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Look Loy apologises to Lawrence.
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T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (TTFA) board mem­ber Kei­th Look Loy has pub­licly apol­o­gised to his one-time youth play­er, na­tion­al coach Den­nis Lawrence, for com­ments he made af­ter T&T's re­cent CON­CA­CAF Gold Cup per­for­mance.

Un­der Lawrence, who played for Mal­ick Sec­ondary un­der coach Look Loy in 1990, the T&T team fin­ished Group D of the Gold Cup with just a point from a 1-1 tie with Guyana in their last match of the group phase. In the oth­er match­es, the So­ca War­riors were beat­en 2-0 by Pana­ma and hu­mil­i­at­ed 6-0 by the Unit­ed States. The per­for­mance prompt­ed an avalanche of crit­i­cism from the pub­lic and foot­ball stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing Look Loy.

In fact, at a press con­fer­ence at the Nor­mandie Ho­tel in St Ann's on Ju­ly 10, Look Loy was high­ly crit­i­cal of Lawrence's tenure as coach as he made out a case for his re­moval.

Yes­ter­day, how­ev­er, at­tor­neys for Lawrence wrote to the out­spo­ken T&T Su­per League pres­i­dent call­ing on him to apol­o­gise.

“Your com­ments have brought my client to dis­re­pute and odi­um and have held up my client to ridicule among the peo­ple of T&T and his peers in the foot­ball com­mu­ni­ty, both lo­cal­ly and in­ter­na­tion­al­ly. I, there­fore, call up­on you to pub­licly apol­o­gise to my client forth­with to avoid fur­ther le­gal ac­tion,” the lawyers wrote.

Lawrence's lawyers said he took par­tic­u­lar of­fence to Look Loy's claims that there were play­ers in the team who were not used, mis­used or abused.

Apart from the apol­o­gy, Lawrence's lawyers al­so called on Look Loy to pay $5, 500 in le­gal fees the T&T coach would have ex­pend­ed on send­ing the le­gal let­ter.

Con­tact­ed yes­ter­day, how­ev­er, Look Loy said he was as­ton­ished by this de­vel­op­ment, not­ing coach­es are sub­ject­ed to crit­i­cism in every coun­try, es­pe­cial­ly when their re­sults are poor.

Look Loy said, "I am ad­vised that this claim has no le­gal mer­it but nonethe­less, I have cho­sen to re­spond to this via pub­lic me­dia in ac­cor­dance with Lawrence's wish­es.

"I, as a loy­al sup­port­er of T&T foot­ball and more­so, as a TTFA board mem­ber, has a re­spon­si­bil­i­ty to en­sure that the TTFA and the coun­try re­ceive val­ue for mon­ey spent. My crit­i­cisms were made with this in mind."

He added: "How­ev­er, if it is that Lawrence is suf­fer­ing un­sus­tain­able per­son­al hurt, oc­ca­sioned by what I be­lieve to be le­git­i­mate crit­i­cism of his abysmal record, if Lawrence be­lieves that my cri­tique as a TTFA board mem­ber, his em­ploy­er, that his per­for­mance as na­tion­al coach is dam­ag­ing to his rep­u­ta­tion, even in the face of his cat­a­stroph­ic record, then I am sor­ry."

Look Loy, how­ev­er, sought to put in­to con­text Lawrence's record, which shows of 23 match­es played, the T&T team has won four, drawn five and lost 14 in his two years on the job. He point­ed out that Lawrence re­placed pre­vi­ous coach Stephen Hart, who was fired af­ter two loss­es.

RELATED NEWS

Look Loy ‘sorry’ for sorry Lawrence record.
By Joel Bailey (Newsday).


T&T coach threatens to sue outspoken critic…

OUTSPOKEN board member of the TT Football Association (TTFA) Keith Look Loy has tongue-in-cheek publicly apologised to national men’s coach Dennis Lawrence for his criticism of Lawrence on the heels of the T&T team’s embarrassing showing at the recent Concacaf Gold Cup.

Lawrence, via his attorney Marsha King, has threatened legal action against Look Loy for statements made against him which were “untrue, unfounded, malicious and disrespectful.”

Lawrence has demanded that Look Loy publicly apologise to avoid further legal action and pay his legal representative $5,500, presumably for services rendered.

According to his attorney, Lawrence referred to a few statements made by Look Loy at a recent media conference.

In one of his statements Look Loy said, “It looks like the national coach needs armchair psycho analysis because he goes all the way to when he was in Malick when I was his coach 30 years ago.”

Look Loy mentioned in another statement, “(Lawrence) have MLS players in (the Gold Cup) that were either not used or misused or abused.”

According to Lawrence’s attorney, “On 7 July 2019, my client wrote an email to the TTFA Board, of which you are a member, requesting an apology from you within seven days thereafter. You responded twice by email on 7 July 2019 categorically refusing to apologise to my client and intimating that you would counter-sue.”

In a written statement and subsequent video, which both were released to the media yesterday, Look Loy said Lawrence’s claim was without merit and doubled down on his criticism of the former Soca Warriors World Cup defender. He said Lawrence’s coaching record was “abysmal” and he maintains the belief that he has shown “clear incapacity for handling the job.” Lawrence’s record as T&T coach (including friendly matches) is five wins, six draws and 15 defeats.

Look Loy, however, said, “If Lawrence believes that my critique, as a TTFA board member, of his performance as national coach is damaging to his reputation, even in the face of his catastrophic record, then I apologise.”

Brent Sancho, who was Lawrence’s teammate at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, and a former player, under Look Loy, at Malick Senior Comprehensive (now Malick Secondary) said yesterday, “There is a line between criticism and slander. If the statements that Look Loy made (are) considered slanderous, then (Lawrence) has a case.

“At the end of the day, you’ll always face criticism in the sport but criticisms have to be done in a particular structure or manner,” Sancho continued.

With regards to Lawrence’s team selection at the Gold Cup, Sancho said, “It’s always a coach’s prerogative to select (who he wants). He’s the one who’s in training, he would know what (are) the attitude of the players like in the camp. Coaches live and die by their decisions.”

On the other side of the coin, Sancho said, “Look Loy is a very experienced coach. He was in FIFA so he has every right to make any pronouncements as it relates to football. However, you have to be careful that you don’t cross the border from criticism to slandering somebody.

“Dennis’s record would show that it hasn’t been good, but I’ve held the fact that he has a big challenge on his hands,” he added. “I don’t think the crop of players is good enough. That is the challenge that he has.”

This story has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.

OUTSPOKEN board member of the TT Football Association (TTFA) Keith Look Loy has tongue-in-cheek publicly apologised to national men’s coach Dennis Lawrence for his criticism of Lawrence on the heels of the T&T team's embarrassing showing at the recent Concacaf Gold Cup.

Lawrence has threatened legal action against Look Loy for statements made against him which were “untrue, unfounded, malicious and disrespectful.”

Lawrence has demanded that Look Loy publicly apologise to avoid further legal action and pay his legal representative $5,500, presumably for services rendered.

In a written statement, and subsequent video, which both were released to the media today, Look Loy said Lawrence's claim was without merit and doubled down on his criticism of the former Soca Warriors World Cup defender. He said Lawrence's coaching record was "abysmal" and he maintains the belief that he has shown "clear incapacity for handling the job." Lawrence's record as T&T coach (including friendly matches) is five wins, six draws and 15 defeats.

Look Loy however said, “If Lawrence believes that my critique, as a TTFA board member, of his performance as national coach is damaging to his reputation, even in the face of his catastrophic record, then I apologise.”