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Messages - SWF Reporter

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121
I made it all up, Bakes?
Quote: Wallace said the cost of the Mexico trip would normally be easily absorbed by the Ministry of Sport. He told Wired868 that Permanent Secretary Richard Oliver called all sport bodies to an emergency meeting yesterday where the Government’s financial situation was laid bare.

“(The Ministry of Sport) hasn’t gotten a release of funds from the Ministry of Finance and they used their (existing) money to pay off the debts with the senior team,” said Wallace. “All sporting bodies were called into an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss the current situation with regards the drop in oil prices and the expectations and so on.

“So we have to revisit all the requests sent to them and tailor them in a more realistic way. There are no funds there at this point in time.”

122
Sham! TTFA allegedly faked congratulatory statement from Women Warriors
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com)


The credibility of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has taken another hit after an allegation that the beleagured football body sent invented quotes to media from national women’s team player Tasha St Louis, which congratulated the TTFA over its treatment of the national women footballers.

Yesterday, a TTFA press release quoted St Louis and national team manager Vernetta Flanders complimenting the organisation for its efforts during the team’s 2015 World Cup qualifying campaign.

“The FA came through for us,” said St Louis, according to a TTFA press release, “and we received more resources and payment over the last three months than we have received since over the ten years or more that I’ve been a part of the program.”

Flanders allegedly thanked the football body for paying the players before the holiday period.

“It’s been a long campaign for everyone on the team including players and staff and we wish to say thank you to the TTFA and those who ensured the players in particular were able to receive their payments before the holiday period,” Flanders allegedly told the TTFA Media. “The experience has been one of a lifetime for everyone in the team and again we appreciate the efforts of the association.”

However, Wired868 was informed that both persons privately denied conducted any such interview with TTFA press officer Shaun Fuentes or anyone else from the local football body.

“No, I didn’t do an interview,” St Louis told Wired868. “Shaun called me but I told him I was busy and he didn’t call back.”

Wired868 read out St Louis’ alleged statement and asked if those were her words. She replied in the negative.

Flanders said she heard about her supposed statement but, when asked if she gave an interview to the TTFA Media or was accurately quoted, she responded: “no comment.”

Fuentes, who sent to the release to the media, told Wired868 that he did not speak to St Louis or Flanders but claimed he received the quotes in a draft done by TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips.

The long-serving press officer admitted that he called St Louis but was told she was driving at the time while his second attempt to reach the player was unsuccessful. He was also unable to contact defender Arin King for a comment regarding the payment of their match fees and stipends.

Fuentes alleged that Phillips then sent him a draft press release with quotes from St Louis and Flanders. So he assumed that his boss spoke to both women.

“The release was put together by (Phillips) who said he had confirmed with the player that it was okay to use that quote,” Fuentes told Wired868. “He inserted the quote in the final draft to me and indicated that he spoke to her… He sent me a quote from both of them.”

Wired868 phoned Phillips for comment and left a message. But, up to the time of publication, he had not responded.

The allegedly faked interviews followed criticism from team captain Maylee Attin-Johnson and star attacker Kennya “Yaya” Cordner who blasted the TTFA’s tardiness in paying its players among other issues.

“To be honest, there are times when (the TTFA) was good to us,” Cordner told Wired868, “but most times when we needed them the most they were not good at all.”

At just 26 years of age, Cordner is already a three-time TTFA Women’s Player of the Year and recently became the first Caribbean player to be named on a shortlist for the CONCACAF Player of the Year award.

But, rather than call Cordner into a meeting to discuss her disenchantment, the TTFA appeared to counter her complaints by allegedly fabricatinig quotes that were credited to her teammate, St Louis, which claimed that: “The FA came through for us.”

If true, the stunt will do little for the image of the TTFA at a time when its integrity is being questioned more than ever since the depature of its former special advisor Jack Warner.

Phillips was alleged to be involved in a license fee racket, which cost taxpayers $400,000 in May. And football president Raymond Tim Kee deceived his own football executive over monies owed to coach Stephen Hart and his players and allegedly tried to hide Darren Millien’s role with the TTFA from the ExCo as well as Tourism Minister Gerald Hadeed.

St Louis’ claim suggests that the TTFA has now turned to using players as pawns to shield themselves from criticism.

Tim Kee, in response to Cordner’s suggestion that the women’s team is now dormant, said that coach Randy Waldrum had already submitted plans for 2015, which included practice games. Just minutes after the final qualifying game on December 2, Phillips also indicated that Waldrum would be kept on.

It raised the question as to whether the TTFA technical committee, which is chaired by Richard Quan Chan, is no more than a rubber stamp. It is the technical committee’s remit to gauge and recommend coaches. But, if Waldrum did send his plans for 2015 to the football body, neither Tim Kee nor Phillips bothered to forward them to Quan Chan.

“We have not had yet had a report from Randy and we will not do anything until a report from him is submitted,” Quan Chan told Wired868. “The fraternity might accept at this point that Mr Waldrum has done a good job (and) the women believe he has brought them a long way…

“Mr Waldrum is the coach of Dallas Dash and I do not know that we are in a financial position to hire a foreign coach at this time. But there will be a full discussion on his performance and what kinds of options we might have.”


123
Football / TTFA blames falling oil prices for scrapped U-20 tour to Mexico
« on: December 16, 2014, 07:36:37 PM »
Oil prices blamed for scrapped tour; Mexico and T&T U-20 teams left in lurch
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com)


The national under-20 football team was forced to scrap its December tour to Mexico due to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s (TTFA) inability to raise the $780,000 needed to fund to trip.

The teenaged “Soca Warriors”, who are the Caribbean Cup champions, are preparing for CONCACAF action in Jamaica next month as they continue their bid to qualify for the New Zealand 2015 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. And head coach Derek King was crushed that his squad will miss such vital preparation.

The Warriors were due to leave for Mexico tomorrow while their tour included two games against the Mexico national under-23 team and one exhibition match against either the Club America or Pachuca senior team.

“Training has been good and the boys were looking forward to playing Mexico who won the last two CONCACAF under-20 tournaments,” said King. “Knowing that Mexico is always the powerhouse in CONCACAF, these games would have been a good measure for (our) players and staff and we were all really excited to not only play against them but in Mexico too.

“We were told (the Mexico trip) was 100 percent sure. So we are really disappointed.”

The TTFA announced a $1.6 million profit today from the FIFA Women’s Play Off contest between the “Women Soca Warriors” and Ecuador on December 2. However, although the Ministry of Sport is supposedly willing to pay $200,000 towards the Mexico trip, general secretary Sheldon Phillips offered little hope that the football body would meet the deficit.

“What we were looking at is basically putting some (of that revenue) back into the women’s game,” Phillips told Wired868. “The amount required for the Mexico trip was close to $700,000 and that would not have been covered by (revenue from) the women’s game.”

King, an ex-national youth and senior team defender and Pro League Coach of the Year with Joe Public, said the aborted tour would not only affect Trinidad and Tobago’s preparation but Mexico’s as well. And he complained that the TTFA was not doing enough for its national teams or the country’s reputation in the game.

“Mexico would be very disappointed because they could have played anybody but they agreed to schedule us and now we cancelled at the last minute,” said King. “So what happens when we need to do something with Mexico again?

“We got the support from the local clubs who released their players although their season is going on and some players took the sacrifice to leave their university early to come here and train. But I feel as if the (TTFA) didn’t push hard enough to make this happen.

“We have to be thankful to the (Sport Ministry) for their assistance but they are not obligated to fund football. The association really didn’t work to make this happen.”

TTFA administrator William Wallace said there was another issue affecting the football body’s ability to raise money from the Government: falling oil prices.

Wallace inherited general secretary Sheldon Phillips’ responsibilities for team budgets and liaising with the Government after Phillips and his former marketing official, Darren Millien, were implicated in an alleged $400,000 licensing fee scam revealed exclusively by Wired868.

And Wallace said the cost of the Mexico trip would normally be easily absorbed by the Ministry of Sport. He told Wired868 that Permanent Secretary Richard Oliver called all sport bodies to an emergency meeting yesterday where the Government’s financial situation was laid bare.

“(The Ministry of Sport) hasn’t gotten a release of funds from the Ministry of Finance and they used their (existing) money to pay off the debts with the senior team,” said Wallace. “All sporting bodies were called into an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss the current situation with regards the drop in oil prices and the expectations and so on.

“So we have to revisit all the requests sent to them and tailor them in a more realistic way. There are no funds there at this point in time.”

Wired868 tried unsuccessfully to get confirmation of the meeting from the Ministry of Sport.

The current national under-20 squad is believed to be Trinidad and Tobago’s most gifted youth team in this millennium. St Ann’s Rangers striker Kadeem Corbin was the 2014 Caribbean Cup’s MVP while Naparima College midfielder Jabari Mitchell and Shiva Boys’ Hindu College attacker Levi Garcia earned rave reviews at the tournament.

The young Warriors are grouped with the United States, Panama, Aruba, Guatemala and hosts Jamaica in a new format that will see each team play five group matches. The Group A and Group B winners will qualify automatically for the New Zealand World Cup while the second and third place teams from each group will enter a play off for the final two berths.

And while teams like Canada and the United States played more than a half dozen international friendlies over the past six months against outfits like England, Russia and Ireland, King may have to make do with practise matches against local Pro League teams instead.

Wallace is working on raising funds for a seven-day pre-tournament camp in Fort Lauderdale, which, together with the CONCACAF competition, would cost roughly TT$1.5 million. He hopes to receive TT$1 million from the Ministry of Sport, despite its financial issues, and raise a further TT$500,000 from the private sector.

“I am waiting over the next 48 hours to see what happens with Fort Lauderdale and the under-20 tournament,” Wallace told Wired868. “The hope is that the government will fund our airfare, daily allowance and accommodation for additional staff in Jamaica while the corporate sector will fund the actual camp in Florida…

“We can’t name our potential sponsors yet but (the fund-raising drive) has been a collective effort from myself and friends outside of the TTFA.”

King suggested that the excitement and passion generated by the women’s team was an example of what sport can bring to Trinidad and Tobago if properly harnessed. He hopes the private sector pays heed.

“We hope the corporate sector comes on board and assists because this is the future of Trinidad and Tobago’s football,” said King. “The Canada and US teams have toured Europe and Panama and Guatemala and so on are investing in their youth. Our players need that international exposure to challenge on this level.

“So we really hope we get that support at least for that week before we head to Jamaica.”


