not even be well recognised, or have a FIFA licence.
"You have to write this. I (do) not agree. I will fight this. (Today), Clyde Leon, W Connection sends him to Vietnam. Can you believe this? The boy is completely (mad). Can you believe this? This is gangsters (sic)."
He also pointed out the case of Shahdon Winchester, another young W Connection talent, saying the 19-year-old striker has had at least nine trials in the US and Europe.
"You kill this boy completely. (When) we have a game like this, invite your scout (to) watch this boy in the game. Let him give him a contract here..."
This would not happen in the world's top clubs, Pfister reasoned.
The ex-Saudi Arabia coach said Trinidad and Tobago had "nice boys", singling out midfielders Hector and Kendall Jagdeosingh, who plays for Rochester Rhinos in the United Soccer League (USL), and Kevin Molino—who Pfister feels has "million dollars in his legs".
"Kendall is very nice boy, young boy, very good boy. His salary in his club is (US)$5,000. This boy can play in Europe, in any team. He can make $40-50,000.
"Why he send him to the US? You know why? Because the agent, nobody knows the agent in Europe."
See VIDEO (by TTFF Media) - Click Here to see Otto's great interview.