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1
Football / Re: Women Warriors Thread
« on: December 03, 2021, 01:37:41 PM »
Karyn Forbes calls on Women Warriors to develop personal fitness.
By Jelani Beckley (T&T Newsday).


NATIONAL women’s senior football captain Karyn Forbes is encouraging her players to work on their personal development and not depend on the T&T coaching staff to maintain a level of fitness.

Forbes led the team to a 1-1 draw against the Dominican Republic in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, on Tuesday.

On Friday, in the first match of the two-match series Dominican Republic defeated T&T 2-1.

On Wednesday, speaking to members of the local media following the second encounter, Forbes said, “Definitely of course we would have liked to come out with the win, but unfortunately that did not happen and I think it is part of the process moving forward.” However, the captain was proud of the effort in the match, saying, “Definitely an improved performance.

“In terms of preparation, we have new players and it is always difficult (to gel immediately), but at the end of the day we have to take it one step at a time and keep moving.”

Forbes said the Dominican Republic are now a challenging opponent compared to past years.

“When I saw Dom Rep play it shows me clearly that all the countries are improving and if we don’t improve we will be left behind and that is in all aspects.

“I think that they have improved a lot from playing them six, seven years ago.”

Forbes called on her players to take personal responsibility for their development.

“I think it was a really good test for us and for the girls to understand that we can’t only wait until it comes to the national set-up in order to prepare ourselves.

We have to come with some level of fitness because time is getting closer (to the 2023 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign) and it is only so much the coaches and the staff at the national team could do. We have to understand what is at stake.”

Forbes is developing her leadership qualities by getting feedback from her teammates.

“Definitely more room for improvement.

“This is something new for me.

“I actually met with a couple of the younger players just to hear what is their take on the camp thus far…to me personally because I am now getting into this role I am actually trying to work little by little in improving. I think I am not doing too bad, but again there is always room for improvement.”

Rhea Belgrave, who scored the goal for T&T in Tuesday’s encounter, is enjoying the team vibe.

“I think the atmosphere around the team is pretty well. The idea is for us to just get accustom to each other, make sure we enjoy what we doing firstly and then build that chemistry…of course we have new players coming in and going out.

“It is just a matter to enjoy each other’s company, to build that cohesiveness on and off the field which will be great for us moving forward.”

Watch Skipper Forbes pleased with fighting spirit

Watch Kenwyne stays optimistic after draw with Dominican Republic

Watch Belgrave: "I come to play"

Watch T&T vs Dominican Republic Women's Friendly Highlights, 1-1 Draw


2
Football / Re: Women Warriors Thread
« on: December 02, 2021, 01:49:12 AM »
Jones wants football camp in January.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).


National Women's football coach Kenwyne Jones is aiming to have a camp in January where he will continue his preparation ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers in February.

Jones and his staff will begin sourcing worthy opponents for the camp but the final decision will not be theirs.

Following his confirmation as the team's full-time coach recently, Jones told the media via a virtual post-match press conference on Wednesday he intends to continue scouting potential players with the hope of selecting the best team to represent T&T at the qualifiers.

Jones, a graduate of St Anthony's College, said he intends to have a couple of international friendly matches as part of the camp, but warned he cannot assure the camp will take place, as that responsibility is out of his hands.

The local girls are set to open their campaign against Nicaragua, playing in a Group F of the qualifiers, which will consist of Guyana, Dominica and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

With the team short of preparation, the girls will have no Christmas holidays within steady preparation set to continue.

The team was beaten in its opening match of a two-match friendly series against their Dominican Republic counterparts in San Cristobal last Friday, and on Tuesday the team was held 1-1 in a match that Jones wanted a reaction from.

"After the defeat on Friday, I did ask the team to give a reaction because we have to develop that DNA in us when we have setbacks. Obviously, we did get that but we did not get the victory that we wanted, but a showing that as we continue to work toward the qualifiers, it will help us, it will make us stronger in the build-up for the qualifiers. So far, it is a building process. It is sometimes a slow and tedious process but they are all willing to work. In this block of games, we had here, it was an opportunity to see the girls we had here before, but also to see some new faces that we hope to include in the squad in the future", Jones, a former Secondary School Most Valuable Player said.

He added: "There is room for improvement. We will get better, the more we work together and it's just about getting our heads down and working. We're behind in match preparation I would say, compared to the rest of the teams we have been playing so far. I have all confidence that getting these games, and in the couple of months that we have ahead of us, we will be where we want to be. We're planning to have another camp in January but whether or not it will come off I cannot answer that right now. We're only fresh out of these two games right here. We have to go back home and get back to the training pitch. We have players who are coming back after finishing school, we have quite a few players who have to leave to go back to finish their exams and then they will be back home for the Christmas period when we will be training."

With regards to the planned camp and its finalisation he said: "I cannot give you that, but the hope is to have another camp in January. Obviously, there'll be a training period in between where we can still have a few people who can be part of the squad."

Captain Karyn Forbes, a 30-year-old midfielder from Plymouth, Tobago, said they were hoping to come away with a win after last Friday's defeat, but the result is part of the building process. Forbes described the performance, however, as a definite improvement, saying the Dominican Republic team has shown a marked improvement from when the teams last met, noting that her team will continue to work and peak at the right time.

Meanwhile, defender Rhea Belgrave, 30, the scorer of the lone T&T goal said her goal was as a result of her being in the right place at the right time. She noted that the team has shown a marked improvement from the Panama matches last month to the two matches against the Dominican Republic.

RELATED NEWS

Jones eyes more players, improved efforts by Women Warriors.
By Jelani Beckley (T&T Newsday).


NEW Women’s Warriors football coach Kenwyne Jones, who has led the team to creditable performances over the past weeks, said the squad is not the final product as he is scouting new players and aiming to improve team performance to bolster the team’s pedigree.

T&T played two international friendlies against the Dominican Republic over the past few days in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. The first match on Friday ended in a 2-1 victory for the home team and the second match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Jones, a member of the 2006 Soca Warriors World Cup squad, was hired as the full-time coach on Friday after being appointed interim coach in October. Before the matches against the Dominican Republic, T&T battled to back-to-back draws against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva. The teams played to a 0-0 draw in the first match on October 21 and the second match ended 1-1 on October 25. There are many experienced players on the T&T squad with the likes of captain Karyn Forbes, goalkeeper Kimika Forbes, Maylee-Attin Johnson and Kennya Cordner. There are also youngsters aiming to stamp their mark at the international level.

On Wednesday, speaking to the media following T&T’s 1-1 draw against the Dominican Republic, Jones said, “I was satisfied with the reaction by the team after coming off the defeat on Friday. I did ask the team to give a reaction because we have to develop that DNA in us when we do have a setback.”

Jones would have liked T&T to emerge victorious but was happy with the effort. Jones is targeting a camp in early 2022 but is uncertain if it will materialize.

“We are planning as a team, as a staff to have another camp in January, but whether or not it will come off I can’t give you that answer right now…we are going back home and get back to the training field. We have players that are coming back after finishing school…they are going to be back home over the Christmas period when we will be training.”

He later said, “There are some players that I desperately want to see in the hopes of adding them to the squad and that will be the perfect opportunity to be able to do that.” Jones is also aiming for more international friendlies.

T&T have scored three goals in the last four matches. Asked if he is pleased with the team’s goal-scoring ability, Jones said, “The team’s remit is to win games. Not every game you are going to go out there and score five goals and think that is how you win games only.”

Jones, who said championships are sometimes won with one goal, said, “Of course, like I previously said we have to improve and there is room for improvement in all areas, by no means this is the final product. We have a lot of room to get better.”

Jones said his priority is qualifying for the world cup during his time in charge. Jones recently received a nine-month contract.

On Friday, the TT Football Association announced that Jones will assume full-time responsibility for the team from December 1. It is a nine-month contract that “provides him the option to extend his term for a further year, based on the achievement of KPI’s and a successful performance appraisal.”

The national women’s senior team footballers have never qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, but Jones believes in the team.

“The aim of this team is to go to the qualifiers and qualify for the world cup. That is the only mandate that I have set for myself. I believe in the potential of our squad.”

T&T will begin their quest to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand when they compete at the 2022 Concacaf Women’s Championship qualifiers.


3
Football / Re: Women Warriors Thread
« on: December 01, 2021, 01:35:09 AM »
Dominican Republic denies T&T in 1-1 tie.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).


T&T Women footballers and their Dominican Republic counterparts played to a 1-1 tie on Tuesday in game-two of their international friendly series at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic.

However, the T&T team was unlucky not to concede another late item as they did in the opening match when Forbes went down awkwardly under a challenge from a right-side corner by Winibian Peralta. And when the ball rolled invitingly for Vanessa Kara, she drilled it back in for Alyssa Oviedo to simply touch the ball into the open net, but Kara somehow redirected the ball wide in the 76th minute.

That effort confirmed the 1-1 result (View Full Match Here), although both teams traded attempts at goal in the moments that followed.

The T&T girls were hoping to rebound from a last Friday's 1-2 loss and got a decent start with a possession game that should have resulted in at least a shot at goal. During an early build-up, Maylee Attin-Johnson threaded a ball through to an unmarked Raenah Campbell in the Dominican Republic defence, but her control let her down.

Lucia Marie later stormed down the right flank in the 18th minute and her centre was spilt by Forbes, pushing Marie's cross into the path of Manuela Lareo who took aim but her shot was deflected wide.

However, T&T got the opener in the 21s minutes. Liana Hinds delivered perfectly from a right-side corner for Maylee Attin-Johnson to rise unchallenged and head goalwards, but her attempt was cleared only as far as Rhea Belgrave who headed in from two feet away.

Kenwyne Jones' charges survived a number of attacks in the latter moments, including a solo attempt by Lareo, dribbling inside the T&T area on the right side, but with the goal at her mercy, she lashed it wide on the stroke of halftime.

The game lasted just eight minutes when the game resumed for the home team to get the equaliser. Kara received a pass from Oviedo inside the area and the skilful Dominican Republic player lifted it inside for Oviedo to head past the T&T custodian in the 48th minute.

But Forbes, who struggled with the cross balls, was again in action, going high to push out a well floated right-side corner in the 59th minute.

(Teams)

Trinidad and Tobago (3-4-1-2): 1.Kimika Forbes (GK); 4.Rhea Belgrave, 8.Victoria Swift, 3.Chelsi Jadoo; 7.Liana Hinds, 14.Karyn Forbes (captain), 10.Asha James (12.Chelcy Ralph 80), 18.Naomie Guerra (6.Kaydeen Jack 72); 9.Maylee Attin-Johnson; 19.Kennya Cordner, 11.Raenah Campbell (13.Dennecia Prince 56).

Unused substitutes: 21.Tenesha Palmer (GK), 22.Akyla Walcott (GK), 2.Collette Morgan, 5.Jaasiel Forde, 16.Tsianne Leander, 23.Chrissy Mitchell.

Coach: Kenwyne Jones

Dominican Republic (4-2-2-2): 12.Odaliana Gómez (GK); 2.Gionvana Dionisio, 19.Gabrielle Cuevas, 20.Brianne Reed, 18.Keisla Gil (5.María López 85); 8.Jazlyn Oviedo, 7.Winibian Peralta; 14.Lucia Marie (13.Daphne Heyaime 72), 21.Manuela Lareo; 9.Vanessa Kara, 17.Jazlyn Moya.

Unused substitutes: 1.Claudia Nicole Torres (GK), 3.Lynette Ureńa, 4.Gabriella Marie, 6.Yoneldy Peńa, 11.Alyssa Oviedo, 16.Paola Then, 10.Marianelyz Pérez, 22.Renata Mercedes, 15.Kathrynn González.

Coach: Benito Rubido

Referee: Ada Tolentino


4
Football / Re: Kenwyne Jones Thread
« on: November 30, 2021, 12:58:11 AM »
Women Warriors rally around Kenwyne Jones.
By Jelani Beckles (T&T Newsday).


TRINIDAD and Tobago national women’s senior football captain Karyn Forbes is elated Kenwyne Jones is now the full-time coach of the team as the squad could now develop one philosophy after chopping and changing coaches over the past two months.

Forbes said all the players are thankful to have Jones on board as the head coach.

“All the players are excited. We were actually applauding him when he entered the room that day,” Forbes told journalists on Zoom, on Sunday.

“I think Kenwyne being our coach is really exciting because he can impart his knowledge to us and we will be able to grow as a team. The kind of experience he has as a player and now as a coach, holding the licence that he has, without a doubt I am confident that we are going to do well under him.”

Jones, a member of the Soca Warriors 2006 World Cup squad, was hired as interim head coach of the women’s team for the period October 18-November 30.

T&T have had multiple coaches in 2021.

Welshman James Thomas resigned on October 6 after five months on the job. A week later, T&T men’s Futsal coach Constantine Konstin was hired. Five days after Konstin was hired, Jones was announced as interim coach.

On Friday, a TT Football Association media release said, “Jones…will now assume full-time responsibility for the team, commencing December 1, 2021, with a nine-month contract that provides him the option to extend his term for a further year, based on the achievement of KPI’s and a successful performance appraisal.”

The release also said, “The TTFA’s decision to appoint Jones follows solid 0-0 and 1-1 performances against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium in October, the positive atmosphere that he has created within the team, and the improved dynamic between the players and technical staff.”

Jones, a UEFA A licence holder, will get his charges ready for the 2022 Concacaf W Qualifiers. T&T will play Nicaragua on February 17, Dominica on February 20, the Turks and Caicos on April 9, and Guyana on April 12, 2022. The top placed team in the group will qualify to compete in the 2022 Concacaf W Championships in July 2022.

Forbes said the team will become a more settled bunch with the confirmation that Jones will be the full-time coach.

“Now we will be able to learn one philosophy and not have multiple coaches…I think it is really imperative that we have Kenwyne going forward.”

Forbes said the team is showing promise ahead of the qualifiers.

“I think our team is progressing great. Of course, a lot of players have not been playing a lot of games, but that is not something that we are totally focused on. We are focusing on now. We have a coach and he is very committed and we are excited to work under him and without a doubt, I believe this is our time and we going to take it very serious in moving forward…we are very thankful for the opportunity to have this staff and we are very positive that things are going to work out for us.”

T&T are now in the Dominican Republic for two friendlies against that country in preparation for the qualifiers. T&T lost the first match 2-1 in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, on Friday.

The second match will be contested on Tuesday.

Asha James converted a penalty for T&T in the second half on Friday.

James was satisfied she found her name on the score sheet.

“I feel good (about my performance). It’s not a shock to anyone that I should be scoring in these games. I came off a high from West Texas (in the college season) scoring 14 goals and had three assists. It is always a good feeling to have your name on the score sheet despite the loss.”

RELATED NEWS

Jones looks for reaction from his team on Tuesday.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).


National women's football coach Kenwyne Jones will be hoping for a reaction from his charges on Tuesday when his team takes on the Dominican Republic in the second of two international friendly matches in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

In the first game on Friday, the home team delivered a lethal blow in the last minute of the game to pull off a 2-1 triumph, but Jones who was confirmed as the full-time coach of the women's team on the same day, expected to contest the World Cup qualifiers in February next year, told the media via a virtual press briefing that he wants to see a reaction from the players from the training pitch, and not based on what happened in the game.

Jones has been attempting to stamp his philosophy and structure on the squad, which is still stashed with a blend of young and experienced players.

"At the pre-match press conference, I said the Dominican Republic was the perfect matchup to give us a test at this present time. The current indication by the squad is that they did not give us any problem that we did not foresee, I just thought it was a basic lack of discipline within our structure that facilitated the defeat.

"But I am glad it happened now because this is the point where you have to iron out a lot of stuff and gain the consistency needed for the upcoming qualifiers and we do have a lot of time to work on that and get it right.

"First of all, I would like to see a reaction from the team but not as far as the game but as far as today's (Sunday's) training session. We had a lot of analysis done, a lot of team meetings were held to discuss the things we didn't do correctly that we were supposed to.

"I am looking forward to the game, I definitely want to see a reaction from the team, in terms of being tactically disciplined in the way we set out our business. That is the most important thing.

"The good thing is that we have another game against the same opponent to put things right," Jones explained.

The T&T women's team is in Group F of the qualifiers, comprising Guyana, Nicaragua, Dominica and the Turks and Caicos Islands, a group that Jones considers to be manageable. However, his biggest task to date will be to lay down a structure of play that all players will be aware of in time for the qualifiers.

According to the former national striker, turn coach, "At this point in time, we are about 65 to 70 per cent there, but it is important that the core group of them understand the philosophy and structure of our tactical plan going forward. The others are going to come along and possibly in the near future, we will work with them as well because this is not a sprint it's a marathon."

Team captain Karyn Forbes said both she and her team were disappointed with the result last Friday, but they have to stay positive moving forward, saying: "We have to learn from this experience as this is how the game is, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

"We have a lot of new players and because of that some things might be repetitive, but as we move forward we will have the right squad and with the right squad we will be able to get things down pact, but right now everything is a learning experience."

Forbes was also high in praise for the confirmation of Jones as their full-time coach, saying they can learn a lot from his wealth of knowledge and the team will now, not have to learn different philosophies.


5
Football / Re: Women Warriors Thread
« on: November 26, 2021, 01:40:45 AM »
Jones, Women Warriors look to end winless run.
By Nigel Simon (T&T Guardian).


Interim national senior women’s team coach Kenwyne Jones and his team will be hoping to end a four-match winless run when T&T comes up against host Dominican Republic in the first of two friendly internationals in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic on Friday evening.

The clash between the Karyn Fobes-captained T&T women and the Dominican Republic kicks off at the Pan American Stadium from 5 pm with the second match carded for the same venue on Tuesday with the same kick-off time.

Last month, Jones, the former national men’s senior team captain and World Cup player, was installed as the interim boss and guided his team two drawn results against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, first 0-0 and then 1-1 to kick off preparations for the Concacaf Women’s World Cup qualifiers towards Australia and New Zealand 2023.

In the qualifiers, T&T will face Guyana, Nicaragua, Dominica, and Turks and Caicos Islands in Group F beginning in February.

The T&T women are currently on a four-match winless run dating back to their 5-0 defeat of Antigua and Barbuda on October 2, 2019.

Since then the T&T women suffered a shock 4-1 loss to St Kitts & Nevis on October 6, 2019, followed by a goalless draw against the Dominican Republic in October 2019 and last month’s two drawn matches against Panama.

And the last time, T&T women recorded a win over the Dominican Republic was back in 2006 during their women’s World Cup qualifying campaign, a 7-0 road win.

Since then, Dominican Republic has managed to beat T&T 1-0 in 2011 during the Olympic Games qualifiers and followed it up with a goalless draw in their last meeting in 2019 at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

Earlier this year, Dominican Republic also started their women’s World Cup preparations, losing 5-0 to Panama in July before beating Bolivia 3-0 on October 22 and then battling to a 1-1 draw in their second match, three days later.

