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General Discussion / Trade and Industry Minister Thread.
« on: July 08, 2021, 03:14:14 AM »
Gopee-Scoon: $78m spent on luxury foods in three years

TRADE and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon has said Trinidad and Tobago spent approximately $78 million a year over the last three years on the importation of luxury food items. She was responding to a question in the Senate on Tuesday.

Gopee-Scoon recalled that Finance Minister Colm Imbert indicated in his 2021 budget statement in the House of Representatives last October that "the full value added tax (VAT) rate of 12.5 per cent would be applied to a wide range of luxury imported foods, with the intention of reducing the high local demand for luxury foods and subsequently the demand for foreign exchange."

She said the Finance Ministry "is reviewing the list of luxury food items that will come under this initiative.

"It should be noted," she said, "that over the last three years...2018-2020...imports of selected luxury items such as smoked salmon, lobster, grapes, apples, pears, strawberries, peaches other fruits...(were) valued at approximately $78 million per annum, on average."

Gopee-Scoon said increasing domestic food production and export promotion were among the strategies being used to reduce TT's food import bill.

"With the food import bill valued at approximately $5.7 billion per annum, the Government recognises the importance of investing in the expansion of the local agriculture and food and beverage sectors."

She reminded senators there is a $500 million stimulus package for agriculture in the budget.

Gopee-Scoon also said there are currently four tenants at the Moruga Agro-processing and Light Industrial Park, which the Prime Minister opened last July. She said there is a list of ten potential tenants for the park which is currently being reviewed.

On the InvestTT website, the park is advertised as offering leasable space for the growth and expansion of operations in the processing of primarily agro products, and light manufacturing.

As he opened debate on the Finance Bill later in the sitting, Imbert supported Gopee-Scoon's earlier comments on luxury food imports. He said the tax imposition on them does not require any legislative amendment, but can be done by ministerial order and under the VAT Act, and this order would be published in due course.

Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon

Football / Thread for T&T vs Mexico (10-Jul-2021)
« on: July 07, 2021, 03:19:05 PM »
As usual, any updates/scores, shout-outs, reports, predictions, views, etc, on the T&T vs Mexico Concacaf Gold Cup Group A game at the AT&T Stadium in Texas from 10pm on the 10th of July 2021 will be posted here, this way, we can maintain the message board and not make it look too scrappy with un-necessary or related headlines and postings on game day.

For the internet users, you can follow the game at:

To be updated.

Possible Online Streams.

To be updated.

Possible TV Station.

Fox Sports 1, FuboTV, TUDN USA, Univision.

Trinidad & Tobago Squad


Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Nicklas Frenderup (Ranheim Il—Denmark), Marvin Phillip (Unattached);


Radanfah Abu Bakr (Unattached), Aubrey David (Deportivo Saprissa—Costa Rica), Justin Garcia (Defence Force), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Jelani Peters (Pittsburgh Riverhounds—USA), Triston Hodge (Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC—USA), Alvin Jones (Unattached), Ross Russell Jr (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Jesse Williams (Unattached), Mekeil Williams (Pittsburgh Riverhounds—USA), Noah Powder (Real Salt Lake—USA);


Hashim Arcia (Defence Force), Andre Fortune II (Memphis 901 FC—USA), Duane Muckette (Unattached), Molik Khan (Club Sando), Kevin Molino (Columbus Crew—USA), Neveal Hackshaw (Indy Eleven—USA), Khaleem Hyland (Al Batin—Saudi Arabia), Judah Garcia (Unattached);


Marcus Joseph (Unattached), Isaiah Lee (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Reon Moore (Defence Force), Ryan Telfer (Atletico Ottawa—Canada).

Coach - Angus Eve (TRI).

Mexico Squad


Alfredo Talavera (Pumas), Rodolfo Cota (Leon), Jonathan Orozco (Tijuana)


Nestor Araujo (Celta de Vigo), Hector Moreno (Monterrey), Luis Rodriguez (Tigres), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Kevin Alvarez (Pachuca), Carlos Salcedo (Tigres), Osvaldo Rodriguez (Leon), Gilberto Sepulveda (Chivas)


Hector Herrera (Atletico Madrid), Edson Alvarez (Ajax), Erick Gutierrez (PSV Eindhoven), Jonathan Dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Orbelin Pineda (Cruz Azul), Erick Sanchez (Pachuca), Efrain Alvarez (LA Galaxy), Alan Cervantes (Santos),


Hirving Lozano (Napoli), Jesus Corona (Porto), Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey), Alan Pulido (Sporting Kansas City)

Coach - Gerardo Martino (ARG).

Football / Thread for T&T vs El Salvador (14-Jul-2021)
« on: July 07, 2021, 03:19:00 PM »
As usual, any updates/scores, shout-outs, reports, predictions, views, etc, on the T&T vs El Salvador Concacaf Gold Cup Group A game at the Toyota Stadium in Texas from 7:30pm on the 14th of July 2021 will be posted here, this way, we can maintain the message board and not make it look too scrappy with un-necessary or related headlines and postings on game day.

For the internet users, you can follow the game at:

To be updated.

Possible Online Streams.

To be updated.

Possible TV Station.

Fox Sports 1, FuboTV, TUDN USA, UniMas.

Trinidad & Tobago Squad


Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Nicklas Frenderup (Ranheim Il—Denmark), Marvin Phillip (Unattached);


Radanfah Abu Bakr (Unattached), Aubrey David (Deportivo Saprissa—Costa Rica), Justin Garcia (Defence Force), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Jelani Peters (Pittsburgh Riverhounds—USA), Triston Hodge (Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC—USA), Alvin Jones (Unattached), Ross Russell Jr (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Jesse Williams (Unattached), Mekeil Williams (Pittsburgh Riverhounds—USA), Noah Powder (Real Salt Lake—USA);


Hashim Arcia (Defence Force), Andre Fortune II (Memphis 901 FC—USA), Duane Muckette (Unattached), Molik Khan (Club Sando), Kevin Molino (Columbus Crew—USA), Neveal Hackshaw (Indy Eleven—USA), Khaleem Hyland (Al Batin—Saudi Arabia), Judah Garcia (Unattached);


Marcus Joseph (Unattached), Isaiah Lee (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Reon Moore (Defence Force), Ryan Telfer (Atletico Ottawa—Canada).

Coach - Angus Eve (TRI).

El Salvador Squad


Mario Gonzalez (Alianza), Kevin Carabantes (FAS), Oscar Pleitez (Isidro Metapan).


Romulo Villalobos (Municipal Limeno), Roberto Dominguez (Chalatenango), Eriq Zavaleta (Toronto FC), Ronaldo Gomez (Aguila), Alexander Larin (Xelaju), Alexis Renderos (Alianza), Bryan Tamacas (Alianza).


Isaac Portillo (Alianza), Jairo Henriquez (Chalatenango), Alex Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Amando Moreno (New Mexico United), Darwin Ceren (Houston Dynamo), Narciso Orellana (Alianza).


Joshua Perez (Ibiza), Walmer Martinez (Hartford Athletic), Juan Carlos Portillo (Alianza), Joaquin Rivas (FC Tulsa), David Rugamas (Once Deportivo), Marvin Marquez (Isidro Metapan).

Coach - Hugo Pérez (SLV).

Football / Thread for T&T vs Guatemala (18-Jul-2021)
« on: July 07, 2021, 03:18:51 PM »
As usual, any updates/scores, shout-outs, reports, predictions, views, etc, on the T&T vs Guatemala Concacaf Gold Cup Group A game at the Toyota Stadium in Texas from 10pm on the 18th of July 2021 will be posted here, this way, we can maintain the message board and not make it look too scrappy with un-necessary or related headlines and postings on game day.

For the internet users, you can follow the game at:

To be updated.

Possible Online Streams.

To be updated.

Possible TV Station.

Fox Sports 2, FuboTV, Galavision.

Trinidad & Tobago Squad


Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Nicklas Frenderup (Ranheim Il—Denmark), Marvin Phillip (Unattached);


Radanfah Abu Bakr (Unattached), Aubrey David (Deportivo Saprissa—Costa Rica), Justin Garcia (Defence Force), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Jelani Peters (Pittsburgh Riverhounds—USA), Triston Hodge (Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC—USA), Alvin Jones (Unattached), Ross Russell Jr (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Jesse Williams (Unattached), Mekeil Williams (Pittsburgh Riverhounds—USA), Noah Powder (Real Salt Lake—USA);


Hashim Arcia (Defence Force), Andre Fortune II (Memphis 901 FC—USA), Duane Muckette (Unattached), Molik Khan (Club Sando), Kevin Molino (Columbus Crew—USA), Neveal Hackshaw (Indy Eleven—USA), Khaleem Hyland (Al Batin—Saudi Arabia), Judah Garcia (Unattached);


Marcus Joseph (Unattached), Isaiah Lee (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Reon Moore (Defence Force), Ryan Telfer (Atletico Ottawa—Canada).

Coach - Angus Eve (TRI).

Guatemala Squad


Nicholas Hagen (Sabail), Ricardo Jerez (Municipal), Braulio Linares (Antigua).


Kervin Garcia (Coban Imperial), Gerardo Gordillo (UTC), Moises Hernandez (Antigua), Matan Peleg (Hapoel Kfar Saba), Wilson Pineda (Guastatoya), Jose Carlos Pinto (Comunicaciones), Stheven Robels (Comunicaciones).


Rudy Barrientos (Municipal), Marvin Ceballos (Leones Negros), Marco Dominguez (Antigua), Luis Martinez (Guastatoya), John Mendez (Municipal), Jose Ruiz (Coban Imperial), Oscar Santis (Comunicaciones), Rodrigo Saravia (Comunicaciones).


Jairo Arreola (Antigua), Robin Betancourth (Coban Imperial), Darwin Lom (California United Strikers), Jose Carlos Martinez (Municipal), Jorge Vargas (Guastatoya).

Coach - Rafael Loredo (MEX).

Other Sports / Cyclists Thread
« on: June 27, 2021, 12:38:01 AM »
Historical gold, silver for T&T cyclists at Pan Am
By Walter Alibey (Guardian)

There were moments of history-making, coupled with gold and silver medal performances on the opening two days of the Elite Pan American Track Cycling Championships in Lima, Peru on Friday and Saturday.

Day two yesterday alone, saw Akile Campbell became only the first T&T rider to win a gold medal in the Scratch Race of the Pan Am, as he held off a more-than-competitive field that included Jamol Eastman (Barbados), Julio Padilla (Guatemala), Leonidas Novoa (Ecuador), Pablo Seisdedos (Chile), Emiliano Mira Fuentes (Mexico), Lucas Piano (Uruguay), Luis Gomez (Venezuela), Ivan Ruiz (Argentina), Steven Ruiz (Peru) and Julian Osorio of Colombia in the 15-kilometre event.

On the opening day, T&T's cycling team of Njisane Phillip, Keron Bramble and Zion Pulido claimed the silver medal on Friday.

They just missed out on defending the title they won back in 2019, as they were pipped by in the final by Colombia 45.227, while the men in red, white and black clocked 45.442

The two teams drew swords from as early as the preliminary rounds, as Colombia's 44.933 put them as the fastest team heading into the quarterfinal round. T&T, led by the multi-talented and well experienced Phillip, was the second-fastest team at 45.822, while Argentina (45.939), Mexico (46.314), Peru (47.356), Venezuela (47.454), Ecuador (48.083) and Chile rounding off the top eight teams.

But there was no getting away from a final showdown between the top two teams at the end of the day, as T&T got the better of Ecuador in the first of two semifinals in 44.9 while Colombia's team defeated Argentina for the title ride, which the Colombians won.

