The Trinidad and Tobago national team had its first training session on Brazil soil on Friday evening at the Corinthians Training Stadium.
Sunday’s match against Iran is schedule for the same venue which is an official World Cup training venue.
The T&T team arrived on Qatar Airlines at the Sao Paolo International Airport just after 2am on Friday before checking in at the Bristol International Airport Hotel in Sao Paolo. This is the second visit to Brazil by a T&T senior team following a visit in 2001 by the Ian Porterfield led-team for a training camp prior to the final round of CONCACAF 2002 World Cup qualification
Following the 3-0 defeat to Argentina in which T&T held its own for long periods, spirits were high in the T&T team but he mood in the camp turned into a somber one just around 10am as news came that the 10 month old son of goalkeeper Marvin Phillip had passed away in Chaguanas. Phillip is scheduled to depart for Trinidad on Friday night, accompanied by assistant manager Peter Rampersad.
Team captain Kenwyne Jones was the first one to encounter Phillip as he received the news. Phillip used Jones’ mobile phone to make the call home during which he received the devastating news.
“It’s a very difficult time for him and all of his right now,” Jones told TTFA Media.
“I am a father as well. There are a lot of fathers in the team and no one wants to go through something like this. Our prayers and thoughts are with Marvin and his family.”
The Cardiff City forward said the T&T team will now regain focus ahead of Sunday’s encounter with the Asian giants.
“We were coming off a good experience in Argentina. I think there has been a bit of a buzz in the camp and everyone was looking forward to Sunday’s match. We have to get our heads together again and channel our energies onto the football field as continue our preparations for Iran,” Jones added.
T&T will go into Sunday’s match with one goalkeeper in Jan Michael Williams as Hart will not call a replacement ‘keeper.
“We have a couple days here to do as much as we can. The sessions will not be intense because we had a game just a little more than a day ago but we’ll be looking to do everything as right as we possibly can in relation to the match on Sunday. It’s good to be here and again it’s all part of the experience for our players. There is a lot happening football wise right now. We are in the football capital of the world at the moment so there’s a lot to absorb at the same time,” Hart said.
Meantime. Brazilian clubs have opted to train outside of Brazil and even play their games as FIFA has taken over many of the country's stadiums and training centers for the World Cup.
Since last month teams are not allowed to play at the 12 stadiums that will be used during the World Cup, nor at the venues to be used for training.
Nearly 30 league matches had to be altered for the last four rounds before the World Cup break. Of the 20 clubs in the first division, 14 have to relinquish home-field advantage. In addition to the 12 World Cup stadiums, FIFA and local organizers also took over 24 venues considered official training fields in the host cities.
Aside from T&T’s match against Iran on Sunday there are several other international games this weekend, as on Friday the match schedule includes Germany versus Armenia, Colombia vs Jordan, Brazil at home to Serbia, Croatia against Australia, Japan versus while at Costa Rica take on Republic of Ireland,Greece play Bolivia and Mexico face Portugal.