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Phillips calls for football unity
« on: July 08, 2006, 02:00:41 PM »

   Phillips calls for football unity

Ian Prescott

Friday, July 7th 2006
 LINCOLN "TIGER" PHILLIPS, Trinidad and Tobago's technical director for football, has urged both Prime Minister Patrick Manning and FIFA vice president Jack Warner to put aside political differences and band together to continue the development of football in Trinidad and Tobago.

Phillips, an outstanding former national goalkeeper, made his comment yesterday at a luncheon meeting of the Rotary Club of Central Port-of-Spain, at Singho Restaurant, Long Circular Mall, St James.

Manning, leader of the PNM Government and Warner, a deputy leader of the opposition United National Congress (UNC), are due to meet soon to plot a course geared towards qualification for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Among the issues to be discussed is the future of Dutchman Leo Beenhakker, who led this country to its first qualification for a World Cup Finals.

Phillips suggested that the upcoming meeting between Manning and Warner would be crucial to the development of the local game, and said that regardless of political affiliation both Manning and Warner must work towards putting and keeping Trinidad and Tobago football on top.

"Mr. Manning, Mr. Warner, show the people that if we want to get together, it must start with you," Phillips declared. "A lot of people believe that 2006 will automatically transfer to 2010. It is not going to happen. We have a lot of work to do."

Phillips described Trinidad and Tobago's recent showing at the 2006 World Cup in Germany as the best thing to happen to this country. But while the performances of Trinidad and Tobago's Soca Warriors have put the country on the map, Phillips feels it is now up to local administrators to ensure that the upward momentum continues. He added that the Soca Warriors showed that even small countries can do well if they are well-prepared.

"For 83 minutes we held the mighty England goal-less. Everyone in the world now knows where Trinidad and Tobago is. We have arrived. We are on the map."

Phillips said local football would require $29 million annually from Government to continue the game's development at all levels. He added that it was important also to have a dedicated facility at which Trinidad and Tobago's best young footballers can live, eat properly, train and be well educated.
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