The long-awaited start of the new UEFA/FIFA recommended T-League, has been set for October 4, Brent Sancho, a member of the Commission which was formed to take T&T football into this era said on Wednesday.
This era will see a two-tier League, with Tier 1 comprising of 10 teams in the T&T Pro League, and Tier 2 featuring 14 T&T Super League clubs. Sancho, the Central FC managing director made the comment in an immediate response to Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Shamfa Cudjoe's claims that organizers of the league were at fault for the delayed start, as they failed to supply her ministry with crucial information requested, in order to receive monies needed for the start of the competition.
Sancho said the documents, which covered the financial status of clubs, as well as if the said clubs are TTFA/FIFA compliant, were submitted on Wednesday morning.
Cudjoe said the T-League organizers were also tardy in delivering information related to the scheduled start of the T-League and the number of teams that were set to participate.
Sancho speaking to the Guardian Media Sports in an interview said, "The challenge has always been the timing of the funds. The commission has met on several occasions and tried to put things in place. There have been some challenges with monies, as it relates to the FIFA Forward Programme, as well as challenges for government's subvention to the pro league clubs."
The Central FC boss said he thought that documentation requested by the ministry was sorted out. "The communication lines have broken down as it relates to who was supposed to be responsible for sending the information, whether it be the commission, the T&TFA, whether it be the pro league. That being said all communications have been up and running, everyone has been working hard. I know the information has been sent in."
According to Sancho, "The information that the minister is seeking, is very new to us as pro league clubs. Last year we had a different set of targets that we had to hit. This year was different for us. We have never been asked the type of questions that the minister requested, so obviously, the clubs had to get things together in a way they never used to before."
Earlier, Minister Cudjoe said, "We have been given the cheque from the Ministry of Finance and therefore the government is ready, but there is information that the TTFA and the Pro League need to submit the requested information to the ministry. Of course, you know the specific clubs that are involved, all have to be financial. Also, the last time we met with them, they stated that they're restructuring to fit the T-League structure and they will get back to us with necessary information."
She added, "We would have requested information as to, is this league going to happen?, is it going to happen in this fiscal year and if so, when? And if so, how many teams will be participating, and they have been unable to respond to us."