124
TTFA insists Millien quit; Hadeed promises tell-all in Parliament
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com)

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has denied its marketing official, Darren Millien, was fired by the local football body or that his departure was a sign of guilt over a $.4 million licensing fee con unearthed by Wired868 last week.
Millien was accused of requesting $400,000 in cash from travel agent, Nissi Tours, which was supposed to be a payment to the TTFA but promptly disappeared.
Tourism Minister Gerald Hadeed claimed that he reported the alleged crime to TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee before the “Soca Warriors” international friendly in Buenos Aires on June 4.
However, by Tim Kee’s own admission, the cash-strapped football body waited between three to four months to report the missing money to the police. And, even then, the complaint to the Fraud Squad was supposedly filed by TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips with help from Millien.
Phillips hired Millien and advised the tour agents that the former West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and Sportt Company executive member was his “go to guy.”
Within five days of Wired868’s exclusive report on the controversial payment, the TTFA announced Millien’s departure by press release while Phillips had his duties slashed as national senior team manager William Wallace took on the responsibility to liaise with the government and the various national teams over budgets.
But the TTFA insisted, via another press release today, that Millien’s departure, which was said to be only “until the issues surrounding the Argentina tour have been resolved”, was voluntary.
“Mr Millien met with me on Friday November 28,” said Tim Kee, in the latest press statement, “when we had a frank and open discussion, during which he voluntarily offered to withdraw his services until the matter has been satisfactorily resolved.”
The release did not say whether Phillips also offered to give up a large chunk of his portfolio voluntarily. Nor did it explain why Millien’s resignation and the restructuring of Phillips’ post did not happen when the matter was supposedly filed with the police—in August or September—rather than immediately after the Wired868 articles last week.
Neither Tim Kee nor Phillips could be reached by telephone to give further explanations and the football president, who is also the Port of Spain mayor and PNM treasurer, did not return a voice message.
There is little indication, at present, that this matter will fade away anytime soon.
Hadeed told Wired868 that he has requested a copy of the TTFA’s statement to the Fraud Squad and hopes to have it before the end of the week.
Read more: http://wired868.com/2014/12/01/ttfa-insists-millien-quit-hadeed-promises-tell-all-in-parliament/

125
I get by with or without you, Bakes. The first paragraph said: "restructuring the role of its general secretary." Unfortunately, that doesn't fit well in a headline. So "demote" is a simplification.
That's your only thought from that story eh Bakes? You're as sharp as ever fellah.  :beermug:

126
Don't let me down with your spin, Bakes. ;-)

127
TTFA sacks Millien and demotes Phillips; averts coaches walk-out
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com)

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has responded to the financial furore regarding its alleged $.4 million licensing fee for a June friendly against Argentina, revealed exclusively by Wired868, by sacking its commercial agent Darren Millien and restructuring the role of its general secretary Sheldon Phillips.
Millien was the TTFA’s marketing consultant while he ran the football body’s FIFA-funded income generation programme.
On Tuesday November 25, Wired868 revealed that $400,000 of taxpayers’ money from the Ministry of Tourism went missing and Millien was accused of collecting the sum from tour agent, Nissi Tours.
And, two days later, Tourism Minister Gerald Hadeed told the website that: “Millien is a person that no one should have any business association with. The fellah is an absolute f***ing crook!”
TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, who is also the Port of Spain mayor and PNM treasurer, initially dismissed the Wired868 articles as “a diabolic lie” but since appeared to have had a dramatic change of heart.
In a release this evening following a discussion with the TTFA executive committee, Tim Kee stated that the football body agreed to:
1) Accept the withdrawal of Darren Millien’s services as commercial agent for the TTFA. This follows a meeting between President Tim Kee and Mr. Millien on Friday November 28;
2) The reconfiguration of General Secretary, Sheldon Phillips’, role by including William Wallace to lead government relations and team management functions;
3) Appoint former WIPA president Dinanath Ramnarine as a consultant to lead efforts to assist the TTFA with its governance and management reform and to review and restructure organizational operations;
4) Reiterate the need to improve the governance structure of the TTFA in line with best practices.
Wired868 sought responses from Tim Kee and Phillips on the changes but calls went straight to voice mail.
Wallace, who is a national team manager and school teacher at Carapichaima East Secondary, said his new job description still in flux.
Read more: http://wired868.com/2014/11/30/shake-up-ttfa-sacks-millien-and-demotes-phillips-averts-coaches-walk-out/

128
Here, Bakes. Gimme a new conspiracy theory with this one:

Hadeed on TTFA/Argentina scandal: The fellah is an absolute f***ing crook!
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)


“(Darren) Millien is a person that no one should have any business association with,” Tourism Minister Gerald Hadeed told Wired868. “The fellah is an absolute f***ing crook! That fellah is a scamp… I don’t know how (the TTFA) hired him.”

Tourism Minister Gerald Hadeed is renowned for speaking bluntly; and he was not about to deviate from that habit when Wired868 enquired about the Trinidad and Tobago national football team’s excursion to Buenos Aires in June to face a Lionel Messi-led Argentina team.

The Ministry of Tourism bankrolled the affair with an initial budget of $2.1 million. But $400,000 went missing and it caused a default on the payment for a chartered plane. The end result was an additional $1.2 million bill for taxpayers so the Government could book Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to complete the job.

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips and marketing official Darren Millien, both employees of football president Raymond Tim Kee, were fingered by Hadeed in the disappearance of taxpayers’ money. (Read Part One for more on both men and their roles within local football).

But let us start closer to the beginning. The TTFA contacted the Tourism Ministry for financial assistance in taking the “Soca Warriors” to Buenos Aires for a high-profile exhibition game on June 4, which was a week before the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

The game would supposedly be beamed into 300 million homes and, at $2.1 million, the Tour Minister felt it represented excellent value for Trinidad and Tobago’s money.

“We are the last in the chain of islands when you are coming from North America or Europe,” said Hadeed, “so it takes more money to come to us than to go any other island. But we are the first and the cheapest destination if you are coming from South America…

“Do you know that 60 percent of our LNG goes to South America now? Our market is expanding in Central and South America. So our tourism program is gearing towards Central and South America.”

A chance for Trinidad and Tobago to share advertising space with Argentine superstar and the finest player of his generation, Messi, seemed a mouth watering opportunity. And Hadeed instructed his then Permanent Secretary Juliana Boodram to make it happen.

Due to administrative and bureaucratic issues, the Tourism Minister opted against dealing directly with a booking agency. Instead, the TTFA served as a middle-man between the Government and the football body’s primary tour operator, Nissi Tours.

Millien was not involved in the initial negotiations with the Tourism Ministry but was inserted by Phillips once the Governments funds were approved.

“Darren (Millien) has been my go to guy for the tour arrangements,” Phillips told the tour operator, via one email. “The ministry confirmed everything so he should be contacting you…”

The Government’s disbursement was split into three tranches. Tranche One, in the sum of $900,000, was made by the Government on May 14 and immediately forwarded to the account of Nissi Tours. It did not stay there long, though.

Even before the payment, Millien, according to an informed source, informed the travel company that it should immediately give $400,000 in cash from this figure to the TTFA, payable in two parts on May 14 and 15. Wired868 was shown the corresponding What’s App messages as evidence of the conversation.

The payment, according to the messages, was described as a “licensing fee… for permission to use the logo of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association.” Millien, according to the source, claimed he wanted it in cash so it could be immediately used to facilitate different payments.

Tim Kee was very sceptical of Nissi Tours’ claim.

“When I heard that $400,000 was paid to an individual in cash; that threw up a red flag for me,” Tim Kee told Wired868. “I felt that allegation was rather irregular.”

In fact, cash payments in brown envelopes were a regular feature of Jack Warner’s tenure in football; and Tim Kee served as Warner’s vice-president for nearly two decades.

Wired868 can confirm that Tim Kee’s own employee, Phillips, paid over a dozen Trinidad and Tobago national senior team women’s footballers almost US$3,000 each in brown envelopes, just before they boarded a flight for Mexico City on October 30 at the Piarco International Airport.

Nissi Tours representative David Atiba Charles, a World Cup 2006 defender, was paid countless times in cash by the TTFA during his international careers.

Still, Charles admitted he was nervous when he collected $200,000 in a big, brown envelope from a bank branch in Marabella, on May 14, and headed to Port of Spain to meet Millien. He said Millien asked him to come to the Hyatt—rather than at the TTFA headquarters—and, once there, instructed him to meet him in the car park.

Charles claimed Millien said he did not want to sign for the money and suggested Phillips would do so later. But when Charles insisted that he needed a signature for his own protection, the TTFA representative obliged with a carefree swish of his pen.

Knowing Millien was the TTFA’s agent, Charles felt he did not need to check the signature against the marketing man’s ID card or driver’s license.

The next day, as Charles prepared for his second delivery, Millien allegedly said he was at the TTFA’s office. Rather than meet there, he told Charles to take the money to MovieTowne and wait outside the Ruby Tuesday restaurant.

Charles stood on the pavement when Millien drove up in a black Mercedes. He never got out. Millien instructed the Nissi rep to toss the envelope in the back seat and, remaining at the wheel, he signed for receipt and drove off.


Read More


129
I simply don't bother to respond to Bakes anymore and keep my distance mostly. If I want to talk to Sheldon, I will pick up the phone and call. I have no time for his errand boys.

130
$.4 million con: Tim Kee tries to explain cover-up in Argentina friendly.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com).


Almost half a million dollars of taxpayers’ money routed through the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has disappeared with TTFA president and Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee unable to account for it.

Four hundred thousand dollars, which was the third biggest line item on the budget for the high-profile international friendly between Argentina and Trinidad and Tobago in Buenos Aires on June 4, went missing within two days of a $900,000 disbursement from the Ministry of Tourism, and set off a chain of events that led to a further $1.2 million loss for taxpayers.

The money, according to sources, was demanded by marketing executive Darren Millien, who was handpicked by TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips to represent the football body for the excursion.

Millien, according to an audited accounting statement and other related documents in Wired868’s possession, insisted upon two cash payments of $200,000 each from tour operator, Nissi Tours, as a “licensing fee” for the TTFA. The money was hand-delivered by Nissi representative and former 2006 World Cup player David Atiba Charles.

Invoices signed by Millien suggested that the “licensing fee” reached the intended recipients while Charles assured Wired868 that he made the delivery. The former W Connection defender also told Minister of Tourism Gerald Hadeed, in Millien’s presence, that he handed over the supposed licensing fee.

However, Millien, a former SPORTT Company and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) executive, denied receiving the cash; his signature, he claimed, was forged.

“They said they had receipts I signed for $400,000,” Millien told Wired868. “When we looked at it, it was nothing like my signature. I presented copies of my signature and it was nothing like it.”

Hadeed, who learned of the fraud in an explosive meeting on May 30, has apparently left it for Tim Kee to investigate the missing taxpayers’ money. Wired868 could not reach Hadeed for comment.

It, arguably, is now a case of the TTFA investigating the TTFA over its role in the disappearance of public funds.

Tim Kee did not even inform the TTFA’s executive committee of the con until, six months later, when football officials got wind of the scandal and asked questions at a meeting on 17 November 2014.