After the race coach Gregory Dandrade said he was extremely happy with the performance of the team: "I'm happy to work with the youths, we were under a lot of pressure because two of our top cyclists were out because of the Olympics. We were able to do a development programme with the youths, bringing in Pulido as a newcomer, and we performed, they executed, it was excellent to get the silver medal," Dandrade told Guardian Media Sports.

According to Dandrade, a former national rider turn coach, there was room for improvement but they had a young guy in the team, as well as an anchor in Bramble who has never anchored a team before.

Meanwhile, Alexi Costa also secured a silver medal in the Scratch Race behind the eventual winner Ambar Joseph of Barbados and Mexico's Victoria Fuentes Velasco. Dandrade said Costa was excellent, improving so much under Andy Sparks, who is also helping the T&T team.

Yesterday the pair of Phillip and Bramble was in search of another silverware in the keirin event after both advanced from early rounds. Needing to be among the top two in the heats, Bramble later progressed from the repechage after a third-place finish in heat one, which comprised Colombian Kevin Quintero, the eventual winner, Luis Cordon (Guatemala) who finished second, Brandon Reid (Jamaica), Francesco Bone (Ecuador) and Daniel Palmer of Jamaica.

Phillip on the other hand was second in his heat behind Santiago Ramirez of Colombia.

Cricket Anyone / 2021 CPL Thread
« on: May 01, 2021, 12:51:38 AM »
TKR trade DJ Bravo to St Kitts & Nevis Patriots

Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) has agreed to trade former captain Dwayne Bravo to the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots for the 2021 Caribbean Premier League.

In return, the four-time champions will receive veteran wicketkeeper/batsman Denesh Ramdin from the Patriots.

A statement issued by T&T franchise, on Friday, said Bravo, who had been with the team since CPL inception in 2013, made the switch in search of a new challenge.

Bravo said, “At this stage in my career, I needed a new challenge, which is to work with the young talent for the benefit for Cricket West Indies.

“I want to thank TKR for respecting my wishes and for all their support over the years. I also appreciate everything they have done for T&T in general.”

TKR director Venky Mysore also heaped praise on Bravo’s contribution, which played an integral role in affirming the squad as one of the most feared and respected CPL teams.

He said, “DJ Bravo has not only been instrumental in building TKR into a champion team but also captained the team which earned three championships in 2015, 2017 and 2018. We are sad to see him leave but we respect his wishes and his desire to help Caribbean cricket.”

The TKR statement also credited captain Kieron Pollard, who led the team to victory at last year’s edition, which was played in a bio-secure bubble in Trinidad without spectators.

They also announced that Sunil Narine will serve as vice-captain of the squad.

“We welcome back Denesh Ramdin to the TKR family and look forward to the 2021 season and defending our title.”

This year, the CPL will be hosted in its entirety at Warner Park in St Kitts, bowling off on August 28. The 33-match tournament will allow fans to attend at up to 50 percent capacity of the 8,000-seat venue – once proof of covid19 vaccination is presented.

Football / European Super League Thread
« on: April 18, 2021, 05:32:28 PM »
Man United, Liverpool among clubs in $6 billion European Super League talks - sources
By Mark Ogden
Senior Writer, ESPN FC

Fifteen of Europe's biggest clubs are in talks to launch a European Super League, planned to start in time for the 2023-24 season, with a $6 billion (£4.3 billion) fund backing the project, sources have told ESPN.

If the initiative is successful, it would threaten the existence of the Champions League -- football's biggest club competition -- with UEFA due to announce on Monday a new 36-team format for the tournament designed to stave off attempts by the game's top clubs to break away.

As reported by UK newspaper The Times, English top-flight clubs Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham are among 11 European teams to have signed up to the Super League plan.

ESPN has been told by a person familiar with the blueprint that the proposed framework involves a total of 20 teams, with 15 permanent members who cannot be relegated.

A further five teams will be rotated in and out of the competition, based on performance, but the permanent members will include six Premier League clubs, three from La Liga, three from Italy's Serie A, two from the Bundesliga and one from France's Ligue 1.

Sources have told ESPN that New York-based investment bank JP Morgan will underwrite the project, with $6 billion distributed as loans to the teams.

Under pressure from the European Club Association, UEFA has drawn up plans to reshape the Champions League format, with the new-look competition due to be unveiled Monday, ahead of UEFA's executive committee summit in Switzerland this week.

UEFA criticised the plans in a statement and said: "UEFA, the English Football Association and the Premier League, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and LaLiga, and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Lega Serie A have learned that a few English, Spanish and Italian clubs may be planning to announce their creation of a closed, so-called Super League.

"If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we - UEFA, the English FA, RFEF, FIGC, the Premier League, LaLiga, Lega Serie A, but also FIFA and all our member associations - will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.

"We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels, both judicial and sporting in order to prevent this happening. Football is based on open competitions and sporting merit; it cannot be any other way.

"As previously announced by FIFA and the six Federations, the clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level, and their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.

"We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this. We call on all lovers of football, supporters and politicians, to join us in fighting against such a project if it were to be announced. This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long. Enough is enough."

Planned to come into force in 2024, the remodelled Champions League would involve 36 teams playing 10 group games rather than six. The biggest clubs would also receive an increased share of prize money.

Sources told ESPN that UEFA plan to press ahead with their announcement Monday, and that any breakaway league remains a distant prospect, with national associations UEFA and FIFA both needing to sanction the proposal.

Meanwhile, the European Clubs' Association issued a statement in which it reiterated commitment to working with UEFA on competition reform, adding that a "closed super league model ... would be strongly opposed."

Serie A called an emergency board meeting on Sunday to discuss a newspaper report saying broadcaster DAZN is involved in new plans for the breakaway league, a source told Reuters.

The meeting was called by league president Paolo Dal Pino, and Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport reported that DAZN, which is owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik's Access Industries, has been working on the formation of the league for some time.

The report claims the meeting is being attended remotely, with the three Serie A clubs who could potentially be part of the new project: Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan.

FIFA has earlier said that players who feature in any breakaway European Super League would be banned from playing in FIFA competitions, including the World Cup.

It caps a tumultuous week for Serie A after seven clubs submitted a written request for Dal Pino to resign over issues that include his management of plans to sell a stake in the league's media business.

The plans to expand the Champions League are also likely to meet opposition from supporters; ESPN reported last week that fans' groups have already registered their anger over UEFA's proposed changes.

On Sunday, a statement from the Premier League condemned the breakaway plans.

It read: "The Premier League condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid.

Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream.

"The Premier League is proud to run a competitive and compelling football competition that has made it the most widely watched league in the world. Our success has enabled us to make an unrivalled financial contribution to the domestic football pyramid.

"A European Super League will undermine the appeal of the whole game, and have a deeply damaging impact on the immediate and future prospects of the Premier League and its member clubs, and all those in football who rely on our funding and solidarity to prosper.

"We will work with fans, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA, as well as other stakeholders, at home and abroad, to defend the integrity and future prospects of English football in the best interests of the game."


UEFA and leagues vow to fight breakaway European Super League: What this means
By Gabriele Marcotti
Senior Writer, ESPN FC

On Sunday, the European game was rocked by revelations that a number of leading clubs -- anywhere from 12 to 15 -- had either signed an agreement or expressed interest in joining a breakaway league that would effectively be a direct competitor for the UEFA Champions League. Among them are Manchester United, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Juventus and Barcelona.

It's not the first time such rumours have emerged, but the timing is what makes this situation different.

On Monday, UEFA are expected to approve changes to the Champions League that will include an expanded format, more games and tweaks to the revenue distribution. These changes were agreed only on Friday after protracted negotiations with Europe's leading clubs and the European Club Association (ECA). (They also voted to approve it, sources told ESPN.) All of this would now be overshadowed -- and rendered potentially meaningless -- if Europe's biggest clubs renege on that agreement and are really ready to walk out as early as 2022, as some have reported.

The implications, though, go far beyond this. UEFA isn't merely a competition organizer; it's a confederation whose job is to redistribute revenue and develop the game across the continent. The Champions League is its biggest cash cow, and a severely weakened competition would have a serious impact on the sport throughout Europe, which is part of the reason one UEFA executive told ESPN they were prepared to "fight until the end."

Q: Haven't we been here before? Didn't you write back in October about how we were ripe for this sort of change?

A: I did, but it appeared that the genie went back in the bottle during the ECA's negotiations with UEFA over the expanded Champions League. The ECA wanted more teams and more games (to generate more revenue); they also wanted more governance and oversight over how the Champions League is run commercially, and they wanted changes to the revenue distribution. It took a long time -- originally, UEFA were hoping to announce this reformatting last month -- and it was a tough negotiation, but at the eleventh hour late on Friday, the ECA hammered out a deal with UEFA. So you can imagine that when UEFA found out the potential breakaway on Sunday, they weren't best pleased ... especially since ECA president Andrea Agnelli also happens to be the Juventus president. And Juventus are reportedly one of the signatories to this deal.

Q: How would the new Super League work, anyway?

A: Details are still sketchy -- there are different versions of this floating around, and all of it subject to negotiations. But for it to work, you'd imagine up to 20 teams playing each other regularly, most likely with a league format followed by playoffs. But more than the format, what matters here is that the clubs would not be playing in the UEFA Champions League and would, instead, share the revenue among themselves. That's a huge departure from the basic model of European team competitions, in any sport, which is obviously different from the models used in American sports.

Q: How so?

A: Take the NBA as an example. There are 30 teams, and each owner is effectively a shareholder in the league. They split the revenues among themselves and put in salary caps and luxury taxes to stay profitable. They don't need to ask USA Basketball or FIBA (basketball's equivalent of FIFA) for permission when they want to do things.

But in European football, clubs play in national leagues that are sanctioned by national federations. In England, the Football Association sanctions the Premier League, and UEFA is a governing body of which the FA is a member that organises competitions for clubs. The bulk of the revenue generated goes back to the clubs, but the rest gets redistributed among national federations, smaller clubs and for grassroots development.

Q: And the breakaway clubs have a problem with this?

A: There's no question that the "breakaway clubs" generate a disproportionate amount of the revenue. After all, more people (and sponsors) will pay to see Barcelona vs. Manchester United than Dinamo Zagreb vs. Club Brugge. They argue they should be entitled to a bigger piece of the pie (and have been arguing this for years, progressively getting more and more). But some also question why revenues that they generate should be redistributed to smaller clubs and FAs. And they say it's about votes and keeping the gravy train going, which to some degree is true. There are more small federations than big ones, and some of the smaller ones would struggle to survive without UEFA funding.

A number of the breakaway clubs also feel that if they ran the competition themselves, they could be more agile and innovative in generating more revenue, perhaps by playing on weekends or taking it on the road to Asia or North America. After all, these are global brands.

I guess it comes down to whether you view a football club primarily as a business to be grown and whose revenues ought to be maximized, or whether you see yourself as part of a greater whole, with a duty of solidarity to others. As I see it, the former is somewhat short-sighted. After all, the next great Real Madrid or Manchester United star could come from Moldova or Northern Ireland, but if there's no functioning FA there because grassroots funding has been pulled, well ...

Q: So what happens Monday?

A: UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin basically has two options. The vote on the Champions League reform is on the agenda. He can cave in and remove it from the agenda. This would kick the can down the road, and probably lead to more negotiations with the big clubs -- this time, presumably, without the ECA, since we saw how far it got them last time -- and perhaps more concessions in their favour, maybe a greater share of revenue or direct control over the competition or guaranteed places or whatever.

Or he can stand tall and call their bluff. Approve the Champions League format, call them out by name. They issued a joint statement with the English, Spanish and Italian Football Associations as well as the Premier League, Italy's Serie A and La Liga in Spain saying they will "remain united" in their efforts to stop "a cynical project" that is "founded on the self-interest of a few clubs." And they reminded everyone that clubs joining a breakaway league would be banned from playing both international competitions, like the World Cup, and domestic leagues as well.

