Home / Rio 2016 / Smith: Leave me out of it! Sport Minister will not intervene in gymnastics furore

Smith: Leave me out of it! Sport Minister will not intervene in gymnastics furore

Sport and Youth Affairs Minister Darryl Smith has refused to intervene in the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation’s (TTGF) dispute with its two star athletes, Thema Williams and Marisa Dick, on the eve of its selection for the Rio 2016 Olympic Test Event.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams.

The TTGF has until tomorrow to select which athlete will represent the country in Rio. Williams was initially named as the chosen athlete, due to her superior performance at the Glasgow 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championship.

However, the local gymnastics body has since hinted strongly that it may replace Williams with Dick.

Smith, via a press release, said it is none of his business, although the TTGF is almost entirely funded by taxpayers’ money, since: “NGBs (National Governing Bodies) are independent sporting entities whose autonomy is sacrosanct under the Olympic Charter and general principles of sports law.”

Smith claimed that the decision was made “having consulted with the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee.”

The TTGF, which is headed by president and COPOS Credit Union general manager David Marquez, called a council meeting today but did not provide an agenda for members. The meeting was cancelled after lunch without explanation.

The TTGF is, arguably, free to proceed without the threat of interference or intervention from either the Ministry of Sport or the TTOC.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federations officials (from right) Ricardo Lue Shue, Elicia Peters-Charles and David Marquez pose with Sport Minister Darryl Smith (second from right). (Courtesy SPORTT)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federations officials (from right) Ricardo Lue Shue, Elicia Peters-Charles and David Marquez pose with Sport Minister Darryl Smith (second from right).
(Courtesy SPORTT)

(Full press release from the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs)

The Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, along with the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT), having consulted with the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, advises the public that as Government entities, the Ministry and SporTT may monitor, but should not intervene in disputes within National Governing Bodies (NGBs) for sport.

NGBs are independent sporting entities whose autonomy is sacrosanct under the Olympic Charter and general principles of sports law. Dispute resolution and disciplinary proceedings are the sole purview of the NGBs, who must implement and enforce their own internal administrative processes.

Intervention from Government in these processes may incur country sanctions and threats of sanctions by international sporting organisations, as demonstrated by published cases involving Sri Lanka, Mexico, Kuwait and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The end result of such sanctions would mean that athletes would be unable to participate at international games and tournaments under the flag of their country of birth but rather (in case of the Olympics) have to participate under the Olympic Flag.

Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (centre) meets with TTGF president David Marquez and his executive committee. (Courtesy SPORTT)
Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (centre) meets with TTGF president David Marquez and his executive committee.
(Courtesy SPORTT)

NGBs may be held accountable to the Government should the use of public funds be in question. Further, the Ministry responsible for sport may consider withholding funds from an NGB if it cannot resolve its internal disputes professionally and maturely or if executive decisions are not in keeping with best sporting practice or the tenets of the National Sport Policy.

The Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago will continue to support NGBs in the conduct of their affairs and in the best interest of the athletes and support staff who represent Trinidad and Tobago.

We hope for a fair and speedy resolution to all disputes and for good governance in sport to be normalised in the affairs of all NGBs.

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.

Check Also

Daly Bread: Salmon letters, red and yellow ducks; how shaky defences of public officials hurts T&T

Last Sunday, I was examining the two legal processes to which MP Darryl Smith has …

135 comments

  1. Duck and run Minister. Steups!

  2. Lol I have to laugh this morning. What do we want? If the minister of sports had done a high hand move and say they want the two young ladies to go and they will fund it. People would of been condemning the said minister for such a high handed move. The man trying to allow for the independence of the body to work out their issue properly. Which by the way taking to damm long. An yes I am sure he can do the removal of funding from the group. What then? While I think the organization is a bureaucratic piece of rubbish. We have to allow them to make up their mind. Even though I personally think this is BS, and if ever it was the chance of a possibility of a medal is with these individuals send them. We must stop asking the Government to intervene every time against every sporting body. Remember the time when one man controlled a sporting body? He did what he wanted and while many good friend Lasana Liburd got banned due his probing and asking the right questions. Give the minister a chance since I do believe they coming to ask for money soon