According to a source, Tim Kee, who is also the PNM treasurer and a member of two FIFA standing committees, told the TTFA ExCo that the matter was reported to the Fraud Squad and so he was unable to discuss it. He repeated that claim to Wired868.

Remarkably, Millien claimed to have had input in the query that was filed with the Fraud Squad; and, despite evidence to the contrary, said Nissi Tours was the accused.

“We sent copies of (the Nissi Tours) report to the Fraud Squad,” said Millien. “They have to answer questions about the wild allegations of 400,000 in cash.”

However, senior police sources assured Wired868 that no report involving Millien or the TTFA whas ever brought to the attention of the Port of Spain Fraud Squad. Millien, Tim Kee and the TTFA are all based in Port of Spain while the payments were allegedly made in the Hyatt Hotel car park and at MovieTowne in Port of Spain.

Tim Kee promised to send Wired868 a copy of the file sent to the Fraud Squad. But, a day later and up to the time of publishing, he had not done so.

Meanwhile, even as the fraud matter is supposedly being investigated, Millien remains employed by the TTFA on a contract basis. He is, ironically, the face behind the football body’s push to raise money through the TTFA’s FIFA-funded income generation programme.

Tim Kee, who said he had a lot of respect for Millien, tried to explain why the TTFA is paying someone under investigation for fraud to raise money.

“Sheldon hired Darren Millien as he seemed to have had the qualifications to do it and I do not micro-manage,” said the football president, who claimed allegations against Millien were politically motivated. “As a human being, I myself have been subjected to a lot of things that were untrue; so I didn’t want to judge Darren on anything that might not be true.

“But, anytime I catch him, he will be on his own… I’m not taking that kind of blame at this stage of my life.”

Wired868 asked Millien what he brought to the cash-strapped body after almost 18 months as a marketing consultant.

“I was assisting (the TTFA) in its commercial programme,” said Millien. “We made a lot of approaches to commercial sponsors and we are just awaiting feedback from them.”

Millien has found revenue for himself, though. In the last two months, the One 2 One Marketing company, which lists Sherwin Derek Wong and Millien as its directors, received just over $60,000 from the football body.

During that period, the Government stepped in twice with financial rescue packages for the TTFA who had not paid per diems to its national women’s team players or match fees and salaries to the senior men’s team players and coaches.

Phillips has done well for himself too.

While then technical director Anton Corneal and other coaches worked for free, Phillips virtually doubled the housing allowance afforded to previous general secretary Richard Groden as the allowance rose sharply from $11,000 to around $21,000. And, while Groden’s starting salary was $15,000 in 2004, Phillips is understood to pay himself between $23,000 and $24,000.

Tim Kee defended Phillips’ remuneration.

“Sheldon’s allowance was aligned to what was paid to Groden,” said Tim Kee. “Groden was occupying one of (Jack) Warner’s houses and he rented a vehicle for around $19,000 a month. When you look at the combination of both they would come up to the same.”

Wired868 understands that Groden actually received a vehicle allowance of roughly $8,000 per month. Phillips, incidentally, also has a company vehicle.

“(Phillips) went to Lifestyle Motors and worked out an arrangement where it is paid for in kind,” said Tim Kee.

Lifestyle Motors has given the TTFA use of a vehicle, which Phillips drives, but, instead of cash, the company receives benefit by placing banners and billboards at national team games without charge.

Even without adding the cost of the billboards that the TTFA waives so Phillips can have his vehicle, the general secretary’s salary plus allowances is notably higher than his predecessor’s and at a time when the football body complains of being virtually insolvent.

Potentially more lucrative are Phillips’ side interests. He is the owner and sole employee of consultancy firm Element Agency + Events in Columbia, Maryland, which, Wired868 has been told, does marketing and operates as a match agent.

Phillips’ CV features a single reference of note to Element Agency. In 2012, in collaboration with James Grant Sports and the Baltimore Ravens, the firm put on an exhibition match between Liverpool and Tottenham.

In February 2013, three months after Tim Kee became TTFA president, Phillips got his first gig with the local football body when he organised Peru’s trip to Couva for an international friendly.

One London-based match agent, who operates in the Caribbean, explained to Wired868 how they earn their pay.

Agents usually charge a minimum of £5,000 per game plus full affair costs, which means all expenses such as travel costs and match fees. On top of that flat fee, agents usually demand a percentage of gates and television revenue as well.

An agent with a commitment from an international team to arrange a game on a particular day, for instance, can hawk around the world until he or she finds a suitable football association that will pay the most for the match.

Trinidad and Tobago is a more attractive proposition to match agents than one might think. It is one of the few international teams that generally has all its “affair costs” paid for by its government.

So, in theory, a match agent could charge the Romania or Saudi Arabia FAs for the cost of airline tickets and match fees for the Trinidad and Tobago team and then pocket that money once the trip is written off by the Ministry of Sport while still benefitting from a booking fee and cut of the gates and television rights.

Under Tim Kee, the “Soca Warriors” have played 12 international friendless and nine of them were abroad against Argentina, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Peru, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Peru, Belize and Jamaica. Audited statements were not provided to the TTFA executive or the Government for any of those matches.

When Phillips became the TTFA’s general secretary, in May 2013, he told Wired868 that he would no longer run Element Agency owing to an obvious conflict of interest.

Yesterday, Phillips denied that he was using his position at the TTFA to earn substantial fees as a match agent. He claimed to have an affidavit from the Romanian agent involved in the friendly clash between the two nations in 2013, which states that Phillips “was never given or asked for a fee.”

“As general secretary, I cannot act as an agent,” said Phillips. “When I started to hear this claim, I wanted to quell it and that is why I got that affidavit from the gentleman.”

He did not explain why he felt a statement from a fellow agent cleared him.

Wired868 also received emails that showed Phillips used his Element Agency account to conduct much of the TTFA’s business for the Argentina tour while, in others, he used his TTFA or Gmail accounts.

Phillips insisted his use of his Element Agency account, while sorting out details for international football matches, was an honest mistake. While Tim Kee said he advised his general secretary to stick to Gmail—rather than his TTFA address.

“I have a glitch in my email where sometimes emails that go out go out with my Element address,” Phillips told Wired868. “I’ve tried to fix it and even disabled the address but emails still go out. I have to get that fixed.

“Element has never been a part of anything since I got involved in the TTFA.”

So, who put on the Trinidad and Tobago/Argentina friendly?

“That would be World Eleven,” said Phillips.

Renowned London-based Argentinean journalist Marcela Mora y Araujo, whose freelance employers include the UK Guardian and Telegraph and the US-based Sport Illustrated, was working in Buenos Aires at the time of the match and she gave a different story.

“I was told by World Eleven that the game was not organised by them,” said Mora y Araujo, “but rather by the AFA directly.”

Millien is no stranger to controversy either. In 2005, the then WICB Chief Marketing Officer was among several officials grilled by a three-member committee over the Board’s controversial contract with Digicel behind the backs of its then sponsor, Cable & Wireless, and amidst rumours of illicit kickbacks.

The committee, which was chaired by Trinidadian Justice Anthony Lucky and included Antiguan chartered accountants Avondale Thomas and Gregory Georges, ruled that the Digicel contract was legally flawed and null and void.

Millien also appeared before a Parliamentary committee during the last PNM administration to answer questions on the controversial $2 million flag, which haunted previous Sport Minister Gary Hunt.

As soon as the Ministry of Tourism agreed to partner with the TTFA, Phillips introduced Millien to the tour operators for the event.

“Darren has been my go to guy for the tour arrangements,” said Phillips, via one email. “The ministry confirmed everything so he should be contacting you…”

Then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Juliana Boodram, had little knowledge of football but saw the benefits of a high-profile match with an estimated broadcast audience of 300 million. The $2.1 million cost of taking the Warriors to Argentina was also cheaper than a booth at either of the world trade shows in London or Berlin.

Boodram’s job was to liaise with Phillips and Millien to ensure the event went smoothly and the public purse was protected.

What followed was a tour she would never forget.


131
Football / Wired868 profiles San Juan North and T&T U-20 striker Brent Sam
« on: November 13, 2014, 01:27:36 PM »
One-on-on with San Juan North’s Brent Sam
By Candis Cayona (Wired868.com)


Reminiscent of tall, skillful and popular Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Brent towers some 6’ 2” over me and the rest of his team mates.

At first impression, Sam renders a shy quiet personality, however once you begin to talk his language, football, he absolutely comes alive.

At 18 years, Sam’s football life is a busy one; he trains four times a week, approximately three hours per session, and currently plays for two teams, San Juan North Secondary School and the Trinidad and Tobago Under 20 National Team. He plays two games per week in the SSFL.

The following is an interview with “Sammy”—his nickname on the field—that helps us to get to know him better.

What is your date of birth?

18 April 1996

What is your hometown?

I was born in Mt Hope but grew up in Bourg Mulatresse.

What is something most people do not know about you?

I love macaroni pie and quite frankly, I eat too much but never put on weight.

Since you love to eat, can you cook?

Not much.

How would you describe yourself as a person?

Definitely handsome (blushes) and kind, but not with “outta timin” people.  “Outta timin” meaning people who step to me with stupid talk and stupid actions.

What do you hope to do when you finish school?

I want to play professional football.  At present I am on the Trinidad and Tobago Under 20 National Team; this was a very recent appointment, as I was on the Under 17 team before.  I want to move on to the Senior Team and then who knows where, maybe somewhere out of Trinidad.

What would be success for you as a player?

Success would be for me to do just what I’m doing now.

Tell us a little more about your successes then.

For the Under 17 team I scored an important goal against Costa Rica in Panama; a free kick to win the game.  Costa Rica was eliminated because of me!  What is more success than that?!

With all these successes, I think it would be interesting to know what or who got you started with playing football?

Actually, I was not too interested in football at first but I have two uncles who are professional football players. (One uncle, Hector Sam, played professionally in Britain for eight years and now represents Police FC in the local Pro League) They are the ones who really encouraged me. 

Once I started to take the game seriously, I realized that I real good and have real talent.  They would give me pointers on how to improve and well the rest is history.

Who was your most important coach(s) and why?

Mr (Keith) Jeffrey is my most important coach.  He always encourages and motivates me to do better and to improve.

What makes you stand out as a player?

I could not only play in my role as a forward but I can play all the positions on field, even in goal. I also have a lot of ball tricks.

Do you think your height has anything to do with your ability to play in any position?

Maybe, especially as a striker and in the goal.

Who is your favourite player?

Cristiano Ronaldo of course!

Why is he your favourite player?

I follow his football closely and use some of his tricks on the field.  I really like the “Cristi Cut”.  This is a move that helps you beat players.

What is your favourite team?

My favourite team is Manchester United of course!

What was your best moment in football so far and what was your worst?

My best football moment in the Premier League was my ‘hat trick’ in the game against Presentation College (San Fernando) and then I scored the winning two goals against Shiva Boys. Then when I was in the Under 17 National Team, in my first game against British Virgin Islands, I scored 7 goals! My worst time was the first four games of the 2014 Premier League. 

