The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) today declined an opportunity to make peace with grieving national goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams and, instead, hinted that the W Connection captain was guilty of dishonesty.
Williams, whose fiancée Candice Worrell remains in a coma since a brutal robbery on January 20, complained to Wired868.com that no one from the TTFF contacted him to enquire about his wellbeing or extend emotional support since the incident.
The 27-year-old custodian felt the snub was a lack of courtesy from an organisation he has represented for over a decade at all levels while he made his senior international debut as an 18-year-old. Williams said felt disappointed enough to question his ability to work with the local football body in the future.
However, TTFF Press Officer Shaun Fuentes insisted that the sporting organisation tried to contact Williams as soon as it learned of the shocking attack on his fiancée. He said the TTFF could not get a number for the goalkeeper and so issued a press release instead and sent condolences through Connection owner David John Williams—no relation to the goalie.
Further, Fuentes explained that the TTFF was satisfied that it made contact with the player through national football team manager Peter Rampersad.
"Peter Rampersad, as the manager of the national team, got on to Jan and spoke to him twice," said Fuentes. "He called in his capacity as manager of the national team. Probably he didn't say that but I would think (Jan) would know that is why he was calling."
Williams revealed Rampersad's phone calls in his initial interview with Wired868.com. He claimed then that he asked his former manager, in no uncertain terms, whether he was calling as a personal friend or on behalf of the TTFF.
Rampersad, according to Williams, said it was a personal call.
The Wired868.com editor, rightly or wrongly, opted to omit Rampersad from the story so as to spare him an awkward and possibly unnecessary meeting with his employer. Rampersad could not be reached for comment today.
However, the TTFF insists that it be credited with Rampersad's courtesy call and did not indicate whether any further attempt would be made to soothe strained relations with a young man who spent much of the last three weeks at his fiancée's bedside in the St Clair Medical Centre ICU.
The football body is also adamant that it had no contact information for Williams; although the goalkeeper has over 30 international caps and was a squad member for four 2014 World Cup qualifying games between September and November last year.