  3. Lol!!! You see Lasana, there is a wider problem and that is accountability. There is an inherent problem with most of the organizations because of the fact that ppl believe they don’t have to answer to anyone or anything. This is not only a problem in gymnastics, look at the histories of swimming, boxing, football and the list is long. Until and unless there is reform and channels for greater accountability our athletes will always be victims and suffer at the hands of inept and vicious administrators

  4. Tonya, if the Sport Minister is tip toeing around gymnastics, just wait until football and cricket jam him!

  5. You see that release from the Ministry of Sport, I have a huge problem with it. This is why sport in this country will not progress as it should even with the incredible talent we have. That release was poorly worded and in my mind did not require the accountability that was necessary for the sporting federations. This is precisely why the TTGF has been behaving this way for many years. Their behavior is nothing new, it is just that their shenanigans have become more bold and more public!

  6. You see what happened here with Thema and Dick, how much you wanna bet we will be dealing with an identical situation with regards the TTGF and a pair of local gymnasts in four years?

    We doh learn lessons yuh know?
    We dodge bullets by pure vaps and then institute a policy that has as it’s basis pure vaps.
    All yuh watch and see!

    • Vernal unfortunately i tend to agree with you. There are some tendencies within sport to chance that. One is happening tomorrow, when TTOC proposes to amend its constitution to include a good governance pledge for its members. That Way it will be easier to put members under pressure. The Fact that NF’s operate very autonomous has its reasons, however in Trinidad that makes Administrators think they don’t have to account to anyone. We have to find a way how to carefully balance that autonomy with a accountability. That will be a difficult task…

    • Sport?
      These are tendencies that exist within Trinidad government, it’s never proactive.

    • Vernal I dont think i expressed that correctly, i am speaking about tendencies to bring more accountability and transparency… there are Federations that trying their best to make a difference…

  7. For the record, the examples the Ministry of Sport gave are bogus. In Sri Lanka, Kuwait and Mexico, those were situations where the Gov’t tried to forcibly change the president or the constitution.
    And even then, only one of the bodies were actually banned. There is a lengthy process before a body would be suspension.
    The Ministry of Sport seemed to suggest that if they asked the TTGF to meet, they would be suspended in the morning. That is misleading.
    The Sport Ministry could have tried to mediate or offered advice. That is a long way from twisting arms to get the TTGF to do what it wanted.
    For anyone who says that if you can’t force them to do what you want, then it is better not to do anything…
    Well, I just don’t get that and I respectfully disagree. This is 2016. All leaders are supposed to try to convince people to follow them and not insist they do with the big stick.
    If the only way you can get something done is by brute force, you are not a real leader.

  8. Darryl needs to man up and grow some balls.

  9. The Sport Ministry should not fund these bodies and then take a completely hands off approach.

  10. all we do is talk, we d ppl shud take to the street and protest.

  11. Jason Baptiste and Andreas Stueven, I checked the examples given by the Sport Ministry and there is no comparison. And two of the cases, there was no suspension anyway. Just a warning.
    Those examples were of governments trying to force the association to change the constitution or remove the president without an election.
    So I think that is hogwash. Why can the Sport Ministry call in a NGB for a photo op but not to discuss a matter?
    The Sport Minister could have given advice to the NGB and they could have taken the advice or rejected it. For him to say he couldn’t give advice, have a meeting or even give an opinion is nonsense.

  12. Sophie, the topless photo issue is so last month now. They have moved on to Plan B. The decision will have nothing to do with the photographs now.