What is your target for the season?

I want to score a total of 20 goals.  So far, I have scored 12, so I don’t have far to go to achieve my 20 goals. (This was before the start of the Intercol).

What advice do you have for young persons like yourself who wants to pursue a career in football?

In these times there are a lot of opportunities out there.  You can begin to travel the world and learn so much about different countries and about different styles of football.  Keep training hard and always play your best on the field because you never know who is out there looking at you.


132
TTFA explains record women’s ticket prices for historic W/Cup contest
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com)


Football fans must pay a record admission fee for a local women’s match to be part of history on 2 December 2014 when the Trinidad and Tobago senior national women’s football team faces Ecuador in the second and final leg of a Canada 2015 Women’s World Cup Play Off from 6 pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Trinidad and Tobago held Ecuador to a goalless draw at 2,700 metres above sea level in Quito for the first leg on 8 November 2014 and now needs a win at home on December 2.

Trinidad and Tobago has never qualified for a FIFA women’s tournament before although the two island republic participated in the 2010 Women’s Under-17 World Cup as the host nation.

And the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), based on advice from its Local Organising Committee (LOC), has set the ticket prices at $200 (covered stands) and $100 (uncovered stands) for the return leg with children under-12 free in the uncovered section. The tickets are due to go on sale from November 17 at still undisclosed outlets.

The admission fee of $200 and $100 mirrors the price for Trinidad and Tobago’s vital 2006 World Cup qualifier against Mexico on 12 October 2005 when Stern John’s double got the “Soca Warriors” into a FIFA Play Off against Bahrain. Tickets for that historic match, which also featured icons Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy, were sold out.

The price for Trinidad and Tobago’s first leg clash with Bahrain in 2005 rose to $300 (covered) and $150 (uncovered) and there were over 5,000 fewer spectators for the contest in Port of Spain.

The women’s game has never previously commanded a fee near to either sum.

Four years ago, local fans paid $40 (covered) and $20 (uncovered) to watch Trinidad and Tobago’s three group matches at the Women’s Under-17 World Cup.

And tickets were priced at $20 when the Women Warriors began their World Cup campaign on Wednesday 20 August 2014 with a 10-0 rout of St Kitts and Nevis at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Roughly 1,000 fans came out, then, to cheer on their women’s team.

There were just under 4,000 supporters for the women’s last Port of Spain outing in the Caribbean Cup final on Tuesday 26 August 2014, which was priced at $50.

But Phillips, who is a LOC member, believes that the heightened interest around the team and the importance of the fixture justifies the price spike.

“(The price) wasn’t arbitrarily made,” Phillips told Wired868. “It was talked about at length at a LOC meeting and everyone collectively felt that it was a good price point… The Caribbean Cup was three months ago and a lot has changed since then in terms of the knowledge of the women’s programme.

“It was also one of the first tournaments we had hosted… So you cannot compare the CFU tournament to a World Cup qualifier.”

Responses to the prices on the social media thus far have been muted but, generally, positive.

Phillips claimed that the revenue gained from the upcoming fixture would help further develop the women’s game.

“You cannot speak about raising the level of women’s football in one breath and then say it cannot demand a higher fee because that is the way it is always done,” said Phillips. “You have to look at it as a case by case situation. And this is a women’s team at the cusp of the World Cup and a very good team.”

But does the inflated women’s ticket prices, whether reasonable or not, run the risk of diminishing the volume of supporters for the crucial World Cup Play fixture?

Since most of Ecuador’s women players come from its coastal regions, Trinidad and Tobago’s temperature and humidity are not expected to create difficulties for “La Tricolor.” Apart from the ability, desire and preparation of the two teams, fan support represents the best chance of an advantage for the host nation.

In Quito, the Ecuador Football Federation (FEF) charged US$2 (TT$13) and US$5 (TT$32) for uncovered and covered stand tickets and US$10 for private boxes and was thrilled for a turnout of 17,500 patrons. Outside the Atahualapa Stadium, by means of context, it costs between US$5 and $10 for a meal at the mall.

However, Phillips dismissed any notion that the TTFA should mirror Ecuador’s approach in the first leg.

“That is Ecuador; Ecuador is not Trinidad and Tobago,” said the TTFA General Secretary. “We based our discussion based on feedback we got from the folks in Trinidad and Tobago. That was good and appropriate for Ecuador…

“When the tickets go on sale on Monday that is when the market will speak. But people are waiting to buy tickets and we already have pre-orders… So the overriding issue is the importance of the game and the level of excitement from the public.”

Phillips said the TTFA will pay match fees to the women’s team for the first time on December 2 while there is a bonus arrangement in place with the players should they qualify. He said the gate receipts will help to cover those costs.

“This is the first time the team has found itself in this position where they captured the hearts and minds of the nation,” said Phillips, when asked why there was a different pay scale for the upcoming game, “and it is the first time they are in the position where they are one win away from the World Cup. This is a big deal.”

In fact, the Women Warriors were one match away from the World Cup twice already when they played Costa Rica and then Mexico in last month’s 2014 CONCACAF Championship semi-finals and third place play off.

The FIFA Play Off is the last chance for the team, which overcome chaotic preparation with the dramatic technical staff alterations, visa issues that affected its pre-Caribbean Cup camp and, most famously, when the Warriors left for the pre-CONCACAF camp with just US$500 and no accompanying match officials.

Today, Phillips thinks the women’s squad, which is captained by Maylee Attin-Johnson and led by coach Randy Waldrum, can become the country’s second flagship team along with the senior men.

“This could be the launch pad game for the women’s team to be another flagship team for the national program,” he said.

Between 1,200 and 4,000 supporters turned out to watch the national men’s team play in the Caribbean Cup qualifying phase in Couva last month with prices set at $100 (covered) and $60 (uncovered).

The TTFA will soon know whether the women’s team, which is contesting a World Cup place rather than a Caribbean Cup crown, can surpass that level of interest. And whether the football body’s pricing of the upcoming contest is fair.

“We believe a crowd of 12,000 to 15,000 people will be a success, based upon past audiences,” said Phillips. “We would be happy with that amount going into the match. But we do believe this game has real potential to be a sell-out.”

The Hasely Crawford holds roughly 6,000 patrons in the covered stands and 16,000 in uncovered. If 4,000 covered tickets are sold and 8,000 uncovered, the TTFA will raise $1.6 million from the decisive December 2 affair.

Theoretically, if tickets were sold a $100 and $50 and 20,000 patrons (6,000 covered and 14,000 uncovered) turned up; the TTFA could raise $1.3 million, which would represent a $300,000 loss but with a near full stadium.

Of course, there is no proof that the ticket price would be the decisive factor in whether fans come out to the Tuesday evening contest.

The TTFA and the national women’s team are counting on supporters to turn up in their numbers on December 2 to roar them into the history books as the first Caribbean team to qualify for a FIFA Women’s World Cup.


133
Football / Re: Hart selects 23-man squad for Caribbean Cup finals.
« on: November 04, 2014, 10:26:44 PM »
Hart selects 23-man squad; Caribbean tournament flouts FIFA medical rules
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)

Trinidad and Tobago will send its largest ever contingent for a Caribbean Cup finals tournament next week when the regional competition kicks off in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The Caribbean Football Union (CFU) allowed “Soca Warriors” head coach Stephen Hart to select a 23-man squad for the 2014 Caribbean Cup after the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) lobbied on his behalf.
Wired868 understands that the CFU competitions flouts FIFA’s medical rules regarding the number of games allowed within an international match window.
According to the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfers of Players: “During any international window a maximum of two matches may be played by each representative team, irrespective of whether these matches are qualifying matches for an international tournament or friendlies.”
A FIFA spokesman confirmed to Wired868 that the world governing body permits players to feature in two international games in the upcoming nine-day international window.
However, the Caribbean tournament features three group matches plus a final or third place play off within that time frame.
This leaves all the member associations involved in the competition open to sanction should any club complain to the FIFA Players’ Status Committee. Penalties could range from a reduction in release time for subsequent internationals to fines and a ban on the association’s right to call the player(s) for international duty.
The Caribbean football competitions have always followed the present format; however, the CFU’s effort to include the region’s more high-profile players has opened the tournament up to scrutiny by foreign clubs that might be less tolerant of the health risk to their employees.
The CFU will not take up the tab for the extra players, though, and will continue to meet the expenses for just 20 players and five technical staff members. Any additional personnel must be funded by the member association.
Read more: http://wired868.com/2014/11/04/hart-selects-23-man-squad-cfu-tourney-flouts-fifa-medical-rules/

134
Football / Re: Reform commission for TTFA.
« on: October 22, 2014, 09:45:48 AM »
You point to one letter as if that was all the correspondence there was. I won't comment further on that.
So the terrible health of the TTFA is a reason for FIFA to keep the president rather than get rid of him eh?
On the site, you said it was the bribery scandal. Three years after the fact. Despite the fact that several people actually convicted of the bribery scandal sit on FIFA committees right now. And the TTFA people convicted of the bribery scandal have all left.
Elsewhere, Bakes tried to refute  that the TTFA had not been having statutory quarterly meetings by pointing to two meetings in 2012 and two in 2013. So I have to wonder if he even knows the meaning of "quarterly."
He pointed to fact that FIFA amended its own constitution in January which made ours outdated. So I suppose FAs all over the world have committees feverishly at work and everyone was given nine-month extensions.
Enjoy fellahs. Regards

135
I'm talking about people in football who know what is going on, FF. Not observers. If you see an inaccuracy in the story, then point it out. If not, then let us see which insiders can point to errors.

136
You had a lot of fun contorting the facts. I don't need to play that game with you. Too bad the story affects you and your people so much. If it were rubbish there would be loads of reputable people rushing to point out the holes as opposed to one "Bake."
So let us see what happens next.
As for your bylaws:
7 Conduct of bodies and Officials
1. The bodies and Offi cials must observe the Statutes, regulations, decisions and Code of Ethics of FIFA in their activities.
2. Executive bodies of Member Associations may under exceptional circumstances be removed from offi ce by the Executive Committee in
consultation with the relevant Confederation and replaced by a normalisation committee for a specifi c period of time.

So the "exceptional circumstances" you are referring to is the TTFF constitution? You do realise that constitution was approved by FIFA which is the only reason the TTFF was able to use it in the first place right?
Sorry Bakes, I have no problem speaking to anyone and answering questions. But you really have no idea what you are talking about and you are quite aggressively ignorant too.
I don't see the point of furthering this talk.