Q: Wow, that's extreme. So if, say, Manchester United broke away, they couldn't play in the Premier League, FA Cup or League Cup?

A: In theory, yes. They have the power to do that, though it would likely end up in court. There's a legal case to be made that if you're a governing body and a competition organiser (which FIFA, UEFA and the FAs are), you can't exclude somebody from participating. So that part remains to be seen. But I think their best strategy, if they want to stop it, is to wait it out ...

Q: What do you mean?

A: For a start, even though 2022 has been mooted for the inaugural "breakaway season," I don't see how they can make it happen. Even if they're somehow not kicked out of their domestic leagues, there are a bunch of legal and regulatory hurdles that clubs need to jump through.

At clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern and Borussia Dortmund (the two German clubs haven't signed on to this, but a breakaway without them is hard to imagine) they would be subject to member votes. They're rumoured to have big financial backing and a global deal in place with a broadcaster (not ESPN), but would that be enough to offset potential losses in the short term?

More broadly, I just don't know that the appetite is there from fans closest to the clubs -- the people who go week in, week out.

Q: But isn't the game global?

A: It is, but the reality is that clubs generate more revenue from the creatures of habit who trudge down to the stadium every week than they do from equally passionate fans halfway around the world. In Germany and England especially, there is bound to be a backlash.

Right now, stadiums are closed, but fans will be back before the end of the season at, say, Old Trafford. The Glazers aren't exactly popular there; imagine if their own supporters let them know just what they think of the idea. Optics matter. Unless the breakaway owners can convince them that this is about something other than personal greed, it's going to be very rough for them.

I'll leave you with this quote released today from Sir Alex Ferguson, somebody whose Manchester United credentials are unimpeachable: "Talk of a super league is a move away from 70 years of European club football. Both as a player for a provincial team in Dunfermline in the 1960s and as a manager at Aberdeen winning the European Cup Winners Cup."

"For a small provincial club in Scotland it was like climbing Mount Everest. Everton are spending £500m to build a new stadium with the ambition to play in the Champions League. Fans all over love the competition as it is."

Football / Thread for T&T vs Montserrat Game (2-July-2021)
« on: April 09, 2021, 03:42:36 AM »
As usual, any updates/scores, shout-outs, reports, predictions, views, etc, on the T&T vs Montserrat preliminary round of the Concacaf Gold Cup game at the Inter Miami CF Stadium in South Florida on the 2nd of July 2021 will be posted here, this way, we can maintain the message board and not make it look too scrappy with un-necessary or related headlines and postings on game day.

For the internet users, you can follow the game at:

To be updated.

Possible Online Streams.

To be updated.

Possible TV Station.

To be updated.

Trinidad & Tobago Squad


Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Nicklas Frenderup (Ranheim Il—Denmark), Marvin Phillip (Unattached);


Radanfah Abu Bakr (Unattached), Aubrey David (Deportivo Saprissa—Costa Rica), Justin Garcia (Defence Force), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Neveal Hackshaw (Indy Eleven—USA), Jelani Peters (Pittsburgh Riverhounds—USA), Triston Hodge (Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC—USA), Alvin Jones (Unattached), Ross Russell Jr (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Jesse Williams (Unattached);


Joevin Jones (InterMiami CF—USA), Kevin Molino (Columbus Crew—USA), Hashim Arcia (Defence Force), Khaleem Hyland (Al Batin—Saudi Arabia), Andre Fortune II (Memphis 901 FC—USA), Duane Muckette (Unattached), Michel Poon-Angeron (Unattached), Judah Garcia (Unattached), Molik Khan (Club Sando);


Marcus Joseph (Unattached), Isaiah Lee (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Reon Moore (Defence Force), Ryan Telfer (Atletico Ottawa—Canada).

Coach - Angus Eve (TRI).

Montserrat Squad


To be updated.


To be updated.


To be updated.


To be updated.

Coach - Willie Donachie (SCO).

Updates to follow as we get more info, so keep checking back.

Football / VAR Thread
« on: April 08, 2021, 02:16:25 PM »
Concacaf confirms plans to rollout VAR in 2021 club and men’s national team competitions.

- Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Semifinals and Final will include VAR.

- Confederation confirms VAR will be used in both Concacaf Nations League Finals and 2021 Gold Cup

Concacaf has today confirmed that Video Assistant Referees (VAR) will be used in several of its 2021 competitions.

In the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, which begins this week with eight first leg Round of 16 matches, VAR will be used in the competition for the Semifinals and the Final. The two legged Semifinals will feature the final four teams in the tournament and will be played between August 10 and August 26. The single leg Final will be played on October 28, 2021.

Concacaf has for the past two years been working towards introducing VAR in its competitions with several training and development opportunities for elite referees in our region. The process was delayed slightly due to COVID-19 related challenges, but last week the Confederation was able to enter the final stages of its planning to introduce the technology.

With the support of Fedefutbol – the Costa Rican Football Federation – Concacaf was able to organize a VAR certification process in Costa Rica for 22 elite referees from across the region. This included 40 competitive matches played between March 31 and April 5 solely for the purposes of VAR training and development.

In the impressive surroundings of the Complejo Deportivo Fedefutbol Plycem Facility in Costa Rica, FIFA’s VAR Project Leader Mike Van Der Roest and FIFA VAR Greg Barkey instructed and completed the VAR certification for the 22 Concacaf referees from 15 Central American and Caribbean federations.

With Concacaf now having a large enough pool of VAR qualified referees, the Confederation can confirm that in addition to being used for this year’s Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Semifinals and Final, the technology will be introduced to Concacaf’s 2021 men’s national team competitions. In a boost to what should be a fantastic summer of football, the inaugural Concacaf Nations League Finals, scheduled for June 3 and June 6, and the 2021 Gold Cup, which will be played from July 2 to August 1, will both include VAR to support the on-field referees.

Other Sports / Volleyball Thread.
« on: March 23, 2021, 01:16:03 AM »
Honore’s Benfica cruises into title match.
by Nigel Simon (T&T Guardian).

T&T volleyballer, Marc-Anthony Honore and SL Benfica advanced to yet another Portugal Volleyball Federation A-1 Division final after completing a 3-0 semifinal series sweep of Sporting CP on Sunday.

SL Benfica enjoyed its best display thus far in the playoffs by easing past Sporting CP 25-15, 25-17, 25-20 for a third straight win in their best-of-five-matches semifinals.

It was also sweet revenge for SL Benfica after they were beaten by Sporting CP in the Portugal Volleyball Federation Cup final earlier this month, Benfica won Game One in five sets 25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 24-26, 17-15 on March 13 followed by Friday's Game Two win 25-16, 25-17, 25-22.

In the final series, Benfica will be going after a ninth league crown against AJF Bastardo who also swept 18-time league champions SC Espinho.

AJF Bastardo won its third straight playoff clash with Espinho, 26-28, 25-15, 25-17, 25-21.

This after AJF Bastardo won Game One 25-19, 19-25, 25-20, 25-19 and then Game Two 25-19, 25-19, 25-20, 25-19.

Winners of the Super Cup last November for a third straight year, and record tenth time overall, SL Benfica will go into the final series as slight underdogs after ending the eight-team second round of the campaign with a 12-2 win-loss record and 35 points, two behind AJF Bastardo (12-2), one of only two clubs to beat Benfica in their last 60 domestic matches.

Sporting CP ended with an 11-3 record and 32 points for third while fourth-placed SC Espinho (8-6) tallied 24 points.

The quartet of Esmoriz (7-7), Castelo Maia (3-11), Viana (3-11) and Caldas (0-14) with 21, eighth, eighth and three points respectively complete the table.

Before the start of the eight-team Second Round series, SL Benfica ended the shortened regular-season due to the coronavirus pandemic with a perfect 13-0 record and 39 points, nine clear of Sporting CP and Viana, (10-2) who both had a match in hand.

In European competition, Benfica was beaten in the quarterfinal of the CEV Challenge Cup by Turkey’s Halkbank, 25-21, 18-26, 16-25, 21-25.

T&T's Marc-Anthony Honore connects with a spike through the pipe for SL Benfica during their Game Three semifinal against Sporting CP in the Portugal Volleyball Federation Honda Men's A-1 Division.

Photos: Cátia Luís / SL Benfica

Other Sports / Nicholas Lau Thread.
« on: February 26, 2021, 01:38:08 AM »
Lau competes at World Ski Champs

T&T skier Nicholas Lau opened his Nordic World Ski Championships campaign in Oberstdorf, Germany, on Wednesday.

Lau, competing in the men's 10K event, finished 73rd among the 85 participants that completed the event. Lau ended in 34 minutes and seven seconds (34:07.0). Winning the event was Mark Chanloung of Thailand in 24:23.8, Campbell Wright of New Zealand was second in 24:53.2 and Martin Moeller of Denmark took third spot in 25:17.0.

Brazilian Victor Santos was the only competitor not to finish the race.

"It was a tough one, (but) it was okay. There were pros and cons let's say as there always are," Lau told Newsday following his opening event.

He added that the slopes were more suitable for skiing on Wednesday compared to previous days. "Conditions were actually pretty good. A lot of us were concerned this week because the conditions were not good. They were too warm and the snow was wet and soft which is not good for cross country skiing.

Thankfully the weather cooled down just a little bit and they moved the race from 2.30 in the afternoon to 10.30 in the morning. That made a difference actually, so it was okay in the end."

Lau will compete in his second and final event on Thursday when he lines up in the men's sprint event over 1.5K.

Lau, now in his early forties, left T&T at two and lived in the USA (Boston and Texas), before moving to Switzerland in 2007.


Trinbago, NBA & World Basketball / FIBA 3x3 Under-23 Nations League Thread
« on: February 18, 2021, 02:03:35 AM »
T&T seeking four spots at FIBA 3×3 U-23 Nations League
T&T Guardian Reports.

T&T's men's and women's national teams has been invited to participate in the upcoming FIBA 3x3 Under-23 Nations League (U23NL).

Through the the National Basketball Federation of T&T's (NBFTT) successful hosting of local 3×3 tournaments in 2019, T&T earned eligibility for International Basketball Federation (FIBA) 3x3 Official National Team Competitions, this year.

The U23NL is a FIBA 3x3 Official Competition comprised of several conferences of six teams per gender. Each conference sees a series of tournament stops, with the same six teams per gender playing every stop.

Through the Nations League, National Federations (NFs) earn high ranking points which prove valuable to participating countries for their various World Cup and Pre-World Cup qualifications.

NBFTT president Claire Mitchell said “The quality of ranking points earned from this qualification will put T&T in a better position to participate in the Commonwealth Games 2022 and other upcoming qualifier events.

“Qualification for and participation in the U-23 Nations League Tournament is a gateway for T&T to qualify for all of the major upcoming 3x3 events. The best teams of the U-23 Nations League will be offered direct access to FIBA's Pro Circuit for Men and the FIBA 3x3 Women's Series.”

Due to the strong interest and based on the request of the NFs, FIBA has offered participating countries the opportunity to sign up a second set of teams per gender, with the second teams being strictly U-21.

With this tournament widely viewed as an opportunity for NFs to develop new players and stars that can be the future of their 3x3 national teams, according to Mitchell, T&T will be seeking to maximise on rewards made available through participation.

“This window is critical to our entry into the 3x3 circuit. As a result, the NBFTT is currently working towards this opportunity as it can auger well for T&T basketball,” said Mitchell.

For more information call Mitchell at 393-2894 or Arnold Thomas, NBFTT 3x3 Coordinator at 498-4304.