And faced with the next two matches to end off the year on a high, both teams will be keen to leave their mark.

Speaking at a media conference held by the Dominican Republic Football Federation High-Performance Centre via Zoom, Jones, a former England and USA-based professional said his team was keenly looking forward to the matches.

The former national striker said, “We are very excited to have these matches with the Dominican Republic and I think it’s a really good opportunity for both teams to have some preparations before the qualifiers in February, and I do envision that these two games will be a really good test for both of us.

The T&T team arrived in Santo Domingo on Monday evening ahead of the matches and since then Jones said the group has settled in nicely with training sessions at the Felix Sanchez Olympic Stadium.

He said, “I think our team has been doing very well since we came here on Monday night and our training sessions every day have been really good and the players are ready to play.

“They are happy to be here and also to play against the Dominican Republic as I think they are the perfect opposition for us at this point because our first game in the group qualifiers is Nicaragua and we see a lot of similarities with the two teams, and we are hoping that it helps us to find solutions and prepare well for when we get to that game.”

With some of his players coming from North America and Europe to link up with the team on Monday, Jones said the first session on Tuesday was, as expected, a little bit off the pace.

“They (players) had to recover from some jet lag and difference in travel time but since then the players have all settled down nicely and are working and coping pretty well and with one more session at the match venue on Thursday evening, I envision the team being well prepared for Friday’s first match against the host."

A member of the senior women’s team since 2010, Tobago-born team captain, Forbes was also excitedly looking ahead to the matches.

The hard-tackling Forbes, one of seven veterans in the team added, “I’m happy to be here as captain and I think this is a very good opportunity not only for myself but for my team and this is another test for us in trying to qualify for the World Cup and we are very excited about these two games.”

The host began their preparations on Tuesday with the 22 players who were summoned by Spanish coach, José Benito Rubido and his coaching staff.

T&T senior women 22 member squad:

Tenisha Palmer, Naomie Guerra, Dennecia Prince, Kimika Forbes, Kennya Cordner, Collette Morgan, Karyn Forbes, Tsianne Leander, Rhea Belgrave, Jaasiel Forde, Maylee Attin-Johnson, Chelcy Ralph, Akyla Walcott, Raenah Campbell, Liana Hinds, Kedie Johnson, Asha James, Kaydeen Jack, Chelsi Jadoo, Victoria Swift, Lauryn Hutchinson, Chrissy Mitchell,

Technical staff: Kenwyne Jones (coach), Charlie Mitchell (assistant coach), James Baird (goalkeeper coach), Atiba Downes (strength and conditioning trainer), DR Anyl Goopeesingh (doctor), Aqiyla Gomez (physiotherapist), Terry Johnson-Jeremiah (equipment manager), Alexandria Olton (Sports psychologist), Kylla Charles (medical massage), Joanne Daniel (manager)

Dominican Republic:

Goalkeepers:

Claudia Torres (Bob Soccer School), Odaliana Gómez (Matchfit FC - USA);

Defenders:

Paola Then (Santa Fe FC), Brianne Reed (FC Nordsjaelland - Denmark), María López (FC Rodríguez García), Gabriella Marte (Hofstra - USA), Lynette Ureńa (Delaware State University - USA), Giovanna Dionicio (Yale University - USA), Gabirella Cuevas (KuPS - Finland) and Keisla Gil (April 5).

Midfielders:

Manuela Lareo (RCD Espanyol - Spain), Lucía Marte (Real Betis - Spain), Jazlyn Oviedo (Monmouth University - USA), Winibian Peralta (Bob Soccer School), Renata Mercedes (Taft School - USA), Kathrynn González (Marshall University - USA);

Forwards:

Vanessa Kara (Racing Louisville - USA), Daphne Heyaime (DV7 Academy), Alyssa Oviedo (University of Vermont), Jazlyn Moya (A4Sports), Yoneldy Peńa (A4Sports).


6
NC files for protection under Bankruptcy Act; TTFA will consider selling Home of Football.
Wired868.com.


“[…] This process, as it was designed, will allow the TTFA to manage its operations and provide a stay from all legal proceedings and creditor actions for a period of up to six months.

“[…] At this stage, all options are on the table; the sale of the Home of Football is definitely an option…”

The following is a press statement from the Fifa-appointed normalisation committee, which is headed by businessman Robert Hadad and runs the operations of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) at present:

The Fifa-appointed normalisation committee (NC) of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has moved one step closer to developing an implementable plan to address the TTFA’s long-term debt.

An Ernst & Young report, dated 9 April 2021, put the TTFA’s total outstanding liabilities and unasserted claims (contingent liabilities) at approximately TT$98.5 mil.

The NC today (Monday 8 November 2021) notified the supervisor of insolvency of its intent to make a proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Trinidad and Tobago, which will enable a structured approach to the restructuring of the TTFA and the preparation of a fair, transparent and acceptable payment proposal to address the TTFA’s debt.

This process, as it was designed, will allow the TTFA to manage its operations and provide a stay from all legal proceedings and creditor actions for a period of up to six months, thereby securing the TTFA’s assets while the management and NC work, under the oversight of the independent Trustee, to develop and present a proposal to address the TTFA’s debt to all creditors.

The NC has appointed Maria Daniel, a licensed trustee, to manage the debt proposal process, which will be guided by the rules of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, Chapter 9:70. The process will include meetings with and the submission of claims (and supporting documents) by all creditors; a review and verification of the claims; and the development of a proposal to deal with the valid outstanding liabilities.

Once the proposal has been developed and approved by the creditors, it will be sanctioned by the courts and the NC will proceed to implement the proposal in accordance with its terms. During the development of the proposal and its implementation, the NC’s day-to-day management of the TTFA will be unaffected.

Commenting on the decision to seek protection under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, NC chairman Robert Hadad said: ‘The TTFA is currently hamstrung with debt, and we can’t allow past mismanagement and poor governance to cripple the future of football or indeed its daily operations.

‘This option, under the supervision of the supervisor of insolvency, the trustee and the courts, ensures transparency, equity and independence in the process while, at the same time, ensuring that our current subventions are used for the day-to-day running of the TTFA and its present and future needs.

‘The intent is to rehabilitate as opposed to dissolve the TTFA with a view to preserving continuity and the development of football in Trinidad and Tobago for future generations.’

Background:

The mandate given to the NC included:

-Run the TTFA’s daily affairs

-Establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA

-Review and amend the TTFA Statutes (and other regulations where necessary) and to ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress; and

-Organise and conduct elections of a new TTFA executive committee for a four-year mandate.

FIFA appointed Mr Robert Hadad (chairperson), Ms Judy Daniel (deputy chairperson), Mr Nigel L Romano (member) and Mr Trevor Nicholas Gomez (member) to serve as members of the normalisation committee (NC). One additional committee member can be appointed.

The NC’s tenure, which includes acting as an electoral committee ‘as none of these members will be eligible for any of the open positions in the TTFA elections under any circumstances’, expires upon the execution of their mandate ‘but no later than 24 months after its members have been official appointed by FIFA’

Q&A

TTFA Media: Has the normalisation committee filed for bankruptcy? Is the TTFA now bankrupt?

Hadad: No. The normalisation committee has neither filed for bankruptcy nor has the TTFA been put into bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Trinidad and Tobago provides an avenue for individuals or organisations in financial difficulty to seek the protection of the courts from litigation while they develop a payment proposal and negotiate with creditors to settle outstanding debt through a court supervised process that is fair, transparent, and equitable.

What happens to the individuals or organisations that have made successful claims against the TTFA in court?

A stay of all such proceedings was automatically triggered by the filing of the Notice of Intent on 8 November 2021. This, in effect, will ensure that all creditors are treated equitably in the settlement of the TTFA’s debt. 

Given the $98 million debt, how does the NC/ TTFA plan to continue funding the running of football?

Filing the Notice of Intent to develop a payment proposal for creditors under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act gives the TTFA the protection of the courts from claims on its current and future income—the TTFA’s existing assets will be used to deal with the existing debt.  The day-to-day operations of the TTFA and future football activity will be funded with subventions from Fifa in the first instance.

What is the total value of the TTFA’s assets?

An independent third-party valuation is to be conducted to determine that figure.

Will the Home of Football be sold?

At this stage, all options are on the table; the sale of the Home of Football is definitely an option.

When will creditors be paid?

Acting under the supervision of the court, and guided by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, 2007, the TTFA has to develop a repayment proposal under the oversight of the Independent Trustee and get the approval of the creditors in a period of up to six months.

The process will include meetings with and the submission of claims (and supporting documents) by all creditors; a review and verification of the claims; and the development of an approved repayment proposal to deal with all valid outstanding liabilities. Following this, a timeline will be agreed for payment to creditors.

Will creditors be paid in full?

The repayment proposal will be determined by the funding available to pay creditors, and will be made after all claims have been reviewed and verified by the independent trustee and those verified claims weighed against the TTFA’s ability to pay.

Is the NC taking this action so that it can extend its term beyond March 2022?

The tenure of the NC is wholly in the hands of FIFA. The decision to file a Notice of Intent to develop a repayment proposal for the TTFA’s creditors was taken because it is a court supervised process that ensures transparency, equity and independence while, at the same time, ensuring that the TTFA’s current subventions are used for the day-to-day running of the TTFA and its present and future needs.

How has the Association accumulated $98.5 million in debt and unasserted claims? Over how many years has this debt been accumulating? Who was responsible for this mismanagement over these years?

Decades of poor governance and a lack of proper internal controls characterised the operations of successive TTFA administrations and is the root cause for poor financial health and overall operational performance of the TTFA.

Has the Association accumulated additional debt since the NC was appointed?

No. During the past 12 months the NC has focused on improving the systems of governance and controls and has implemented several operational improvements, including the preparation of monthly management accounts; the introduction of improved compliance processes and procedures; enhanced systems and accounting software; and reviews by EY, Fifa and Concacaf. The NC is in the process of implementing EY’s recommendations for new policies and procedures, use of technology and improved governance.

I know you indicated that the value of the accumulated debt and unasserted claims of the Association as at April 2021 is $98.5 million but what is the value of the Association’s assets?

An independent third-party valuation is to be conducted to determine that figure.

Why did the Association not seek funding relief from Fifa and GORTT to repay the debts of the Association?

Neither Fifa nor the GORTT has any legal obligation to repay debt accumulated by the TTFA as a result of mismanagement and poor governance.

The matter of contingent liabilities as at April 2021, what is the value of these liabilities, to whom are they due, and for what? Are these liabilities likely to crystallise and will they form part of the liabilities that the Association will have to settle?

The licensed trustee will meet with all creditors to ascertain the validity of each claim and make a final determination.

Why did the Association not simply take a loan from a bank or other lending institution equivalent to the liability and pay off its creditors?

With its accumulated debt and track record of poor management and governance, the TTFA would not qualify for a loan of the size necessary to settle its debt.

The NC has the responsibility, under their mandate, to develop a debt repayment plan. Why are they passing off their responsibilities assigned by Fifa to a Trustee?

By appointing an independent trustee under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the NC is ensuring that the process for developing a repayment proposal, under the supervision of the court, would be fair, transparent and have the approval of the TTFA’s creditors. The appointment of a trustee is a requirement of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

It is said that the Association has assets which include the Home of Football and acres of land valued at approximately $75 million. Surely the Association can use these assets to settle its creditors!

An independent third-party valuation is still to be conducted to determine the value of the TTFA’s assets.

Is TTFA being dissolved?

No, the TTFA is not being dissolved; the organisation will continue to operate normally under the supervision of the NC while the trustee meets with creditors to validate their claims and develops a payment proposal to settle the TTFA’s outstanding debt. This process will allow the NC to build the foundation for the rehabilitation of the TTFA.

Have other options to this approach been considered by the TTFA?

Several options were considered and reviewed with our consultants EY and this was determined to be the best and most viable; the TTFA’s assets are protected while a fair and transparent repayment plan for the TTFA’s creditors is developed with the oversight of an independent trustee and the administration of football continues without interruption.

Can the TTFA enter into new contracts during this process?

Yes, the TTFA will continue to operate normally, under the supervision of the NC.

RELATED NEWS

‘A smart move’, ‘laughable’, ‘farming out their duties’; TTFA members and creditors respond to NC.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


Before lunch yesterday, Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad faced off against former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) technical director Kendall Walkes in a virtual hearing of the local high court.

Walkes was represented legally by Keston McQuilkin and Melissa Keisha Roberts-John. Attorney Stephen Salandy is believed to have appeared for the TTFA, which is being run by the normalisation committee at present.

In September 2019, Justice Joan Charles ordered the TTFA to pay TT$5.4 mil to Walkes for breach of contract and unpaid wages. Thus far, Walkes has collected roughly TT$300,000 from the local football body back—and, even then, he needed a garnishee order on 16 March 2020 to get it.

Fifa’s intervention in the twin island republic, on 17 March 2020, was supposed to improve the fate of creditors like Walkes. A key component of its normalisation committee’s mandate is: ‘to establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA’.

Yet, the Hadad-led body not only failed to engage in active dialogue with Walkes—and previous employees like Stephen Hart, Anton Corneal, Russell Latapy and Dennis Lawrence—but offers little transparency on the millions that it receives from Fifa, on behalf of the TTFA.

Yesterday’s hearing should have been one step towards clearing up the latter.

“We filed an application in July and, as a result of that application, the hearing was set for [yesterday],” Roberts-John told Wired868. “The application was for the TTFA to disclose its financial books and accounts with respect to its income and outcome and where they are keeping their money, so we can know specifically what they have in terms of assets. It was a request for an examination of their accounts essentially.

“Because the TTFA did not yet have a lawyer on record, I gave Hadad a reminder last Friday with respect to the July application and the hearing.”

On the very next working day, Monday 8 November, the TTFA notified the Office of the Supervisor of Insolvency of ‘its intent to make a proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Trinidad and Tobago’.

“The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) of Trinidad and Tobago provides an avenue for individuals or organisations in financial difficulty to seek the protection of the courts from litigation,” Hadad told the TTFA Media, in a press release yesterday, “while they develop a payment proposal and negotiate with creditors to settle outstanding debt through a court supervised process that is fair, transparent, and equitable.”

What did Roberts-John think when she was informed of Hadad’s legal manoeuvre through the press—so soon after her phone call, without warning, and just hours before their own court date?

Walkes’ attorney gave a mirthless laugh. Although their hearing will resume on December, she knows they can be little meaningful progress while the BIA is in effect.

“It is an ongoing matter,” she said, “and I don’t want to jeopardise my client’s case by telling you my thoughts on that [TTFA move]!”

British football agent Mike Berry, who represents Lawrence, was more blunt.

“It looks like another expensive delaying tactic by the normalisation committee, on top of the lack of action over the last 18 months so far,” said Berry. “No doubt the appointed trustee and Hadad and company will carry on being paid their costly fees while the creditors continue to wait!”

And how do TTFA stakeholders feel?

Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association (TTFRA) president Osmond Downer, one of the authors of the TTFA Constitution, said he received several phone calls on Monday from members who wanted to know if the normalisation committee could turn to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act without consulting them.

In Downer’s opinion, Hadad is on solid ground from a constitutional standpoint.

Article 82 of the TTFA Constitution states: ‘Any decision relating to the dissolution of TTFA requires a majority of three quarters of all of the Members, which must be obtained at a general meeting specially convened for the purpose.’

“They have not declared bankruptcy, so this doesn’t fall under that,” said Downer. “The main mandate of the normalisation committee was to try to solve the big debt. So they are not bound to call a general meeting to inform members about this because it falls within the mandate given by Fifa.

“[…] If the feeling is that they will be able to deal with the debt easier without having the creditors on the back [through the Act] and this move can allow them to do that ‘in peace’, then it is a smart move.

“Otherwise the creditors could have moved in on the TTFA at any time… So there is nothing wrong with it.”

A qualified accountant with knowledge of the local football scene, who spoke to Wired868 on condition of anonymity, was less impressed.

The normalisation committee has stopped using the TTFA’s established bank accounts, without informing the general meeting or even its own employees about where it banks.

Article 8(d) of the Fifa Forward Development Programme Regulations (under which member associations receive between US$1 mil (TT$6.8 mil) and $2.5 mil (TT$17 mil) annually from the global governing body) states that its subvention must go to a ‘bank account in [the name of the football association] with a bank in the country in which it has its registered headquarters’.

So where is Fifa’s money going?

The accountant suggested it was immoral and possibly illegal to ‘hide’ income from creditors.

“What would you call it,” he asked, “if your creditor has a court order against you […] and you change where the funds are going so they can’t access it?

“Basically, you’re disrespecting our courts and breaking your own statutes.”

Roberts-John confirmed that it was her client’s concern that TTFA was continuing business as usual in apparent disregard to its debt, which forced them to turn to the courts in an effort to compel Hadad to be transparent.

“I cannot state for a fact what money they have got but I am under the belief that they are getting money from Fifa, like most associations have,” she said. “We were told a payment plan is being put into place but nothing was forthcoming. Hence why my client has to take these proceedings.”

Since Hadad and company are Fifa employees, is the global body somehow involved in the act of depriving the TTFA’s former employees of money due to them under a court order?

“I reserve my comment on that,” said Roberts-John. “Again it is an ongoing matter and I don’t want to prejudice my client’s case in any shape or form.”

Ironically, Article 22 of Fifa’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players stipulates that the world governing body will only get involved in disputes when it has an ‘international dimension’.

The effect of this ruling is that foreign employees can go directly to Fifa for redress, with the global body generally compensating them directly from Fifa Forward money due to the Association.

This option was taken by former coaches like Even Pellerud, Wim Rijsbergen, Carolina Morace, and even Stuart Charles-Fevrier—a St Lucian who resides in Trinidad.

Meanwhile not only are local coaches denied the opportunity to be compensated through Fifa, but the global body’s own employees are, allegedly, keeping funds due to creditors outside of their grasp.

The accountant noted that Hadad’s pivot towards the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act was not novel. Fifa suggested using that legal avenue to late former president Raymond Tim Kee and William Wallace—whose tenure was cut short by normalisation.

Tim Kee and Wallace both felt ‘hitting the reset button’ on the TTFA’s debts was unfair to creditors, who were often ‘football people’ themselves.

“If your big plan to reduce the TTFA’s debt is to put the thing in receivership and pay cents on the dollar,” the accountant noted, “then how is that significantly different from anything that happened before?

“And you’re talking nonsense about ‘we are not bankrupt, we are insolvent’. Technically that’s true but it is laughable because the effect is the same; you are telling creditors you cannot pay them and trying to play smart with stupidness.

“[…] I can understand why they would take this step. Does it make sense? Yes it does and there is a case to be made for it—unless you are a creditor, of course. But to act as if this is something new that they came up with is not true.”