  13. Smith is a cop out! All the stupid talk in Parliment and he can’t intervene!

  14. THEN…TO WHOM SHOULD WE LOOK FOR CLARITY ON THIS NATIONAL ISSUE! PLEASE REVIEW…

  15. Understand the consequences for the country if there is the accusation of government interference in the selection process of an athlete for an Olympic event. There are rules of engagement and protocols mandated by the IOC and the international body. This can include banning the country which means our athletes will compete under the Olympic flag and should they win a medal then the Olympic hym will be played not our anthem. The government agencies can intervene if there are issues with the use of state funds and can chose to withdraw or withhold funding if there are issues of poor accountability, administration or governance. However the selection of athletes is under the purview of the sporting body any attempt to influence or interfere from a government perspective comes with real risks. I understand this is not part of the popular let’s just bash the minister and ministry bandwagon and I know I will get criticized but I believe this needs to part of the narrative. It’s very easy to say we should do this or do that without realizing the implications legal, and otherwise regarding actions.

    • Understood and agreed. Perhaps they should get involved in selecting competent sport administrators. ???

    • I respect the Sport Minister’s right to err on the side of caution, Adrian. But Trinidad and Tobago is not going to be banned for offering advise to the gymnastics federation or even inviting them to a meeting.
      Any more than the WICB will be kicked out of cricket because CARICOM, including Prime Minister and PNM political leader Dr Keith Rowley, recommended that the body be dissolved.
      The body can either take the advice or not.
      My view is that the Sport Minister took the option of doing as little as possible and never tried to help. He preferred the easy route of holding his hands up and saying he can’t do anything.
      I respect your view and his right to take this position. But I do not agree with it.

  16. Jonathan, the athlete cannot complain until they have been punished. Which might be why the deadline for selecting the athlete is tomorrow and the TTGF hasn’t publicly made a choice yet.
    They might know exactly what they are doing and are outflanking the relevant bodies thus far.

    • Yes. I do hope they’re reading this and take my modest advice that such a strategy is doomed to fail as such a disingenuous act shall be deemed as transparent (playing smart with…) leading ultimately to state sanction. These issues have played out to the same end in other countries. There is still time to avoid the storm TTGF.

  17. I think he requires a lodged complaint by an aggrieved athlete before he can interject. Hint. Hint.

  18. Really leave him out of it , since he eh no the name of the CJ and yuh doh kno wat slip up he may cause wit dis too!

  19. Agreed Keith but one can’t help but feel they are delaying stating a position they seem wedded to and would have announced barring the furore their position has prompted.

    • Let’s supposed the Ministry intervened and held a meeting with the federation, who went away and came to a decision. What prevents the ‘losing’ party so to speak from crying foul and running to their IF complaining of govt interference? That would then lead to the same negative result – athletes from TT being banned from competition. The risk is too great and the local federation must be pressured by its member clubs and the public to come to a resolution on its own.
      If the govt jumped in every internal fracas in an NGB that negates the concept of autonomy.

    • This is about the Olympics, not about “every internal fracas” though. The country is being looked at internationally, and with some derision, from many accounts..

    • The Ministry has NO SAY in who represents the country at any event, far less the Olympics! If the country ‘looks bad’ it’s as a direct result of the NGB’s actions. No-one else can take the blame for that.

    • It’s about mediation, not about selection.

    • Yes it is. The issue about which athlete to send to the test event is hinged on the outcome of the disciplinary hearing, a mediation tool that is supposed to be handled internally by the Federation.

    • Generally, proper mediation of any dispute has to be managed or handled by a third indpendent and impartial party. This process seems flawed to begin with..

    • You’re right, it is problematic. Until we have one such an autonomous mediation body, the TTOC is all we have.

    • So because the TTGF might not have taken the Sport Ministry’s advice means the Sport Ministry shouldn’t have offered any?
      No parent would think like that. I totally disagree.

  20. But how ehm like goat so ah set ah beah beah this is the future of gymnastics here …

  21. So Mr Minister will not take a position with OUR athletes but I’m sure that he would position himself next to them for a photo opportunity should one of them be successful.