General Discussion / The Lottery Thread
« on: February 17, 2021, 03:37:27 PM »
She won $188M Powerball. Now her ex-fiance is suing her from prison, NC lawsuit says
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Marie Holmes was 26 years old and working five jobs to support her children when she won the $188 million Powerball jackpot in 2015 — the largest jackpot winnings in North Carolina history at the time.

She had big plans for the money, which totaled $87.9 million after taxes, according to the N.C. Education Lottery. Holmes told lottery officials she planned to give some of the prize money to charities and religious organizations, as well as put it toward finishing her college degree and buying her mother a house.

But according to her ex-fiance Lamarr Andre McDow, the winnings also went to generous gifts for him that she allegedly gave away or sold after they split up.

Now he’s suing to get them back.

McDow, 36, accused Holmes of breaching her fiduciary duty when she reportedly gave away his 77-acre dirt bike track, his car repair shop and tens of thousands of dollars worth of clothing and jewelry while he was in prison, according to a lawsuit which moved to federal court earlier this month.

Attorneys representing McDow and Holmes did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment. But Holmes said in court filings the gifts were never in McDow’s name and legally belonged to her.

“This case is the embodiment of the phrase ‘[w]hat’s yours is mine and what’s mine is my own.’ The problem here, however, is that McDow has nothing of his own,” Holmes’ defense attorneys said in a motion to dismiss the case. “Instead, McDow is Holmes’ disgruntled, currently imprisoned former fiancé with multiple criminal convictions and an unfortunate desire to pursue meritless litigation against Holmes, whose generosity after winning the Powerball lottery is at the heart of this litigation.”

Spending her winnings

According to the complaint, McDow and Holmes started dating in 2012 and had two daughters together. McDow was arrested in November 2014 and charged with drug trafficking.

Two months later, Holmes won the lottery.

McDow was convicted in April 2016 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He remains incarcerated with a projected release date of June 2, 2023, Department of Public Safety records show.

Holmes is from Shallotte, a small town on the coast of North Carolina less than 15 miles from the South Carolina border. According to the Education Lottery, she was working at Walmart, Food Lion, KFC, McDonald’s and Subway when she won the Powerball jackpot on Feb. 11, 2015.

Her odds of winning were 1 in 175 million.

“I started screaming and jumping around,” Holmes told lottery officials at the time. “I said to my kids, ‘You just don’t understand what this means.’”

In the months that followed, Holmes reportedly bought multiple houses — including a plantation in Brunswick County — and designer cars.

Before McDow reported to prison, the complaint said Holmes bought him a $250,000 Chevy Stingray, two dump trucks totaling $125,000, $100,000 worth of clothes and jewelry, a $600,000 automotive shop and 77 acres in Ashe County for a dirt bike track costing $80,000, among other gifts.

McDow made Holmes — then his fiancee — his power of attorney.

Holmes appeared on a reality TV show on the Oprah Winfrey Network called Iyanla: Fix My Life, in which inspirational speaker and author Iyanla Vanzant tried to help Holmes overcome challenges from the “financial windfall” of winning the lottery.

The episode, which aired in October 2016, was titled “Lotto Drama.” McDow also appeared in the episode, which his attorney cites in the lawsuit.

An acrimonious split

Holmes had their second daughter while McDow was in prison, but the two reportedly split up in August 2017. Eventually McDow heard through a friend that Holmes was dating someone new and had given away his clothing and the dirt bike track, in addition to shutting down the car repair shop, the complaint said.

“Ms. Holmes’ unconditional obligation to act in the best interests of Mr. McDow didn’t stop because Ms. Holmes and Mr. McDow’s relationship ended,” his attorney said in court filings, citing her power-of-attorney status.

The lawsuit makes claims for breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and breach of bailment. McDow is seeking a jury trial and more than $25,000 in damages.

But in a motion to dismiss filed Thursday, attorneys for Holmes said there numerous deficiencies in his complaint.

They said Holmes — who has lived in Washington state for “several years” — was never properly served with the lawsuit, which was given to a third party in Shallotte “who does not live with Holmes and who has no authority to accept service of process on Holmes’ behalf,” the motion to dismiss says.

Defense attorneys also said the lawsuit was filed outside the three-year statute of limitations, which expired last year, and that McDow never legally owned the property in question, worth more than $1.4 million.

McDow has not responded to the motion to dismiss, court filings show.

Hayley Fowler
Tue, February 16, 2021, 5:09 PM

Other Sports / Great Race Thread.
« on: February 04, 2021, 08:59:32 AM »
International interest builds for Great Race 2021

THE 2021 TT Great Race is already getting international interest as three teams from the US have shown their willingness to compete in the annual powerboat race.

“The only thing I could tell you is that we have three boats (from the US) already requesting to come for the Great Race on August 21, but again that all depends on covid and our borders,” said Roger Bell, director of public relations and international racing at the TT Powerboat Association (TTPBA). The TT borders have been closed since March last year as people must be granted an exemption to enter.

The TT Great Race has had international competitors before, but the event has never had three foreign entrants in one year. “They have requested to come, but we have written to them and said we would love to have them but at the current time our borders are closed until further notice, but we will keep them abreast.”

Prior to the 2021 TT Great Race on August 21 multiple regattas will be held over the coming months to get the boats and participants prepared for the anticipated event in August.

Motul Monster, four-time winners of the Great Race, will make a return to competitive action this year and will make an appearance in the first 2021 TTPBA Regatta in the Gulf of Paria, from 12.30 pm, on Sunday.

Speaking about the return of Monster, Bell said, “What we are excited about is the return of Motul Monster in the 130 mph class...Monster has won the Great Race four times and the last time being during the 50th running of the Great Race in 2018 where they ascertained the UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) record to Tobago which they still hold.”

The UIM is the international governing body of powerboating.

On Sunday, Monster will compete in the 130 mile per hour (mph) class against Mr Solo Too. Close to 20 teams are expected to participate including boats in the 60 mph, 70 mph, 80 mph, 95 mph and 120 mph classes. Stampede will compete in the 120 mph class and Global Warmer will line up in the 95 mph category.

Sunday’s regatta will be the first of the 2021 National Championship season. “We expect to have five of those (regattas), but due to covid and all the protocols, the regatta will be held out in the Gulf (of Paria). It will be not at any base like Yacht Club per se. The covid protocols will be in effect. There will be no rafting up, no tying up on any jetties. The race boats will have one service boat and all protocols concerning the amount of people allowed on vessels and face masks will be in effect.”

The 2020 Great Race was postponed because of covid19 as it was held on September 26 instead of August when it is normally held.

Cricket Anyone / Local Cricket League Thread
« on: February 03, 2021, 06:02:49 PM »
TTCB eager to resume domestic competition

The TT Cricket Board (TTCB) anticipates a swift return to the domestic season after over ten months of inactivity.

Administrators, clubs and cricketers initially thought they would be allowed to resume training and competition at the start of the new year.

But with a resurgence in global coronavirus cases and discovery of new covid19 variants, the Ministry of Health opted to delay the sport’s reopening.

To date, only national teams and athletes preparing for major international competition are allowed to use national sporting facilities.

Although TT successfully hosted the Caribbean Premier League T20 tournament in a bio-secure bubble smack in the middle of the pandemic last year and the West Indies (WI) currently on their third international tour, local enthusiasts eagerly await the green light from the health ministry.

Three months ago, the cricket board unveiled its annual schedule of regional and domestic events for the 2021 season in anticipation of a January restart.

However, since they were blanked by ministry officials, the previously scheduled January zonal tournament will now be held later down in the year.

TTCB president Azim Bassarath still believes domestic cricket should be given the go-ahead. The board has a clear outline of how players and staff will coordinate their respective training and competitive regimen.

According to him, the TTCB has been proactive in creating and implementing their required covid19 guidelines.

“We’re happy for the news that cricket should restart soon. We hope that, at least, the cricketers would be able to get back on the park and all the different programmes we have in place would be implemented.

“We’ve already gotten sponsors for a number of new tournaments and we’re waiting to unleash and give the youngsters the opportunity to play cricket so we can improve on the stock that would be available to WI cricket,” he said.

Bassarath thinks permission should be granted swiftly since cricket is not a contact sport. He also called on authorities to let good sense prevail since the TTCB has already formulated a feasible plan to ensure all players, staff and administrators adhere to its mandatory health regulations.

“We already have our dates and programmes set out for cricket so any resumption of cricket, the TTCB will appreciate that. We want that to happen. We think enough information has been sent out to the various stakeholders letting them know about the protocols that are involved. We have appealed to them to make sure they adhere to all protocols,” he added.

The postponed January zonal 50 0ver tournament was originally intended to serve as a pre-cursor for national team selection for the CG Insurance Super50 Cup squad. It was supposed to feature local cricketers from four zones – North, South, Central and East/Tobago.

He concluded, “We feel cricket is not so much of a contact sport and permission could be granted once everything is in place for the cricketers and officials observe the necessary protocols.”

In a press release issued by the TTCB, on Sunday, Bassarath said that the TTCB has been moving ahead with its plans to proceed as soon as the covid19 restrictions are lifted.

He has even written to the Ministry of Health requesting permission to get preparatory competitions for the TT Red Force to take place.

Bassarath remains optimistic that cricket will be played in the 2021 season but is urging the entire cricket community to exercise patience and responsibility in the interest of the sport and public health.

Kaiso fraternity says goodbye to Singing Sandra

Many stories were told in song and word on Wednesday of the late Sandra “Singing Sandra” Des Vignes-Millington’s generosity of spirit to younger artistes, her love for her community and country and her willingness to use her voice to tell the stories of those often unheard.

In a cultural farewell at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s Road, Port of Spain, family, calypsonians, politicians, friends and well-wishers paid tribute and said goodbye to the two-time Calypso monarch. She died on January 28 at 64.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell, National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters, Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO) president Lutalo “Brother Resistance” Masimba, Oilfield Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget, Michael “Sugar Aloes” Osuna, former calypso monarch Karene Asche and songwriter Christophe Grant were among those paying tribute.

Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox and MP for Laventille East/Morvant Adrian Leonce also attended and Leonce also paid tribute to her. Rapso performer and actor Wendell Manwarren gave a eulogy.

The ceremony began at 10.20 am with a member of Witco Desperadoes playing the national anthem.

Nydia Byron and Christopher Sheppard did a dance in her honour.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell said while her passing was a great loss to TT, the artform and culture were the beneficiaries of Singing Sandra's lifelong contributions.

He said the Government was implementing a national cultural policy to ensure that artistes are appreciated for their work. Mitchell said the policy had been laid in Parliament and “seeks to facilitate a thriving, inclusive and dynamic cultural environment.”

He added that it will be pursued through institutional arrangements designed “to engage in a genuine partnership” between the Government and cultural community.

“Ultimately, we would like to identify cultural awards, ambassadors and legends. It is my hope that together we continue to provide a nurturing environment which demonstrates to our artistes that we really, really do care about them,” Mitchell said.

The verbal tributes were interspersed with those in song. Asche sang Singing Sandra’s Voices From the Ghetto, Sugar Aloes did a special version of the Mighty Sparrow’s Memories, and reigning National Calypso Queen Makeda Darius sang Singing Sandra’s 2003 winning hit Ancient Rhythm. Stephen Marcelle also sang her song Nobody Wins a War.

Brother Resistance, in ripping poetic form, said he wanted to bring a joyful note, and it was important to do so because those gathered came to celebrate the power of a woman who walked in the spirit of the oral tradition.

“Calypso raised she up, lift she up and showed her the world,” he said, ringing his bell.

Resistance said Sandra was majestic and still humble.