Hadad’s suggestion that the normalisation committee has not increased the TTFA’s debt raised eyebrows, particularly as the local body is not believed to have finished paying off Terry Fenwick’s coaching staff.

And if, as Hadad claimed, the sale of the TTFA Home of Football is ‘definitely an option’ then that would be a surprise to anyone with knowledge of Fifa regulations. Wallace was allegedly told the opposite by Fifa officials, during his short tenure.

“I don’t see how [the sale of the Home of Football in part or whole] is even remotely possible,” said ex-TTFA Board member Keith Look Loy, who is a former Fifa development officer and Concacaf technical study group member, “because Fifa regulations prohibit the sale of infrastructure which it has financed, while the land on which it is built is Government-owned and leased to the Association.

“Of course, all three parties—TTFA, FIFA and the Government—formed an unholy alliance to remove the United TTFA administration, so perhaps laws will be set aside to continue the tragicomedy we have been watching since March 2020.”

In Look Loy’s opinion, Hadad and fellow committee members, Judy Daniel, Nigel Romano and Trevor Nicholas Gomez, have long proven themselves to be unsuited to the running of the local game.

“I am not at all surprised by this turn of events,” said Look Loy. “Never mind the bravado of the related statement, the normalisation committee has long shown that it has no ideas and that it cannot address TTFA’s debt other than by mendicancy.

“[…] Indeed, the NC has amply demonstrated that it cannot handle TTFA business, as a whole. Members are not included in decision making, there is no transparency in TTFA operations, and football has ground to a halt—not only because of the pandemic but also because of NC disinterest and incapacity.

“Those who were vociferous against [the United TTFA] have long fallen silent in the face of NC failure. Pity the national game.”

Berry concurred for the most part. He said he was stunned that, after 19 months, Hadad, Daniel and Romano were now set to pay a third party to validate debts and evaluate assets.

At US$6,500 (TT$44,000) a month, Hadad is believed to have earned US$123,500 (TT$838,000) since he took up his current Fifa post while Daniel and Romano stood to pocket US$76,000 each (TT$516,000) at US$4,000 (TT$27,000) per month.

Neither Fifa nor the normalisation committee members confirmed their pay packet but the figures suggested are standard for appointees across the globe. If the same figure was paid here, it would mean the trio collectively received US$275,500 (TT$1.87 mil) for their work since March 2020.

The question is: what have they done for local football?

“Basically Hadad is just delegating his own responsibilities to third parties—Ernest and Young, Grant Thornton Orbit Solutions, and now an independent trustee [Maria Daniel],” said Berry. “Are the normalisation committee, who are two accountants, one banker and a lawyer, not capable of validating creditors themselves?!

“He has been saying for 18 months that he is producing a payment plan and looking to evaluate the assets; and now he says he is farming both tasks out to a costly third party! What’s he getting paid for?!”

Although Downer was fine with Hadad’s decision to invoke the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, he told Wired868 that he does have a problem with the length of time taken to make the decision.

“The quantum of the debt and the number of creditors was known by the normalisation committee since at least January,” said Downer. “Why didn’t they make this move earlier so as to fall within the time limit given by Fifa, which stipulates that their term should end in March 2022? Why wait until now, which is four months from March?”

Outgoing Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis believes the answer is obvious.

“It’s very clear to me that the Bureau of the Fifa Council will extend the mandate of the normalisation committee of the TTFA, which is due to expire March 2022,” said Lewis, who expects Hadad’s team to get a six-month extension in the first instance to continue to ‘oversee’ the ‘debt repayment plan’.

There is, as he noted, precedence for such an extension.

Egypt was normalised on 20 August 2019, while Pakistan met the same fate on 13 September 2019.

Egypt’s normalisation committee was due to be replaced on 31 July 2020, yet the Bureau of the Fifa Council—headed by Fifa president Gianni Infantino—extended its term on three occasions. Pakistan’s normalisation process was extended on four occasions on 15 June 2020, 31 December 2020, 30 June 2021, and then on 30 September 2021.

Article 8.2 of the Fifa Statutes, which deals with normalisation, states: ‘executive bodies of member associations may under exceptional circumstances be removed from office by the Council, in consultation with the relevant confederation, and replaced by a normalisation committee for a specific period of time.’

Much has been said about the vagueness of the term ‘exceptional circumstances’, which allows Fifa to step in and take over the running of any member association. But ‘a specific period of time’ appears to be equally fluid.

Incidentally, Pakistan tired of its normalisation committee and former football president Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah ‘reclaimed control’ of the body in March 2021.

“We went to meet [normalisation committee chairman Haroon Malik] and handed him the letter that we have got a mandate from the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Congress and executive committee to reassume the PFF charge,” said Shah, in a report in the Pakistan press.

“I told him that we had given the normalisation committee the charge in good faith in September 2019, with the hope that it would hold the PFF elections in a fair and transparent way within the Fifa mandate.

“But it did not do anything in the past 18 months.”

Fifa promptly suspended the PFF from all international football, even as it continues to pay its normalisation committee members in the country. However, Pakistani journalist Umaid Wasim told Wired868 that Pakistan’s national league is ongoing at present while Shah is making efforts to reclaim the PFF’s headquarters.

Ironically, despite being ostracised by Fifa, there is more football in Pakistan than Trinidad and Tobago at present.

“Football in Trinidad and Tobago now is at a total standstill and if we continue beyond March, irreparable damage will be done to our football,” said Downer. “It will be a good day in March when the normalisation committee has completed its job and elections have taken place, so we can have all the standing committees functioning and football can get going again.

“Covid is certainly no excuse. You could have your standing committees like your technical committee, your referees committee, your medical committees, etc, making plans for the restart of football—so when the normalisation committee finishes its functions, you don’t have to start from scratch.

“[…] Okay, so the debt might have been cleared by the time they leave or there may be plans to do so, but what about the football?!”

If Hadad has not charmed football stakeholders, he is not faring much better with creditors.

Roberts-John noted the TTFA’s statement that the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act would allow the local football body ‘a stay from all legal proceedings and creditor actions for a period of up to six months’. In reality, the BIA offers only a 30-day stay but the debtor can apply for this to be extended up to a maximum of five times.

Is Hadad suggesting that the TTFA already intends to ‘drag on’ the process for as long as possible? Would that be interpreted as a signal of good faith by long-suffering creditors?

“The normalisation committee has always been very quiet and silent—that is what gets to most creditors,” said Roberts-John. “You don’t know where they are at and what they are thinking. The silence is deafening and it aggravates the matter.

“If there was frequent and open communication, we would all be more at ease.”

Downer echoed the complaint.

“With this normalisation committee, the members are almost powerless,” said Downer. “From the very start, the members were put aside and ignored in Trinidad and Tobago—that is a fact. As I told you before, there is no comparison to Guyana who had a very successful normalisation experience.

“In Guyana, the first thing [the normalisation committee] did was call a general meeting and establish standing committees, like the referees and technical committees, which started working one time. We have nothing of the sort.

“Sure Covid is preventing people from going on the field but there is no planning going on at all. Our national youth teams [who are exempted from Covid-19 restrictions] are not training either.

“I suppose people have to hold their breath and just wait for the normalisation committee to leave. But we will be in a very poor state at every level of our football by the time they do.”

The anonymous accountant suggested that the TTFA members, who voted to accept Fifa’s normalisation committee, had questions to ask themselves:

‘What has been better since normalisation? What has gotten worse? What is the same? Is there more transparency or accountability?’

Editor’s Note: Since Gianni Infantino was elected Fifa president in February 2016, Fifa has ‘normalised’ over a dozen countries including: Guinea, Guatemala, Greece, Argentina, Thailand, Mali, Benin, Madagascar[2], the Dominican Republic[3], Egypt[4], Comoros[5], Iraq[6], Pakistan[7], Venezuela[8], Namibia[9] and Trinidad and Tobago.


7
Football / Re: Kennya Cordner Thread
« on: November 19, 2021, 01:16:03 PM »
Cordner leaves Norwegian champs for Turkish club
By Joel Bailey (T&T Newsday).


VETERAN TRINIDAD and Tobago women's football team midfielder/striker Kennya 'YaYa' Cordner has left IL Sandviken in Norway to join Fenerbahce in Turkey for the 2022 season.

Cordner, who turned 33 on November 11, ended her four-year stint at IL Sandviken on a winning note, as the club claimed the Norwegian Women's Cup on November 7.

The Fenerbahce's women team was only formed in August and Cordner, who has experiences at the club level in the United States, Sweden, Australia and Paraguay, is expected to be one of the club's headline names.

On her Facebook page on Friday, Cordner wrote, "Jah jah gave me this talent to show the world that ladies from the sweet beautiful twin island Trinidad and Tobago can do it anywhere in the world as I embark on this new journey Lord I pray you guide my every steps an that you keep me grounded in Jesus mighty name Amen."

Cordner scored in her last appearance for T&T - a 1-1 draw against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on October 25.


8
Football / Re: Jomal Williams Thread.
« on: November 18, 2021, 01:20:37 AM »
Williams racially abused by former club fans.
By Nigel Simon (T&T Guardian).


The ugly side of the beautiful game of football rose its head on Saturday when T&T international Jomal Williams of Luis Angel Firpo was racially abused by fans of his former club Isidro Metapan during an El Salvador Apertura Primera Division match at Estadio Jorge Calero Suarez, Metapan.

While the defeat dented Williams and Firpo’s push for the top spot as they remained fourth with 29 points from 19 matches, one ahead of Once Deportivo on the 12 team table, 13 points behind leaders Alianza, the match will be remembered more for the insults directed the way of the T&T international.

After the match Williams writing on his own Twitter handle soy_jomalwilliams10 expressed his disgust with the behaviour of the spectators saying: After 3 years of blood sweat and tears in the colors of @adimetapansv tonight hearing all the racist comments from the fans really broke my heart but this is life I’ll move on from here and I’ll always wish them good luck.

The actions of the home fans also caught the attention of Central American Sports presenter Jerry Quijada who wrote on his Twitter handle @ JerryQuidadaTV: Outrageous that "people" yelled "Ape" at Jomal Williams at the Metapan Firpo game, (at his former home). Shameful that these signs of racism still take place in our stadiums, where beyond "breaking hearts" it is a sign of an immature and intolerant society.

After a scoreless first 45 minutes in which five yellow cards were shown the 27-year-old Williams who played for Isidro Metapan during the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 seasons and scored 18 goals in 59 matches, opened the scoring for the visitors in the 65th minute.

The strike by Williams was his 13th goal of the season, to join Duvier Riascos of Alianza as the league's top scorer.

However, Williams, formerly of local club W Connection was also yellow-carded for his exuberant celebrations afterward and eight minutes later, he was issued a second yellow card to leave his team to play out the rest of the match with ten players.

And with five minutes left in the match, Metapan made their man advantage count when Nestor Renderos fired in the equaliser, and two minutes later Denilson Castillo got the go-ahead item to send the home crowd into a frenzy.

There was still time for more twists in the heated encounter with two more red card expulsions, first, Firpo’s Luis Canales, in the 91st minute, quickly followed by Metapan’s Diego Gregori, some seconds later.


9
Football / Re: Women U-20 Football Thread
« on: November 17, 2021, 07:51:32 AM »
Anton Corneal slams lack of Trinidad and Tobago Women's U20 squad.
By Joel Bailey (T&T Newsday).


FORMER technical director of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), Anton Corneal, has slammed the lack of a squad, as well as technical staff, for the T&T Under-20 women’s team, ahead of the 2022 Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship, which will take place in the Dominican Republic from February 25 to March 12.

T&T have been drawn in Group G, along with Canada, El Salvador and St Kitts/Nevis.

But there is only one active T&T Women’s team – the senior team – who played a pair of friendly international matches against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva in October.

Chairman of the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee, which runs the TTFA’s daily affairs, Robert Hadad, was asked via Whatsapp on Tuesday when will a technical staff be appointed, when will the team begin training and if the team will be given at least an international warm-up match before the Concacaf Championship.

Hadad replied, “A release that addresses all these issues will be released soon.”

Corneal, who briefly served as T&T women’s coach in 2018, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday, “It seems as though football has been placed on the backburner, all aspects of football, or (it’s) not taken as a priority.”

The ex-T&T midfielder and youth team coach said, “Hopefully, it would be better in the long run because it’s quite clear there is no evident plan that anyone is able to see. Unfortunately, it’s the football that suffers. It’s the people that play football that’s suffering. We have to pray that areas of development can be rectified in the near future.”


10
Football / Re: Men's U-20 Football Team Thread.
« on: November 17, 2021, 07:48:07 AM »
Tiger Tanks to invest $1.5M in U-20 football tourney.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).


A $1.5-million-dollar Tiger Tanks-sponsored Under-20 Football Tournament is set to kick off in February next year and is expected to be used in the future for the preparation of national teams.

Dennis Latiff, Tiger Tanks' general manager revealed his plans on Tuesday but he made it clear that play will be subjected to the government's return-to-play orders regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Latiff, an emerging sporting pride in the southland, said the tournament will be held for one month among 14 selected teams, 10 from Trinidad and the other four from the sister isle of Tobago, with the winner due to cash in on a $20, 000 first prize cheque and $10, 000 for the runner-up.

Latiff told Guardian Media Sports on Tuesday that the prize structure could change before the start of the tournament, as the quantity of potential sponsors increases. However, if all goes well with the tournament it will lead to a resulting Under-20 League to be held at a time to be decided, Latiff said.

Latiff's $1.5 million output will include monies for prizes, investment to have live matches and other games on television, payment of two uniforms each (home and away) for every team, insurance for all players, payment of officials (referees, linesmen, commissioners), sponsorship for a social media platform, sponsorship for marketing of the tournament, and a $1,500 incentive for the best defender, best midfielder, best forward, best coach, most goals and man of the match.

He said, invitations were sent to 24 teams from both the T&T Pro League and the T&T Super League, but FC Santa Rosa, a Super League contender has refused to accept, while three other teams La Horquetta Rangers, Cunupia FC and Point Fortin Civic FC are undecided about their participation.

"In the first instance, it is going to be a tournament and after we see how that takes off then it may turn into a league. It will be like the 10 teams here. The Tobago teams will play each other twice in a round-robin play-off, but in Trinidad, we're not too sure because we're looking at the times and so on, that we will get for the stadia, but most likely, it would be each one play one another over here. We haven't gotten permission as yet, everything is being planned and whenever the government says that we're able to play football, whatever guidelines that they have in place, we will put in place. So it's just preparation for when football opens. When that happens we will have everything there and ready to go. The only thing that will be put in place then will be the guidelines for COVID-19," Latiff explained.

He continued. "I want to help with this league to prepare national teams. I am not saying we're only picking national people from it, but I want to use this to prepare national teams. A lot more will come pretty soon with this league, we should be laying out things by Friday (November 19) of this week. It was supposed to be last Friday but there was a little setback, some people got sick and so on and I had to wait on them to finish something that they didn't finish."

He gave the assurance that all teams, coaches, officials, spectators and everyone who would be involved in the tournament will be required to be fully vaccinated in accordance with government's 'vaccinate to operate' mandate.

On November 5, the Minister of Health Terrance Deyalsingh blanked a proposal by the Ascension Football Tournament of T&T to have a League played in an all-vaccinated environment. That League was scheduled to incorporate teams from both the T&T Super League and T&T Pro League etc and was expected to be guided by some 30 rules and regulations to guard against the COVID-19 pandemic.


11
Football / Re: Zonal Football League Thread
« on: November 12, 2021, 01:31:18 AM »
Football stakeholders demand to play in 'safe zones'
By  Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).


Members of the group of Footballer stakeholders walked along Hart Street in Port-of-Spain in protest of not being allowed to play football. They want Government to allowed football to play in safe zones.

A more-than-scary statistic, which shows that more than 30,000 young people have lost their jobs due to the government's refusal to allow sport, as an industry to be played, has led to a group of concerned footballers to take to the streets of Port-of-Spain yesterday in a and show the disappointment via a silent protest, calling for football, in particular, to be played.

The group of football players, coaches and other officials wore red T-shirts with the words - 'Let football play in safe zones,' printed on them following the government's decision to shut down sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic almost two years ago.

Their walk, which began at the bottom of Henry Street, near the South Quay, and proceeded through the capital city, via Independence Square, up Frederick Street to Woodford Square, then down Abrecromby street towards the office of the Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe, whose Ministry of Sports and Community Development office is housed at Nicholas Tower on Independence Square, with an aimed at sending a message to her about the apparent unfair treatment being dished out to sports in general, and football in particular, as all other industries are allowed to 'vaccinate and operate' according to a call by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley a few months ago to the business community.

Michael De Four, Director of Football at central club Cunupia FC who was one of the organisers of the peaceful walk, said his team alone has lost three players due to the shut-down. He told Guardian Media Sports on Thursday: "Football in T&T should be an industry. I did some stats and there are about 30,000 people in T&T that play football at some sort of competitive level, separated by another 25,000, who use football as a recreational activity. The industry generates an estimated TT$800,000 in economic activity annually and that has been shut down. So you're talking about some 20,000 to 30,000 young people who are out of some form of income. We're saying that after an entity decided to follow Government's proposal to vaccinate to operate, we were denied and that was the catalyst that provoked us to come to this peaceful walk to do like the business community and make a statement without saying a word. We've lost three players, one to crime, he was not going to come back. We lost one to drugs, not the legal drugs but the illegal drugs, and we've lost another one who just doesn't want to play football again, and these are truly talented individuals. And that is just one team. We have over 120 competitive teams in Trinidad and Tobago," De Four explained.

When the march reached Abercromby street, heading southwards, police officers, both on foot patrol and in vehicles made their presence felt, by stopping some of the participants and fielding questions to the group about the event. However, the march was allowed to continue after De Four, the Cunupia football boss ease the concerns of the officers by ensuring them that the required numbers of 10 persons per groups were maintained during the march.

The Ministries of Health and Sports were singled out by the the football stakeholders, as well as Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley as the only ones with the power to affect change from the march, but following the presentation of the budget in October in which no additional funding was given to sports, De Four said he was neither confident that sports will return, disappointed that the ministry of sports could not put forward a case for sports to be returned to play, nor even certain that a case was made at all by the ministry for on-the-field sports to be returned.

Meanwhile, Randolph Boyce, the Central Soccer World coach echoed similar sentiments, saying there was not even an attempt to allow sports to be returned.

According to Boyce, they're not fighting against the health issues, but they want to know or ask if they can be given something in principle. "Give us something that we could work with on when sports would start back to play. There is the Pro League, there is the Super League, there are zones, there are football academies, so you can start at the highest level, where it will be trials and errors. And if you have to shut it down then we could understand that, but you're not starting it at all, so to us, there are no plans at all."

RELATED NEWS

Coach De Four: Footballers lost to crime, drugs amid sport shutdown.
By Jelani Beckles (T&T Newsday).


