Sun, Aug


Trinidad and Tobago Under-17 captain Jerrel Britto says his teammates are anxious to get home to their families.

The national squad returned yesterday from Mexico, where they participated in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the 2009 FIFA Under-17 World Championship.

However, players and officials are being confined for 24 hours at Le Chateau Hotel at the CONCACAF Centre of Excellence in Macoya, where they will undergo precautionary tests as a mitigation measure for Swine Flu, which is currently sweeping through Mexico.

"The doctors are now doing the tests. They told us that we will get the results in 24 hours. Everybody is okay but we can't wait to go home" Britto told the Express yesterday evening.

He said none of the team members were displaying any flu-like symptoms, which they have been on alert for since last weekend in Mexico.

The team arrived at Piarco International Airport aboard a Copa Airlines flight from Panama City at 4.05 p.m. They were kept on the aircraft for about 45 minutes, before being escorted to a PTSC bus which was parked next to the plane. And after waiting for about 30 minutes, they were driven from Piarco to the hotel.

On arrival at the hotel the players were quickly escorted inside.

Britto's mother, Gillian, who is very active in her son's football career, said she was very happy that her son was back in Trinidad.

"We know that he is alright and he will be alright," she said.

"I have spoken to him a number of times for the afternoon and he is in good spirits."

However, she told the Express there should have been better communication between the relevant authorities and parents of the players.

"Everything we heard is via the media and internet," she said.

"However, I did receive a text message from the manager of the team stating the time they were coming in, which I already knew, and that everybody was okay. But the authorities have not called us. I'm not fine with it and I plan to talk to the necessary people about it."

If all goes well with the precautionary tests, the team is expected to be reunited with their families some time tomorrow.

T&T lost all three of their matches in Mexico-to the hosts (7-0), Costa Rica (3-0) and Guatemala (3-0).

And team manager Christopher Gouveia did not seem worried about being quarantined, which he said the players are dealing with very well.