“Sometimes in TT, we can’t deal with that. All now she saying, 'Who is all these people gather here to celebrate me and when I was around some of them didn’t even care for me?' She saying that, that is the message I getting,” he said, drawing applause from the audience.

He said the foundation of the Kaiso House calypso tent was laid by Singing Sandra and the rest of the United Sisters, and there would be a void in Kaiso House with her departure.

Calypsonian and former United Sisters member Marvah “Marvellous Marva” Joseph called for a monument to be put up by the Government to honour Des Vignes Millington. She sang Singing Sandra’s 1987 Sexy Employers (Die With my Dignity) and the United Sisters' Ambataila Woman.

Joseph said she met Singing Sandra in 1984 at the Mighty Sparrow’s Young Brigade tent, as well as the other United Sisters members Tigress (Joanne Rowley) and the late Beulah “Lady B” Bobb.

“We travelled all over the world on a donkey," she said, in reference to their hit soca song. "We lived in suitcases. A lot of people say they know Sandra. They know Sandra.

"You know who know Sandra? God know Sandra. Lady B know Sandra. Beulah Bobb deceased, Tigress – Joanne Rowley, Marvellous Marvah..we know Sandra because we been there.

“We live together, we sleep together, we eat together for years...

“Mr minister, I am asking you one favour: we have to have a monument for Sandra. Build a monument for Sandra,” she said, as the crowd vigorously applauded.

The farewell ended at 12.30 pm. Des Vignes Millington's funeral takes place on Thursday at Hirondelle Basketball Court, Morvant.

CATCHING UP: Veteran calypsonians Austin "Superblue" Lyons and Michael "Sugar Aloes" Osuna have a chat at the cultural tribute for the late Sandra "Singing Sandra" Des Vignes-Millington at Queen's Hall, St Ann's on Wednesday. - SUREASH CHOLAI

General Discussion / 100 Below Stores T&T.
« on: January 18, 2021, 05:55:42 PM »
100 Below Expands to T&T
T&T Guardian Reports.

100 Below is a new mega department chain in the Caribbean who’s mission statement is “Delivering great everyday customer value in our mega facilities by offering of an ever changing assortment of quality, fashionable, brand name and designer merchandise at prices generally $100 and below ”

Their decades of off-price experience, global sourcing and buying power paired with a flexible business model has provided distinct advantages for the chain. Strategically acquiring American Expos’s four locations in Trinidad, situated in The Centre of Excellence in Macoya, The Rig compound in Gulf View San Fernando, South Haven Shopping Center in Debe and Anand Low Price Compound in Fyzabad, 100 Below and its world-class logistics organization is committed to bringing unprecidented value, modern concepts and desired items to the local market.

During a brief interview, Operations Manager Leo Diaz stated “Our pledge is for our customers to shop comfortably in a safe, spacious, modern environment where they get quality world class products at prices that are beyond fair … The biggest bang for your buck “

Their doors will be opened to the public on Thursday 21st January 2021 from 10am. You can visit all 4 locations each with its own unique offering, seven days a week from 10am to 7pm.

Football / National Football League Thread
« on: January 17, 2021, 08:11:45 PM »
TTFA National Football League taking shape.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).

A group of selected persons with a mandate to put the National Football League initiative into operation is expected to be appointed soon.

The initiative could cost an estimated $10 million annually, with investments from to come from the FIFA Forward Project, the corporate sector, government and owners of the clubs, this according to a source close to the developments who spoke to Guardian Media Sports yesterday on the condition of anonymity.

The source said that for the League to be a success, there must be the involvement of television, via live matches or recorded packages that can reach a wide audience, or else it will not make to much sense.

Last week, the Minister of Sports and Community Development, Shamfa Cudjoe said that her government will await a proposal from the information coming out of the meetings before they can decide between whether or not to support the football league.

This latest development followed a stakeholders meeting on Friday that involved the T&T Pro League, the T&T Super League and the administrators of T&T football, the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee which met virtually to further discussions on the way forward for T&T football.

In December, the Robert Hadad, the chairman of the Normalisation Committee (NC) held meetings with the Pro League and Super League to map out a plan to move the sport forward.

The new group to be formed will be similar to the football commission that was formed to restructure T&T football back in 2018, on the advice of the sport's world governing body FIFA, UEFA and CONCACAF.

Like the commission, a marketing and human resource professional will be recruited, as well as an operations person to do fixtures etc, Guardian Media Sports understands.

Before the conclusion of the meeting, which comprised Pro League representatives Colin Wharfe of Club Sando, David John-Williams of W Connection and Brent Sancho, the acting Pro League chairman; while the Super League was led by its new president Clayton Morris and vice president Jameson Riques and Eddie Dean Club Sando, while the TTFA was represented by Dion LaFoucade, the TTFA Technical Director, Richard Piper, Ameil Mohammed and Hadad.

Guardian Media Sports was also reliably informed that while it was unanimously agreed for a new National League, there was no agreement whether or not it will be called the 'T-League' and what form the structure and intention of the League will be.

The source said: "I don't know if it would be a joint venture of the Pro League and Super League which will be extremely difficult, or if both the Pro League and the Super League will be run separately as Tier 1 and Tier 2, with a third league as Tier 3."

The source explained: "The discussions were framed around starting the tournament to be a supplier to the country's national teams, which is not what should happen. While national teams will benefit from the formation of these Leagues, they are all really run as a business. This is essentially what FIFA is looking for and to ultimatly have it aligned to the other big leagues around the world. Also, because FIFA has plans of running a FIFA Club World Cup in the near future. This could bring a team from every country into action."

Football / 2021 SSFL & Inter-Col Thread.
« on: January 09, 2021, 05:04:10 AM »
Football skills challenge to replace SSFL.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).

A football skills challenge is being proposed as an alternative for this year's Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) if the League is unable to be held due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which continues to affect sports in Trinidad and Tobago.

The tournament was cancelled last year, among all other sports when the pandemic hit countries across the globe, but the former teacher and FIFA referee, who is also a contender for this year's SSFL Elections Merere Gonzales is putting forward a challenge with the skills of the game to suffice, should the ravaging effect of the coronavirus continues this year.

The skills of football include heading, dribbling the ball, shooting, passing, and trapping or collecting the ball, all of which will be on display for the students/players to show their skills in.

Gonzales told Guardian Media Sports on Friday that,"At this point in time, for almost 10 months now, in a season which was abandoned because of the COVID-19, players, the student-athletes, especially those who are knocking on the doors either for national selection, or scholarship or even those who may wish to go straight on and pursue a professional contract, there are a lot more obstacles and constraints now.

So I think what has to be done, despite the turmoil of the sport between the TTFA and the FIFA, that the SSFL has remained the shining light in the country, and in light of that, I think it is imperative and necessary that if there's any semblance of revamping, the SSFL needs to also be instrumental in doing that by providing the platform for the student-athletes. If things remain as they are, and the threat of life and limb continues to remain, I feel we can engage the student-athlete, even if it is a skill challenge competition."

Gonzales, who will be one of two candidates to challenge interim president Phillip Fraser for the top spot in the SSFL annual general meeting (AGM) in March, said interested persons will be updated on the virtual platform.

The challenge could first begin at the various zones and will progress afterwards, similar to what is done in the regular season.

He made it clear, this is providing that the SSFL, is unable to have the normal 11 versus 11 play, saying: "So at least the football fraternity and the football body, and in this case, the SSFL, will still be making a meaningful input to engage the students and athletes."

The former referee believes the COVID-19 situation has led to a build-up of anxieties which have also triggered fear and doubt and could lead to loss of interest.

Football / 2021 T&T Pro League Thread
« on: January 03, 2021, 01:02:47 PM »
Pro League wants partnership with corporate T&T.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).

Corporate T&T and the government will be called upon and lend a helping hand towards the development of football in Trinidad and Tobago with funding in 2021 and beyond.

Brent Sancho, Acting Chairman of the T&T Pro League said the time is now to jumpstart T&T football, which includes facilitating an avenue by which young footballers, officials, vendors and administrators, among other professionals, can earn a living, while all the country's national teams, from junior to senior levels, will be adequately supplied, he told Guardain Media Limited on Thursday.

The former national defender now turns sports administrator dismissed claims that corporate T&T and government have been reluctant to pump money into football because of the perceived 'bacchanal in the sport', saying there is bacchanal in sports all over the world, yet corporate citizens inject funds to support.

He said: "It is time for everyone to put the country first and out young people first and better yet out sportsmen and sportswomen. You always hear the phrase there is too much bacchanal in football but guess what everything has bacchanal. It's time for corporate T&T to get involved and start being the co-pilot in the new narrative."

The former Minister of Sports said: "This is not a time for government or corporate T&T to take a stand-off approach concerning funding sports to ensure our young sportsmen and women have a future in something they like outside of the traditional academic side of life. It is a time for all hands to be on deck as we figure out how we move the sport of football and other sports, forward. We have reached a defining moment for 2021."

Only last week global communications network Digicel signed a partnership deal with the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) to the tune of US$1.4 million, which is the equivalent of 200 million Jamaican dollars. Sancho, in an immediate response to this, said it is an indication that corporate T&T do not support sports the way corporate Jamaica does which is sad.

The T&T Pro League navigated a much-needed restructuring in 2019, before the passage of the COVID19 pandemic coupled with a feud between the T&T Football Association and the FIFA, sunk football to its lowest in many years.

Sancho believes the solution to the T&T Pro League will come from a change in the existing structure, where only club owners make up the panel of decision-makers at the Board level.

"Too many clubs are getting involved in the decision-making or administrative level, and you cannot blame them for wanting to do so because clubs in T&T put out a lot of money. Somehow, however, we need to create a system where there is some level of independence. For instance, as acting chairman of the League, I think the League needs an independent chairman urgently, because at this level we need the right people, with the right skill-sets and right abilities to take the sport to a position where it can be sustainable, as well as where it can be comparable with the international standard."

The Board of Directors of the T&T Pro League meets regularly, and it will meet again on Saturday to decide whether a change in the formats of the top flights T&T Pro League and Super League, to a more National League Structure, as recommended by the team of UEFA/FIFA and CONCACAF officials in 2019, should be signed-off on or not.

General Discussion / Drivers License Thread
« on: December 27, 2020, 12:48:26 PM »
20 licensing officers suspended
By Shaliza Hassanali (T&T Guardian).

At least 20 officers at the Licensing Division are currently under suspension for unethical and fraudulent practices on the job. The disclosure came from Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan days after Transport Commissioner Clive Clarke admitted to Guardian Media that corruption and bobol were rampant at Licensing Offices across the country.

However, Sinanan and the Clarke did not divulge further information as the matters are under investigation and some may even reach as far as the court.

Among the issues Clarke and a small team of licensing officers have been fighting against are duplicate registration of vehicles, buying of driver's permits, and vehicles being fraudulently registered.

Asked about the fraudulent matters that have tarnished the reputation of Licensing Office for years, Sinanan, speaking in the presence of Clarke at his Port-of-Spain office on Tuesday, said the problem stemmed from the division's archaic paper-based system.

In 2017, Sinanan said, the ministry began rooting out corruption when they started to computerise the system.

"There was a lot of pushback because some people did not want that to happen. And that exercise has shown a lot of the flaws in the system. We are getting to the point where we will be able to identify the people who are doing it. Over the last two years, we have had about over 20 people who have been under investigation for these unethical practices and we continue to be stern on that," Sinanan said.

"There is no service at the Licensing Office where you have to pay an employee to help you."

He said if there was a demand for unethical practices, supply will always be high.

"There will only be corrupt officers at the Licensing Office if there is a demand for them. The problem at the Licensing Office is that the system allowed for that because nobody wants to go to the office and spend two and three days to get a simple thing like a transfer done."

