Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams insisted today that the Women’s National Senior Team was unable to travel to Costa Rica for friendly international matches this week, since they did not have their passports among other unnamed reasons.
The “Women Soca Warriors” were initially scheduled to play Costa Rica on January 25 and 27. The Costa Rica Football Federation (CRFF) shifted the games to January 26 and 28 respectively to give Trinidad and Tobago every opportunity to show.
However, much to the dismay of the host nation, the Women Warriors still failed to turn up.
“Last Saturday, we were advised by T&T officials that they were likely to arrive here as late as Tuesday,” CRFF official Diego Brenes said yesterday, “because some members of the team were still without American visas.
“However, around midday, we got word from them that money problems had made it impossible for the team to come to Costa Rica for the two games scheduled for Wednesday and Friday of this week.”
The TTFA failed to issue any media release on the status of the women’s team over the past five days while Williams did not respond to requests from Wired868 for comment.
However, via press release, the TTFA president said today that he was disappointed in the media reports and warned he intended to “address” criticisms of his administration by national players.
“Contrary to what has been reported in the media, there are several factors that contributed to the team not going to Costa Rica,” Williams told the TTFA Media, “one being we applied for visas and we only got back the passports yesterday and that is fact.
“So there is no way we could have gone to Costa Rica. And that is coupled with the funding that was available to travel to Costa Rica and Houston.
“I was a bit disappointed that what has been reported in the media was reported from a player. I take great offence to that and it is something we need to address.”
Williams did not specify which media house he was referring to, although Wired868 was first to publish on the issue.
An unnamed player told the website yesterday that the Women Warriors had long grown accustomed to lower standards from the TTFA.
But the TTFA president insisted that the team’s Rio 2016 Olympic qualifying preparations will not be affected by the scrapped Costa Rica tour.
“The girls will leave on Sunday for a 10-day camp in Houston and we are trying to arrange a game with Mexico and two club teams,” said Williams. “I don’t see the preparations as being affected.
“We will go to the Olympic qualifiers in good spirits and we hope that the girls will do well.”
The TTFA president did not give a timeline for the confirmation of the Mexico friendly or state who the intended club opponents were, since the United States National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) clubs do not start pre-season until March.
Williams also did not explain why the TTFA applied so late for visas, so as to make travel for pre-arranged international matches impossible. Nor did he explain what were the other unspecified factors that kept the Women Warriors from playing in Costa Rica.
In fact, the TTFA was light on details in its own press statement, even as it criticised the media for publishing without the necessary information that the football body refused to provide in the first place.
Wired868 contacted Williams for clarity. He did not respond.