THE Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) anxiously await a formal report from the Fifa inspection panel, headed by Walter Gagg, as the 2001 Under-17 World Championship draws near.

Gagg, adviser to Fifa president Sepp Blatter for Stadia and Security, and his team of inspectors scrutinised the Manny Ramjohn, Ato Boldon, Larry Gomes and Hasely Crawford stadia yesterday.

The Fifa team, who were accompanied by Concacaf president Jack Warner and Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chief Executive Officer Sandra Basheer, also visited the designated training grounds, including Woodford Lodge and the Arima Municipal Stadium.

The touring party is expected to visit the Dwight Yorke Stadium this morning before making their decision on the readiness of Trinidad and Tobago to host the tournament which should kick off on September 13.
Members of the Fifa team will look into the other areas of the tournament, including information technology and hotel accommodation later this week.

Basheer was guardedly optimistic at the end of the first day of Fifa inspections.

“So far things have gone smoothly,” she told the T&TFF media. “But we still have to wait on a final report from Mr Gagg and his team before we can make a final statement... All seems to be well with regards to what Mr Gagg and the other FIFA officials are here to inspect.”

Fifa officials present at yesterday’s inspection included Marion Mayer-Vorfelder, FIFA Event Manager, Jacob Strassle, FIFA’s local Marketing Representative, Steven Dixon, Prisma Managing Director, Peter Walder, Information Technology, Roland Buchel and Samuel Huber, both FIFA Marketing, and Warner, Fifa vice-president and chairman of the Fifa Youth Committee.

Local interests were represented by Manohar Ramsaran, Minister of Community Empowerment, Sport and Consumer Affairs, Richard Groden, T&TFF General Secretary, Harold Taylor, Caribbean Football Union General Secretary, Michael Paty, head contractor from PW Partnership, and Omar Khan, chairman of Stadia Board of Management.