Trinidad and Tobago’s football fans will not get the chance to see the “Soca Warriors” in action on home soil before the July 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) announced today that next Friday’s friendly international against Belize will be held away in Central America rather than at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. Wired868 understands that the TTFF is trying to arrange for an internet feed of the fixture.
The decision to move the game is believed to have been provoked by Belize’s inability to meet the cost of trip to Trinidad although the TTFF described it as “logistical challenges.”
However, it means that the senior Trinidad and Tobago team will play its next four friendly internationals away and is unlikely to play at home before August unless a game is scheduled for outside the FIFA calendar.
TTFF president Raymond Tim Kee said he was disappointed that the game will now be played abroad but was happy to have saved the fixture so the Warriors can continue their rehearsals for the Gold Cup.
“We are continuing our efforts to ensure that our national teams are afforded every opportunity to prepare adequately for the international stage,” Tim Kee told the TTFF Media, “and that our development programmes are properly streamlined with the right support and resources.
“The Under-17 team will continue their preparations with another upcoming training camp before heading to Panama City for the Under-17 World Cup qualifiers. And for the first time since 2006, our senior men’s team will play in Europe against two European countries as Romania and Estonia have agreed to host us.
“Despite our challenges, we are trying to ensure that the business of football relating to the country’s representation in the international arena moves ahead with some degree of progress.”
The Warriors play away to Belize on March 22 and Peru on March 26 before travelling to Romania on June 4 and Estonia on June 7.
Romania is ranked 31st in the world by FIFA while Estonia is 82nd. Trinidad and Tobago is ranked 69th at present.
The Warriors should begin training for the Belize fixture on Monday at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
The Warriors have only played at home twice in the past 16 months due to a combination of the TTFF’s financial woes and the insufficient support from the Sport Ministry. Unfortunately, it now appears that Trinidad and Tobago football fans would have to go without seeing their team for several months more.
(Trinidad and Tobago senior team)
Goalkeepers: Marvin Phillip (Central FC), Cleon John (North East Stars);
Defenders: Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Daneil Cyrus (DIRECTV W Connection), Carlyle Mitchell (FC Edmonton—Canada), Aubrey David (Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA);
Midfielders: Chris Birchall (Port Vale—England), Densill Theobald, Keyon Edwards, Ataullah Guerra (all Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA), Keon Daniel (Philadelphia Union—US), Joevin Jones (DIRECTV W Connection);
Wingers: Kevon Carter (Defence Force), Darren Mitchell (Central FC), Marcus Joseph (Point Fortin Civic Centre);
Forwards: Kenwyne Jones (Stoke City—England), Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force), Cornell Glen (North East Stars).