LOCAL stakeholders said footballers have fallen by the wayside to crime and the next generation of talented T&T players at a disadvantage with football, and sport in general, being on the sidelines for almost two years.

Roughly 25 coaches, players, administrators and supporters of local football marched through Port of Spain on Thursday morning to not only resume football but sports.

The group walked along the Brian Lara Promenade, Frederick Street and also gathered by the Red House while following covid19 protocols.

More than an hour after the march began they ended their walk outside the Ministry of Sport and Community Development’s office at Nicholas Towers.

The protestors wore red t-shirts saying “Let Football Play in a Safe Zone.”

Among those who attended the protest were director and coach of Cunupia FC Michael De Four, Unified Football Coaches of T&T interim president Jefferson George, coach of Central Soccer World/Cunupia FC Randolph Boyce and All Blacks FC official Simon Francis.

De Four, speaking to the media outside the Red House, said, “Financially (we have been affected by no football), health-wise…I could give an example (that) we have lost three players. We lost one to crime, he is not going to come back if you understand what I mean. We have lost one to drugs, not the legal drugs, (but) the illegal drugs and we just lost one. He just don’t want to play football again. These were truly talented individuals and I am just one team. They have over 120 competitive teams in Trinidad.”

Francis also spoke about players turning to negative activities.

He said, “I represent grassroots football in T&T. Grassroots football is very important because it is community-based football. Imagine right now in my community of South Oropouche I can take my vaccination card, my son’s vaccination card (or) some of my players vaccination cards and go by a bar and have a drink, but I cannot under the present measures carry those footballers to train and play football and that in itself is fundamentally wrong.”

He added, “We have been down for about 19, 20 months and for 20 months now if we had up and coming Dwight Yorkes, Russell Latapys amongst us we could kiss that goodbye.

“Sports bring discipline…in South Oropouche I have been able to fight crime by young men training and playing football.”

A few sports, including golf, have been allowed during the covid19 pandemic but team sports and contact sports are still waiting.

The Government, however, did permit the national senior women’s football team to play two international friendlies against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, last month.

The protest followed Government’s decision to blank the Ascension League’s proposal to resume football.

On November 2, the Ascension League issued a statement to the Ministry of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe, normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad and Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago chairman Douglas Camacho. It was signed by tournament director Kieron Edwards.

The proposal said all the players and coaches are vaccinated.

Three days later, Deyalsingh said permission to start the league cannot be granted at this time because of the delta variant.

Boyce is asking the Government to give sport a chance.

“There is the Pro League, Super League, zones, academies. Start at the highest level and if it have trial and error and you have to shut it down then we could understand that, but you are not starting at all. It means to us there are no policies, they put us in a corner…if you have to find a safe zone we are willing.”

A month ago, the Government allowed more businesses to open for vaccinated people called safe zones. They included gyms, cinemas and casinos.

George said the march was not only about football.

“The public must remember that is not just football, but it is sport in general that has been put on the shelf proverbially since last year…we know from research that engaging in sport is one way that we can keep our bodies healthy.”


12
Football / Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« on: November 11, 2021, 01:30:30 AM »
Awai agrees with Minister Deyalsingh's Ascension blank.
By Nigel Simon (T&T Guardian).


Michael Awai a stakeholder in local football and the former AC Port of Spain Business Development Manager agrees with the decision by Minister of Health, Dr Terrence Deyalsingh to blank permission to the Ascension Football Tournament organisers for the start of their ten-club competition at this time.

This is despite Awai being the owner of one of the teams expected to be involved in the competition, AC Port-of-Spain.

On May 1, the Ascension Football Tournament Director Kieron Edwards wrote to the Ministry of Health proposing a tournament to be played at La Horquetta Recreation Ground which would have featured only fully vaccinated players, staff and officials.

Among the other clubs who were set to compete in the first local football tournament since March 2020 were 2019 Ascension and Pro League champions Defence Force, Police FC, Cunupia FC, West Forte FC, Terminix La Horquetta Rangers FC, Malabar FC, Central FC, Central Soccer World FC and Deportivo PF.

As an added safety measure, the tournament organisers also hinted that only fully-vaccinated fans were to be allowed as they intended to apply strict Covid-19 protocols with the help of the La Horquetta Police.

Overall, the request was supported by a list of some 30 COVID-19 guidelines to be followed by all, to ensure the safety and protection of all involved, either taking part in the games, officiating, or supporting.

However on May 3, in reply to the request to the tournament financed by former T&TFA presidential candidate Richard Ferguson, Minister Terrence Deyalsingh informed Edwards that an exemption had been denied.

Minister Deyalsingh in his reply said: As you may be aware, the Emergency Powers (No.2) Regulations, 2021 (“the Regulations”), as amended by the Emergency Powers (Variation of Curfew Times No.5) Order, 2021 and the Ministry of Health’s Media Release (Statement No.12), provide inter alia:

3. (1) During the period of public emergency between the hours of 5.01 am to 9.59 pm. Every day, a person shall not –

(a) gather in any public place unless the gathering –

(i) for the purpose of the services is specified in sub-regulation (10);

(ii) does not exceed ten persons at a time

(b)…

(m) participate in any team sports,

(o) operate any sports clubs, including cycling, running, hiking, swimming, golf, tennis, football, rugby, and hockey clubs except where authorised by the Minister.

I have received your request for an exemption pursuant to the Regulations, to commence the Ascension Football Tournament of T&T and as further delineated in your letter.

However, due to the community spread of the Delta Variant of Covid-19, I am unable to authorize the conduct of said Tournament at this time.

Notwithstanding, due consideration may be given to your request in the future, ended Minister Deyalsingh’s reply which was copied to the Minister of Sport and Community Development, Shamfa Cudjoe.

And commenting on the decision made, Awai first noted that the approach used by the organisers maybe been a problem.

He said, “I think that Richard Ferguson in his wisdom, I thought that he should have had a joint effort with the T&TFA approaching government.

“I believe he approached the government on his own and copied the T&TFA from what I read in the newspapers but he has every right to ask for what he is asking for as there is every reason why he wants the football to be played.”

“He is concerned about the young people in the country and I think that is very noble but at the same time we do have a pandemic, we do have a Delta Variant and 71 people died in a week albeit older people but the fact of the matter is that people are dying and unless and until the country gets to a point of where they can have what is call herd immunity then I don’t think any sport will play.”

“Yes, they will have a national team training in the Home of Football secluded, yes they will bring a team from Panama and play and stay in one place with no visitors etc, but once you start to say that okay we can play football every Tom, Dick and Harry will play football in the savannah, on the streets and it will be uncontrolled and then we can have spikes there and then we may have a problem again nationally, and I think that’s the reason why the Ministry of Health has been very very careful and very methodical and thoughtful in their whole approach in this whole mess as we call the covid pandemic .”

I think the indiscipline of the people in the country as well has played its role in the decision as could you imagine if they open the beaches this weekend what is going to happen, and football is not as bad as the beach, but just kind of get a que from that kind of excitement and you will get to understand what it is.

Every piece of green grass in this country would be covered with people playing football, no masks, people just playing and we could just have people getting ill all over again and we will have a big spike and then we will all be in a mess again.”

he added, "So I do think it’s a good thing not to start the football now and quite frankly I think January is not a bad time to start because generally, it has never been our practice to play football in December, and November is almost done.

“So I think they can wait, plan and monitor and review and then after a while they can say okay we can start to play football January 1.

In response to Minister Deyalsing’s decision, a group of players, coaches and other football officials are expected to the streets of Port-of-Spain, including at the office of Minister of Sports and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe on Thursday morning, to air their concerns on why football is not being played.

The group is being led by Michael De Four, coach of Cunupia FC and others, calling themselves concerned citizens of football.

According to a Guardian Media Sports report on Wednesday due to the limitations to protest or march, the group has printed jerseys they believe will help convey their message.

De Four insisted that his members are not into the business of breaking the laws, hence why they’re not playing football although the sport is allegedly going on at different locations across the country.

"You said, 'vaccinate to operate', that was a government slogan, but here it is an entity, is saying hey, everybody has been vaccinated and we’re ready to go, and you’re telling them no. So, we have a little issue with that, because the less we play football, the more the industry crumbles and crumbles, making it more difficult to recover from where we were, or attain the goals we would like to attain.”

De Four pleaded, “I would like the Minister of Health and the Sports Minister to show some compassion towards the sports fraternity and work with us as sports enthusiasts, at least to overcome this hurdle".


13
Football / Re: Unified Football Coaches of T&T Thread
« on: November 10, 2021, 01:43:45 AM »
Footballers, coaches, stakeholders to protest no-football tomorrow.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).


Fed-up of being denied the opportunity to play football, a group of players, coaches and other football officials will take to the streets of Port-of-Spain, including at the office of Minister of Sports and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe on Thursday morning, to air their concerns on why football is not being played.

The group is being led by Jefferson George, president of the Unified Football Coaches of T&T and Michael De Four, coach of Cunupia FC and others, calling themselves concerned citizens of football.

Knowing about the limitations to protest or march, the group has printed jerseys they believe will help convey their message. The group will assemble at a meeting point in the capital city on Thursday morning and will parade throughout the streets, focuing on several Ministries, De Four said yesterday.

Their concerns stem from a written request made by the Ascension Football Tournament of T&T to Minister of Health Terrance Deyalsingh, asking for permission to host its football competition.

The request was supported by a list of some 30 COVID-19 guidelines to be followed by all, to ensure the safety and protection of all involved, either taking part in the games, officiating, or supporting.

However, Deyalsingh in a written response a few days later blanked the tournament, based on the current delta variant which has been sweeping through communities in T&T.

Following an announcement by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to ‘vaccinate to operate’ a few months ago, it was further announced that restaurants, bars and casinos were also opened within the limitations of safe zones.

De Four insisted that his members are not into the business of breaking the laws, hence why they’re not playing football although the sport is allegedly going on at different locations across the country.

He said: “We’re in a state of disarray when the government could announce that fully vaccinated and you can drink alcohol in safe zones, and the same thing applies to go in the casinos, and we are fully vaccinated, referees and everybody but you’re saying no.

"You said, 'vaccinate to operate', that was a government slogan, but here it is an entity, is saying hey, everybody has been vaccinated and we’re ready to go, and you’re telling them no. So, we have a little issue with that, because the less we play football, the more the industry crumbles and crumbles, making it more difficult to recover from where we were, or attaining the goals we would like to attain.”

Not much will be said during the walk, with the hope that as people (players/coaches etc) following the call to be vaccinated to operate, that the message will be sent loud and clear to the powers that be.

“We will be marching through Port-of-Spain, we’re going to touch one or two ministries. Of course, the Ministry of Sports must get in touch, but we will pass around it and then come back down the road during a peaceful walk.

"I think it will be a combination of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sports. I will not be able to call out all the ministries, although I would like the ministers and the sports minister to show some compassion towards the sports fraternity and work with us as sports enthusiasts, at least to overcome this hurdle," De Four said.


14
Awai supports TTFA Normalisation Committee's strategic approach.
By Nigel Simon (T&T Guardian).


Michael Awai, an official of the AC Port-of-Spain, says the move by the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee (NC) of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) to appoint Maria Daniel, a Licensed Trustee, to manage the debt proposal process which will be guided by the rules of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, Chapter 9:70, is a good one.

According to the TTFA release on Monday and an Ernst & Young report, dated April 9, 2021, which put the TTFA’s total outstanding liabilities and unasserted claims (contingent liabilities) at approximately TT$98.5 million.

The release outlined the process which will include meetings with and the submission of claims (and supporting documents) by all creditors; a review and verification of the claims; and the development of a proposal to deal with the valid outstanding liabilities.

Once the proposal has been developed and approved by the creditors, it will be sanctioned by the Courts and the NC, headed by chairman Robert Hadad, will proceed to implement the proposal following its terms.

During the development of the proposal and its implementation, the NC’s day-to-day management of the TTFA will be unaffected.

Commenting on Daniel’s appointment, Awai told Guardian Media Sports that Daniel will be coming in as the receiver officially so that she will go through with the creditors the contingent liabilities and determine the real balances owed by the TTFA and the ones that are in doubt and come to a decision by taking it to the Court and get a ruling from the Court to establish what is the true balance owed by the TTFA.

He added, “I think it is very strategic because they (NC) don’t seem to have a plan as yet or maybe they do have one and they are not sharing it on how they are going to repay TT$98.5 million."

Awai said the process of hiring a Trustee was always open to the NC and all involved would have known about it and as they were then trying to get the support of the membership.

He said: "Because you can understand that if the accounts were not passed they would not have gotten any money to continue paying people salaries, coaches and people in the administration and so on, and I think that was key to the accounts being passed.”

Questioned as to whether the total value of TTFA’s asset which includes the Home of Football (HoF) and acres of land valued at approximately $75 million could be used to settle with its creditors to which Hadad said an independent third-party valuation is to be conducted to determine that figure and at this stage, all options are on the table including the sale of the HoF.

Awai said the plans being put forward by the NC seems a sort of sell or lease and buy back, or sell and lease situation when it comes to the HoF.

He added, “I think they (NC) like to talk the worse things and then they give you what the real thing is. They are very strategic in their information and the time of their releases and I am not at all excited nor scared about what they are doing, but I think they are on the right path. They have taken their time and I think the move has kicked the can down the road for another six months in order where they can get more information via the court who will establish all the balances that need to be established."

He continued: “And I think in six months they will come to the end of the tenure of the NC and they may have an extension so they can regularise and identify and deal with the balances through the court by the TTFA and secondly by the time they should have in place a plan to deal with the repayment of the debt."

However, Awai was upbeat that the HoF would remain under the ownership of the local federation saying, “I don’t believe, however, that we will sell the HoF as I don’t think it is theirs to sell because it is not a private sector business. It’s an organisation and I don’t believe the government will allow them to sell it to be quite frank."

He said having been in charge of football for close to two years now the generating of funds by the NC to help the financially strained body is all down to timing more than anything else.

He explained: “They are trying to deal with the thing that will bury the TTFA, they are trying to establish the debt and when that is done the money that will come or the funding of US$1.5 million per annum from the FIFA they will be able to use that to help the national teams without having to be scared about anybody who may be taking the money in the bank when the money goes to the bank, particularly the people who have the executions over the judgment debt.

"After that is done the whole question of the HoF will allow the TTFA to breathe a little easier at least for six months to be able to finance the national teams going forward, and once they put a plan in place I believe only then that the businessmen will start to listen to the TTFA via Robert Hadad.

"It’s purely a matter of timing and so long as the timing is alright and it is synchronized properly, I believe it’s a whole national effort to get the football going forward."

However, Awai warned that if the NC was to shut down the TTFA and start a new one in 2022 he doesn’t think anyone will deal with them.

He said: “So in the next six months, I think they can bring in a marketing person to deal with not so much so of trying to pay the debt but to see how they can promote and market the HoF and there is a space just west of the stadium where they have concerts and parties and I think that is where they might be looking to see as part of the arrangement on how they can develop a sort of funding for football in general.”


15
TTFA Normalisation Committee appoints Trustee to negotiate debt repayment.
TTFA Media.


The FIFA appointed Normalisation Committee (NC) of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has moved one step closer to developing an implementable plan to address the TTFA’s long-term debt.

An Ernst & Young report, dated April 09, 2021, put the TTFA’s total outstanding liabilities and unasserted claims (contingent liabilities) at approximately TT$98.5 million.

The NC today (Monday November 8, 2021) notified the Supervisor of Insolvency of its intent to make a Proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Trinidad and Tobago which will enable a structured approach to the restructuring of the TTFA and the preparation of a fair, transparent and acceptable payment proposal to address the TTFA’s debt.

This process as it was designed, will allow the TTFA to manage its operations and provide a stay from all legal proceedings and creditor actions for a period of up to 6 months, thereby securing the TTFA’s assets while the management and NC work under the oversight of the independent Trustee to develop and present a proposal to address the TTFA’s debt to all creditors.

The NC has appointed Maria Daniel, a Licensed Trustee, to manage the debt proposal process, which will be guided by the rules of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, Chapter 9:70. The process will include meetings with and the submission of claims (and supporting documents) by all creditors; a review and verification of the claims; and the development of a proposal to deal with the valid outstanding liabilities. Once the proposal has been developed and approved by the creditors, it will be sanctioned by the Courts and the NC will proceed to implement the proposal in accordance with its terms. During the development of the proposal and its implementation, the NC’s day-to-day management of the TTFA will be unaffected.

Commenting on the decision to seek protection under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, NC chairman Robert Hadad said: “The TTFA is currently hamstrung with debt, and we can’t allow past mismanagement and poor governance to cripple the future of football or indeed its daily operations.

“This option, under the supervision of the Supervisor of Insolvency, the Trustee and the courts, ensures transparency, equity and independence in the process while, at the same time, ensuring that our current subventions are used for the day-to-day running of the TTFA and its present and future needs. The intent is to rehabilitate as opposed to dissolve the TTFA with a view to preserving continuity and the development of football in Trinidad and Tobago for future generations.”

MORE – BACKGROUND

On March 17th, 2020, the international governing body for football, the Fédération International de Football Association (FIFA), announced the Bureau of FIFA Council’s decision to appoint a normalization committee (NC), in accordance with Art. 8 Par. 2 of the FIFA Statutes.

The mandate given to the NC included:

•   Run the TTFA’s daily affairs
•   Establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA
•   Review and amend the TTFA Statutes (and other regulations where necessary) and to ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress; and
•   Organize and to conduct elections of a new TTFA Executive Committee for a four-year mandate.


FIFA appointed Mr. Robert Hadad (Chairperson), Ms. Judy Daniel (Deputy Chairperson), Mr. Nigel L. Romano (Member) and Mr. Trevor (Nicholas) Gomez (Member) to serve as members of the Normalization Committee (NC). One (1) additional committee member can be appointed. The NC’s tenure, which includes acting as an electoral committee “as none of these members will be eligible for any of the open positions in the TTFA elections under any circumstances,” expires upon the execution of their mandate “but no later than 24 months after its members have been official appointed by FIFA.”

MORE – QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Has the Normalisation Committee filed for Bankruptcy? Is the TTFA now bankrupt?

No. The Normalisation Committee has neither filed for bankruptcy nor has the TTFA been put into bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Trinidad and Tobago provides an avenue for individuals or organisations in financial difficulty to seek the protection of the Courts from litigation while they develop a payment proposal and negotiate with creditors to settle outstanding debt through a court supervised process that is fair, transparent, and equitable.

What happens to the individuals or organisations that have made successful claims against the TTFA in Court?

A stay of all such proceedings was automatically triggered by the filing of the Notice of Intent on November 8th 2021. This, in effect, will ensure that all creditors are treated equitably in the settlement of the TTFA’s debt.

Given the $98 million debt, how does the NC / TTFA plan to continue funding the running of football?

