As T&T's Under-20 national football team prepares to face Suriname today and the US Virgin Islands on Friday to close off the group phase of the CONCACAF Under-20 Men Championship World Cup qualifier in the United States, the Ministry of Sport & Youth Affairs presented a cheque valued TT$452,855.00 to the T&T Football Association (TTFA) to cover expenses for the tournament.
T&T played the USA in its third match on Monday night and was defeated 6-1.
The Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe, in her remarks before the presentation, extended best wishes to the team and took the opportunity to reiterate that NGBs must be more circumspect in their funding requests. Minister Cudjoe said, “The Ministry and SporTT stand ready to provide the necessary assistance when called upon but NGBs also have the responsibility to practice transparency, accountability and even democracy in their own affairs. Planning and preparation are fundamental to the process of sports development and we look forward to improvement in these areas going forward.”
Both Director Hayden Mitchell of the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT) and the Ministry’s Director of Sports Patrice Charles concurred with the Minister’s concerns about the timeliness of formal requests for funding, especially in today’s challenging economic climate.
To date, T&T has won two of the Group A matches at the tournament which began on 1 November. T&T came from behind to beat St Vincent and the Grenadines 3-2 and romped to a 5-1 victory against Puerto Rico but lost to the USA 6-1 on Monday night. The next for T&T is Suriname. The top two teams of each group would qualify for the 2019 FIFA U20 World Cup.