Sinanan said if the owner of a truck loses three days' work valued $6,000 to get a truck inspected, "you wouldn't think it hard to pay somebody $1,000 to bring that certificate home for you cause you can save $5,000. Those were some of the things that were happening."

In a bid to reduce delays and long lines, he said his ministry has begun to offer online services.

"So you should only have to go to the Licensing Office if you have a problem."

Next year, he said, mobile licensing units will drive into rural communities to offer services to members of the public.

"We are going to have that in the first or second quarter of 2021 where in all the rural areas these mobile units will drive in on specific dates so nobody would have to leave their area to come into Port-of-Spain, Arima, or Sangre Grande to get simple things done."

Minister disappointed a PoS cashiers failed to show up for work, leaving longs lines of frustrated cutomers

Sinanan also expressed disappointment on Tuesday that two cashiers at the Port-of -Spain Licensing Office did not show up for work, causing long lines and frustrated customers.

"If the systems have to work, public servants must be part and parcel of success. This morning (Tuesday) was a clear case of where the public servants failed the ministry. This was another case of public servants dropping the ball."

Clarke said licensing normally has two regular cashiers on duty but they applied for leave.

The two replacement cashiers, however, also failed to show up for work.

He said a cashier from the Caroni's Licensing Office had to be shifted to Port-of-Spain to ease up the congestion.

"The challenge we had in my view is that the information (the absence of the cashiers) should have reached the authorities much earlier. And we have put things in place to address that. In other words, we are saying if by 8 am you discovered there was a deficiency that should have been triggered so we have someone there."

Clarke said this incident was nothing more than a communication breakdown.

He said customers should have more than one option to pay for a service,

Next July, Clarke said, all Licensing Offices will be equipped with self-service kiosks. In the event a cashier stays home, a customer can still make a payment using their credit or debit cards.

Clarke added, "In the past, though, what we discovered with the systems at licensing is that a number of the ills that took place, there were no proper audit trails. You had evidence disappearing."

He said measures have since been put in place to scan critical documents such as transfer and applications form.

"So because of these computerised transactions we can now trace the individuals. Because of the digitisation process, we can trace beyond the person who is punching the information into the computer because sometimes they are the least involved. Sometimes it may be other entities and we could not trace and track signatures and the workflow," Clarke said.

Adopted American woman discovers she’s a Sierra Leone princess
DeMicia Inman
Fri, December 18, 2020, 5:58 PM EST

Sarah Culberson began searching for her biological family at 28 years old and found she is related to African royalty in Sierra Leone

Sarah Culberson was adopted and raised by a white family in West Virginia and uncovered a rich history in her search for her birth family.

NBC News reported at the age of 28-years-old, Culberson began her search when she learned her biological mother died when she was only 11. After a phone call from an uncle, she learned she was related to African royalty. According to the news outlet, she is from the Mende tribe in Bumpe, Sierra Leone, and is considered a mahaloi, the child of a paramount chief. This makes Culberson the princess of the Bumpe village.

Hundreds of people came out to celebrate her return during a special ceremony in 2006 where her biological father gifted her a dress that matched his own suit. Culberson shared with the news outlet that although a royal title sounds glamorous, learning her identity came with responsibility.

“My only guidance of what a princess was was what I saw in movies,” Culberson said to NBC News. “[But] it’s really about responsibility. It’s about walking in my great-grandfather and grandfather’s footsteps and what they’ve done for the country. I realized that’s my role as a princess, to keep moving things forward in the country.”

Her adoptive father, James Culberson, a neurobiology professor at West Virginia University, told the outlet her passion for people was natural.

“Sarah was an outgoing, people-meeting, 1-year-old when we adopted her. She is still that same outgoing person who genuinely loves and enjoys almost everyone she meets,” he said. ” “Almost from her first visit to Sierra Leone to meet her father, she saw her ‘princess’ role as one involving trying to find some way to help. She certainly recognized her close connection to a family and chiefdom and country; her work to improve life there has demonstrated tremendous personal growth in many areas.”

Together with her biological brother Hindo Kposowa, Culberson founded the Kposowa Foundation (now called Sierra Leone Rising) in 2006 to rebuild Bumpe High School and advocate for education in the country. According to the organization’s website, it focuses on education, public health, and female empowerment.

According to NBC News, Sierra Leone Rising has provided nine wells, serving 12,000 people across the country, and is working to support menstruating people with reusable pads and working to slow the spread of COVID-19 with a new initiative Mask On Africa.

“I was like, ‘OK, let’s do this. I’m willing to do the work. Whatever it takes.’ This nonprofit has brought all of us together in such a wonderful way,” Culberson said to the news outlet. “My birth father and I have done a lot of work together with the foundation, along with my brother. I stepped out into a space that has been very new for me and has challenged me in many ways.”

In 2009, she wrote the book, A Princess Found: An American Family, an African Chiefdom, and the Daughter Who Connected Them All to expand on her story. According to NBC News, an animated series is in the works as well as a film produced by Stephanie Allain. Although she lives in the United States, Culberson frequently discusses moving to Sierra Leone with her boyfriend, the outlet reported.

“It was such a life-altering experience,” she said of her initial visit. “It was shocking, amazing, overwhelming, exciting. It was beautiful, glorious and uplifting!”

Image via / Brandon Flint Photography)

Football / Scoring directly from a corner-kick Thread.
« on: December 13, 2020, 03:43:40 PM »
Never seen a T&T player who scored directly from a corner kick until now.

I know Stephen Hart told me once that Alvin Corneal use to do it, but that was before my time.

Levi Garcia scores an Olimpico (direct from a corner kick) in AEK Athens FC's 4-3 win over Apollon

Cricket Anyone / Cricket in America Thread
« on: December 02, 2020, 12:33:29 AM »
Welcome LA Knight Riders.
T&T Guardian Reports.

Cricket in America has received a major shot in the arm with the arrival of the Knight Riders franchise.

CEO of Red Chillies Entertainment the owners of the Knight Riders brand, Venky Mysore speaking on the cricket site Tuesday said that the brand has come into America and will be taking part in the USA Cricket Major League tournament.

Mysore said, "We are happy to be involved. We have a major sports brand and the people there reached out to us. We were interested and then got sold on the idea after we saw the business model.

"We will be taking the LA (Los Angeles) franchise but more than that we will be part owners of the league. In the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) where we own the franchise Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR), we run that and only that assisting in making the league a success. However, now we have a stake in the league as well and all owners will have a stake which is good."

The highly respected Mysore has been included on the American Cricket Entertainment (ACE) board which owns the league.

 "I am on the board and will lend my experience to the set-up," said Mysore, who explained that the move by the Knight Riders brand was done to as a result as their development model.

"When you look at IPL it is condensed within a two-month period. Then you look at CPL and it goes for about six weeks. I told the owners that in order to take their brand forward, they needed to go worldwide because if you own five or six franchises then you will have cricket being all the time around the year. It means that the brand will be out there all the time, your fan base will grow, and economically it will work out well for us."

Red Chillies Entertainment owns the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) in the CPL, and the Cape Town Knight Riders in South Africa. They will now be the owners of the LA Knight Riders in the US Major League. The tournament is expected to be played for the first time in June/July 2022.

"As I have told the other board members, there is an old saying that you only have one chance to make a first impression. So let's take our time and make sure that this is done properly. That time around June/July will be the summertime and it will be great to host this tournament. It means that it comes in between the IPL and the CPL which will work fine for the brand," said Mysore.

Venky Mysore, CEO of Red Chillies Entertainment the owners of the Knight Riders brand.

Football / Black Lives Matter Football Thread.
« on: November 18, 2020, 09:07:18 AM »
How Britain is losing the race: what Yorke, Hislop, Sancho and more faced in UK.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).

This report was initially written by Lasana Liburd for the Trinidad Express newspaper and published there on 25 November 2004:

It was not, as Birmingham City chairman David Sullivan pointed out, the ‘crime of the century’. The British Soccernet website claimed that the Blackburn Football Club, the site of the latest racial incident in the British game, harboured just two racist fans.

Some Blackburn supporters claimed there was just one.

In any case, Sullivan insisted that it was no big deal and suggested that Trinidad and Tobago’s Dwight Yorke, effectively his employee, should have ignored it rather than confront the offending patrons.

Unanimously, the British media insisted that the monkey gestures and racist taunts aimed at the T&T star and Birmingham striker on Sunday were ‘small’, ‘isolated’ and, most importantly, ‘nothing like Spain’.

Last Wednesday in Madrid, thousands of Spanish fans made sickening monkey chants whenever a black Englishman touched the ball. Spain was quickly branded an ‘uncivilised nation’ by the British press and Professional Footballers Association (PFA) chief executive Gordon Taylor insisted that the English team should have walked off the field.

Tellingly, he did not say how many fans need to be making racial jibes before a team could head for the showers in good conscience.

Perhaps there were too few in Yorke’s case; which, of course, was an isolated one. Like Ron Atkinson’s gaffe, for instance.

Atkinson—who ironically coached Yorke at Aston Villa in the early ‘90s, where he sometimes ordered players to punch and kick Yorke to toughen him up at training sessions—infamously referred to former France captain and World Cup winner, Marcel Desailly, as a ‘f**king, lazy, thick nigger’ in the ITV television studio after a Champions League match this April.

The microphone was still on, though, and ‘Big Ron’ was asked to resign and complied.

It was not Atkinson’s first racial jibe as a television commentator. He once referred to a Cameroon player as brainless during the 1990 World Cup. His producers quickly chided him but Atkinson got in the last word during the interval. “Well if his mother is watching up a tree in Africa…”

Once more, his comments were inadvertently broadcast live in some countries and ITV received a complaint, but Atkinson remained on staff. That Ron Atkinson, they chuckle, never knows when to keep quiet.

There are other recent cases.

Dundee and Trinidad and Tobago defender Brent Sancho was called ‘a black bastard’ and hauled out of a taxi last October; but after a fight ensued, Sancho and not his racist assailant was thrown into a cell and charged. (Sancho was later acquitted).

Fulham striker Luis Boa Morte was called ‘a black c**t’ by Everton forward Duncan Ferguson in a Premiership match last season and reported the matter to the English FA.

But the FA dismissed the case for lack of evidence and the papers suggested that Boa Morte was a mischief-maker, which prompted a flood of abuse for the Portuguese striker by visiting fans.

“There were people on my team who heard it and there were people on the Everton team who heard it too,” said Boa Morte, “but they didn’t want to say anything. I had two or three really low weeks, I felt gutted.

“Why would I have taken it to the FA if the thing didn’t happen?”

Another one-off, I suppose. But how many isolated incidents do it take before the relevant authorities accept that there is a problem?

Racist chants at the Millwall Football Club last season; English international defender Jonathan Woodgate convicted for assaulting an Asian student in a nightclub; Newcastle and Welsh striker Craig Bellamy racially abused an Asian door man… A 2003 University report, supported by the PFA, found systematic exclusion of minorities at community clubs and ‘extremely poor’ numbers of non-whites in managerial and staff positions at football clubs.

It might not amount to much for some influential figures like Sullivan, but it means a great deal to the rest of us. It certainly means a great deal to me.

Racism in football, even the vile stuff we observed when Jamaica-born ex-England and Liverpool star John Barnes was routinely pelted with bananas, is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand recalled that he would be stopped and questioned roughly ten times a week by the police when he drove across London from Peckham to West Ham for training as a teenager-barely seven years ago.

Trinidad and Tobago and Portsmouth goalkeeper Shaka Hislop remembered when, at Newcastle, a group of youths screamed racial insults and ran towards him in a threatening manner at a gas station. Then, they recognised him and subsequently begged for autographs.

So what of blacks who are unprotected by celebrity status in England?

