Tue, Oct

FLASHBACK: Ascension officials at the presentation ceremony for the 2022 Ascension Tournament, which was won by Terminix La Horquetta Rangers. Tournament director Kieron Edwards, from left, Terminix La Horquetta Rangers coach Dave Quamina, and defender Leslie Russell and Ascension Tournament managing director Richard Ferguson.

THE normalisation committee (NC) of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has turned down a request from the Ascension Tournament organisers to host an Ascension Caribbean Cup, which would have involved the three top finishers of the recently-concluded Ascension Tournament and three invited Caribbean teams.

In correspondence addressed to Richard Ferguson, managing director of the Ascension (Football) Tournament and dated August 5, acting TTFA general secretary Ammiel Mohammed, communicated the normalisation committee’s decision.

“The TTFA will under no circumstance sanction any tournament or competition organised by third parties that involves clubs/teams affiliated to other FIFA Member Associations. You should also note that any such tournament/competition would require sanctioning from the international football bodies and such will not be issued in view of the situation of the TTFA,” the correspondence stated.

“In view of the aforementioned, and in particular, the fact that the TTFA is preparing for the organisation of the new official club competition structure (i.e. League) in the last quarter of 2022, we regret to inform you that the ‘Ascension Caribbean Cup’ cannot be authorised/sanctioned by the TTFA. We look forward to working with you to develop the new official club competition in earnest.”

Meanwhile, the TTFA reiterated its decision to press on with its own “Elite league” from which TTFA clubs have the opportunity to qualify for Caribbean competition. The TTFA is seeking a $3.5 million Government investment to run the competition, with a top flight comprising ten to 12 teams, over an eight-month period.

No funding is likely to come before Government’s annual budget from which the Ministry of Sport will get its annual subvention.

“As you know, the TTFA is currently working on a new Trinidad and Tobago official league structure/ecosystem that will provide proper and ample opportunity for the TTFA clubs to participate and compete. It will also give TTFA affiliated clubs official access to international tournaments/competition,” the TTFA stated when replying to Ascension organisers.

The TTFA acknowledged receipt of correspondence dated July 9, 2022, seeking permission to stage the “Ascension Caribbean Cup,” in Trinidad and Tobago over a period of eight days commencing on 21 October 2022. However, in receiving permission to stage the local Ascension Tournament earlier this year, the TTFA stated that Ascension organisers agreed that their tournament would not serve as a qualifier for any other tournament.

“On 8 February 2022, and on an exceptional and one-time basis, the TTFA in good faith approved your Ascension Tournament of Trinidad and Tobago.

“In that communication it was unequivocally indicated that such authorisation was exceptional and on a one-off basis.”

“It was also unequivocally and clearly stated that the Ascension Tournament of Trinidad and Tobago would not constitute a qualification tournament for any other national or international tournament, competition, or league, including any type of official or ‘friendly’ tournament or competition.

“You have been fully involved and are aware of these plans and discussions and we appreciate your interest in and support for the new official league structure, which you demonstrated by being one of the first clubs to submit your application for participation.”

SOURCE: T&T Express