Filing the Notice of Intent to develop a payment proposal for creditors under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, gives the TTFA the protection of the Courts from claims on its current and future income – the TTFA’s existing assets will be used to deal with the existing debt. The day-to-day operations of the TTFA and future football activity will be funded with subventions from FIFA in the first instance.

What is the total value of the TTFA’s assets?

An independent third-party valuation is to be conducted to determine that figure.

Will the Home of Football be sold?

At this stage, all options are on the table; the sale of the Home of Football is definitely an option.

When will creditors be paid?

Acting under the supervision of the court, and guided by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, 2007, the TTFA has to develop a repayment proposal under the oversight of the Independent Trustee and get the approval of the creditors in a period of up to six months. The process will include meetings with and the submission of claims (and supporting documents) by all creditors; a review and verification of the claims; and the development of an approved repayment proposal to deal with all valid outstanding liabilities. Following this, a timeline will be agreed for payment to creditors.

Will creditors be paid in full?

The repayment proposal will be determined by the funding available to pay creditors, and will be made after all claims have been reviewed and verified by the Independent Trustee and those verified claims weighed against the TTFA’s ability to pay.

Is the NC taking this action so that it can extend its term beyond March 2022?

The tenure of the NC is wholly in the hands of FIFA. The decision to file a Notice of Intent to develop a repayment proposal for the TTFA’s creditors was taken because it is a court supervised process that ensures transparency, equity and independence while, at the same time, ensuring that the TTFA’s current subventions are used for the day-to-day running of the TTFA and its present and future needs.

How has the Association accumulated $98.5 million in debt and unasserted claims? Over how many years has this debt been accumulating? Who was responsible for this mismanagement over these years?

Decades of poor governance and a lack of proper internal controls characterized the operations of successive TTFA administrations and is the root cause for poor financial health and overall operational performance of the TTFA.

Has the Association accumulated additional debt since the NC was appointed?

No. During the past 12 months the NC has focused on improving the systems of governance and controls and has implemented several operational improvements, including the preparation of monthly management accounts; the introduction of improved compliance processes and procedures; enhanced systems and accounting software; and reviews by EY, FIFA and CONCACAF. The NC is in the process of implementing EY’s recommendations for new policies and procedures, use of technology and improved governance.

I know you indicated that the value of the accumulated debt and unasserted claims of the Association as at April 2021 is $98.5 million but what is the value of the Association’s assets?

An independent third-party valuation is to be conducted to determine that figure.

Why did the Association not seek funding relief from FIFA and GORTT to repay the debts of the Association?

Neither FIFA nor the GORTT has any legal obligation to repay debt accumulated by the TTFA as a result of mismanagement and poor governance.

The matter of contingent liabilities as at April 2021, what is the value of these liabilities, to whom are they due, and for what? Are these liabilities likely to crystallise and will they form part of the liabilities that the Association will have to settle?

The Licensed Trustee will meet with all creditors to ascertain the validity of each claim and make a final determination.

Why did the Association not simply take a loan from a bank or other lending institution equivalent to the liability and pay off its creditors?

With its accumulated debt and track record of poor management and governance, the TTFA would not qualify for a loan of the size necessary to settle its debt.

The NC has the responsibility, under their mandate, to develop a debt repayment plan. Why are they passing off their responsibilities assigned by FIFA to a Trustee?

By appointing an independent Trustee under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the NC is ensuring that the process for developing a repayment proposal, under the supervision of the court, would be fair, transparent and have the approval of the TTFA’s creditors. The appointment of a Trustee is a requirement of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

It is said that the Association has assets which include the Home of Football and acres of land valued at approximately $75 million, surely the Association can use these assets to settle its creditors!

An independent third-party valuation is still to be conducted to determine the value of the TTFA’s assets.

Is TTFA being dissolved?

No, the TTFA is not being dissolved; the organization will continue to operate normally under the supervision of the NC while the Trustee meets with creditors to validate their claims and develops a payment proposal to settle the TTFA’s outstanding debt. This process will allow the NC to build the foundation for the rehabilitation of the TTFA.

Have other options to this approach considered by the TTFA?

Several options were considered and reviewed with our consultants EY and this was determined to be the best and most viable; the TTFA’s assets are protected while a fair and transparent repayment plan for the TTFA’s creditors is developed with the oversight of an independent Trustee and the administration of football continues without interruption.

Can the TTFA enter into new contracts during this process?

Yes, the TTFA will continue to operate normally, under the supervision of the NC.


16
Football / Re: Kennya Cordner Thread
« on: November 02, 2021, 12:26:03 AM »
Kennya Cordner: New crop of Women Warriors capable.
T&T Newsday Reports.


TRINIDAD and Tobago women’s senior footballer Kennya Cordner believes the squad has potential and “something to build on” after earning two draws against Panama, last month.

T&T and Panama played to a goalless draw in the first encounter on October 21, at the Ato Boldon Stadium, in Couva, before Cordner’s strike helped T&T to a 1-1 draw in the second match on October 25 at the same venue.

Cordner is elated to return to national colours.

“It felt amazing because putting on the red, white and black I am not only representing myself but I am representing my people and it is always a privilege and an honour to go out there and represent my country,” Cordner told TT Football Association media.

The Norwegian-based professional was glad to get her name on the scoresheet immediately on her return to local football. The matches against Panama were T&T’s first matches since October 2019.

“It meant a lot for me after being away from this programme for so long and to come back and pick up where I left off. I was scoring goals when I was with the national team previously and now that I am back I am still doing the same thing.”

There are several inexperienced players on the team, but Cordner is one of the more seasoned campaigners on the team along with Maylee Attin-Johnson and the Forbes sisters – Kimika and Karyn.

Cordner believes there is quality in the team.

“It’s different, but I think we have something here that we can go further with. A lot of new faces…they are into the football more than anything so you get to understand from a practice standpoint and from an analysis standpoint. With the coaches and players and everything as I said it is fairly new, but this time around it is much better I would say than previously even though there are a lot of new faces but it is a stepping stone and I know we will build something together.”

In a message to her team-mates, Cordner said, “I would say keep working. We went there for the last two games and we showed that we are hard workers and we have to continue to do that.”

The T&T women’s team, under new coach Kenwyne Jones, are preparing for the Concacaf Women’s Championship qualification tournament which starts in February, 2022.

That tournament will be the start of T&T’s 2023 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. The world cup will be held in Australia and New Zealand.

Watch Cordner: We've got to stay focused


17
Football / Re: Zonal Football League Thread
« on: November 02, 2021, 12:24:22 AM »
Northern Football Association’s Akel Baig keen to help uplift T&T football.
By Joel Bailey (T&T Newsday).


AKEL Baig, general secretary of the Northern Football Association (NFA), is keen to play his part in the development and betterment of football in Trinidad and Tobago.

The 33-year-old Baig is part of the NFA administration, headed by former Defence Force and T&T goalkeeper Ross Russell.

The former Morvant/Caledonia AIA goalkeeper and youth team coach is currently pursuing a post-graduate diploma in sports management at the UWI St Augustine campus.

However, his primary focus is the short-term, as well as long-term future of football, both at the NFA and TT level.

The affairs of the TT Football Association (TTFA) are currently run by a FIFA-appointed normalisation committee, comprising chairman Robert Hadad, Judy Daniel, Nigel Romano and Marcus Gomez.

“We all know of the past issues with FIFA and going to court,” said Baig, during an interview last Thursday. “I think we need to know the position we’re at, look into it, analyse it and come with solutions at how we could go forward, step by step, in order to better the football.

“It makes no sense that we all have different ideas and everyone wants to fight for leadership. We, as a body, need to come together and take the (steps) seriously.”

At his age, players will either be still actively involved or considering post-retirement plans.

According to Baig, “I think I transitioned into that area, outside of coaching, because I have more love for administration and my passion is there. I feel more comfortable in administration. Also, (I can) help develop and further better football in Trinidad and Tobago.”

Asked if he misses the playing side of football, Baig replied, “I have (gotten over) playing football because I’ve already made the step from playing to actively participating in football as an administrator. My main function now is to develop myself, gain enough knowledge and experience so I can lead in management and administration.”

This is his first year as general secretary of the NFA, but he has experience in football administration, having been involved in other committees with various NFA-affiliated clubs.

How has he been coping, as an administrator, in these covid19 times? Baig responded, “It have a lot of work to be done in the NFA, outside of playing. My main involvement, currently, would be (for the clubs) to be compliant with the TTFA, so that when football is ready to restart, we are in a position in terms of (having) our books in order to ensure we can manage football on the field better.”

He said, “Everybody is on the same page. We are trying to work together to ensure that we can further develop the clubs in whatever area it may be. The support is there.”

Football, at the club level, has been on hold in T&T since the pandemic struck in March 2020.

According to Baig, “We’ve been planning. One of the major things is vaccination and being able to go according to the covid protocols, the government guidelines, that they would want us to be vaccinated to partake on the field.”

He added, “We are trying to work out ways, with other respective leagues, so we can ensure that when we plan, we wouldn’t clash with other leagues. At the same time, we want to try and solicit sponsorship.”

One person who has been a mentor, as far as administration is concerned, is former TTFA and current Caribbean Football Union (CFU) general secretary Camara David.

“He’s a friend of mine and also my lecturer (at UWI),” said Baig. “I share ideas with him, and he shares ideas with me.”

Any long-term plans in terms of administration?

“My plan, at an administrative level, is to develop a proper strategic plan for the NFA. This strategic plan would also be something that’s needed to help the administration be guided in its goals and objectives, and it will be able to have any configurations, if need, going forward.

“A strategic plan is something which is not there presently and, even at a TTFA level, is also needed. In youth football, development is needed. A lot of focus is needed to be placed in youth football.”


18
Football / Re: 2021 T&T Super League Thread
« on: November 02, 2021, 12:22:55 AM »
Edwards to take TTSL CAS for AGM breaches.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).


The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) could be asked to settle a dispute between the T&T Super League (TTSL) and Keiron Edwards, a defeated presidential candidate at the recent TTSL elections, over possible breaches in the Constitution that prevented legitimate members from exercising their voting rights.

Edwards was beaten by Lee Davis in a final round of voting for the position of president of the super league on September 19 this year, but a day later, he highlighted breaches in the constitution which he believes should require a re-election.

The breaches entail the failure of the TTSL to accept that seven suspended member clubs - Central 500, Harlem Strikers, Marabella Family Crisis Centre, Defence Force, Phoenix FC, WASA FC and the Youth Stars were really never suspended and should have been allowed to vote at the September 19 elections.

And although the clubs were not allowed to vote, they were reinstated at the end of the AGM and told that they were never suspended.

On Monday, Edwards said that if the constitution is not followed, he will refer the matter to the CAS in accordance with section 42.1 of the TTSL Constitution which states: "In accordance with the relevant provisions of the FIFA Statutes, any appeal against a final and binding decision passed by FIFA, CONCACAF or the leagues, shall be heard by the CAS."

The clubs were suspended back in March of 2018 for being non-compliant. That suspension was upheld for a second year in September 2019 on the basis of clubs either not fulfilling the requirements to be compliant, or because they did not take part in Super League-related competition for two consecutive years or both.

Edwards explained in his letter seen by Guardian Media Sports on Monday that he is objecting to the elections held in September, as bona fide members were stopped from voting. He sought to refer to section 9.2 of the constitution which states: "A suspension shall be confirmed at the next general meeting by two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and eligible to vote. If it is not confirmed, the suspension is automatically lifted.

At the AGM which was held on October 27, 2019, the suspension of the aforementioned clubs was not ratified." Edwards said that 2/3 majority was not received.

Guardian Media Sports has seen a copy of the minutes of the October 27 AGM, 2019, which according to Edwards had absolutely no mention or motion to confirm the suspension of the clubs, which means that the clubs were not suspended at that AGM.

The Eastern Football Association (EFA) president who gave up his position to contest the elections, wrote to TTSL secretary Peter Thomas a second time yesterday (November 1) in which he promised to invoke Section 40 of the constitution, which states that 'disputes shall be taken to an Independent Arbitration Tribunal created by the TTSL. The Board of Directors shall issue special regulations regarding the composition, jurisdiction and procedural rules of this Arbitration Tribunal and request that arbitration proceedings should commence immediately.'

In his three-page letter, Edwards also said: "It seems as though this act was a clear attempt to interfere with the electoral process by suspending these clubs illegally. In addition, the decision to suspend these clubs was an attempt to maliciously influence the outcome of the election. As such, I call upon you to repeat the elections of September 19, 2021, and allow all legitimate clubs to participate in the electoral process."

Thomas when contacted via WhatsApp referred all questions to new president Davis.


19
Football / Re: Women Warriors Thread
« on: October 28, 2021, 12:40:44 AM »
Women Warriors' goalkeeping coach eager for local league kick-off.
By Jelani Beckles (T&T Newsday).


T&T WOMEN’S goalkeeping coach James Baird, who believes the national women’s senior football team have the potential to qualify for the next edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, is eager for the resumption of women’s club football to help improve the national women’s programme.

T&T played Panama in two international women’s friendlies over the past week marking the return of international football in T&T. It was the first match since the end of 2019.

Football leagues and competitions have remained on the sidelines since the covid19 pandemic started to affect T&T in March 2020.

There has been no club football in T&T during the pandemic including the T&T Women’s League Football, T&T Pro League and the Secondary Schools Football League. Some of T&T’s Caribbean neighbours have allowed sports to resume in the past few months.

In Jamaica, the Jamaica Premier League (football) resumed months ago and earlier this week it was announced that school football in Jamaica will resume in mid-November.

Baird is eager for football leagues to resume in T&T as it will help move the sport forward.

“We need those (local) players playing because we have players coming in from abroad who are playing (at the) professional level (and) some of them at college level, so we really need to get something going locally so I am hoping in the coming months local football can restart…I think that will help the national team going forward.”

In the first match between T&T and Panama on October 21, the teams played to a 0-0 draw at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

On October 25 at the same venue the match ended 1-1.

Striker Kennya Cordner gave T&T an early lead, but Panama equalized in the closing stages of the match.

The matches were the first two assignments for interim head coach Kenwyne Jones. Jones, who will serve as interim coach until November 30, was announced as the coach on October 18.

The matches against Panama aided T&T’s preparations for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The qualifying phase of the world cup will kick off in February 2022 with the Concacaf Women’s Championship qualification competition.

Goalkeeper Kimika Forbes was one of the stars over the two matches which included stopping a penalty in the second encounter.

Baird said, “She (Kimika) has been fantastic for the last five months, she has been great.”

Baird believes Kimika can serve as an inspiration to other women to become goalkeepers.

“We know the quality of Kimika over the years, but that should really inspire the new generation looking at Kimika and saying, ‘I want to be that in the future.’”

Baird said the technical staff studied film of the Panama team which helped Kimika cope with the set pieces during the matches.

“We watched a lot of their set pieces, penalties…so obviously that gave her that little edge in terms of the set pieces and the penalty. As I said I think she has been working tremendously hard on positioning so that obviously helped her hugely in the match.”

Some of T&T’s experienced players featured in the matches including Maylee Attin-Johnson, Cordner, Lauryn Hutchinson and the Forbes sisters – Kimika and Karyn.

On having so many experienced players back with the team, Baird said, “I am very excited. We have got a fantastic bunch of ladies and the future is going to be good for these girls, so I am really looking forward to the coming months and I am more than sure that we can make it to that world cup.”


20
Football / Re: Kennya Cordner Thread
« on: October 27, 2021, 12:29:52 AM »
Women Warriors' striker Kennya Cordner : I can learn a lot from Kenwyne
By Joel Bailey (T&T Newsday).


VETERAN Trinidad and Tobago women’s team striker Kennya “Ya Ya” Cordner is eager to learn from former men’s team forward and captain Kenwyne Jones, during his stint as interim coach of the Women Warriors.

Jones, who took over from American Constantine Konstin on October 18 (his interim stint will last until November 30), guided the team to a pair of drawn results (0-0 last Thursday and 1-1 on Monday) against Panama, at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.

Cordner was the T&T goalscorer on Monday and, after being involved in the women’s squad since 2006, the 32-year-old Cordner is still willing to enhance her knowledge of the game.

“Kenwyne is a forward and I (am) a forward, so I can learn a lot from Kenwyne,” said Cordner, during Monday’s post-game zoom media conference. “He scored goals and I score goals.”

About Jones’ time at the helm, Cordner said, “It’s fairly new for him so, in time to come, with his knowledge, I think things would be better.”

With regards to Monday’s match, Cordner said, “We went out there and we fought for 95 minutes. Even though we didn’t come out with the win, we still went out there and put (our) best foot forward and we fought for each other.”

Looking back at the pair of matches against Panama, the slimly-built attacker said, “I think we did the best that we can because, having not played for two years and it’s a bunch of new girls, and having to come into a camp for a week to play two international friendlies, we did really well (under) the circumstances.”

She is keen to pass on her experience to the younger crop of T&T players, having played in the United States, Sweden, Australia, Paraguay and, since 2018, in Norway (with IL Sandviken).

“I was happy to be back at home, because I haven’t been home for 22 months,” said Cordner.

“To be able to come back and give for Trinidad and Tobago women team, after experiencing so much in Norway, and seeing how different they do stuff, with my experience, to be able to transfer to this team, and allow these girls to see how hard work does pay off, it feels really good to be back here.”

Midfielder Chelcy Ralph, who plays for Ball State University in Indiana, United States, spoke about the difficulties in playing during the covid19 pandemic.

“It is very difficult having to be tested every other day but, as a team, we are very dedicated in what we have to do, and we’ll remain humble and respectful of the covid19 (protocols),” said Ralph.

“It’s a great experience for all of us to join together, because we haven’t been together for (some) years. Yes, we have a lot of work to do but it’s a great start.”

Panama’s coach Ignacio Quintana, commenting on Monday’s match, said, “It was an exciting game where any team (could have won). That’s the beauty of football, two teams making all the effort to win. The result was 1-1.

About the team’s week-long stay in Trinidad, Quintana said, “It’s okay for us and we enjoyed, a lot, our stay here. We enjoyed the opportunity, the experience and we’re grateful to the TT (Football Association).”

Yvamara Rodriguez, who was a second half substitute for Panama during Monday’s game, mentioned, “This game was a very aggressive and physical game. I felt that we kept connectivity with each other mentally. I think we’re quite happy with the result.”


21
Football / Re: Women Warriors Thread
« on: October 27, 2021, 12:27:52 AM »
Jones bids for women's coaching job with drawn matches.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).


Interim Women's football coach Kenwyne Jones seemed to have made a case for himself for the permanent position of head coach of the team after two drawn international matches ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers which begins in February next year.

He told the Guardian Media Sports during Monday's post-match press conference following T&T's 2-2 tie with Panama, that he hopes to be given the nod of approval by the T&T Football Association, having seen so much potential in the women's team.