Those still referred to in some quarters here, as ‘darkie’, ‘coloured’ and ‘negro’—and those are the affectionate references.

It is not like Spain—or at least what we saw of them at that shameful international match—that is undisputed. But this does not necessarily mean it is significantly better.

The Race Relations Act, passed in 1976, makes it an offence to racially abuse or assault someone, which can result to the offender being expelled from a bar or sporting ground or, in violent cases, jailed up to 14 years.

While the British Government and anti-racists groups have made progress in silencing racists, there is the feeling that insufficient headway has been made in converting them. By and large, it has allowed passive racism to fester.

On Saturday, I was ejected from a train while returning from an afternoon in Birmingham. The train conductor suggested—rather vaguely—that I had stolen or fraudulently acquired my rail pass, although I had the relevant travel documents on me.

After a lively debate, in which I refused to pay a fine, I was told that we would stop at then next station to locate a policeman to which I readily agreed. Once we had both disembarked, the conductor hopped back on the train, though, leaving me at a desolate and extremely cold stop.

I have already arranged a meeting with Central Trains to pursue the matter, but it was not an isolated case.

Once, the Portsmouth Football Club secretary, when trying to describe me over the telephone to an official enlisted to take me towards the players’ dressing rooms, curiously explained to his listener: ‘you will know him when you see him’.

But, generally, you are made to feel an outsider without words.

Like the young white couple I attempted to help as they struggled to keep their stalled car from rolling down a hill in the early evening.

On seeing my approach, the lady left her male companion with the weight of the vehicle on his back and sprinted to the other side of the car. He gesticulated frantically for me to come no closer.

“No thank you, mate!”

Perhaps Barnes summed it up best last week when he was approached for comment on the Spanish scandal and surprised the journalist by insisting that England was in no position to take the moral high ground.

“Because we don’t hear it any more we think we’re getting rid of racism,” Barnes told the London Observer. “Please, let’s not all believe we’re much better in this country. The biggest thing for me is the hypocrisy of the people who were around 10 or 15 years ago when this was going on in English football.

“Why weren’t they saying anything then? Is it just politically correct to be doing it now?”

Silence, he explained, does not mean harmony.

“When you talk about kicking racism out of football,” he said, “people automatically assume you are talking about on the terraces and on the football field.

“But all racists have to do is keep their mouth shut for 90 minutes and they’re fine. It’s good that people are talking about it, but it’s how they’re talking. Let’s not believe that we are much better in this country.”

Another former Arsenal player and present youth team coach, Paul Davis, revealed that he was overlooked for promotion at Arsenal for the third time last September. Instead, Steve Bould was given the post although he had five years less experience and was markedly less qualified than Davis.

Davis, when he questioned the snub, was told by Arsenal that he did not have the ‘right personality’ for the job.

“It doesn’t make sense,” he said. “I obviously can’t say that it was racism because it wasn’t spelt out to me like that, but it wasn’t done properly. There were no appraisals, no proper information on candidates; basically it was one person making the decision.

“But [racism] is the hardest thing to accuse anyone of because how are you gonna prove it?”

Racism is scariest off the football field.

An undercover BBC investigation found ‘shocking and widespread’ racism at the Greater Manchester Police force last October, where policemen were taped boasting of victimising ‘pakis’ and ‘niggers’. Yet Home Secretary and British MP David Blunkett initially slammed the BBC for their ‘covert stunt’ before quickly back-pedalling after condemnation by anti-racism groups.

The BBC documentary was in response to a sharp rise in racially motivated crimes over the past decade. It is the same monster of racial prejudice that reared its head at Blackburn on Sunday.

Sullivan would have us look the other way.

Yorke did not!

Photo: Football fans in Turkey taunt black players with bananas.
(via CNN)

Photo: Former Liverpool and England star John Barnes backheels a banana in an iconic snap.
(via Daily Mail)

Football / Preparing part-time players to compete with pros Thread.
« on: November 16, 2020, 09:58:08 AM »
‘Preparing part-time players to compete with pros is a challenge’: T&T’s Caribbean coaching exports speak.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).

When, Covid-19 permitting, Stern John leads the Anguilla Men’s National Senior Team out for their opening Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying contest, he will join a growing number of Trinidad and Tobago coaches looking to make their mark elsewhere in the Caribbean—albeit at less recognisable football nations.

Bertille St Clair made history by becoming the first coach to steer Trinidad and Tobago to a Fifa World Cup tournament, when he guided the ‘Soca Babes’ to the Portugal 1991 World Youth Championship. However, it was St Vincent and the Grenadines who offered him his first senior job.

In 1996, St Clair helped ‘Vincy Heat’ to the Concacaf semifinal round of the 1998 World Cup qualifying. A year later, Trinidad and Tobago hired the ‘Saint’ for a largely successful three-year spell, which saw the twin island republic win two Caribbean Cup titles and finish in the top four of the Concacaf Gold Cup for the first time.

Jamaal Shabazz followed a similar route. He steered Guyana to the Concacaf semifinal round of the 2014 World Cup qualifying round, eliminating the Soca Warriors in the process.

Within a month of Guyana’s own elimination, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) hired Shabazz, who, as co-head coach alongside Hutson Charles, helped the Warriors to the 2013 Caribbean Cup runner-up title and their first Gold Cup qualification in six years.

Shabazz, now 57 years old, is on the road again, as he took up the reins of the St Lucia job on 6 May 2019. Meanwhile, the 52-year-old Russell Latapy, a former Trinidad and Tobago senior and youth team coach, has led the Barbados football team since 21 March 2019.

And the 36-year-old Rajesh Latchoo, who took Trinidad and Tobago to third place at the 2015 Concacaf Women’s Under-15 Championship before subsequently resigning due to poor working conditions and unpaid stipends, was hired by Dominica on 1 March 2017.

The Fifa/Concacaf rankings do not flatter the trio (there are 210 member associations ranked by Fifa and 35 in Concacaf):

Dominica: When Latchoo took over (175 Fifa/25 Concacaf); now (185/28);

Barbados: When Latapy took over (161 Fifa/18 Concacaf); now (162/19);

St Lucia: When Shabazz took over (170 Fifa/20 Concacaf); now (176/24).

However, it is worth noting that neither Latchoo nor Shabazz have had a single friendly international to help boost their team’s chances, while Latapy’s own warm-up games against Canada—presumably good practice in the long run—were never going to help Barbados’ rankings.

Latapy’s early plaudits next door owe much to Barbados’ first place group finish and promotion from the Concacaf Nations League’s third tier, where they held off the Cayman Islands, Saint Martin and the US Virgin Islands.

Dominica and St Lucia, in contrast, were both relegated from the second tier of the Nations League where they faced tougher opposition than Barbados.

Crucially, all three coaches appear to have the support and respect of their respective football nations as they enter the Qatar 2022 qualifying series.

Latchoo and Shabazz took time out to discuss their experience on the road so far; and what John can expect to face at his new job.

Wired868: What do you see as the biggest challenge on the job?

Latchoo: Preparing ‘part-time’ players to compete against professional players is a challenge. It is not impossible but it is challenging. It requires a lot of planning and improvisation.

Here the players are talented but are in an amateur environment. And with the Covid pandemic, the few ‘professional’ players we had playing in the TT Pro League with Morvant Caledonia United, Cunupia FC and W Connection (all of whom the Dominican people are grateful to them for believing in our players) had to return home and join the pool of amateur footballers.

Meaning they have to find a job during the day to support their families and then train in the evenings with their clubs or Men’s Senior National Team to improve their football abilities. The Panamanian or Dominican Republic players don’t have these problems.

Dominica’s government did an excellent job of dealing with the Covid situation and it allowed the restart of the local amateur league and the MSNT training in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers—both in August.

But the bigger countries seem not to be affected like us by Covid when it comes to playing international friendlies, which is something we struggled with even before Covid.

In fact, Panama were able to play Costa Rica twice in the September Fifa window and defeated them twice 1-0. With the shift of the WCQ to March, it provides an opportunity for a longer preparation time (once the Covid situation remains manageable).

However the challenge remains where the speed and compactness of the local league is not at the same level of the Panama and Dominican Republic leagues, so we try to create that in the MSNT training. But then the amateur reality hits when some key players may occasionally call to let me know they can’t be at the session as they have to work late.

This means that while key players may attend most of the sessions, they still can’t attend every session to ensure they gain maximum exposure to improve their football and physical abilities.

When they miss a session, they are set back three to six days based on the training schedule. So the amateur environment does not allow the players to prepare as well as their upcoming counterparts. We find ourselves like ‘David’ in our big games, mostly hoping to slay ‘Goliath’ teams.

Shabazz: My biggest challenge in the St Lucia job is marrying the vision that the president has for their football and getting the footballing stakeholders to buy in to the steps needed to achieve our objectives.

Every country wants to qualify for a Fifa World Cup but that desire and expectation is seldom backed with the infrastructure and resources needed.

St Lucia may be a small nation but with a big heart and passion for football. In the past, they have produced players like Stuart Charles-Fevrier (now a top coach), Earl Jean, Titus Elva, Elijah Joseph, and Zaine Pierre, who have made a mark in the region.

The clubs in St Lucia are all totally community-based, and it is very rare that players cross borders to represent another district. So in the sight of the villagers, a decent player is seen as a mega star; but a lot of those players find it difficult to adjust to the needs of international football.

There remains a level of insularity when guys are not selected or omitted; and with our introduction of players born overseas, it adds to the challenge.

We literally preach the ‘One Lucia’ concept and St Lucia for Lucians home and abroad. Even in other sports, we are asking the whole country and football to support the national teams in other sporting disciplines when they are playing.

Wired868: What do you enjoy the most about your post?

Latchoo: Witnessing the growth of the environment and players I worked with for the last 44 months. Despite the amateur setting and two major natural disasters (Maria in 2017, Covid in 2020), I am still able to see and speak about the progress of the players’ abilities and their attitude towards training.

The image of the national team has improved a lot. They are a great bunch of players and I wish I had all of them in a professional team somewhere, so we could maximise their potential. I guess that is every coach’s dream.

The Dominican people are wonderful people and very resilient and welcoming, which makes it easy to understand why tourism accounted for almost 50% of their GDP before Hurricane Maria. I fell in love with the people of Dominica and will remain here until God is ready for me to move elsewhere.

While the growth here may seem to be slow and incremental, the changes are also permanent and adaptive. And this would be understandable as the DFA, for the first time, would have had a lot of staff being employed full time in the last four years: like the technical director, women’s coordinator, youth director, general secretary and national men’s coach. So they are still in the developmental stages of progress.

I am glad God was able to make me a part of this process and allowed me to work with great people, especially my president, Glen Etienne who has supported me a lot.

In our last Concacaf Nations League second tier game versus St Vincent and the Grenadines, our 17-year-old striker, Audel Laville, scored the winning goal. It was a great moment for the future of Dominica football.

Shabazz: I enjoy the challenge on going into another Caribbean country and helping to elevate the program, as we did in Guyana. In 2005 when I went to Guyana, people laughed at the Guyanese on and off the field. Now on the field, Trinidad and Tobago cannot beat Guyana; and off the field, due to oil, Trini businessmen are flocking to Guyana.

So its a similar purpose in St Lucia, which is to utilise football as a vehicle to develop our people.

The adrenalin flow you get from the tension when a whole nation is looking to your team (staff and players) for a result is addictive. The thrill in winning, the disappointment in losing and having to pick yourself up, your team and a country and provide renewed hope, is an eventful and very fulfilling  journey.

Wired868: What is your ambition in your current job and beyond?