  22. ..Understand me well. The government cannot be seen to be interfering in the matter. But the government is also more than an ATM card that is used conveniently by sporting organizations. It has a responsibility to ensure effective management of the organizations it funds. Ergo, the MOS should call on and require the TTGF to resolve the issue in the interest of the athletes, the organization, the sport and the nation, none of which belongs to the people at the helm of the federation..

  23. Perhaps he is too busy, snapping and posting pics of himself as the ‘friendly / hard working guy’, when in reality, he’s failing to address an issue that reached a level of national interest / concern.

  24. ..Prompting is not interference. It happens in FIFA and the TTFA all the time..

  25. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. Desmond Tutu

  26. The way i see it is, if the ambasador contract was signed AFTER the qualification agreement, then then it should not pre-empt the qualification agreement

  27. Allow a voice of reason.
    The slightest perception of interference of a government agency being involved in the internal affairs of an autonomous sporting body can result in the country being barred from participating at international events, like the Olympic Games.
    There’s a protocol involved with sport at this level and Lasana, you of all people should know this. How do you think FIFA would view a Minister’s intervention in the decision of the local body to select or not select of a player on national duty?
    The Minister CANNOT demand that the NGB send his preferred athlete. He CANNOT take sides. He CANNOT dictate to the NGB how they should rule on a particular matter. He MUST allow the governing (operative word) body for the sport in Trinidad and Tobago do its work! The Ministry of not a governing body of any sport and therefore has none of its powers or jurisdiction.
    Should the NGB decide to run to its parent Federation and cry ‘government interference’, what do you think will happen then? Trinidad and Tobago will be barred from participating in ANY and ALL international and regional competition in that sport. The IF will conclude that the NGB is not independent, not autonomous and not capable of handling its own affairs, which will include the selection of national teams/athletes. That is NOT a desirable outcome for anyone.
    So it is advised that everyone calm down, get off your high horse, read the press release and understand that the ones you need to train your stun guns on are the individuals on the executive of the NGB, the executive of clubs who are represented on the NGB executive. Demand of THEM that the matter be resolved in the shortest possible time. Demand of THEM that they explain the genesis of the problem. Demand of THEM to know who was behind those anonymous emails.

    • I want TTGF to adhere to their selection process devoid of favoritism, sexism and classism. The Minister of Sport and the President of the TTOC can encourage the TTGF to adhere to their agreed upon selection process. Their behavior smells of deceit, favoritism, secrecy and apparent spitefulness all of which goes against the spirit of the Olympic Sports. TTGF decision makers have failed to adhere to their selection process as agreed upon with the TTOC.

    • Well truth be told that is exactly what has been happening for the last 3 weeks! People are now just fed up of the languishing delay and the MOS hands off approach (although the correct stance as you pointed out) is doing nothing to appease a seething public. So the long wet steupes is inevitably headed in his direction

    • encourage. exactly. not demand or intervene as some have suggested. that was precisely the intent of the release, to encourage.

    • Hearing a talk going around Facebook that the Minister met today with the TTGF. Absolutely false, of course. But articles like this add fuel to such wild assertions which are being shared left and right because no-one is bothering to check the facts.

    • What ever descriptive word, get involved!!! The end full stop. Clearly they are playing for time!!!

    • Natasha, that isn’t true. I know this situation very very well. And the examples the Ministry of Sport gave are bogus. In Sri Lanka, Kuwait and Mexico, those were situations where the Gov’t tried to forcibly change the president or the constitution.
      And even then, only one of the bodies were actually banned. There is a lengthy process before a body would be suspension.
      The Ministry of Sport seemed to suggest that if they asked the TTGF to meet, they would be suspended in the morning. That is misleading.

      • I’m confused. You’re vex the MoS is playing by the rules, and your argument is that because they may not be sanctioned for breaking the rules, it’s ok to break the rules?

      • I guess you missed the subtle threat to withdraw funding if they can’t get their shit together laid out in black and white in the release. A visible, public big stick is not always the only way of handling things. I say kudos to the Sports Minister for achieving a result without recourse to inciting any further bacchanal.

