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DJW: W/Warriors had no passports to travel; but TTFA light on details

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.

Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago Women's National Senior Team celebrate after topping the Caribbean phase of the Rio 2016 Olympic qualifying competition. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team celebrate after topping the Caribbean phase of the Rio 2016 Olympic qualifying competition.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

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.

Photo: TTFA president and ex-DIRECTV W Connection president and CEO David John-Williams.
Photo: TTFA president and ex-DIRECTV W Connection president and CEO David John-Williams.

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.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national women's team coach Randy Waldrum's infamous tweet prior to the 2014 CONCACAF Championship.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national women’s team coach Randy Waldrum’s infamous tweet prior to the 2014 CONCACAF Championship.

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.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (centre) presents Naparima College attacker Jarred Dass with his 2015 National Intercol medal. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (centre) presents Naparima College attacker Jarred Dass with his 2015 National Intercol medal.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

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.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and 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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57 comments

  1. Lasana
    In the absence of a General Secretary, the President should be the point of contact. Reporting the facts that are available at the time after persistent inquiry is not damaging to our football. Firing a successful coach with access to US facilities because he did not produce a plan over the weekend and because he was not full time, then hiring a part time coach while the TTFA does not have a plan is damaging to our football; aborting a tour to Costa Rica with various dubious explanations while not understanding that any 10 year old can go to Costa Rica Federation website and google translate it for the truth in 10 seconds is damaging to our football; suggesting that the absence of player passports to a country that does not require visas is damaging to football(Houston requirement understood); not saying anything for days after we should of played two games is damaging to our football. It’s also damaging that in 2016 DJW referring to Women’s team as the “girls” twice. I know that we call the Men’s team boys sometimes but the historical 2nd class treatment of womens’ sport warrant a little extra sensitivity.
    Worse yet, the inability of the entire TTFA(press officer, President, VPs’ etc) to distribute a coherent press release but revert to threatening players and blaming media is damaging to our football. DJW aggressively pursued the Presidency knowing the financial condition and organizational capacity of the TTFA, he nor any new board or committee member can use the past as an excuse. It’s tough but its real and we have to be that way. You campaigned on the troubles of the past, you promised dynamic change, so bring it. When you love football the way we ALL do, none of us should sit idle while it is being abused.

    Lasana you are a journalist, and in my not so humble opinion, a DAMN good one. If you did not report you would be damaging journalism(when done properly not football. Its not Jack Warner, Tim Kee nor DJW football, its our football, they are our national teams…They can lead it but we don’t have to accept it being abused. .

    Disclosure: I believe that DJW and his team have what it takes to transition our football to a better place. However, it will require a level of personal introspection that I do not believe they anticipated. Keep the faith, but apply pressure what does not kill the Administrators will make them better. Our national footballers deserve and needs them to be BETTER.

    Lastly, a quote from the late Christopher Hitchens
    “I became a journalist because I did not want to rely on newspapers for information”

    Lasana you are making them better, just not fast enough..loll..When you get a chance ask them when they choosing a U20 and U17 coach, the CFU group stage is schedule for January 15-19 for U20 but no news.

  2. “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.”

    I have seen this movie before and I know how it ends. Not even six months and the idiotic excuses in full swing and veiled threats to those who dare to speak out have begun.

    Apparently Lasana, the situation is worse than I thought when we last spoke. We are going nowhere so I advise everyone to settle down and find another sport to follow if you value your sanity and peace of mind.

  3. Wouldn’t it just be a hell of a thing if it was Hood’s passport that caused all the confusion? Lol.

  4. On an entirely different note Lasana, it just occurred to me that the list of invited guest to the Wired Football Festival continues to get shorter and shorter every year loll!! At this rate we won’t have any one coming other than the players…

  5. On another note…is he threatening players for speaking to the media before apologising to them for having consistently short changed them since coming into office?
    Is it a violation of whatever contract they may have to speak with the media when not on national duty? If not, I think he needs to remember that these are national players and not club players. He does not own any of them.

  6. Because they are opportunists and not leaders

  7. What I dont get is it seems all our leaders like confusion. They’ll wait for rumours to spread and then blame everyone else except themselves

  8. If they had all the answers why didnt they call a press conference and appraise all the sports journalists?

  9. I would really like to get more details on the reason for the difficulties to obtain the passports. Just last year I traveled with 20 something students to Costa Rica with no issues. In fact there is an Trinidad and Tobago Embassy right in Costa Rica. Somehow I feel this boils down to simple incompetence

    • Most likely they needed the US Visa on their Passports to travel to Houston later on, but only got the passports when it was too late to travel to Costa Rica.

  10. So Gordon Pierre, if you ask the president of an organisation and he reads your response and then doesn’t respond, you would then ask the press officer?
    Tell me why you would do that?