Latchoo: The long term ambition, like all coaches, would be to qualify the team to a World Cup, whereas the short to medium term goals would be to win the Windward Island Football Association Tournament (we were 2nd in 2017 and 3rd in 2019); re-qualify for the second tier in the Concacaf Nations League and qualify for the Concacaf Gold Cup.

The passport law here does not allow for second generation (grand children) players born and living outside of Dominica to easily receive their passport through descent. Only first generation Dominicans can do so. Thus I am in the process of helping the local coaches improve the level of the league for 2021, and I continue to seek opportunities to ‘export’ players to professional leagues.

Importantly, I will continue to the grow the game in Dominica to the best of my ability. I would like to help Caribbean football grow, so that the talent we have in the Caribbean can match up to any ‘powerhouse’ team. This is what working in the Caribbean as a young coach means to me.

It is good to see that we have many of our own Caribbean coaches and experts who have played or are playing an integral part in the development of Caribbean football.

I’m thinking about Anton Corneal, Jamaal Shabazz, Marlon Charles, Dennis Lawrence, Stephen Hart, Russell Latapy, Derek King, Theodore Whitmore, Lincoln Phillips, Alvin Corneal, ‘Gally’ Cummings, Stuart Charles-Fevrier, the late Muhammad Isa, Anthony ‘Dada’ Wickham, Lenny Lake, Vin Blaine, and my list can go on and on.

These people serve as an inspiration to young coaches like myself. They have influenced me in some way, directly or indirectly, and one day I hope to be able to contribute to the Caribbean football as they did or are doing.

Without them and many others, young coaches like myself and Earl Jean, would not exist today.

Shabazz: Of course international football is based on results and qualifying for major tournaments. In between, there are stages where you move from participation to being able to compete against the bigger countries; and then on any given day get results. So we have an aim to move from tier three to tier one.

Plus our under-17 team is extremely talented and there is that ambition to help get this team to the Fifa Under-17 or Under-20 World Cup.

Of course you have to ensure you keep your job and ensure the association gives you the necessary support.

So far, I cannot ask for a better president than Lyndon Cooper; and that is not a paid political announcement.

Road to Qatar 2022 (Only the group winners advance to the next qualifying round):

Group D: Panama, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Dominica, Anguilla;

Group E: Haiti, Nicaragua, Belize, St Lucia, Turks and Caicos Islands;

Group F: Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts and Nevis, Guyana, Puerto Rico, Bahamas.

Football / 2021 T&T Super League Thread
« on: October 30, 2020, 11:40:52 AM »
Rigues summons TTSL membership to elect leader.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).

For the second time in nine months, football's general membership will be called upon to decide on the way forward in local football.

First, the T&T Football Association's (TTFA) general membership was needed to chart a way forward in the midst of a heated battle between the sport's world governing body, FIFA, and the TTFA being led by William Wallace, which subsequently resulted in the TTFA bein suspended from FIFA until further notice.

Now, the membership of the T&T Super League (TTSL) is being summoned to a meeting to decide on whether Jameson Rigues, the TTSL's First vice president will be the person to take over the leadership of the organisation, following the resignation of its president Keith Look Loy on October 16. The meeting was called by Rigues, who to date, appears not to have been accepted by the Board of Directors of the TTSL, as the person to take over the reigns of the organisation.

Immediately after the submission of the resignation letter, the board took a decision to ask Look Loy to stay on until the next Annual General Meeting (AGM), which Guardian Media Sports was told is likely to be in December. However, although Look Loy, the controversial TTFA member who was caught smack in the centre of the TTFA vs FIFA dispute, rejected the call for his return, the Board appears to be making a second call for the former president to stay on.

Rigues is now pointing the membership to Article 39.7 of the Constitution that would put him in charge. A release sent out yesterday from Rigues, states: "In keeping with the TTSL Constitution, Article 39.7, in my capacity as First Vice-President, I have assumed the responsibilities of President of the TTSL with immediate effect, with the resignation of Mr. Keith Look Loy.

The TTSL Constitution, Article 39.7 - If the position of the President becomes vacant, the First Vice-President shall assume the President's responsibilities until the next General Meeting. This General Meeting shall elect a new President for the remaining period of office."

He noted further: "I wish to put on record my humble view and stated position that any such decision of recall or non-acceptance of the resignation of the President should have been brought to you the membership for any such consideration. Having accepted the duties and responsibilities of the TTSL presidency, I wish to personally invite you, each member of the TTSL to contact me directly with any and all matters you consider important to your Organization and the TTSL which I shall properly review."

One Board member who spoke on condition of anonymity on Wednesday said he is unsure of what the problem is with Rigues, since he is currently holding the position of interim president. The member, from of the top eight TTSL club, said he is unsure whether the Board could have opted to call on Look Loy to return when instead of following exactly what the constitution says, but he believes they should. He made it clear however that the membership will have the final say.

He told Guardian Media Sports that Rigues was among the Board meeting which decided on a recall of Look Loy.

Rigues said in spite of the constitutional breach he will not consider legal action, as T&T football needs to take a break from court matters now, in light of the recent legal battle between the TTFA and the FIFA.

However, he is promising members that if he is elected president at the AGM he will be president for all of the TTSL and not some. "I also intend for the organisation to be transparent always, the organisation must be a democratic and unbiased organisation. I personally would like to work to ensure the organisation is more advanced and more competitive," Rigues said.

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / MovieTowne Thread.
« on: October 12, 2020, 12:55:00 AM »
MovieTowne Chaguanas falls victim to COVID-19
T&T Guardian Reports.

MovieTowne has announced it will be closing its Chaguanas branch permanently after being in operation for over 10 years.

In a statement to the media, MovieTowne’s owner Derek Chin said, “I wish to inform you that we will be closing our MovieTowne Chaguanas branch for good as the pandemic along with MovieTowne’s landlord has made it uneconomical for us to continue.”

According to Chin, the government’s restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 contributed to the decision.

He said that the extended shutdown and the continued uncertainty has made it extremely difficult to continue. He said the decision was taken in the interest of keeping MovieTowne’s overall business in a survival mode.

“We felt this was the best alternative for us,” he stated.

The Chaguanas MovieTowne, located in Price Plaza, is one of five run by the Daichin Group of Companies, of which Chin is the chairman.

The other operations are in Port-of-Spain, C3 Centre in San Fernando, Lowlands, Tobago, and Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana.

Chin said in the statement that MovieTowne’s other Trinidad and Tobago locations will reopen when the restrictions are relaxed.

“We wish to thank our many Central and Chaguanas patrons for the support over the last 10 years,” he stated.

The Chaguanas branch has been home to a cineplex of eight large screens, offering 2D and 3D cinema technology.

However, unlike the flagship Port-of-Spain branch, the Daichin Group does not own the entire compound, to offer dining, liming, shopping and live entertainment.

Cinemas were among the earlier closures when the Government introduced COVID-19 restrictions in March, because of the risks involved with the congregation of people.

In June, with a big reduction in the spread of COVID-19 cases, the government allowed cinemas to reopen. Most cinemas, however, offered old movies since the international distribution of new shows was also affected by COVID-19.

However, with new cases springing up in August, the State opted to once again close movie theatres.

They have remained closed until now and operators will only know if they can reopen their doors, when the Prime Minister reports to the country again on October 24.

Chaguanas Mayor Faaiq Mohammed described the announcement as a sad day for the borough. Responding to Guardian Media via WhatsApp yesterday, Mohammed said that the development is ‘troubling’.

“We lost a good source of entertainment for families and friends. It’s troubling to see businesses close knowing many will be unemployed as a result. It is disheartening that I heard this news and we will have to examine other areas to ensure the sustainability of other businesses within the Borough. In addition to the effects of COVID it was reported that there is a private issue between Mr Chin and the Landlord so I wish to say no more on the matter,” Mohammed said.

Meanwhile, 58 additional people have been infected with COVID-19.

This was according to yesterday’s clinical update from the Ministry of Health. According to the release, this brings the total number of positive cases in the country to 5,101.

However, the total number of active cases is 1,753 while the total number of deaths remained at 90.

The statement said that 119 people remained hospitalised while 37 are in step-down facilities, 46 in state quarantine facilities and 1,597 are in home self-isolation.

Thus far, 3,252 people have recovered from the virus.

The ministry reminded that the daily update usually reflects samples taken during the last three days and not the last 24 hours.

Football / Shaqkeem Joseph Thread
« on: October 05, 2020, 04:39:23 PM »
Club Sando's Joseph on trials in Portugal.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).

Shaqkeem Joseph, a multitalented midfield/striker from Club Sando is on trials in Portugal with First Division Club Futebol Clube da Maia.

The 20-year old player left last week in search of his life-long dream to be a professional footballer, Club Sando's owner and managing director Eddison Deane has said.

He told Guardian Media Sports on Monday, that the young player has been a sought-after player by clubs and football agents across the world for the past months. However, the club's partnership with Three-D, a United States and Canadian football agency, has enabled him the opportunity to pick the best choice, in terms of club stability, the potential for growth and player-satisfaction.

Deane said he is unable to say how long the player's stay at the Portuguese club will be, as he was snapped up and sent to Portugal on a one-way ticket. "This I imagine means that he will be there for as long as the club wants him to stay, or he will not come back. He is an excellent little player whom I feel confident about abroad," Deane said.

Joseph is a former national Under-20 player under Russell Latapy and was also a member of the Senior team training squad under Terry Fenwick. He was also a standout player at Moruga Composite in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) about three years ago before he moved to North East Stars in the T&T Pro League.

He was later snapped up by Club Sando where he has worked under Angus Eve, who Deane considers to be one of the country's best youth coaches. Deane is a believer in developing young players and called on all clubs to focus on the development of the young players during our suspension from international football by the sport's world governing body- FIFA.

Deane, a Naparima College old boy, said he is such a believer in development that he works with his alma mater to produced complete players for club and country. He explained that being deep into the school system, he places more emphasis on youth development, saying if clubs follow this approach, the country will be well served and ready when the suspension is lifted, whenever that will be.

"If we focus on the senior players now, what will happen is that they will be too old when the FIFA suspension is up and they will not be able to represent the country at World Cup Qualifiers or other qualifiers, therefore, put that time towards the youths, then they will be ready in time for the qualifiers."

General Discussion / Farmers in T&T Thread
« on: October 03, 2020, 03:45:51 PM »
T&T cocoa farmers earn $18 million in two years

BETWEEN 2018 and 2019, cocoa farmers have garnered $17.9 million in exports.

So said Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon, during the launch of the second National Cocoa Awards, held virtually on Friday.

In her address, she added that up to August this year, T&T cocoa farmers have made about $4.6 million in revenue.

“Our cocoa beans are of premium value and gains significant revenue,” Gopee-Scoon said.

She said TT's major export markets are in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and the United States. She added that the top three exporters of local cocoa earns about $500,000 annually.

“This is gratifying as it shows an international palate exists for local cocoa,” Gopee-Scoon said.

Minister of Agriculture Clarence Rambharat, while lauding the farmers' successes internationally, said funding and technological support will be provided to cocoa farmers to encourage more cultivation and value adding to the popular bean.

But importantly, Rambharat promised to do more for land security for cocoa farmers.

“We have to keep farmers productive and we have to ensure that their land is secure,” Rambharat said.

Cocoa Development T&T director Jacqueline Robins boasted that T&T cocoa farmers are among the top farmers of the bean in the world having been received eight international cocoa awards – the most collected among any other country in the world.

“This clearly validates our superiority in cocoa,” Robins said.

Last year’s winners, Leroy and Geeta Peters said they were surprised when their names were called as the best producers of cocoa in the country. After their win, they said they got a lot of support from the community, friends and family.

“I come from a cocoa family. My wife as well,” Leroy Peters said. “When we heard we were winners it was out of this world. I always knew we had excellent beans.”

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