137
I reiterate. The IRC produced a draft constitution. They spent nine months doing it under the guidance of Elton Prescott SC. So there will probably be tweaking. But there is no need for nine months to do a constitution.
So you all were misinformed.
You pointed to the need for a delay to set things in place. Check the timeline again. The IRC completed in April. FIFA had it in its hands withing the first week of May. The time needed to put things in place was always factored into the IRC's work from day one.
Suddenly, there is another 9-month delay.
Also, search Wired868 for Sheldon Phillips' appointment as general secretary and Raymond Tim Kee's presidential campaign. You will see that the tone was optimistic and I actually did two sit down interviews with both men.
People might search for reasons why I don't like Tim Kee and Phillips. But you won't find any motivating factor other than the obvious.
I want the best for Trinidad and Tobago's football.
And I can write hundreds of words on the things that have gone wrong over the last two years.
I am the person who gets calls and emails from players, parents, coaches, clubs and fans about the issues within the game. I can only deal with a fraction of them. But I do believe Trinidad and Tobago football deserves better than it is getting now.
Notwithstanding this, I contact Phillips for quotes or use quotes from the two bigwigs whenever necessary. I cover T&T football and I play my role in the national game.
I doubt any single journalist covers as much football as I do. Then you hear about the goofing off that is happening at administrative level that is affecting our game here.
As a journo, my back is broad and I have no problem taking the criticism. You certainly should question my work. But also question the information you are being fed by those who really have something to gain here.
What do I have to gain? I'm not running for a post. And there will always be football for me to go and see. Consider that.

138
Seven months cannot change anything even if that is Tim Kee plan.

Tim Kee very stubborn and hate de SWO fans, but at least he reform still better than Jack Warner own.

Once he do things right.

I hope de new constitution have something where men can only rule for two terms.

I want to see de new constitution.

Jack Waner put his people in power in de zones so he could win all de time, I hope de new TTFA do things fair.

I want to know when de election for a new press officer coming? It seems he job more secure than anyone else.



The proposal that the Reform Commission made, which Tim Kee is trying to put in place would limit the terms of the President to two consecutive terms.  This means you could serve, get re-elected again, but come the third time you have to step down and let somebody else serve.  After that you're free to start all over and run again.  Now why would Tim Kee want to do that if is power he really trying to hold onto so?  If he really wanted to be "ah next Jack Warner" as some jackass commentator on Lasana's site say... why would he be in favor of spreading out the vote and limiting the term?  Is either Lasana reading things and not understanding what it is he reading, or as I say he just on a campaign of lies and mischaraterizations.  It is a crying shame either way because once upon a time he was a fine journalist, if not the best in Trinidad... a man whose word you never had to doubt.

Hello Bakes. The IRC did recommend two terms for the president Tim Kee. But the committee has no idea if their proposals were accepted. In fact, the FIFA correspondence seems to suggest it was not. So you are wrong to say the two term limit suggestion says anything about Tim Kee at all.
In fact, there was only one concern that was relayed to the IRC after they handed over the draft constitution. And that was the two-term limit.

139
1) The Independent Reform Committee finished its work in April to give the TTFA enough time to make the adjustments necessary for a November election.
2) The IRC did just give recommendations. It drafted an entire constitution.
3) Should I publish all the letters? No media house in the world can do that. In fact, since I have more space online, I published the entire final letter which spoke to the delay.
4) What difference can seven months make? Whose prerogative it is to take another seven months? Why not a year? Or two? That isn't how democracy works. The question you should ask is whether it is proper that the TTFA president receive an additional seven months. In total, the TTFA will have received more than two years to do a constitution. Sound feasible? Could FIFA step in an stop any other FA election in any nation worth its salt? What bylaw gives them that ability?

I'm not really interested in debates on me personally because I am not bothered by opinions of my character. I have quotes from two members of the Independent Reform Commission already in the story. We know by now that for the first time in decades, there is likely to be a fight for the post of TTFA president.
Being on the ground, I have spoken to people from inside and outside of the TTFA as well as from the Independent Reform Committee. So I do have a very good idea of what I am speaking of.
Some will see something alarming here. Some won't. Everyone is welcome to his opinion and I will take neither personally.

140
One for the road: T&T dusts off setbacks; on brink of Women’s W/Cup
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)

One more win will do the trick.
The Trinidad and Tobago national women’s senior team moved within 90 minutes of a place at the Canada 2015 Women’s World Cup tournament yesterday after another hard-fought triumph at the 2014 CONCACAF Championship.
This time, Guatemala was the victim as the “Women Soca Warriors” downed the Central American nation 2-1 at the RFK Stadium in Washington to advance to the semi-final of the confederation’s show piece tournament.
The Warriors are guaranteed two more fixtures in the CONCACAF competition. If they win just one of those matches, they will become the first Caribbean women’s team to ever qualify for a FIFA tournament.
“We know that Trinidad and Tobago needs this and we are honoured to put Trinidad and Tobago on the map in a more positive light once again,” said Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson. “This is our first time at senior level we ever qualified to the second round of a tournament so this group is about making history and leaving a legacy.”
The Women’s Warrior captain was mostly right. In truth, Trinidad and Tobago got to the semi-finals of the inaugural Women’s CONCACAF Championship in 1991, under late coach Robbie Greenidge, and finished third. The two island republic’s only defeats of that competition came against the soon-to-be world champions, the United States, and Canada.
Attin-Johnson was five years old at the time.
The Trinidad and Tobago women were fourth again in 1993 and 1994. In contrast, it was not until 2000 that the men’s team got past the group stage in the CONCACAF tournament.
Two decades ago, then FIFA vice-president and local football special advisor Jack Warner said the women’s game represented Trinidad and Tobago’s best chance of advancing to a senior FIFA tournament and promised to develop their football. But, for the most part, it proved to be lip service and the ladies soon slipped behind the likes of Mexico and Costa Rica.
Read more: http://wired868.com/2014/10/21/one-for-the-road-t-on-brink-of-womens-wcup/

141
Football / Re: Thread for the T&T WNT vs Guatemala WNT Game (20-Oct-2014)
« on: October 21, 2014, 02:10:47 PM »
One for the road: T&T dusts off setbacks; on brink of Women’s W/Cup
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)

One more win will do the trick.
The Trinidad and Tobago national women’s senior team moved within 90 minutes of a place at the Canada 2015 Women’s World Cup tournament yesterday after another hard-fought triumph at the 2014 CONCACAF Championship.
This time, Guatemala was the victim as the “Women Soca Warriors” downed the Central American nation 2-1 at the RFK Stadium in Washington to advance to the semi-final of the confederation’s show piece tournament.
The Warriors are guaranteed two more fixtures in the CONCACAF competition. If they win just one of those matches, they will become the first Caribbean women’s team to ever qualify for a FIFA tournament.
“We know that Trinidad and Tobago needs this and we are honoured to put Trinidad and Tobago on the map in a more positive light once again,” said Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson. “This is our first time at senior level we ever qualified to the second round of a tournament so this group is about making history and leaving a legacy.”
The Women’s Warrior captain was mostly right. In truth, Trinidad and Tobago got to the semi-finals of the inaugural Women’s CONCACAF Championship in 1991, under late coach Robbie Greenidge, and finished third. The two island republic’s only defeats of that competition came against the soon-to-be world champions, the United States, and Canada.
Attin-Johnson was five years old at the time.
The Trinidad and Tobago women were fourth again in 1993 and 1994. In contrast, it was not until 2000 that the men’s team got past the group stage in the CONCACAF tournament.
Two decades ago, then FIFA vice-president and local football special advisor Jack Warner said the women’s game represented Trinidad and Tobago’s best chance of advancing to a senior FIFA tournament and promised to develop their football. But, for the most part, it proved to be lip service and the ladies soon slipped behind the likes of Mexico and Costa Rica.
Read more: http://wired868.com/2014/10/21/one-for-the-road-t-on-brink-of-womens-wcup/

142
FIFA protects TTFA president: Tim Kee gets seven-month extension
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)


Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee will hang on to his football portfolio for another seven months at least after FIFA granted the local football body an undemocratic extension without citing any by-law that allowed its decision.

The delay, according to correspondence sent by FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, was primarily to allow the TTFA time to get its statutes in line with FIFA’s.

“The (FIFA Associations) Committee also took note of the weaknesses of the TTFA Statutes and the work carried out by the Independent Reform Committee,” stated Valcke, ”which proposed structural changes of the TTFA which could be in line with the FIFA Standard Statutes.

“Under these circumstances, the Associations Committee decided to provide an extension of the mandate of the current TTFA board until 30 June 2015 in order to revise the statutes in close collaboration with FIFA and CONCACAF and to organise elections accordingly.”

The letter from the FIFA general secretary was dated 25 September 2014 although the TTFA only released it today, just two hours before the Trinidad and Tobago national senior women’s team kicked off a crucial World Cup qualifier against Guatemala.

It did not say why the current statutes, which were in place for two decades, should affect next month’s TTFA election.

The reason for the lengthy postponement of the TTFA election would come as a surprise to the Independent Reform Committee (IRC), headed by Independent senator Elton Prescott, SC, which spent between August 2013 and April 2014 creating a template for a new TTFA constitution.

Former 2006 World Cup player and ESPN analyst Shaka Hislop, who was a member of the IRC, said he had not seen the TTFA’s release. However, he had the impression that FIFA was pleased with their constitutional reforms.

“We recommended certain changes to the TTFA’s constitution,” Hislop told Wired868. “My understanding is they were received by FIFA and met favourably by FIFA. And now it is just a matter of implementation, which we don’t have a direct say on.”

Apart from Prescott and Hislop, the IRC also comprised of former West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president Dinanath Ramnarine, journalist Dr Sheila Rampersad, Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis and archivist Patrick Raymond.

Now, according to a TTFA release, a new committee called the Constitutional Reform Panel will receive a nine-month mandate to apparently do the same job. The names of the new committee members have not yet been released.

“It would be very interesting to get clarity from the FIFA officials about if the reform committee’s recommendations and the proposed constitution is acceptable to FIFA,” said Lewis.

Lewis revealed that some of their recommendations included term limits and the separation of the governance structure between the elected TTFA officials and the day to day management of the football, which, he felt, should “provide for proper transparency and accountability.”

“The putting together of a reform panel and the utilisation of the report is not on the surface a ringing endorsement of our recommendations,” said Lewis. “In the absence of clarity, I’m not sure whether to feel elated or not about the amount of work we did on the constitution.

“It is not clear if the reform panel is going to go over the same process as the independent reform committee.”

The decision to create a new constitution for local football was initially proposed by the TTFA, rather than FIFA, in April 2013. However, Valcke said the the FIFA Associations Committee now feels it so important that it has overruled the present TTFA bylaws in a bid to keep Tim Kee in charge until it is completed to the governing body’s liking.

At least one member of that FIFA Associations Committee, United States Soccer Federation (USSF) president Sunil Gulati, is no stranger to Phillips or Tim Kee. Gulati is listed as a reference on Phillips’ CV and recommended him to his current position.

“I have known Sheldon for over 20 years when we first worked together on US Cup ’92,” said Gulati, in Phillips’ CV. “He is resourceful and results driven. As the general secretary, the TTFF will certainly benefit from his experience in the game.”

