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16
Sun, Jun

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There is lit­tle doubt that, the T&T Un­der-20 team was al­ways go­ing to find it dif­fi­cult to qual­i­fy for the World Cup fi­nals next year, in par­tic­u­lar be­ing drawn in the same group as the Unit­ed States was al­so chal­leng­ing.

And while, we can right­ful­ly crit­i­cise the T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (TTFA) for lack of en­sur­ing prop­er prepa­ra­tion of the team, through the lack of prac­tice match­es, a camp, or just the over­all time spend to­geth­er on the train­ing field, I want to open­ly sug­gest to the peo­ple of T&T, that I lay the blame firm­ly at the feet of the Su­per League.

It was the very same – Su­per League – that pump their col­lec­tive over­sized chests, that re­fused the Un­der-20 team’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Su­per League be­cause they did not pay a cer­tain fee to reg­is­ter.

At the time, I re­call re­mark­ing how ridicu­lous it was and now I add again, how in­sen­si­tive, it was for the then hi­er­ar­chy of the Su­per League to adopt this to­tal­ly dis­ad­van­ta­geous de­ci­sion against a na­tion­al team (the Un­der the 20s). This is a na­tion­al team that need­ed the help from all quar­ters, not just the TTFA but its stake­hold­ers, and the Su­per League by re­fus­ing the team a place in its league, have in my opin­ion, not placed – The Coun­try first, but in­stead put ego first.

And that is the ma­jor prob­lem af­fect­ing Sports ad­min­is­tra­tion in T&T be­cause we have of­fi­cials that can­not see fur­ther than they can throw a stone. And in­stead of think­ing about the coun­try, there is too much self-cen­tred fo­cus.

Can you imag­ine what would be the case if our Un­der-20 play­ers had got­ten the op­por­tu­ni­ty to com­pete in the Su­per League? The sit­u­a­tion would have been the ex­pe­ri­ence gained would have great­ly en­hanced the over­all skill and men­tal lev­el of the team and en­sured that when they played against their peers at the in­ter­na­tion­al lev­el the team and by ex­ten­sion, each play­er would have been bet­ter pre­pared.

I know that of­fi­cials from the TTFA would have been up­set, even if they did not say so, I can imag­ine the pain in the minds of two men who have made ma­jor sac­ri­fices for T&T over the years - An­ton Corneal (Tech­ni­cal Di­rec­tor) and Rus­sell Lat­a­py (Un­der-20 coach) both of whom are owed monies by the TTFA for work done, but to their cred­it both in­di­vid­u­als have large­ly ig­nored that im­ped­i­ment, and gave their all to look af­ter foot­ball on the field. I can­not say the same about the Su­per League de­ci­sion mak­ers or mak­er, based on the ev­i­dence in front of us and the pain in the hearts of our youths.

There are many that be­lieve that mak­ing a lot of noise guar­an­tees at­ten­tion, and them gain­ing their way at the ex­pense of oth­ers, but lit­tle do they re­alise, that the lega­cy they leave be­hind them, will not ever go away and as they seek to pro­mote them­selves and de­stroy oth­ers, they on­ly help to con­firm the gen­er­al feel­ing, that they could care less about any­thing that does not pro­mote their name, game or agen­da. Sad­ly there are too many per­sons like what ex­ists in the Su­per League in sports in T&T, and foot­ball it would ap­pear has fall­en prey to this as well, based on the ne­glect that pre­vails.

So whether it is the Un­der-20 foot­ball team on this oc­ca­sion, or our Un­der-15 team in crick­et, or our youth teams in ten­nis and bas­ket­ball, there is so much dis­en­chant­ment, that it is easy to un­der­stand why par­ents will de­cide to shift the em­pha­sis to an­oth­er sport or just keep the fo­cus on their son or daugh­ter’s ed­u­ca­tion, in light of the treat­ment.

There­fore, it is with a very heavy heart, that I call on the Su­per League to of­fi­cial­ly apol­o­gise to the peo­ple of T&T for their faulty de­ci­sion to not al­low our na­tion­al youth team the prepa­ra­tion that was need­ed in an ef­fort to put T&T on the glob­al foot­ball map yet again.

As I watched the young­sters, fight as best they can and not give in or give up de­spite all the odds be­ing stacked against them, it gave me the pride to know that there are still young per­sons who are not in­ter­est­ed in crime and do­ing ill will to our so­ci­ety, but rather de­ter­mined to make them­selves, their fam­i­ly and friends and by ex­ten­sion T&T proud. T&T is very proud of each play­er on the Na­tion­al Un­der-20 team.


SOURCE: T&T Guardian