Fri, Feb


Jlloyd Samuel taken for his first TTFF joy ride.A credible source has revealed that T&T's latest recruit Bolton Wanderers left wing back Jlloyd Samuel was played out of the game by his newly found team T&T as the Soca Warriors came up against Costa Rica and Mexico respectively in its final two matches of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

T&T are officially eliminated from the 2010 World Cup and both games are somewhat irrelevant for Latapy's team. Though it's a perfect scenario for the younger players coming up to gain as much experience at senior level as possible and also a chance to claim their place on the team for the future.

Samuel meanwhile, remains 100% committed to Trinidad and Tobago was originally called up by head coach Russell Latapy for both games and only got an email on Sunday afternoon with his flight details for Sunday morning from TTFF manager David Muhammad. Allow me to repeat this, Samuel's flight details were received Sunday afternoon for a Sunday (the same day) morning flight departure.

For Samuel to have made such a flight he would have had to call Doc Brown, one of the stars from the hit movie "Back to the Future" and asked to lend him his time machine to fly back some 10-hours in order to catch the early morning flight.

It didn't end there the source also revealed. Samuel then got a Black Berry (BB) message on Sunday from the TTFF manager David Muhammad, asking where he was. I guess TSTT phone service were down and BB messaging was the next best option.

When the manager realized his folly, he then told Samuel that he was on the next flight out which was Monday morning.

The very next day Samuel got to the airport only to find out at the check-in counter that there was no ticket under his name. So after being made a fool for two days straight, the frustrated Samuel decided to call his manager at Bolton and tell him he will not be traveling with the T&T team anymore.

To make matter worst, Samuel was hit with another problem when the player went to his usual training that morning with his Club and unfortunately injured his groin. Then the TTFF manager sent him another BB message stating that he was booked to travel on Tuesday.

Samuel sadly broke the news to Muhammad in the same fashion (via BB) that he got injured in training and will not be able to make the trip. His mother, being irate at the TTFF's treatment of her son then launched a complaint to the Technical Director Mr Lincoln Phillips.

Mr. Phillips subsequently called and asked that she send him a detailed e-mail about the situation. He also said that he was going to take it up with the Administration. The next day she received a text message from Mr. Phillips stating how shocked he was and he apologized wholeheartedly for the fiasco.

The following are two quotes from the many supporters who shared their views on the Soca Warriors Online regarding the TTFF's negligence and unprofessionalism in this matter: "lack of funds or even a lack of resources can be no excuse for lack of class and respect".

"I guess Samuel will have to take a rain check from KFC and Pizza Hut this time around as he will be forced to skip dinner with his T&T teammates".

Warriors manager caught in travel row.
By Joel Bailey (T&T Newsday).

An Apparent bungling of airline ticket arrangements has stymied Jlloyd Samuel’s return to Trinidad and Tobago earlier this week.

The 28-year-old left-back was due in Trinidad on Monday, as the national football team prepared for tomorrow’s 2010 FIFA World Cup CONCACAF Zone Final Round Qualifier against Costa Rica.

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF), in a media release on Tuesday, noted that the Bolton Wanderers defender missed the trip to San Jose in Costa Rica since he “pulled up with a groin strain in practice.”

No word was given, at the time, where Samuel sustained his injury but, according to a news report on a local radio station (I 95.5FM) on Wednesday morning, the defender was injured in England on Monday.

The injury came after his calamitous two-day run-around in his attempt to return home.

A source, revealing inside information about the ticket saga, stated: “He was sent an e-mail (on) Sunday evening for flight details for Sunday morning. Since when does Sunday evening comes before Sunday morning?” the source questioned.

“Then he got a message on Sunday from the manager (David Muhammad) asking where he was. It was not even a phone call, it was a message on the BB (Black Berry).”

The source said that, following the mix-up on Sunday, a promise was made to Samuel that he will be rescheduled to travel on Monday.

“He got to the airport only to find out that there was no ticket for him,” the source said. “He showed the details and they said, ‘Sorry, we do not have a ticket under your name’.

“So, after being made a fool of for two days straight, he then called his manager at Bolton (Gary Megson) and said that he will not be travelling, so he went training on Monday morning.” It was, at that training session, that a frustrated Samuel sustained a pulled muscle on his right groin.

“Then (David) Muhammad sent him another BB to say that he has him booked for Tuesday,” the source continued. “So, by then, he was already injured and sent him back a BB to say that he will not be able to come.

The source admitted that Samuel was yet to receive a call from the TTFF concerning his injury and, as a result, a complaint was sent, via e-mail, to the TTFF’s Technical Director Lincoln “Tiger” Phillips.

The source said, “I was the one that was stunned by the treatment of the players. No wonder there is a division,” added the source, confirming statements made by a few un-named players, that the foreign-based players in the Trinidad and Tobago team travelled in First Class, to-and- from the September 5 qualifier in Honduras, while the local-based members were seated in coach (among the regular passengers).

The source also expressed shock that, after the September 9 qualifier at home to the United States, the national players were fed KFC chicken and pizza, which were provided by the sponsors Prestige Holdings Limited.

However, the source affirmed that Samuel still expressed his desire to continue to represent the TT squad, despite this ticketing run-around. But it is unclear if the San Fernando-born Samuel, who represented England at the youth level, will be available for the last game in the Final Round Qualifiers, on October 14, at home to Mexico.

Last evening, the TTFF issued a media release, addressed by Muhammad, refuting claims that Samuel was yo-yoed in his quest to join the TT squad for tomorrow’s qualifier.

In his invitation letter to the British-based players, dated September 26, the TT team manager informed the players (as well as their respective clubs) that they were expected to “fly in to Trinidad on the evening of October 4 and then we all leave as a team to Costa Rica on October 7.”

And, in a statement, Muhammad emphasised that, “Jlloyd, for some reason, felt that he was to fly on October 5 and went to the airport also, despite what the letter said.

“I was informed by Simpaul’s Travel Agency that Samuel’s ticket was paid for, in full, and available on October 5 but was not located, due to the date change and original ticket number.

“His travel itinerary was e-mailed on September 29 but, unlike the other players, he did not receive the information until I spoke to him and his agent directly,” Muhammad ended.