In June, Gulati also cooed about the perceived successes of Tim Kee and Phillips.

“I’ve known Sheldon Phillips for a long time and I met Raymond Tim Kee a couple years ago,” said Gulati, during the 2014 World Cup. “I think the Association is in good hands and it’s (an) exciting time for Concacaf and the relationship between Trinidad and Tobago and the US…

“T&T is making progress… And, clearly with Raymond and Sheldon there, I think you will see a lot of positive changes.”

At the time, the TTFA’s staff was owed salaries while the football body’s headquarters was without a telephone line after being disconnected for non-payment, Tim Kee was in breach of a court order to pay the 2006 “Soca Warriors” and current national players and coaches were grumbling about unpaid match fees.

And, during Tim Kee’s two-year term, he and Phillips stumbled through a series of high-profile gaffes including the Native Spirit Akeem Adams fundraiser, Trinidad and Tobago’s non-participation at the inaugural MLS Caribbean draft, failure to honour agreements with the 2006 World Cup players and former coach Russell Latapy and their decision to send the national women’s team to the ongoing CONCACAF Championship in the United States without accompanying officials and even money to get from the airport to the hotel.

In Tim Kee’s correspondence with Zurich, though, he portrayed himself as an antidote to the controversial era of ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner. The TTFA president said he was “charged with the awesome and serious task of bringing true reform” to the TTFA and addressing “a multitude of abuses committed by the previous regime.”

Valcke appeared to warm to that theme.

“We are keenly aware of the dire situation and various difficulties faced by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF),” wrote Valcke, “and emanating from the mismanagement of previous administrations.”

In fact, Tim Kee was a vice-president for over a decade under the Warner-led executive while he was voted into power by the same officials that he criticised to FIFA.

During the 2012 football elections, Tim Kee denied that his candidacy was supported by Warner or that the then senior Cabinet member played any role in the sudden and mysterious withdrawal of Colin Murray’s competing bid for the top job. He also later denied rumours that he double-crossed Warner by snubbing the latter’s friend and Eastern Football Association (EFA) official Neville Ferguson and installing Phillips as TTFA general secretary instead.

And, despite his stated mission of ushering football into an era of transparency, the TTFA’s finance committee, which is ostensibly chaired by Tim Kee, has not met once in almost two years while he did not keep his election promise to conduct an immediate financial audit of the body.

Although the TTFA elections has been postponed, the zonal elections will proceed as normal and should be conducted next month. At present, the constitution dictates that the zonal bodies will select the football president although the IRC recommended a “one club, one vote” system.

Either way, Tim Kee, who is also the Port of Spain mayor and treasurer for the Opposition political party, the PNM, will have until 30 June 2015 to find a way to win the favour of a distrusting football public.

Incidentally, Trinidad and Tobago’s general election is constitutionally due in May 2015 although the People’s Partnership government suggested it could be pushed back to September.


143
‘Almost perfect’ Warriors keep 100 percent record; Jones targets Caribbean title
By Lasana Libured (Wired868.com)


The first noticeable slip from a Trinidad and Tobago footballer at the Ato Boldon Stadium tonight came about half hour after the final whistle as the media playfully grilled midfielder Hughtun Hector about life in Vietnam where he represents champion club, Hanoi T&T.
“I try to learn a few words but the language is difficult,” said Hector. “I learned to say a few things like: ‘thanks’ and ‘I love you’.”
The diminutive playmaker turned red as reporters roared in laughter. Hector had probably said a little bit more about life in Vietnam than he would have liked.
In the prior 90 minutes, though, the “Soca Warriors” gave nothing away as the Trinidad and Tobago senior team edged Antigua and Barbuda 1-0 for its third successive win of the 2014 Caribbean Cup qualifying tournament.
Both teams advance to the regional finals. Trinidad and Tobago will play in Group A alongside defending champion, Cuba, French Guiana and Curacao while Antigua and Barbuda is in Group B with host Jamaica, Martinique and Haiti.
Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart suggested that regional football fans should get used to seeing a lot of Antigua and Barbuda.
“I was really impressed with Antigua,” said Hart. “I will make a prediction; I think you will see them in the (2015) Gold Cup.”
Antigua and Barbuda has never qualified for CONCACAF’s showcase tournament before and the tiny nation can hardly afford to be cocky in a group that includes two former Caribbean champions, Jamaica and Martinique, and a Haitian team on an upward trajectory.
But the “Benna Boys”, led by Polish technical director Piotr Nowak and coach Rolston Williams, were not short of tactical discipline and desire in Couva and, even without injured midfield ace Jorrin Jones, were able to conjure up a few half chances tonight.
There was no doubting Trinidad and Tobago’s superiority though and, for once, Hart was satisfied.
“I am very, very proud of the team tonight,” said Hart. “(Antigua and Barbuda) played exactly as we thought and I thought we executed well. I was most impressed with the discipline we kept in the game...
“We knew they would sit deep, try to pull us forward and see what happened after that. I told the players: don’t throw yourselves into it; be patient and move the ball around and you will get chances.”

Read more

144
Football / Re: Thread for the T&T vs Antigua & Barbuda Game (12-Oct-2014)
« on: October 12, 2014, 11:08:08 PM »
‘Almost perfect’ Warriors keep 100 percent record; Jones targets Caribbean title
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com)

The first noticeable slip from a Trinidad and Tobago footballer at the Ato Boldon Stadium tonight came about half hour after the final whistle as the media playfully grilled midfielder Hughtun Hector about life in Vietnam where he represents champion club, Hanoi T&T.
“I try to learn a few words but the language is difficult,” said Hector. “I learned to say a few things like: ‘thanks’ and ‘I love you’.”
The diminutive playmaker turned red as reporters roared in laughter. Hector had probably said a little bit more about life in Vietnam than he would have liked.
In the prior 90 minutes, though, the “Soca Warriors” gave nothing away as the Trinidad and Tobago senior team edged Antigua and Barbuda 1-0 for its third successive win of the 2014 Caribbean Cup qualifying tournament.
Both teams advance to the regional finals. Trinidad and Tobago will play in Group A alongside defending champion, Cuba, French Guiana and Curacao while Antigua and Barbuda is in Group B with host Jamaica, Martinique and Haiti.
Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart suggested that regional football fans should get used to seeing a lot of Antigua and Barbuda.
“I was really impressed with Antigua,” said Hart. “I will make a prediction; I think you will see them in the (2015) Gold Cup.”
Antigua and Barbuda has never qualified for CONCACAF’s showcase tournament before and the tiny nation can hardly afford to be cocky in a group that includes two former Caribbean champions, Jamaica and Martinique, and a Haitian team on an upward trajectory.
But the “Benna Boys”, led by Polish technical director Piotr Nowak and coach Rolston Williams, were not short of tactical discipline and desire in Couva and, even without injured midfield ace Jorrin Jones, were able to conjure up a few half chances tonight.
There was no doubting Trinidad and Tobago’s superiority though and, for once, Hart was satisfied.
“I am very, very proud of the team tonight,” said Hart. “(Antigua and Barbuda) played exactly as we thought and I thought we executed well. I was most impressed with the discipline we kept in the game...
“We knew they would sit deep, try to pull us forward and see what happened after that. I told the players: don’t throw yourselves into it; be patient and move the ball around and you will get chances.”
Read more: http://wired868.com/2014/10/13/almost-perfect-warriors-edge-antigua-and-target-caribbean-title/

145
Naps on title brink after Caps win; Tigers postpone fate
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)

Naparima College was in title winning form this evening as the southern school put in a professional shift with a workmanlike 2-0 win away to Carapichaima East Secondary in the penultimate round of the maiden SSFL Premier Division competition.
Two second half items from Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 players Nicholas Dillon and Jabari Mitchell settled the affair. But this was a team triumph as, from back to front, Naparima was a compact, mobile unit that was not about to take “no” for an answer from its host.
The result pushed “Naps” three points clear of second placed San Juan North Secondary and four points ahead of third placed St Anthony’s College, whose fixture against Chaguanas North was postponed today due to a waterlogged surface.
St Anthony’s and Chaguanas North will now meet on Monday afternoon before both teams scrap for their lives, just 48 hours later. The “Westmoorings Tigers” are straining for the Premier title; third from bottom Chaguanas will be trying to stay in the top flight schoolboy competition.
On Wednesday afternoon, either of Naparima, San Juan North and St Anthony’s can win the title; while, at the wrong end of the standings, one from Presentation College (San Fernando), Fatima College, Carapichaima East and Chaguanas North will follow Arima North Secondary and East Mucurapo Secondary through the trapdoor and into the lower division.
The standard of the football still needs work; but the first year of the Premier Division was not short of intrigue.
This afternoon, Presentation College gave itself a fighting chance at the expense of East Mucurapo as “Pres” romped to a 5-0 win at Fatima ground that relegated the north zone team. Arima also found little comfort at home as the “Dial Dynamos” lost 3-1 to San Juan on the Arima Old Road.
Elsewhere at Guaracara Park, Shiva Boys Hindu College’s Big Four dreams lay in disarray as three goals in the final five minutes saw St Augustine Secondary complete a remarkable recovery to win 3-1.
Save for an astronomical collapse from San Juan North and St Anthony’s, both teams will join Naparima and the Tobago champions in the 2014 SSFL Big Four. Whether either side can catch Naps in the title race is another question.
St Augustine’s triumph might have a ripple effect as it sends Shiva into its final game of the season with little but pride at stake. And the Tigers need Shiva to take a point or three from Naps if they are to snatch the crown themselves.
Judging from this afternoon, Shiva Boys will have their work cut out for them.
Carapichaima did not lie down. They were not allowed to. Ask “Caps” midfielder Darreon Thomas, who got an unorthodox motivational message while being stretchered off the field following a heavy challenge from Naps defender Kris Stroud.
“You better get off that stretcher quick!” shouted one Caps supporter. “We have to win this game you know!”
Read more: http://wired868.com/2014/10/11/naps-on-title-brink-after-caps-win-tigers-postpone-fate/

146
Football / Re: Warriors secure CFU final berth at St Lucia's expense.
« on: October 11, 2014, 12:35:15 PM »
Gritty Warriors beat St Lucia to Caribbean finals spot; Hart defends Kenwyne Jones' contribution
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)