    • lasana we backing and forthing over nothing bc he did respond which is d interview on the offical TTFA website and d press release

    • Right. He did on January 27. The first game should have been on the 25. The team should have left between January 21 and 23.
      If you think nobody should ask about the TTFA president putting a statement out AFTER both the time for both games had already passed, then just say so. Lol

  11. The TTFA had no response to give Gordon Pierre. You know this already. So why are you pretending different?

  12. The media officer would give the appropiate person response or the assoication official response i doubt very much u would not have to go through the english FA media
    personnel to get a response on a similar matter there

  13. Well. I should add that’s my opinion anyway.

  14. And I said I contacted all the appropriate parties. And that isn’t the press officer in this case. The press officer can say a game is not playing but not why. Certainly not when, five days later, the TTFA still cannot say why.
    You are saying Shaun Fuentes knows more than David John Williams?
    If he had that information to give, he would send a press release.
    You want me to ask the press officer why they replaced Randy Waldrum with Richard Hood too?
    I think part of the issue is a lack of understanding about the job of a journalist. No self respecting journalist on any part of the globe would be happy with a statement from a press officer on any matter of importance.

  15. All i am saying my brother is before we run with stories that will b damaging to football note i did not say TTFA or DJW lets make sure well uphold our media responsibility not for d administers but for the future of the sport

  16. …Steups is right. Like deja vu all over again..

  17. Steups. What would I know about reporting in the real world. Eh Gordon Pierre? I mean I did work in Britain for two and a half years where football bodies held weekly meetings with the media to answer questions and millionaire officials and managers made themselves available for comments in between.
    But, hey, what do I know. I should take what I get and hush nah. :-/

  18. Wow! I didnt think they would need someone to tell them that Kenneth^^. Its primary school stuff

  19. Whom he thinks he fooling? He playing Kamla or what? These leaders of T&T sports organizations are full of it, yes. When I read the statement “T&T women Warriors had no passports to travel’ ah leggo one BIG Wet stupessss”. T&T fans should fire that new president.
    The new TTFA president is making serious blunders… 1) Never leave it up to the media to speculate on an issue that has become a concern of the fans.. Else crapeau will be smoking yuh pipe. 2) everybody’s travel documents should be current. To ensure that the sportsmen and women’s visas and passport are valid you need a proactive process that assures such.

  20. Guess the media officer was not an option? The same media officer who did the interview to which this story refers!! In TT we feel we can call the president team manager bc we have a relate with them and nothing is wrong with that in the REAL WORLD journalist should at least have a comment or none comment from the sporting body media officer before they run with a story so far reaching

  21. and i siddong and lime with DJW and Lasana ahreddy, so ah know he have that ## on he contacts.

  22. Gordon Pierre, from my first story I made it clear that I called the TTFA president and the national team manager. It would not be fair to ask the coach about that as it is outside of his remit.
    I don’t sit around wait for news to come to me. I would not be a journalist if I did that.

  23. I guess u answered the question ur self! I would have preferred to have an offical response even before the first
    story was written! There is d team manager coach president and the media officer to get some kind of response from before we run with this kind of far reaching story

  24. the news makes demands of its own.
    for ANY news to be relevant it MUST be timely.
    if the TTFA is negligent in its timely reporting of the issues that affect the body politic that it purports to represent, then how could the reporting of the news at hand be seen as “unbalanced”?
    i don’t even have to ASK IF Lasana called DJW or an official of the TTFA for comment because I KNOW he did.

  25. It ent my job to make excuses for any organisation but Wired868. They are free to explain themselves. That is why I call.
    If they chose not to, I won’t shrivel up and go away. I will continue to write.
    I have my job to do brother.

  26. editor’s note i am not a DJW apologist is on record as saying we were unfair to Raymond Tim Kee as well given the state of the Assiocation when they took over!

  27. Gordon, you think I should speculate on the issues surrounding the women’s team? Or that I should give the officials a chance to explain what the problems are?
    So the TTFA refuses to comment and then you say story is unbalanced because it doesn’t have their side of the story?
    Like you want me to speak French with that logic yes.

  28. negative? unbalanced?
    come nah mannnn…

  29. I loved how it was the media’s fault that we didn’t report on information that the TTFA didn’t give us in the first place. That was a classic.
    There are obvious flaws in trying to run an organisation and pass information to the public solely through press releases. But it is the mainstream media that caused that.
    When the Guardian can publish that Kamla vindicated on Section 34 just because she said so… Well, if that is the golden standard, we are in a dark, dark place.

  30. Yes i am but like u forcing out
    of my hole! We have to understand that sport in general and fooball particularly have NO MONEY the state of the economy adds to the pressure on NSO’s we have to hold the accountable but paint the whole picture we need cooperate TT on board and this would not b achieve with negative unbalanced report

  31. soooo…. the girls play how many games outside Trinidad last year and JUST SO ALL the ladies’ passports (including the ones abroad that travel to Trinidad to train) expire at the same time and lock up somewhere in an immigration safe? he kicksin right?

  32. Hahaha – The Randy Waldrum treatment

  33. Yes my brother? You quiet these days.

  34. Lasana Liburd my brother!!!! hmmmmmm