No stipends will be afforded to local players currently in training with the national team under coach Terry Fenwick and manager Adrian Romain.
Provisions were not made for this in the budget submitted to football’s world governing body-FIFA by the Normalisation Committee, being chaired by businessman Robert Hadad.
This was one of many issues raised by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith some time ago, as he blamed the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee for the state of affairs of the team currently.
Griffith had said that local players were not even being given a stipend.
However, Hadad in an interview some time ago, sought to clear the air on this by explaining if he provides funding for the players it will be setting a dangerous precedent in the future. “We are not obligated to pay anybody a stipend, number one. Number two, There are a few players who have come to us and we have said to them that we’re not obligated to pay a stipend. We have presented our budget to FIFA for the year and it does not include anything called a stipend.”
“So I am getting a lot of push-back on what this stipend thing is, and the precedent it would set for the future,” Hadad explained.
Fenwick’s training squad comprises more than 60 percent of young, new players, most of whom are not attached to any clubs at this point in time.
Hadad said: “Remember football is only being played like this, and a national team is only in training because there is no other football allowed to be played. Once League starts back, whether it’s the Pro League, Super League or Ascension League, all these players that Terry is supposedly training, should move on to play for their clubs, and at that point, they would get their salaries. In the now, in the situation, we have been presented with, I have a budget and I have presented my budget to FIFA. My budget has been approved by FIFA, but it does not include stipend, so I am not going to make promises to them that I cannot keep.”
Football in T&T has endured its roughest time to date, with officials from Uefa, FIFA and CONCACAF providing input in a major restructuring exercise in 2019. And though no progress was made, the sport was further hit hard by the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which brought sports generally to a stop across the nation.
The T&T team began its campaign successfully against Guyana on March 25 with a more-than-convincing 3-0 victory in the Dominican Republic. The Soca Warriors, as they are affectionately called followed that result up with a 1-1 tie with Puerto Rico ion Mayaguez, a result that placed them in second position in Group F with four points.
The group is being led by St Kitts/Nevis who has an unblemished record of two wins from as many games. The other team in the group is the Bahamas who are bottom of the table without a win or a draw to their name.
T&T are scheduled to play against the Bahamians and St Kitts/Nevis in their next two matches on June 5 and June 8 respectively.
Only recently midfielder Duane Muckette said four points out of six was not bad at all, but they live and they have more games ahead to make amends.