The region’s most successful football team, Trinidad and Tobago, is on its way to another Caribbean Cup finals.
Another item from “Soca Warriors” captain Kenwyne Jones plus a fine strike from playmaker Ataulla Guerra ensured that the host team advanced on schedule last night after a 2-0 win over St Lucia at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
The Warriors will be grouped with defending regional champion outfit, Cuba, in Group A of the 2014 Caribbean Cup finals and avoids host nation, Jamaica, in Group B.
Trinidad and Tobago completes its qualifying campaign on Sunday when Jones’ troops face Antigua and Barbuda in a top of the table clash from 6.15 pm in Couva.
Antigua and Barbuda needs a draw or, at least, to avoid a heavy defeat to qualify as group runner up ahead of the Dominican Republic team, which must defeat St Lucia at the same venue from 4 pm to keep its hopes alive.
Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart anticipates an intriguing battle.
“Antigua is a very organised side,” said Hart, at last night’s post-game press conference, “and they have six or seven players who know what they are doing.”
Antigua has nine overseas-based players in its ranks including 18-year-old right back Connor Peters and 21-year-old playmaker Calaum Jahraldo-Martin, who are youth team players with England Premiership teams Swansea and Hull City respectively.
Their midfield pairing of 25-year-old Keiran Murtagh (Woking—England) and 23-year-old Joshua Parker (Domžale FC—Slovenia) should provide the sternest test so far for the Warriors in middle earth while 23-year-old winger Jorrin John (Nuneaton—England) is a clever customer.
But experienced 29-year-old striker Peter Byers, a former San Juan Jabloteh and Central FC employee, has been a shadow of himself and Antigua’s lack of offensive thrust cost the team yesterday as the “Benna Boys” were held goalless by the Dominican Republic.
For Antigua, Sunday is do or die. But the Warriors showed they can comfortably grind out a result after last night’s physical battle with St Lucia.
“This is a gruelling tournament,” said Hart. “It takes six days to (properly recover from a match) and we had one. So games will be slower.”
Hart made six changes to his starting squad in an effort to give players a longer recovery time and hold something in reserve. But the fresher legs seemed to pay early dividends too as Guerra put the Warriors ahead with a fine strike in the sixth minute after St Lucia failed to clear a cushioned header from Jones.
But, unlike on Wednesday when the Warriors scored three times in the opening 30 minutes, fans had to wait an hour for Trinidad and Tobago’s second item.
Read more: http://wired868.com/2014/10/11/gritty-warriors-beat-st-lucia-to-caribbean-finals-spot/

147
TTFA releases Waldrum apology; but fails to offer one for itself
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)

Four days after the Trinidad and Tobago national women’s team flew to the United States for a pre-CONCACAF Championship training camp with just US$500, the team is still awaiting the promised funding from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).
And the Ministry of Sport revealed that the TTFA’s request for sponsorship was so late that it only landed at its office on Tuesday evening when the “Soca Princesses” were already at the Piarco International Airport.
Yet, last night, the only apology for the humiliating debacle came from the TTFA’s women’s coach, American native Randy Waldrum, who said sorry for the tweet that provoked an outpouring of goodwill in Dallas and red faces in Trinidad and Tobago.
On Wednesday morning, as his team started training without water and with no money for lunch, Waldrum tweeted: “I need HELP! T&T sent a team here last night with $500 total. No equipment such as balls, no transportation from airport to hotel, nothing…
“I don’t know how I’m going to feed these players starting at lunch today! If you know of anyone in Dallas area that will help with food, etc.”
By lunch, national players said random people started turning up with water and snacks while, by dinner, they received pizza from well-wishers. And, by the following morning, there was over US$10,000 in an account the coach set up for the team.
Even the Haitian women’s football team, who the Warriors will face in a vital World Cup qualifier next week, pledged just over US$1,300 to the Princesses.
“Coach takes a stand for the team and look what happened,” wrote striker Mariah Shade, on her Facebook account. “People from all over Dallas are just bringing us carloads of water, Gatorade, food, fruits, snacks and so much more.
“People in another country treating us like this; we are very grateful. ‪#‎BlessingsInAbundance‬.”
However, TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee suggested that Waldrum suffered an “emotional disturbance” and, although he conceded that his administration had erred, it was only Waldrum who was asked to apologise.
“The response was overwhelming however in hindsight the language used to appeal for assistance could have been better,” stated Waldrum, via a TTFA press release yesterday, “and was not meant to cause any embarrassment to the TTFA nor the Trinidad and Tobago public at large.
“If it did by any chance, I apologize in advance for any embarrassment caused.”
Read more: http://wired868.com/2014/10/11/ttfa-releases-waldrum-apology-but-fails-to-offer-one-itself/

148
Five T&T U-20s set for Europe; but Central braces for tug-of-war over Levi
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com)


Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 footballers Levi Garcia, Kadeem Corbin, Neveal Hackshaw, Jesus Perez and Kishun Seecharan were awarded European entry visas yesterday and are expected to travel to the Netherlands within the coming week en route to trials with undisclosed clubs in Europe.

The parent clubs for 18-year-old Corbin, 19-year-old Hackshaw and 19-year-old Perez agreed verbally to the valuation of the players by Dutch agent Humphry Nijman while 18-year-old Seecharan, who is registered with Defence Force, will be allowed to move on without a transfer fee.

But the football future of 16-year-old Garcia is less certain with Nijman and the teenager’s employer, Central FC, at loggerheads over a deal for the talented winger. Central has so refused Nijman’s offer for the teenaged “Soca Warrior” while the agent, for now, is not prepared to make a new one as the fight seems destined for the courts.

Garcia, who is a Form Five student at Shiva Boys Hindu College, has never represented Central in a competitive match and only joined the club in March on a two-year deal. The national under-20 player supposedly indicated his intention to quit school and turn professional with the “Couva Sharks” in July.

However, Garcia’s sparkling performances at the Under-20 Caribbean Cup tournament and an approach from Nijman and his local assistant, Dion Sosa, during the competition, changed his flight path considerably.

Sosa and Nijman were responsible for moving Sheldon Bateau, Robert Primus and the now deceased Akeem Adams to Europe where they settled at top flight clubs in Belgium, Kazakhstan and Hungary respectively.

Sosa told Wired868 their plan for the five players.

“They are going to meet with their agent (Njiman) who is based in Amsterdam,” said Sosa. “From there, they will branch off to various clubs for three week trials. We will be looking for an academy for Levi because he is under age (to turn pro as a foreigner in Europe); but we are looking at first team football for the rest.

“We are opening a door for them now and their lives can change. It can be good for them, their families and Trinidad football; because the environment they will be exposed to and the teams they will be training with they can only get better.”

However, Central FC managing director Brent Sancho, a 2006 World Cup player with Trinidad and Tobago, insists that the Sharks do not need help in developing their players or finding them foreign opportunities.

Sancho said that Central signed Yugoslav-born coach Zoran Vranes—to replace the departed Englishman Terry Fenwick—specifically because of his experience in working with youngsters. Vranes was head coach when the national under-20 team booked its place at the 2009 World Youth Cup, which was the last FIFA time that the two island republic qualified for a FIFA competition.

“One of the reasons we went for Vranes as our coach is because we saw we had good young talent coming through,” said Sancho, “and Vranes is renowned for not only developing young players but also playing them… But they are filling up the boy’s head with all kind of things.

“I have a trial lined up for Levi with Racing Genk (Belgium) and with Toronto (Canada). So it is not as if we are trying to hold him back… But the little boy doesn’t train with us anymore so obviously they turned his head and put his family against the club.”

Fellow Pro League clubs St Ann’s Rangers and North East Stars took a different view to Central with regards to Nijman’s offer.

Sancho claimed that Rangers accepted US$15,000 for Corbin, which was supposedly much less than the offer for Garcia. However, neither Rangers club chairman Fakoory nor Sosa confirmed that figure.

Fakoory told Wired868 that he did not want to stand in the way of his talented striker, who was named as the MVP of the Under-20 Caribbean Cup.

“They talked to me and made me an offer,” said Fakoory. “And since the under-20 tournament, Kadeem hasn’t showed up at practice once. So what could I do?

“Yes, I came to an agreement to send him on a trial. I had no choice but to let him go for the betterment of the club and to give him an opportunity to further himself.”

Stars coach Angus Eve was reluctant to say much on his club’s deal with Nijman, which will see Hackshaw and Perez move to Europe for trials.

“I just want the boys to get an opportunity,” Eve told Wired868. “I had experience dealing with these agents before with (Sheldon) Bateau while I was at Jabloteh, so I knew what to expect.”

But Sancho insisted that Central would not budge and he accused Nijman of underhand tactics and a contradictory approach to FIFA’s current efforts to outlaw third party ownership.

Sancho said that he is happy for Nijman to take Garcia on trial and be paid for his work in negotiating personal terms. However, he is adamant that the matter of a transfer fee must only be discussed between the buying and selling clubs while he also insisted a sell-on clause would be inserted into any agreed deal.

“I find it strange that the agents are trying to buy-out the player and I am not indulging in that kind of practice of selling a player to an agent,” said Sancho. “Their problem is that, whatever deal is happening, we want a sell-on clause just like there was for Kenwyne Jones and Khaleem Hyland and the agent said he is not doing it. They want everything for themselves.”

His stance was supported by DIRECTV W Connection president David John Williams, who pocketed well over $1 million when Kenwyne Jones moved from Southampton to Premiership club Sunderland due to a sell-on clause.

“If the player is under contract, why do you want to buy out the contract to move them?” asked Williams. “So the (Pro League) club doesn’t make any money? When they buy out the contract, they get a big signing-on bonus and they make the money or get their own clauses in the deal.”

But Sosa called Sancho’s demand ridiculous, particularly as Garcia never played a game for Central and spent less than three months training at the club

“Why should a (European) club pay, house, develop and take care of Levi and, three years down the line, be forced to give Central money for doing absolutely nothing?” asked Sosa. “That is unfair to the (new) club because they are taking all the risk… Why should (Central) get 10 percent for a player they never developed in the first place?

“We made them an offer that is way beyond the player’s market value. But Central’s demands were not reasonable and we have decided not to give into those demands.”

Sosa warned that Central could lose Garcia for nothing as the agents are set to challenge the validity of its contract with the player. Garcia’s elder brother, Daniel, accompanied the young man when he signed his professional contract with Central and not his parents.

In a previous interview with the TTFA Media, Garcia credited his brother, Daniel, for being a key motivator in his career

“He’s always there for me,” said Garcia. “If I have to go training or to a game he will get the taxi or rent a car for me to get there. He pushes me all the time to do better.”

But Sosa is certain that Daniel is no position to sign as his younger brother’s guardian.

“It is an agreement which was entered into without the consent of his parent and that by itself is illegal,” said Sosa. “No minor anywhere in the free world can enter into a contract without the written consent of his parent; and neither his mother nor his father’s names are on the contract.

“They took Daniel and had him sign as a legal guardian when both (Levi’s) parents are alive. And then they want to turn around and play wrong and strong.”

Garcia’s mother, Judith Garcia, confirmed that she did not sign an agreement with Central.

“My big son, Daniel, signed it,” she said. “I do not want to get into any confusion… But I spoke to Brent Sancho and I told him that I want Levi to go to Europe.”

Central director of operations, Kevin Harrison, acknowledged that Garcia’s parents did not sign their son’s contract but explained why he felt the Sharks still had a claim on the boy’s future.

