A ranking story for Warriors

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Trinidad and Tobago’s latest FIFA rank of 67 is our best placement in three years. But the highest rank ever achieved by the “Soca Warriors” was 25th under late Scottish coach Ian Porterfield in June 2001.

Porterfield inherited a team ranked 40th in the world from his predecessor, Bertille St Clair.

In 2005, St Clair again ran the first leg before handing over a team ranked 61st by FIFA to Dutch coach Leo Beenhakker, who took the Warriors up to 47th by the time of their World Cup debut in June 2006.

Photo: The “Soca Warriors” bond during the Germany 2006 World Cup.

However, a controversial blacklist of World Cup players and lengthy pauses in Trinidad and Tobago’s football programs contributed to a steady decline in the country’s global standing ever since and the Warriors have generally existed outside the top 70 football nations since 2007.

Former national stand-out Russell Latapy helped the Warriors to 63rd place in September 2009 but, a year later, Latapy was still boss as Trinidad and Tobago recorded its lowest ever position of 106th.

Fans of National Security Minister and ex-TTFF special advisor Jack Warner argued that Trinidad and Tobago’s recent slump coincided with his resignation as FIFA vice-president. In fact, the global rankings indicate the opposite.

Trinidad and Tobago was ranked 95th in the world when Warner allegedly facilitated an international bribe on behalf of disgraced Qatari administrator, Mohamed Bin Hammam, in May 2001 and was 91st, three months later,  when general secretary Richard Groden broke ranks and secretly testified against him to FIFA investigators.

The Warriors have not looked back since, despite funding issues over the past two years.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football fans have had reason to celebrate under the stewardship of joint head coaches Hutson Charles and Jamaal Shabaz and assistant coach Derek King.
(Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)

Wired868 looks at the FIFA rank inherited and then left behind by the last five national coaches:

Wim Rijsbergen (2006-07)

When he came in: 61; When he left: 78

Francisco Maturana (2008-2009)

When he came in: 98; When he left: 75

Russell Latapy (2009-2010)

When he came in: 75; When he left: 89

Otto Pfister (2011-2011)

When he came in: 95; When he left: 86

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national senior team co-head coach Hutson “Barber” Charles.

Hutson Charles (2012-now)

When he came in: 78; Present ranking: 68


Editor’s Note: What does Trinidad and Tobago’s place in the latest FIFA rankings mean to you?

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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