Despite two years of inactivity, the T&T women held what can be described as a decent-looking Panama team to consecutive draws- 0-0 on Thursday and 1-1 on Monday in its two international friendly matches at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Balmain, Couva.

Jones, who was appointed as interim head coach on October 18, four days before the team's first match, said he was totally impressed with the team: "I do think that we're happy with the way the team played after a lot of adjustments were made tactically, from the first game to the way we played the second game. I think we did a little bit more and I am happy to see that the players were able to take it on and attempt to make it happen."

He said: "Definitely, in the future, we're going to get better at it. This again is not the final squad, we have a lot more people to see, a lot more people that we do believe will add quality to what we have here and we're looking forward to seeing them. More than anything else, we have to continue the preparation and continue to work and get better each day. For the future, I have the interim period until the 30th of November, but as things stand, it will be up to the football association and the Normalisation Committee to be able to make whatever changes necessary or not, that's down to them. What I do know, is that I have total belief in the squad, those that are here, the staff, and presently, I do hope that I get to stay for the long run because I do see the potential in the team. When we are a complete squad, I do believe we have the potential to qualify for the World Cup, but it's just about doing the work in between, building up to the qualifiers."

Jones' interim position was made available upon the removal of then-coach, American Constantine Konstin who coincidentally was brought on stream following the sudden and surprised exit of Welshman James Thomas who resigned earlier this month to take up a job in the United Kingdom.

Jones' contract ends on November 30, and with little time with the team so far, he gave the country hope of a qualifying berth at the World Cup, particularly after Monday's game: "At this present time being with the team in such a short space of time, I am happy for the stage that we're at. Of course, I am disappointed that Panama was able to equalise from a set-piece so late in the game, but at the same time, it is a lesson for us to take forward. I do believe the team has a lot more room for improvement. I think everyone can agree on that, but I do believe we're very happy with the performances that we've had so far. It's definitely been a change from the first game we played against Panama to now," he explained.

Meanwhile, newcomer Chelcy Ralph and veteran Kennya Cordner expressed similar sentiments, saying though they did not win from the result, they won by executing the plan that was mapped out to them by the coach.

According to Ralph, " We came out as a team with a game plan in mind, we got the lead and we held on. But in the end, we didn't get the win, but it was a win in what we had planned to do. Just coming into the team from school football and joining the likes of Maylee Attin-Johnson, Yaya, Rhea, Baby, Karyn, it's ecstatic. Just seeing these players and working with them, you learn so much from them."

Cordner said: "Today was pretty amazing. We went out there with a game plan as Chelcy said, and we fought for 95 minutes and even though we didn't get the win, we still went out there and put our best foot forward, fought for each other and we drew."


22
Football / Re: Women Warriors Thread
« on: October 26, 2021, 12:26:16 AM »
T&T, Panama women play to 1-1 draw.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).


Goals on either side of the halves from striker Kennya "Ya Ya" Cordner for T&T and Carina Baltrip of Panama, respectively, assured both teams finish their international friendly clash 1-1 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Balmain, Couva on Monday.

However, both teams had strong opportunities to claim the win but were prevented by either impressive goalkeeping or lack of composure.

The match was just seven minutes old when striker Cordner found herself at the end of a long searching ball from Victoria Swift, that goalkeeper Farissa Cordoba let through her grasp.

This coupled with an equally disastrous defensive blunder by Yirsi Salas, allowed Cordner in with the simple task of slotting the ball into an empty net for a 1-0 T&T advantage.

The fluctuating affair tilted in T&T's favour in the 42nd minute with Forbes' opposite number Cordoba beaten by Karyn Forbes' thunderous drive, only for the upright to save the Panamanians.

The home team enjoyed a 1-0 advantage at the half-time interval but they were made to work even harder when it resumed.

Cox, the architect of most of the Panamanian attacks, was again given room to move as she delivered a pinpoint ball to the back of the T&T defence for Lenith Cedeno storming down the right flank. But after taking it nicely in her stride, Cedeno sent her attempt wide of the goal.

Later in the 77th, it was Cedeno again who raced through from an earlier clearance and with only Forbes (Kimika) to beat, Cedeno hit a weak shot that failed to pose any kind of trouble.

Cordner, who had gone silent for a portion of the match, had a golden opportunity to seal the win but she muffed an attempt from inside the area.

The match seemed to be heading for a 1-0 T&T win until Baltrip rose unchallenged to head home from a right-side corner in the 88th minute to level the score.

However, the T&T women had the last say at a winner, as substitute Laurell Theodore galloped through the Panamanian defence and with the goal gaping in front of her with just the Panamanian custodian to beat, she put it wide.

(Teams)

Trinidad and Tobago (3-2-3-2): 1.Kimika Forbes (GK), 8.Victoria Swift, 20.Lauryn Hutchinson (5.Meyah Romeo 46), 4.Rhea Belgrave; 12.Chelcy Ralph, 14.Karyn Forbes (captain); 7.Liana Hinds, 10.Anya de Courcy, 3.Aaliyah Prince (15.Laurelle Theodore 58); 11.Raenah Campbell (13.Dennecia Prince 76), 19.Kennya Cordner (18.Naomie Guerra 81).

Unused substitutes: 21.Tenesha Palmer (GK), 22.Malaika Dedier (GK), 2.Collette Morgan, 23.Adrianna Arjoon, 16.Janelle McGee.

Coach: Kenwyne Jones

Panama (4-2-3-1): 1.Farissa Córdoba (GK); 4.Katherine Castillo, 14.Yerenis De Leon, 2.Yirsi Salas (11.Yvamara Rodriguez 80), 3.Carina Baltrip; 7.Deysire Salazar, 8.Laurie Batista (captain) (17.Yamileth Palacio 62); 6.Aldrith Quintero (19.Lineth Cedeńo 55), 10.Marta Cox, 20.Schiandra Gonzales (16.Whitney De Obaldia 62); 9.Karla Riley (18.Ana Quintero 80).

Unused substitutes: 12.Nadia Ducreux, 13.Izaura Tryhane, 15.Susy Cassinova.

Coach: Ignacio Quintana

Referee: Cecile Hinds.


23
Football / Re: Women Warriors Thread
« on: October 22, 2021, 12:26:32 AM »
Women Warriors draw Panama 0-0 in Jones's coaching debut.
By Jonathan Ramnanansingh (T&T Newsday).


TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO women’s senior team made a welcome return to competitive football with a goalless draw against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, on Thursday.

Neither team could break the deadlock after 90 minutes but T&T were still able to hold off the visitors after over two years of no competitive football.

Panama dominated the opening half and came close to scoring when striker Marta Cox struck the top left of the crossbar. Luckily, the ball fell within reach of T&T custodian Kimika Forbes.

Forwards Kennya ‘Yaya’ Cordner and Raenah Campbell had few attempts in the first 45 minutes as former national captain Maylee-Attin Johnson tried to champion the midfield.

In the second period, T&T looked better and were able to string together more passes than in the first half.

Panama however, came close to scoring twice via substitute Yamileth Palacio but Forbes came up big although the defensive backline looked a bit shaky.

Combined plays from Attin-Johnson, Liana Hinds and Cordner showed promise but neither chance created found a finishing touch.

Thursday’s match was also newly appointed interim coach Kenwyne Jones’ first game with the team after he took up the role on Monday.

T&T play Panama once more in another friendly on Monday at the same venue from 3.30pm.

New coach Kenwyne Jones credits Women Warriors' resilience in draw vs Panama.

RUSTINESS showed but there were glimmers of positivity when the Trinidad and Tobago women’s football team returned to action after a two-year hiatus and drew goalless against Panama in a welcome international friendly match, at Ato Boldon Stadium, in Couva, on Thursday.

Under cloudy skies and a thick cover of Sahara dust, the Women Warriors braved the elements to churn out a fair result. Panama looked better composed in the opening 45 minutes but the T&T team bounced back to deliver a more dominant display in the second period.

After the match, newly appointed women’s interim head coach Kenwyne Jones was pleased with the team’s performance. Although there were a couple of individual and tactical errors during the match, Jones commended his players for showing resilience against a tough Panama unit.

“After not being an active team for two years, I think the team performed really well. Of course, there are instances in the game where Panama caused us a few problems but I thought that the team was very resilient and dealt with it well.

“It’s the first game for such a long time and we have a long way to go. I think from here we can only expect a lot of progression,” said Jones on his national coaching debut.

In the first half, the visitors came close to scoring when striker Marta Cox struck the top left of the crossbar. Luckily, the ball fell within reach of T&T custodian Kimika Forbes.

Forwards Kennya ‘Yaya’ Cordner and Raenah Campbell had few attempts in the opening half and midfielder Maylee-Attin Johnson tried valiantly to champion the midfield.

The national team showed some threat at times but ended the first period without a shot on target.

In the second half, T&T looked better and were able to string together more passes and generate more chances in front of goal. Defenders Rhea Belgrave and Lauryn Hutchinson had to work overtime as Panama also pressed for the opening goal.

They were almost rewarded twice courtesy of substitute Yamileth Palacio but Forbes came up big on both occasions.

Attin-Johnson, winger Liana Hinds and Cordner linked up on three occasions to produce goal-threatening attempts but neither chance created found a finishing touch to beat Panama goalkeeper Farissa Cordoba.

A defensive error by Victoria Swift in the last 15 minutes saw Panama come close to scoring but again, Forbes was there to clean up.

However, the Women Warriors would survive a late charge for their Panamanian counterparts and now recover and recharge for Monday’s second friendly match against the Central Americans.

Jones commended Forbes and the entire team on an improved performance in the second half.

“She’s (Forbes) has been a really strong presence for the team. When she makes saves as she does and commands the box like she does it gives the team the impetus to keep going. You can see the energy passing on from her to the defenders onto the midfield.

“Today we fought really hard. We dug in. The surface was really heavy. Amidst the situation of players coming in late, travel situations I think we did really well for a team that has trained together for the last couple days,” he added.

Although the team changed two coaches in the past two weeks, the newest appointed, Jones, said the squad still entered Thursday’s match with good fundamentals.

On October 6, ex-national women’s coach and Welshman James Thomas resigned for a job in the English women’s league.

And last Wednesday, former men’s Futsal coach Constantine Konstin was appointed interim head coach but then stepped down owing to personal reasons on Sunday. Jones, T&T former national men’s caption, was then appointed interim head coach on Monday and will serve in this capacity until November 30.

“They had a really good foundation over the last few months and today was just the first test to see where we’re at in our preparation,” he added.

The Concacaf women’s qualifiers were initially scheduled to be held in November but owing to the pandemic, it will now be held in February.

Jones believes the additional time augurs well for the team to use the coming months to better prepare themselves ahead of international competition.

He added that there are still several foreign-based players who were unable to join the team this time around. Jones thinks that if he has all options available, the team would deliver a better showing.

“The good thing is the qualifiers have been pushed back to February so it gives us more time to keep working and to get better on a lot of things that we do.

“We have a lot of players still that can potentially come and strengthen the squad. I don’t think that we would qualify for the World Cup with just 24 players.

“There are a lot of players out there that are willing to come and play for T&T and they would add value to the rest of the squad,” he said.

Looking to Monday’s game, the new coach confirmed that there will be some changes to the starting 11.

He plans to hold a light training session on Friday and will then sit down with his coaching staff to assess who plays in the second friendly.

Tactically, he said, the team is still learning.

“I think it’s something new (tactics) that we’re implementing in the squad today. We have a lot to work on. The system is not perfect yet.

“The players need to build a better understanding of it. I think in the future it is going to work well based on the players again that have the potential to come in the squad.

“Once we’re able to continue to practise and get games to play before the World Cup I think it will do us very well,” he closed.

Teams

Trinidad and Tobago (3-4-1-2): 1.Kimika Forbes (GK); 8.Victoria Swift, 20.Lauryn Hutchinson, 4.Rhea Belgrave; 7.Liana Hinds, 14.Karyn Forbes (captain) (2.Collette Morgan 90), 18.Naomie Guerra (12.Chelcy Ralph 68), 10.Anya De Courcy; 9.Maylee Attin-Johnson; 11.Raenah Campbell (13.Dennecia Prince 78), 19.Kennya Cordner.

Unused substitutes: 21.Tenesha Palmer (GK), 22.Malaika Dedier (GK), 3.Aaliyah Prince, 5.Meyah Romeo, 6.Maya Matouk, 15.Laurelle Theodore, 16.Janelle McGee, 17.Jonelle Cato, 23.Adrianna Arjoon.

Coach: Kenwyne Jones.

Panama (4-2-3-1): 1.Farissa Córdoba (GK); 4.Katherine Castillo, 14.Yerenis De Leon, 5.Yomira Pinzón (captain), 3.Carina Baltrip; 7.Deysire Salazar, 8.Laurie Batista; 10.Marta Cox, 9.Karla Riley (6.Aldrith Quintero 73), 16.Whitney De Obaldia (15.Susy Cassinova 46 [17.Yamileth Palacio 73]); 19.Lineth Cedeńo.

Unused substitutes: 2.Yirsi Salas, 11.Yvamara Rodriguez, 12.Nadia Ducreux, 13.Izaura Tryhane, 18.Ana Quintero, 20.Schiandra Gonzales.

Coach: Ignacio Quintana.

Referee: Cecile Hinds.

RELATED NEWS

Women Warriors' Rhea Belgrave, Victoria Swift happy for a return to football.
By Jonathan Ramnanansingh (T&T Newsday).


WOMEN Warriors Victoria Swift and Rhea Belgrave were pleased with the team’s opening performance against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, on Thursday, in their first international friendly match in over two years.

T&T drew 0-0 but both players were happy the team did not return to the competitive circuit on the losing side. They were also led into battle by newly appointed interim head coach Kenwyne Jones, who only took up the role on Monday.

“Being the first game that we played together in a really long time I think the team really fought hard. Even though the result we wanted was a win, a draw is pretty decent for the first game,” said Swift in the post-match interview.

With players coming from different playing systems and having to quickly adapt to a new system under Jones, Swift thinks the team did well to hold their own.

On acclimatising in such a short time frame, Swift said it had a lot to do with players having the experience, fight and desire to do well.

“I think we did really well coming together in such a short space of time. We first just need to focus on recovery and as a team, talk about our positioning and our formation and go from there to the next game,” she said.

Additionally, defender Belgrave welcomed an anticipated return to competitive football after such a lengthy delay, most of which was owed to the pandemic.

“For me, it’s been more than two years (without national team football). It felt really good hearing the anthem and getting back into things. We had to adjust a lot to the new system and getting used to the movements and so forth,” she said.

Belgrave also commended goalkeeper Kimika Forbes for executing some critical saves in the second period to keep TT in the game. She believes the squad has what it takes to produce a winning result on Monday.

In February, the Concacaf Women’s Championship, which also serves as 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers, gets underway.

“I definitely think we can win. We’re going to go back and watch the team and see where we can improve on.

“We just try to stay positive. The goal is to qualify (for the World Cup) and not everything is going to be perfect so for us it’s for us to try to stay focused on the qualifying and control what we can,” she added.


24
“No different than John-Williams!” Hadad-led NC accused of ‘hiding money’ from creditors.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


Former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) technical director and Men’s National Senior Team player Kendall Walkes has accused the Robert Hadad-led normalisation committee of hiding money from its creditors.

Walkes, who won a TT$5.1m award in the Port-of-Spain High Court for breach of contract against the David John-Williams-led administration in 2015, has not gotten a cent from the local football body since he was allowed to empty the TTFA’s accounts on 16 March 2020.

Ironically, Walkes’ case was used as justification for Fifa’s decision to ‘normalise’ the TTFA to address its critical debt situation. The Bureau of the Fifa Council appointed Hadad, Judy Daniel and Nigel Romano on 27 March 2020 to supervise a ‘debt repayment plan’ for the two-island republic.

Nineteen months later, though, Walkes said he saw no evidence of a debt plan at all. In fact, he said things are now worse than under former president William Wallace—whom Fifa president Gianni Infantino dramatically removed—with Hadad refusing to have meaningful dialogue with him.

In the absence of information, there has been speculation within local football circles that perhaps the normalisation committee’s inability to pay office staff, coaches and players in a timely manner is attributable to its surreptitious payment of prior debts.

Walkes insisted that Hadad and his gang are certainly not addressing his outstanding money.

“They owe me every penny that was awarded to me [by the High Court] and more,” Walkes told Wired868. “When I garnisheed their account [at First Citizens Bank] when the new [Wallace-led] administration had come in, there was maybe US$55,000 there—that was it… Since then, they have moved their money because we examined their accounts again and the account was dry.

“They hid the money somewhere else. I was told that they are paying guys directly into their accounts. They would still have to declare to Fifa what bank they are using because their subventions have to come here but there is a tight lid on it.”

Fifa law dictates that the world governing body can only deposit money into an account taken out in its name within the borders of the member association.  However, the normalisation committee members are direct employees of Fifa.

In short, wherever Hadad and committee members Judy Daniel, Nigel Romano and Trevor Nicholas Gomez are putting the TTFA’s money, it could not be without Fifa’s approval.

“The payroll continues, so which local bank is it coming through?” Walkes asked. “My lawyer has served them a court order to disclose what financial institutions they are working through, so their creditors can know. How is that going to go? I don’t know.

“Every time my lawyer has contacted them so far, we get a short answer: they don’t have any money. I don’t know if it is on Fifa to tell anyone what financial institution the association is working through, but I know the TTFA is being tight-lipped on it.”

Former Men’s National Senior Team head coach Stephen Hart and ex-technical director Anton Corneal are the TTFA’s second and third largest creditors, to the tune of TT$5 million and TT$3.5 million respectively.

Both echoed Walkes’ position. They don’t know who, if anyone, has been getting money out of the normalisation committee—but it certainly is not they!

“There is nothing to tell really,” said Hart, when asked for an update regarding his outstanding money. “There has not even been a courtesy call [from the normalisation committee] in the last six-plus months. It’s clear the TTFA/Fifa normalisation or whatever clearly have no intention of paying debts.

“There is not even a plan moving forward.”

Corneal concurred.

“I have not been paid,” said Corneal, “and no arrangement has been made yet for me.”

Trade Winds director Susan Phargoo, whose travel agency is owed just over TT$500,000, said local service providers are not faring any better. Even as Phargoo conceded that the TTFA had acknowledged its debt to her company, she said the normalisation committee is using other travel agents for their teams’ overseas assignments while ignoring its debt to her.

“We have full admittance from TTFA of the outstanding debt—yet they’re paying other travel agencies and not clearing our outstanding money,” said Phargoo. “We have no update at present or any confirmation from TTFA on when the debt will be settled. But we are diligently pursuing our legal options.”