“(Levi) brought an adult to meet us who wasn’t a minor and who understood everything (about the contract),” said Harrison. “His parents sat in our office several times after that and they never said they didn’t want him to play with us. So if they are trying to say they didn’t give us permission they would be lying.

“In fact, everything was great until Humphrey showed up… I have already told (the parents) that no matter what he promises you, Levi isn’t going anywhere until we make an arrangement with that (buying) club.”

But Sosa believes Central’s attitude can only harm the player and is ultimately counter-productive.

“Between his parents and ourselves, we are trying to sort it out in a cordial manner,” he said. “And, if not, we will do what we have to. Levi does not want to play with Central.

“These boys—all five of them—are going to a first class, professional environment for the first time, which can only help their development.”

Garcia’s present teammates at Shiva would be happy to win the Secondary Schools Football League (SSL) Premier title while his classmates are preparing themselves for CXC examinations next May.

Meanwhile, Garcia is enduring a tumultuous start to his life as a professional sportsman. It is not the sort of tug of war that most footballers are exposed to at the age of 16.

Almost certainly, Garcia’s impasse with Central has already cost him the chance of an international senior debut during next week’s Caribbean Cup qualifiers as head coach Stephen Hart was unimpressed by his decision to represent Shiva in the SSFL rather than Central in the Pro League.

Garcia will hope to make up for that in Europe; providing that Sancho and Nijman come to an agreement.


149
Tigers tamed again; San Juan giants subdue St Anthony’s
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com)


Anyone who believes you shouldn’t kick someone when they are down should look away now.

A 5-1 hammering from Naparima College on Saturday became two defeats in a row today as St Anthony’s College again surrendered home advantage with a 3-2 loss against San Juan North in Westmoorings.

On Wednesday, the “Westmoorings Tigers” will play their third match in five days—due to today’s rescheduled fixture—and there is no time for self-pity. A loss to St Mary’s College on Serpentine Road would almost certainly see a change in leadership at the top of the SSFL Premier League with second place Naparima College primed to pounce.

San Juan North, Trinity College East and St Benedict’s College, who all trail St Anthony’s by three points, might be smelling blood too. Although St Benedict’s might regret dropping two points this afternoon in another rescheduled fixture after being held goalless by Chaguanas North in La Romaine.

The aura of invincibility has left Westmoorings for now. But it would be a mistake to think the Tigers have imploded.

It is not that St Anthony’s played badly this afternoon. Rather, San Juan was just too disciplined and stubborn and made maximum effect of its main assets in ex-Trinidad and Tobago national under-17 striker Brent Sam and national under-20 defender Josiah Trimmingham.

Sam, a beanpole striker who stands well over six feet, came to international prominence two years ago when he scored seven goals on his competitive debut for the national under-17s in a CONCACAF record 23-0 thrashing of the British Virgin Islands. But he failed to advance to the national under-20 team which used St Ann’s Rangers attacker Kadeem Corbin upfront instead.

It might not impress under-20 coach Derek King that Sam’s performances are at schoolboy level, particularly as the lanky striker made his Pro League debut earlier this year for San Juan Jabloteh. Like Levi Garcia (Shiva Boys HC), Nicholas Dillon (Naparima) and his club and school teammate Trimmingham, Sam is not ready to leave the SSFL behind just yet.

Say what you like about the arena Sam chooses to compete in; but, for more reasons than one, it is impossible to miss his gifts.

Sam towered over everyone else on the field. When he leapt for the ball, St Anthony’s captain Mawasi Charles would have needed a ladder to compete and CAL aircrafts probably had to adjust their flight patterns.

But there was more to the San Juan captain than aerial presence. The ball stuck to his chest like a magnet to a fridge and, on the ground, his balance and nimbleness were at odds with his improbably height.

One sensed St Anthony’s was always going to have its hands full with this green-shirted giant.

But the Tigers had a trump card as well with playmaker Matthew Woo Ling, yet another national under-20 player, in an artistic mood.

And so the game took shape with San Juan forced back on its heels as Woo Ling led his gang of Tigers forward; only for the boys from Bourg Mulattrasse to respond with long punts out from the back that Sam plucked from the sky and turned into counter attacks.

St Anthony’s might have opened the scoring through a Woo Ling free kick that missed the top corner in the 12th minute. Then, 13 minutes later, Trimmingham was inches away with a header off a Kyle Mack corner kick as the game see-sawed between St Anthony’s probing attacks from open play and San Juan’s set piece threats.

In a match that featured two of school football’s most lethal finishers, San Juan’s Sam and St Anthony’s Kwesi “Jep” Allen, defensive concentration was key.

St Anthony’s defender Nicholas Moyou failed to spot Sam’s run in the 33rd minute, though, and the latter player clinically dispatched the ball low and hard into the far corner to open the scoring.

But San Juan could not hold on.

“You do that one more time and you will be on the bench doing it!” San Juan coach Jerry Moe shouted at defender Hakeem Wilson, who was taking too many liberties at the back.

A minute later, though, St Anthony’s conjured its equaliser from that same flank as Adriel Kerr whipped in a cross which Allen deftly deflected past San Juan custodian Sterling Sween from close range.

Moe looked as if he was watching a hoodlum key his car.

The San Juan schoolboys bent; but they did not break.

Woo Ling released Allen, in the 55th minute, and Jep’s stinging, angled left footed effort knocked Sween flat on his back. Somehow, the custodian still managed to turn the shot around his near post for a corner.

And, in the 62nd minute, Allen could not reproduce such alertness in his defensive duties as San Juan went ahead off a set piece that defender Levi O’Brien headed in off the underside of the bar.

Now it was St Anthony’s coach Nigel Grosvenor’s time to moan.

“That was your man, Jep!” shouted Grosvenor, with a pained expression.

By then, San Juan midfielders were following Woo Ling around in the same diligent manner that security guards shadow a Head of State. And, without fever-stricken attacker Darius Olliviera, St Anthony’s lacked the extra quality upfront to dismantle its stubborn visitors.

Trimmingham rubbed salt in the Tigers’ wounds in the 76th minute as he met a weak, headed clearance from an opposing defender with a dipping 40-yard volley that doubled San Juan’s advantage.

Grosvenor gave 14-year-old goalkeeper Oba Augustin a rare start between the uprights today and there were glimpses of potential. But Augustin might need counselling after conceding from that distance.

Trimmingham probably could not repeat that strike if he tried a dozen times.

St Anthony’s pulled a goal back in the 80th minute as substitute Andrew Rullow headed home from a Woo Ling corner. But San Juan killed the game off effectively with time wasting near either corner flag.

It wrapped up a miserable three day spell for the Tigers. And it could get even worse on Wednesday afternoon if St Mary’s has its way.

(Teams)

San Juan North (4-1-3-2): 26.Sterling Sween (GK); 2.Dexter McDowell (12.Warren Chase), 3.Hakeem Wilson, 24.Levi O’Brien, 6.Jamal Roach; 20.Josiah Trimmingham; 21.Kyle Mack (26.Romario Rochard 38), 25.Kyle Williams, 18.Marcus Rosales; 22.Jermell Britto (5.Shayon Eustace 80), 9.Brent Sam (captain).

Unused substitutes: 1.D’Eandre Villaroel (GK), 4.Kenyan Huggins, 11.Jeankeon Alexander, 17.Oneel Jarvis.

Coach: Jerry Moe

St Anthony’s College (4-2-3-1): 22.Oba Augustin (GK); 2.Jared Flament, 15.Nicholas Moyou, 23.Mawasi Charles, 18.Simon Joseph; 6.Leon Whyle, 14.Matthew Woo Ling; 11.Adriel Kerr (19.Andrew Rullow 57), 25.Shakeen Patrick, 17.Raheem Borde; 10.Kwesi Allen.

Unused substitutes: 1.Carlton Alfonso (GK), 3.Shaquille Sandy, 5.Keston Herrera, 8.Jules Lee, 12.Matthaeus Granger, 21.Brent Joel.

Coach: Nigel Grosvenor

Referee: Eustace Benjamin.


150
“Pappy” catches the eye as Shiva Boys edge Presentation
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com)


The extracurricular activities of 16-year-old Shiva Boys Hindu College Form Five student Levi Garcia has become a national talking point in recent days.

Trinidad and Tobago national head team coach Stephen Hart, national under-20 coach Derek King, Central FC managing director and World Cup 2006 defender Brent Sancho and Shiva Boys head coach, former “Strike Squad” stand-out Dexter Francis and a few local and foreign agents each have an opinion with regards to the talented winger’s next move.

Once more, it was Shiva Boys and not Central that secured his services this weekend; and the result was another three points for the Penal-based school as Francis’ troops edged Presentation College (San Fernando) 1-0 to climb one spot to sixth place in the SSFL Premier Division competition.

Of course, the big news yesterday was at the St Anthony’s College ground where Naparima College tamed the “Westmoorings Tigers” with a stunning 5-1 rout. It was St Anthony’s first loss of the season although captain Mawasi Charles’ team remains two points clear of second placed Naparima.

St Anthony’s has a game in hand against San Juan North too although the Tigers shouldn’t start counting their chickens yet. The San Juan schoolboys again displayed their ability to surprise yesterday with a 2-0 win over St Mary’s College at Serpentine Road in St Clair.

Elsewhere, East Mucurapo Secondary finally registered its first win of the season with a 1-0 triumph over Carapichaima East Secondary while Chaguanas North similarly edged Arima North 1-0. And there were a pair of draws too as Fatima College and St Augustine played to a 1-1 tie while Trinity College East and St Benedict’s finished goalless in Trincity.

Whereas southern travellers Naparima and St Benedict’s might have felt varying degrees of satisfaction from their journeys up the Uriah Butler Highway, it was obvious that either Presentation or Shiva Boys would end the day in a sour mood.

And Shiva Boys had Garcia.

Not for the first time, the speedy attacker seemed to settle the match despite barely showing up. Like an employee who spends most of the day on Facebook and then solves all the office’s problems at 3.45 pm, Garcia seemed to operate on the periphery of the game for much of the afternoon but still set up Shiva captain Marvin Seuradge for the winner in the 30th minute.

Seuradge finished clinically with a low strike that went in off Presentation goalkeeper Ishmael Salaam’s right hand post.

Just as decisively, perhaps, was the dismissal of Presentation defender Ayandike Francis who received a red card from referee Dave Daniel in the 24th minute after he hauled back a goalward-bound Garcia.

Presentation, despite decent build-up play on a treacherous, uneven surface, never looked likely to score thereafter and striker Levon Bass was an isolated figure upfront.

This was the sort of game where supporters are forced to applaud perseverance and pace. What else is possible on a surface as dodgy as Life Sport’s un-tendered contracts?

But then why did 15-year-old Shiva midfielder Tyrel “Pappy” Emmanuel look so comfortable on the most uneven section of the field of all?

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