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Venezuela friendly may play on T&T soil.
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Unrest in Caracas may force rethink by TTFA as…

THE CURRENT unrest in the capital city of Caracas, in neighbouring Venezuela, may force a rethink by the TT Football Association (TTFA) as the planned friendly international between T&T and Venezuela, set for May 29, at the Estadio Don Bosco in Sabana Grande, could be shifted to Trinidad.

Making this pronouncement was TTFA president David John-Williams, in a telephone interview last evening.

On April 5, the TTFA announced the national men’s team will be playing Venezuela, followed by a June 5 clash away to Japan, before heading to the United States to compete in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

Yesterday, Venezuela’s Opposition Leader Juan Guaido said he had military support as he seeks to end the rule of President Nicolas Maduro.

But Venezuelan authorities, according to a BBC report, said they were putting down a small coup attempt by Guaido, who declared himself as the interim president in January.

Asked if the TTFA was considering a venue change for the T&T-Venezuela international, John-Williams replied, “We wrote through the agent of the game, to the Venezuelan (Football) Federation asking for the venue to be changed for the game based on what is happening. We are awaiting a response on that.”

Regarding where the game will be played, the TTFA president said, “We wrote (yesterday) asking that the venue for the game be changed to Trinidad.”

Outspoken TTFA board member Keith Look Loy said the proposed venue change reinforces his view that the entire episode should have been discussed at board level.

“This reinforces my initial comment that this match should have been brought to the board for a proper discussion,” said Look Loy. “My comment at that time was that Venezuela is on tinderbox and we should have had that discussion even when the idea first came up.

“The idea of moving the match to Trinidad is obviously a better idea and I expect that this matter would be brought to the board for a proper discussion by the board of the TTFA and not be taken unilaterally by the president.”

If this game is indeed shifted to Trinidad, it will be the first international match by the T&T men’s team on home soil since a 1-0 defeat to Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on April 17, 2018.