Former Soca Warriors head coach Dennis Lawrence had another two years on his contract at US$17,000 per month, when he was sacked by the TTFA Board in December 2019. It is uncertain what the outstanding balance is but it is estimated at roughly TT$3m.

Lawrence’s agent, Mike Berry, said the former 2006 World Cup hero is now turning to the courts after growing frustrated with the Hadad-led normalisation committee. He too said he has not been paid a cent.

“There was minimal contact initially in the first two months but it has only been legal communication ever since,” said Berry. “I asked Hadad ‘why don’t you reach out to Dennis, why don’t you talk to him?’ But he did nothing. It is terrible.

“[…] It is ludicrous that we are now in the fifth year since the non-payment of his bonus for the win against the USA [on 10 October 2017]. Everybody got paid for that game except Dennis. It is scandalous really.”

Walkes has since returned to the United States, where he has lived since accepting a ‘soccer’ scholarship in the 1980s. A former coach at US collegiate level, he was technical director at the US Virgin Islands when the TTFA asked him to oversee the development of the game on the two-island republic in 2015.

“After giving to a foreign country for my whole adult life, I thought it was a chance to give back to my own country,” said Walkes, “and it turned out to be the worst thing ever. It was like walking into Caesar’s court, where I am being stabbed all over.

“Had I stayed in ‘VI’, I am sure I would still be there. Look at [Russell] Latapy who has been in Barbados for as long as he was in Trinidad or even longer. [Trinidad and Tobago] don’t treat their own properly at all.

“[…] Here, I walk into the room and they say ‘I have heard so many good things about you’. You get that respect. And you go home and you are among your own and they are the ones who stab you the deepest.

 “[…] Up here, the pros get together all the time to try to come up with ideas that are best for their country. In Trinidad, they are just fighting each other all the time.”

Berry, an Englishman, also pointed out the nationality of the four committee members—Hadad, Daniel, Romano and Trevor Nicholas Gomez—who he felt were disrespecting his client, a Chaconia Medal recipient for outstanding service to Trinidad and Tobago with the 2006 World Cup team.

“There is no empathy, no communication really, and no respect at all!” Berry said. “And we are talking Trinis to Trinis, not British colonials to Trinis. There are four Trinidadians on that committee.

“What are they even doing after all this time? It is as if they spend one day a week, if that much, attending to normalisation committee business and really couldn’t be bothered otherwise.

“I would think they would be preparing the election process by now [as their term is due to end in March 2022]. There has not even been a mention of that.”

Article 22 of Fifa’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players stipulates that the world governing body will only get involved in disputes when there is an ‘international dimension’.

Fifa: ‘Without prejudice to the right of any player, coach, association, or club to seek redress before a civil court for employment-related disputes, Fifa is competent to hear: […] employment-related disputes between a club or an association and a coach of an international dimension…’

Berry saw that law work in practice. After Wallace dismissed the Men’s National Senior Team staff, Lawrence and assistant coach Stuart Charles-Février turned to Fifa for help.

Février is St Lucian but has lived in Trinidad and Tobago since 1999, when he was appointed as head coach of W Connection FC while he also spent most of his playing years in the two-island republic.

(Février was even invited—but declined—to represent the Strike Squad in the 1990 World Cup qualifying campaign, as St Lucia only received Fifa affiliation in 1988.)

Lawrence holds a British passport and has lived in the United Kingdom since 2001.

Yet, Fifa declared that Lawrence was a Trinidad and Tobago citizen and there was no ‘international dimension’ to his dispute with the TTFA, while Février was considered a foreigner.

And, as was the case with Norwegian Even Pellerud, Dutchman Wim Rijbergen and others, Fifa paid Février directly from the TTFA subvention while Lawrence is forced to follow Hart, Corneal and Walkes to court. Ironically, the latter trio also have dual citizenship.

Using that same law, Fifa would step in to assist Englishman Terry Fenwick if his contract was not being respected, even as Fifa’s own employees, Hadad, Daniel, Romano and Gomez, are allegedly hiding income from unpaid local coaches.

“It is a disgrace and I think it is so wrong and against the principles of Fifa for fair play,” said Berry, of Article 22. “[…] I think in the future that law has to change, so everyone gets the same treatment.”

Walkes told Wired868 that, despite his hurt, he cannot help but think about the state of Trinidad and Tobago football and said he is in regular communication with iconic Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) coach and former TTFA technical committee member Michael Grayson.

“For some reason, my mind always drifts to how can I help football back home,” he said. “When there are new trends in the game, I always wonder if they are paying attention to what is happening—and I pick up the phone and talk to Mikey about that all the time.”

Walkes was critical of his former national teammate Richard Chinapoo’s role in a TTFA ‘ad hoc selection panel’ created by the normalisation committee, which was responsible for the selection of Angus Eve and James Thomas as head coach of the men’s and women’s programmes respectively.

“Chinapoo has only coached youth level in the States, like under-15s down, apart from being player/coach at indoor level more than 20 years ago,” said Walkes. “I left the international game in 2018 and I don’t think I am in a position to make decisions on [what coaches are] out there. I would have to make extensive calls and so on to familiarise myself with the market.

“He has never even been in it. I texted ‘Chinas’ and asked ‘why the hell would you be on a selection committee?’”

Walkes sent Chinapoo another text when Thomas quit the Women’s National Senior Team head post to take up the post of Bristol City Women and Girls youth development manager.

“I said ‘great vetting on women’s coach’,” he said. “Now [Thomas] can put Trinidad and Tobago on his résumé so he can get a bigger job.”

Walkes was critical too of the ‘work’ being done by current technical director Dion La Foucade, who he said ‘totally missed the boat’ in terms of productively using theCovid-19 pandemic- provoked absence from the playing fields.

“Fifa has a library archive that gives you CDs on small-side game situations—from one v one all the way to six v six,” said Walkes. “You can access it as a coach in a member association. If there is a topic I wanted to drill on, I can go and look at it for a bit to get ideas.

“Dion has all that at his fingertips and he could be creating from that to share with players stuck at home, or with coaches to add to what they might be doing.

“A whole year has passed and all the youngsters are sitting at home and you have done nothing to massage their love for football. That is criminal as the technical director.”

Walkes did not trust himself to articulate his feelings on Hadad and his associates.

“I don’t know what ‘NC’ means anymore but I can think of a lot of things,” he said, with a laugh. “Fifa said Wallace and them were driving the FA into debt, so they moved them out and tasked these people with fixing it—but I have heard nothing from them.

“I hope when my lawyer serves them that they can at least say something. They are no different than John-Williams, who would not communicate at all.

“All the smoke that was around John-Williams and the Fifa guy from Africa (Veron Mosengo-Omba) about their alleged handling of money for the Home of Football. That was such a hot topic, yet it has just gone away as soon as the normalisation committee got in; and these guys get to sleep comfortably at night. It is nuts.”

Hadad did not respond to Wired868’s request for comment on the concerns raised by the TTFA creditors.

RELATED NEWS

‘Unworkable!’ Ferguson, Lewis, Look Loy and Wallace discuss Hadad’s debt plan and suggest how to rescue TTFA.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


On 5 October 2021, Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad shared his idea for addressing the debt of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association with the Trinidad Guardian.

“We’re looking at other methods of raising the funding and some sort of process to repay that debt, either borrowing or [an] advance that somebody would give us—or somebody gives us a donation,” said Hadad, who was appointed to the helm of the TTFA on 27 March 2020. “There are many ways to deal with this debt issue, but it’s not going to happen overnight, so we need the government involved, we need Fifa involved and we’re having active discussions with everyone.

“Maybe contributions from a third party or multiple third parties, maybe contributions from different places, different sources…”

Hadad, after 19 months on the job, is yet to hold a media conference to discuss his stewardship or ideas for the TTFA while TTFA members complained frequently about the inaccessibility of the committee.

So what do local football stakeholders make of the work done by the committee, which comprises Hadad, vice-chair Judy Daniel, Nigel Romano, and Trevor Nicholas Gomez?

Wired868 spoke to former TTFA president William Wallace, Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis, ex-TTFA Board member Keith Look Loy, and former local football presidential candidate Richard Ferguson on the normalisation committee’s job so far, and, in particular, Hadad’s comments about addressing the TTFA’s debt.

Wallace was removed by the Bureau of the Fifa Council, headed by Fifa president Gianni Infantino—on 17 March 2020, just four months after his election—due to the world governing body’s supposed concern at the TTFA’s ‘massive debt’ and ‘very real risk of insolvency and illiquidity’.

Almost two years later, the TTFA’s financial situation has not improved. Wallace suggested that Hadad’s inability to point to any real debt repayment plan is proof that Fifa misled Trinidad and Tobago about its intentions here.

“The people in and out of the TTFA who were making all the noise never took time to understand what ‘normalisation’ meant in the context of what we were faced with,” Wallace told Wired868. “The impression that Fifa would liquidate the debt seemed to be the understanding among many. That thinking led me to publicly state that, if that was so, I would immediately step aside.

“[…] All the voices that reverberated at the many levels [for me to accept normalisation] are now strangely silent. Fifa took the microscope away from itself and DJW (David John-Williams) and to hell with everybody now.”

Wallace’s former Board member, Look Loy, echoed Wallace’s view as he mocked the ‘neophytes’ of the normalisation committee.

“I have always maintained that the true rationale behind Fifa’s action was/is to prevent the United TTFA administration from untangling the financial mess left behind by the last (David John-Williams-led) administration,” said Look Loy, “and to cover its financial impropriety and mismanagement, which Fifa must have been aware of.

“The world body inflicted absolute neophytes—supposed leaders of business and management—on the Association. It is no surprise that they don’t have the first idea how to proceed with their responsibilities and are now begging the government, Fifa itself, and indeed anyone, for a handout.”

Lewis, who is also part of the local football ecosystem through his membership at the Harvard Sports Club, suggested that the TTFA’s leaders should spend less time looking at the cash flow statement and focus more on the cash flow projection.

The outgoing TTOC president insisted that the local football debt, which is estimated at around TT$50 mil, is not insurmountable. However, he said more ‘resourceful and entrepreneurial thinking’ is needed at the helm.

“Crunching the numbers and looking at the TTFA debt from a purely financial, accounting and book-keeping perspective is not or ought not to be the singular focus,” said Lewis. “What’s the vision for the future? The vision will drive the mindset [and] it can’t be based on the numbers and arithmetic alone. It has to include the passion and purpose for the positive difference [that] football can make to the youth and young people and citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

“[…] The financial experts and financial engineers may know everything about finance and money but the TTFA is more than number crunching. It’s about people and their passion for football.”

Ferguson, a businessman and accountant by trade, went further. The Terminix La Horquetta Rangers suggested why Hadad’s proposed debt repayment plan was not only unworkable but ‘ridiculous’.

“You can’t ask the government to fund the TTFA’s debt, because you’re telling the country they have to pay for all the mistakes the TTFA’s management made, which is not fair,” Ferguson told Wired868. “You are also setting a precedent that the government has to bail out companies that are doing stupidness. And you can’t be telling Fifa that any member that wastes its money paying coaches TT$250,000 a month can turn to them and ask them to pay it. That is a terrible precedent and that plan is unsustainable and goes against the grain of financial propriety.

“No, you have to take some financial responsibility. Going to the government with a plan like that is just ridiculous.”

Did Ferguson have a suggestion then?

In fact, he does. And he shared it with Hadad, he said, months ago. The normalisation committee, he claimed, did not even offer him the courtesy of a proper response.

“If your income is $100, you have to save $10 for whatever unforeseen problems may arise, then you spend $60 on things that generate income and $30 you spend on things you consume,” said Ferguson. “That is very basic management. But he is not doing that. He wants to spend $150. You have to spend on things that make money and he is not doing it.

“[…] They had a job to do. They had to prepare a debt repayment plan and to organise constitutional reform, which they haven’t done. We did it and sent it to them and they ignored it. So you would think they have something better. But [what] he is talking about is worse.”

Ferguson said it is extremely difficult to get usable financial information from the Hadad-led normalisation committee. However, he said their inability to pay staff, coaches and players in a timely manner was an indication that Hadad, Daniel, Romano and Gomez are not managing the affairs properly.

For the Rangers director, the path to becoming debt free—and he suggested that the TTFA’s real debt is roughly TT$45m—passes through stringent financial measures.

“He has to cut all his expenses and stop living like a billionaire,” said Ferguson. “Use local coaches and don’t pay them more than TT$10,000 per month. You have to bite the bullet and pay for sins of the past.

“The TTFA’s income from Fifa is about TT$20m. So say we take TT$10m and put it towards the debt and live on TT$10m. That way, you can pay off most of that debt in five years. It is a bitter pill to swallow but you have to be prudent.

“[…] He thinks Fifa are going to come and pay off TT$100m just so? He has to be mad. The plan must be sustainable and it must make financial sense.

“The TTFA can deal with this debt on its own if they manage it properly, but he doesn’t seem to want to be prudent… If he is getting $10, he wants to spend $35. I say spend $3.”

Wallace agreed that Hadad’s two main proposed sources of debt relief were, based on his information, non-starters.

“If there is still hope in Fifa paying the debt, then there is information that the normalisation committee has that we are not privy to,” said Wallace. “As far as the Government is concerned, Prime Minister [Dr Keith Rowley] indicated to me then that he was not willing to use taxpayers’ money to deal with the debt and I agreed with him. If that position has since changed, I am happy for the TTFA.”

Lewis, like Ferguson, believes the TTFA’s debt can be approached with more creativity than simply requesting a handout. Whereas Ferguson focused on cutting costs, Lewis pointed to a potential revenue-generating asset.

“Slaying the dragon of indebtedness is by no means a simple or easy task for the TTFA but it can be done with creativity and taking calculated risks,” said Lewis. “But there must be a willingness to listen to the football stakeholders who have the passion for the sport… In terms of [raising finances], I still feel the Home of Football is a critical success factor and a key asset for the TTFA.”

Ferguson said the TTFA’s current reality is not as bleak as suggested by the normalisation committee’s auditor’s report, which described the local football body as ‘a going concern’.

“In accounting, the rule is if a company is unable to meet its debts, you have to prepare the accounts as ‘a going concern’, which means the debt is greater than the assets—that it can’t continue,” said Ferguson. “But the standard also goes on to say if the owners can prove the company can continue, then you continue to prepare it as normal.

“The fact is the TTFA has been insolvent for many years, but it is not a going concern because Fifa (a billion-dollar organisation) is directly involved and came into it to make sure it is sustained. So it is not a going concern according to international accounting standards.”

Invariably, the focus shifted to Fifa’s reasons for being here, its oversight of the local football over the past 19 months and, in particular, the work done by Hadad, Daniel, Romano and Gomez.

“The normalisation committee was imposed by Fifa ostensibly to devise a debt reduction plan and to effect it and to revise TTFA’s Constitution,” said Look Loy, “[…] but the normalisation committee has accomplished absolutely nothing. It is an absolute failure at its ostensible mandate.

“At its real purpose, it has been an outstanding success.

“Imagine, this is what representatives of government, the overwhelming majority of TTFA members and the general public demanded United TTFA should abandon its fight to allow. Ultimately, people get the government they deserve.”

Wallace said he ran for TTFA president to ‘help to make a difference’ to the state of the local game. He felt he was moved aside for an unelected businessman who has fared, at the very least, no better.

“It pains me to see that we have not moved football and the TTFA forward after all the ‘noise’,” said Wallace. “It is also sad that a plan to deal with the debt by the duly elected executive was never even given a chance to fail.”

The Hadad-led committee had ‘a limit of 24 months imposed on it from the start by the Bureau of the Fifa Council. It means the normalisation committee should be replaced by 26 March 2022, just five months or 24 weeks from today.

Ferguson said Hadad has been such an abject failure at his mandate that he is forced to wonder if there is an ulterior motive.

“There is a concept that if you go in the kitchen and you make a mess, then you clean it up,” said Ferguson. “Don’t wake up your mother and father to clean it up.

“My point is the revenue is there to clean up the mess but they want to eat their cake and have it too. That plan he has to address the debt is erroneous and unworkable.

“But maybe that plan is so he won’t have to relinquish that [normalisation committee] position. Maybe he wants to stay for another five years…”


25
General Discussion / Re: Caribbean/BWIA Airlines Thread.
« on: October 16, 2021, 12:34:36 AM »
TTL and KLM to spend $720,000 to market Dutch/T&T flight
By Curtis Williams (T&T Guardian).


As T&T today welcomes back KLM Royal Dutch Airline to the country, taxpayers will spend just under $360,000 to market the flight and destination according to an agreement between the airline and Tourism Trinidad Limited (TTL).

Guardian Media has a copy of the agreement between TTL and KLM in which both parties agree to split the marketing of the flight in two and will each spend US$53,000 to market the flight. That works up to a total of US $106,000 or the equivalent of TT$720,000, half of which TTL will pay for.

After an absence of two decades, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will resume flights between Amsterdam and this country today.

Netherlands Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago Raphael Varga on social media said,” #KLM will start 16/10 operating three weekly flights from AMS to Bridgetown (Barbados) and Port-of-Spain (Trinidad & Tobago), two beautiful destinations in the Caribbean. The first time in 20 years that KLM will fly to Barbados and T&T.”

The Dutch Ambassador confirmed there would be flights on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

The announcement came after a recent meeting between Ambassador Varga and Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell earlier this week concerning the flight.

When contacted about the development, Mitchell said he was absolutely thrilled by KLM’s return as it opened up numerous opportunities for the country.

“This route opens up a number of opportunities for us to attract visitors from across Europe as well as other markets to experience our vibrant culture, festivals, and the sun, sea and sand that both Trinidad and Tobago offers,” he said,” We are all extremely excited.”

Mitchell also pointed to the Rotterdam Carnival, which he felt could open the door for local creative sector through the participation and greater exposure of elements of our unique Trinidad and Tobago Carnival experience to the Netherlands.

He said the return of KLM confirmed T&T was still an attractive destination for visitors from both traditional markets as well as new and emerging markets.


26
Football / Re: Women Warriors Thread
« on: October 15, 2021, 12:39:04 AM »
UFCTT labels Konstin appointment a joke.
By Nigel Simon (T&T Guardian).


Interim president of the Unified Football Coaches of T&T (UFCTT) Jefferson George has labelled the appointment of American Constantine Konstin as interim coach of the senior women’s football team until November as a joke.

On Wednesday, Konstin was named as the team interim head coach via media release from the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee (NC) of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) led by chairman Robert Hadad.

The release stated that Konstin, who recently led the national men’s futsal team at the 2021 Concacaf Futsal Championships in May, will now lead the senior women’s team into two friendly internationals versus Panama on October 21 and October 25 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Balmain, Couva.

The appointment to the temporary position for Konstin marks his first for a national football team as his previous working experience involved the men’s and women’s futsal teams in Portland, as well as T&T Under-18 women’s team at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Argentina in 2018.

