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Sun, Aug

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INJURED Under-20 football captain Marvin Lee is to benefit from proceeds from the selling of Coca-Cola's FIFA Under-17 World Championship Commemorative Bottle, which was launched yesterday in the Flamingo Room, Hilton Trinidad.

Robert Ramchand, Caribbean Bottlers Ltd's General Manager, said for every commemorative bottle sold during the championships, which starts Thursday and ends September 30, part proceeds will go into a fund for Lee. This, he said, will help to defray some of Lee's medical expenses. He also said the price of the drink would not change.

Lee suffered a spinal injury during a match against the United States in March at Centre of Excellence, Macoya. He has been hospitalised since and is not fully recovered, Ramchand said.

Lee's mother, Dawn Warrick, thanking Coca-Cola and FIFA vice president Jack Warner, said her son has improved significantly since the second surgery in Miami, USA, on May 2.

"He can now function without the brace," she said, adding, "I know my son will definitely walk again."

Warrick also congratulated the Under-17s, hoping they do well and asked the public to come out and support them.

She said Marvin may come to the matches, but if he did he may have to be brought in an ambulance. "I do't know if he would want that," she said, however.

Ramchand said the Under-17 event was one Trinidad and Tobago should be proud of and should embrace it.

Derek Waddell, Coca-Cola's Operation's Manager for the Caribbean, said his company had donated $300,000 "worth of support" towards the tournament. The sum, Waddell said, was separate and apart from Coca-Cola's international funding with FIFA. Coca-Cola has been an official sponsor of each World Cup since 1978 and other major FIFA worldwide events since 1974.

Waddell said they had an overwhelming response of over 300 ball attendants, of which 200will be utilised in the tournament.

"It's a first for us to host a World Cup and I doubt we would ever see that again," Waddell said, at which point Warner said: "You're very sure about that."

Warner later said because of the new FIFA policy of rotation, Trinidad and Tobago, in theory, will not host another Under-17 World Cup for 12 years. He, however, said it could host an Under-20 tournament before then.