Konstin's appointment also comes after Welshman James Thomas, who was hired in April as the women's team's head coach after an extensive recruitment process resigned to pick up the position at Bristol City as their women and girls Youth Development Manager. He had previously spent four years within the Academy set-up.

The decision to vacate the position by Thomas came as a shock to the local federation as it comes on the heels of the team’s preparations for the Concacaf Women World Cup and Gold Cup Qualifiers, which luckily for T&T has been delayed from November to next February.

The T&T women will contest Group F alongside Guyana, Nicaragua, Dominica, and the Turks and Caicos Islands for the round-robin series at the end of which only the top team will advance to the next stage of qualification.

However, reached for comment, George a former national youth goalkeeper expressed his bitter disappointment with the decision and the process if there was one, used to name futsal coach Konstin as interim women’s football team boss.

George said, “It is unfortunate that we have to dignify such a decision with an interview to be honest.

“This is a joke, literally, it is a joke, however we can’t laugh because the joke is on us.”

He added, “There is no way and again this is not my job any way to defend the duty feelings of Mr Constantine, but we have coaches here in T&T, and it seems as though they are invisible at least to the NC.

George boasted, “We believe that football is the game that we love and we have coaches here who are qualified and competent to take over, I mean, at least, such for a job as an interim position as they call it or job to really oversee these two friendly games against Panama.

“If our local coaches cannot be given the charge to oversee two games and they choose a foreign coach, who is a futsal coach, now that is one of the things for us that was confusing to be honest.

“I don't know, listeners may be equally confused and some might miss the little difference in that futsal is a different game to football.

“That is like going to look for a badminton coach to coach table-tennis players. Now, while they both play with rackets obviously the rules of the game and so on are different and that's the same thing with football and futsal.

“There is no logical reason for the NC or whoever is responsible for selecting a coach for our women’s team to want to do that, there is no justifiable reason to do that.”

Turning his attention to the persons responsible for making the decision to appoint Konstin to the position, George said it says a lot.

“It says that the person who we have administering football at the moment, they don't have a clue.

“It says that we are in probably a bigger crisis than we all thought. When you think of things you know probably we can’t go much lower, and yet we keep being surprised.

George noted that a key element in selection of a coach must be the impact he will have on the players, but questioned whether this approach was made.

“One of the things for me that is critically important is a point that we keep making from the Coaches' Association standpoint is that the players are factored into these decisions and obviously that wasn't on here.

“You think about how the players are going to feel, knowing that you brought a futsal coach to prepare them for these two games coming up.

“I could imagine what's going through the players minds now after this hiring and obviously those things weren't considered at the decision-making level."


27
Normalisation committee urged to communicate with TTFA members.
By Joel Bailey (T&T Newsday).


SELBY BROWNE, president of the Veterans Football Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFOTT), is urging the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee to maintain a level of communication with the membership of the TT Football Association (TTFA).

Browne was speaking in an interview on Monday, a day after the normalisation committee, which oversees the daily affairs of the TTFA, held an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), to approve the audited financial statements for 2019, ratify the expulsion of the Coaches Association of TT from its membership, and welcome the Unified Football Coaches of TT to its fold.

“It was the best thing that happened to the TTFA, progress was made. We’re in a better place now,” was Browne’s view on Sunday’s EGM. “For the very first time, there were truthful discussions between the membership and the normalisation committee. That is the only way that we can make progress and move things forward.”

The normalisation committee (chairman Robert Hadad, Judy Daniel, Nigel Romano and Nicholas Gomez) held its annual general meeting (AGM) on September 25, the first time they held an AGM since they were appointed in March, 2020 to replace the TTFA executive, led by William Wallace.

“It was made abundantly clear that the normalisation committee had boxed themselves into a corner with the desperate need to have the approval of the audited financial statements of 2019,” said Browne. “The point was made to the chairman that the failure of the normalisation committee were three important things – communication, communication and communication.”

According to Browne, who served as vice-president during the tenure of David John-Williams as TTFA president, “The normalisation committee has understood, for the first time, their roles and functions. In my humble view, of the points issued in their mandate, (another) one should have been added, which is communicate with your membership as quickly as possible, and far more progress would have been made, because there were straightforward questions that were asked, and there was the demand for direct answers, especially from the chairman.”

Merere Gonzales, president of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), who described the meeting as “rather successful, productive, meaningful and positive”, is also hopeful that there will be light at the end of the tunnel for TT football, at least from an administrative level.

“I believe, while there are various challenges which didn’t occur overnight, I am seeing a more genuine interest by persons to see if they can re-engage, revamp and return the image of Trinidad and Tobago football to where it rightfully deserves,” said Gonzales. “It’s just that, along the way, you will have some unique challenges, either by persons or by circumstances, that can sometimes create a stumbling block.”


28
Football / Re: Women Warriors Thread
« on: October 14, 2021, 12:21:19 AM »
Constantine Konstin appointed as Senior Women’s Team Interim Head Coach.
TTFA Media.


Constin to lead Senior Women’s Team against Friendlies versus Panama

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) can confirm that Constantine Konstin has been appointed as Interim Head Coach of the Senior Women’s National Team. Konstin, who most recently lead the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s Futsal Team at the 2021 CONCACAF Futsal Championships in May, will now lead the Senior Women’s Team into two friendly internationals versus Panama later this month.

In addition to working extensively with Men’s and Women’s Football and Futsal Teams in Portland, Konstin also served as head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago National Women’s U18 Futsal Team at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Argentina in 2018.

Konstin told TTFA Media, “I am extremely honoured to have the opportunity to be part of team T&T again as Women’s National Team interim head coach. I can’t wait to get back to T&T to be working side by side with the players and sta5 who already have a great foundation in place.”

Normalization Committee Chairman Robert Hadad stated, “Cony (Konstin) has always been committed to T&T football and futsal development and we have been having regular discussions with him on how that may take shape headed into 2022. So when the situation arose with James Thomas’ sudden departure, Cony kindly accepted this caretaker/interim role until November.

“We will continue to evaluate the options available in preparation for the CONCACAF W Qualifiers in February and April 2022.”

The Senior Women’s National Team will play Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 21st and 25th October 2021 as both teams prepare for the CONCACAF W Qualifiers which will now take place in February 2022. The teams will be housed at the Home of Football in a bio-secure environment with the matches being played with the approval of the Ministry of Health.

Senior Women’s National Team Assistant Coach Charlie Mitchell and the current staff will support Konstin in his new role which will run until 30th November 2021.

RELATED NEWS

NC appoints American Futsal coach to lead T&T Women’s team, Konstin ‘honoured’ by first 11-a-side job.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has replaced Welshman James Thomas with American Constantine Konstin as head coach of the Women’s National Senior Team, on an interim basis.

Thomas, who quit the job last week for the post of Bristol City Women and Girls youth development manager, had never worked as head coach before he came to Trinidad and Tobago. In Konstin’s case, the American has never coached a recognised team in 11-a-side football.

Konstin was head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Futsal Team which, earlier this year, lost all four outings with a goal differential of eight scored and 25 conceded. The American described his stint as an ‘amazing’ accomplishment.

He will now get the chance to show what he can do in outdoor football, after an extraordinary decision by the Fifa-appointed normalisation committee.

The normalisation committee has operated throughout without a technical committee, while NC chairman Robert Hadad has not even utilised his ‘ad hoc selection panel’ for recent decisions. Hadad spoke briefly on Konstin’s appointment.

“‘Connie’ [Konstin] has always been committed to T&T football and futsal development and we have been having regular discussions with him on how that may take shape headed into 2022,” Hadad told the TTFA Media. “So when the situation arose with James Thomas’ sudden departure, Connie kindly accepted this caretaker/interim role until November.

“We will continue to evaluate the options available in preparation for the Concacaf W Qualifiers in February and April 2022.”

The normalisation committee’s decision to fly in and house an American with no confirmed coaching experience at outdoor football is particularly perplexing when several local coaches such as Anton Corneal, Richard Hood, Shawn Cooper, Marlon Charles and Jason Spence have led women’s teams with varying degrees of success at Caribbean Football Union (CFU) or Concacaf level.

Hood, who led Trinidad and Tobago to the 2016 Concacaf Women’s Championship semi-finals, confirmed that he had not been offered the job by the normalisation committee. A UEFA A license coach, Hood applied for the head coach and assistant coach position earlier this year. The Police FC coach did not get either job.

Thomas is believed to have earned US$7,500 (TT$51,000) a month as head coach.

Konstin, who is on his second job for the normalisation committee, said he can’t wait to get started.

“I am extremely honoured to have the opportunity to be part of team T&T again as Women’s National Team interim head coach,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back to T&T to be working side-by-side with the players and staff who already have a great foundation in place.”

Konstin will lead the Women Soca Warriors into this month’s friendlies against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 21 and 25 October, as both teams prepare for the Concacaf W Qualifiers, set to take place in February 2022.

WATCH Konstin anticipates new challenge with Trinidad and Tobago Women's Senior Team

TTFA appoints Konstin as Women’s coach.
T&T Guardian Reports.


American Constantine Konstin has been appointed interim head coach of the T&T Senior Women’s National Team according to a release from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) on Wednesday.

Konstin, who recently led the T&T's Men’s Futsal Team at the 2021 CONCACAF Futsal Championships in May, will now lead the Senior Women’s Team into two friendly internationals versus Panama on 21 and 25 October at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

In addition to working extensively with Men’s and Women’s Football and Futsal Teams in Portland, Konstin also served as head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago National Women’s U18 Futsal Team at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Argentina in 2018.

Konstin told TTFA Media, “I am extremely honoured to have the opportunity to be part of team T&T again as Women’s National Team interim head coach. I can’t wait to get back to T&T to be working side by side with the players and staff who already have a great foundation in place.”

Normalization Committee Chairman Robert Hadad stated, “Cony (Konstin) has always been committed to T&T football and futsal development and we have been having regular discussions with him on how that may take shape heading into 2022. So when the situation arose with James Thomas’ sudden departure, Cony kindly accepted this caretaker/interim role until November. We will continue to evaluate the options available in preparation for the CONCACAF W Qualifiers in February and April 2022.”

Last week Welshman Thomas, who was hired in April as the team's head coach resigned to pick up the position as Bristol City as their Women and Girls Youth Development Manager. He had previously spent four years within the academy set-up.

The T&T team technical staff which comprises Thomas' assistant Charlie Mitchell (Assistant Coach & Performance Analyst), James Baird (Goalkeeper Coach), Joanne Daniel (Team Manager), Terry Johnson-Jeremiah (Equipment Manager), Atiba Downes (Strength and Conditioning Coach) and Aqilya Gomez (Rehab Specialist) will support Konstin in his new role which will run until 30th November 2021.

For the upcoming CONCACAF W Qualifiers, T&T are in Group F along with Guyana, Nicaragua, Dominica, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The teams will be housed at the Home of Football in a bio-secure environment with the matches being played with the approval of the Ministry of Health.

Both T&T and Panama will be using the exercise as preparations for the start of the CONCACAF W Qualifiers which have been shifted from November to the FIFA Women’s Window of February 2022.

No spectators will be allowed at the upcoming matches which will take place in a bio-secure bubble with both teams being housed at the Home of Football hotel, using the Stadium and Training pitch for all activities.

In the build-up to the encounters, the T&T Women’s Team will enter a residential camp on October 15th.

Panama defeated Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 in Group stage action at the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying championship.


29
FIFA could extend NC control of the TTFA — Browne.
By Nigel Simon (T&T Guardian).


There is a possibility that comes March 27, 2022, the stranglehold on the T&T Football Association (TTFA) by the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee could be extended.

This is according to Selby Browne of the Veteran Football Foundation of T&T (VFFOTT) who spoke to Guardian Media Sports on Monday about what the progress was made to date by the Robert Hadad-led NC since being appointed to take control of local football federation following the removal from office of the duly elected William Wallace, who defeated incumbent David John-Williams in the November 2019 T&TFA elections.

Back then FIFA in its letter of appointment said: The Bureau of the FIFA Council has today decided to appoint a Normalisation Committee for the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) in accordance with article. 8 par. 2 of the FIFA Statutes.

The decision follows the recent FIFA/Concacaf fact-finding mission to Trinidad and Tobago to assess, together with an independent auditor, the financial situation of TTFA.

The mission which took place in February 2020, found that extremely low overall financial management methods, combined with massive debt, have resulted in the TTFA facing a very real risk of insolvency and illiquidity. Such a situation is putting at risk the organisation and development of football in the country and corrective measures need to be applied urgently.

Therefore, the mandate of the Normalisation Committee will include the following:

· to run the TTFA'S daily affairs;

· to establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA;

· to review and amend the TTFA Statutes (and other regulations where necessary) and to ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress;

· to organise and to conduct elections of a new TTFA Executive Committee for a four-year mandate.

The Normalisation Committee will be composed of an adequate number of members to be identified by the FIFA administration, in consultation with Concacaf. In line with the FIFA Governance Regulations, all members of the Normalisation Committee will be subject to an eligibility check.

The Normalisation Committee will act as an electoral committee, and none of its members will be eligible for any of the open positions in the TTFA elections under any circumstances. The specified period of time during which the Normalisation Committee will perform its functions will expire as soon as it has fulfilled all of its assigned tasks, but no later than 24 months after its members have been officially appointed by FIFA.

However, Browne was quick to point out that the date for the new T&TFA elections is just about five months but the Normalisation Committee is yet to get done what they were appointed to do.

He added, “So it is my view that ahead of the next T&TFA election it is the prerogative of FIFA to extend or consider the extension of the tenure of the Normalisation Committee. For how long it may do so or what process it entails, I don’t know, but we (T&TFA membership) are not ready or have not received any information. But I do the thing it is possible unless we will have a host of proposals presented during the final quarter of 2021 for consideration by the membership, and that I expect.”

Reflecting on the appointment of the NC and the lack of communication or information coming to the membership, Browne stated, “We have less than five months to the end of the NC reign and FIFA has taken a decision to pay an NC to provide recommendations to the T&TFA membership. They were given a mandate of two years, and it is now to find out from the NC whether if they are ready to any recommendations."

However, Browne said he doubted the NC led by chairman Robert Hadad was ready to do so.

He explained, “My personal view is that the NC got distracted with running the day-to-day affairs of football like the preparations of the teams for the World Cup qualifiers, Gold Cup qualifiers and the women’s team, things they were not really prepared for.”

But in their defence, Browne stated, "Remember these are professionals in the own right, but they are not efficient at the business of football,” said Browne.

On Sunday, the Normalisation Committee-led T&TFA was able to approve the 2019 audited financials at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) hosted by the Robert Hadad-led NC Sunday virtually with the TTFA membership.

The EGM was called as a direct consequence of the motions passed by the TTFA Members at the annual general meeting (AGM) which was held on September 26 where the membership required further time to review the 2019 audited financial statements in detail, understanding the implications to the TTFA, and tabled all additional questions to the external auditors Madan Ramnarine and Co and the Normalisation Committee.

According to a release from TTFA’s acting general secretary Amiel Mohammed those questions were received before the EGM and addressed by the auditors and the Normalisation Committee.

And following further discussions on the topic at Sunday’s meeting, the 2019 audited financials were approved by the TTFA membership by a clear majority vote.

Additionally, during the EGM, the T&TFA membership ratified the expulsion of the Coaches Association from the membership to correct a motion that was not properly executed, as per the TTFA constitution, at an Extraordinary General Meeting held on April 21, 2018.

Following this decision, the TTFA Membership admitted the Unified Football Coaches of T&T (UFCTT) and welcomed them as the newest member of the TTFA.

Commenting on the EGM, Browne said the T&TFA made great progress.

He said, “We are in a better place than we were a day before and it’s the first time that there was a dialogue with a meaningful discussion between the NC and the membership.


30
Awai tells members, TTFA not insolvent
...wants Hadad to get certificate of title for HoF land
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).


Mike Awai, a stakeholder in local football, is urging the membership of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) to not approve the audited financial accounts of the TTFA when it is presented for discussion and eventual vote at the TTFA Emergency General Meeting (EGM) on Sunday.

Awai, the former AC Port of Spain Business Development Manager, has been angered by a Guardian Media report on Wednesday that confirmed that the embattled football association is insolvent, and is now calling on Robert Hadad, the chairman of a FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee to get a certificate of title for the land housing the controversial "Home of Football" (HoF) in Balmain, Couva that will be accepted by the auditors.

Awai said for such a businessman, a certificate of that nature would be at his fingertips or at the call of his phone.  

Determining the solvency of the football association will be done at the EGM. At present, the TTFA is in need of the audited financials of the association to be approved if it is to received monies from FIFA.

The EGM became the next step after AGM deferred discussions on the issue of the audited financial statement and the lease for the Home of Football at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the TTFA on September 26. At that meeting, the accounts were presented minus the value for the land that houses the Home of Football, said to be estimated at $42 million.

In July, Hadad issued a statement that put the TTFA debt at $98.5 million.

Leading the discussions were the Veteran Football Foundation of T&T (VFFOTT) and T&T Pro League campaigners W Connection Football Club, both of which penned letters to the normalisation committee before and after the AGM, demanding answers on the matter.

However, David John-Williams, a former president of TTFA who was responsible for ensuring that approved audited financial reached into the hands of the FIFA in 2018 and 2019 for the first time since 2008, has promised to offer a statement after the EGM. John-Williams is also responsible for securing the land for the Home of Football from the government.

In the meanwhile, Awai who has been attempting to find answers for the football quagmire, was livid when he saw statements from the local football boss and said on Wednesday: “What is wrong with Hadad? He took 18 months to figure out that he does not have a plan. What has he been doing? What is his mantra?

"Isn’t it to fix the constitution, to prepare fresh election and have a debt repayment plan? I am going to send an email to all the stakeholders because I have the whole listing of them.

"I am going to make an appeal to the stakeholders, not to approve the audited accounts because the TTFA is not insolvent.

"Eighteen (18) months and we can’t get a certificate of title, 18 months and we can’t get a proposal for the repayment plan and now all of a sudden, after 18 months he is now asking the government to talk, he could have done that a year ago and they might have done something small for us in the budget.”

Awai, the owner and founder of the FUTGOF Football Academy, has been avoiding calls to enter the fray ahead of the coming elections of the TTFA. However, he has been bitterly disappointed with the work done by Hadad and his committee members to date, saying they have not achieved a single item of their mandate by FIFA.  

A week ago, Awai came up with two theories why the NC would want the TTFA to be insolvent, and one entailed the possibility of avoiding the huge debt that has crippled local football for many years.  

Sunday’s EGM is expected to be intense but Hadad is assuring members that answers to their questions will come but just not from him. Apart from revealing the financial status of the TTFA, Hadad also said that the independent auditors will be the ones to provide the answers to the questions of the members.

Awai believes that if the membership approves the audited financials, they will indirectly be giving up their power and control of the assets of the TTFA.


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