        • Lasana Liburd

          Who said anything about a big stick? There is a difference between intervention and interference and that is what you should check out.
          The suggest that intervention equals interference is deliberately misleading.
          People can always find excuses for doing nothing. It is the easiest thing in the world. Operate by auto-pilot and hope everything works out.
          Go ahead. I can’t stop you. But don’t ask me to applaud while you do it.

  28. As far as I understand, the Olympic Games, related events and IOC affiliated sporting organizations are governed by the Olympic Charter, which contains the fundamental principles of Olympism.
    It would do the TTFG executive and related institutions within that national sporting body (who come across as a bunch of despotic self-serving clowns) to heed the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter.
    Clause 4 of the Charter states: “The practise of sport is a human right. Every individial must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fairplay.”
    Clause 5 states in a gist that sporting organizations affiliated to the IOC has “responsibility for ensuring that principles of good governance be applied.”
    Clause 6 states: “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender, or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”
    I hope the TTGF does not render itself, its interests, and it’s principles inimical to its own best interest in accordance with the Olympic Charter.
    I hope also that the TTOC and it’s highly respected president Mr Brian Lewis is paying close attention to the TTFG’s handling of this very simple situation.
    Unfortunately, neither he nor the TTOC can interfere in the process of how the TTGF handles its affairs.
    But surely, I would think, they can sanction the TTGF if it’s actions are deemed to run contrary to the Olympic Charter and/or has the potential to bring the TTOC into disrepute.
    After all, insofar as the Olympic Games is concerned, the TTOC has overall jurisdiction over all affiliated national governing bodies and athletes representing Trinidad and Tobago at the Olympics.
    At least I think so.
    It is about time the dishonest TTGF exec pummels off its puerile high horse on this very straightforward issue!
    I say dishonest because as far as I understand only one person can be selected for the Rio Test event next month. And Thema Williams was the one selected based on merit and higher ranking than Marissa Dick.
    Fact is neither of the two has as yet qualified for the Olympics.

    • Thanks so much for sharing. My sentiments exactly. As much as it may hurt neither is this TTOC or MOSY doing nor can they easily intervene in the process. In fact the MOSY release ìs very borderline close. One can only hope that the TTGF comes to the right conclusion in accordance with the Olympic carter.

  29. So tired of all their crap, none of them have any balls to do anything set of fools, did you all see the minster on Sunday and the sports awards mumbling and bumbling people’s names and positions steuppsss

  30. Marisa can only have an opportunity if Thema is disqualified

  31. Prayer has its place, but what r citizens going to do? Can legal action be taken against this organization if Ms Williams isn’t selected? Is this organization funded in any way by the government? These organizations and the govt need to know they can no longer operate in a high handed manner and they are answerable to the citizens.

  32. I’m confused about either Thema or Marisa – they are both up for review for similar “offences”. How is it one or the other? Wouldn’t it be Thema or third option?

  33. While I disagree with the TTGF’s stance I agree that the MOS should not get involved…People will spin his intervention into something political ?

  34. I see the need sometimes to at least appear diplomatic, but this it not one of them. This issue is bigger than the Olympics or gymnastics. This is a racial issue and the minister/gov’t should get ahead of this. This is not a ‘business as usual situation’, the TTGF must know the people of TnT is not going to condone any form or racism, neither perceived or actual. The minister cannot stay out.

  35. I am saying prayers on this eh because we all know they had an agenda. they seem to have god syndrome.

  36. the minister could not publicly say anything else. He would be playing into the hands of the gymnastic body. All they need to say is there is political involvement and then the entire Olympic participation can become an issue. I expect a lot is going on behind the scenes.

  37. This is gonna go exactly like Minister of Education Garcia’s stance on corporal punishment went, and Rowley’s initial stance on Tim Kee went……
    The Minister of Sport unwisely stated that his ministry will not interfere in the management of the GATT while funding it with taxpayer dollars, now public sentiment against GATT will turn against the Minister and Ministry of Sport and after seeing the backlash on social media we will be witness to a reversal of the minister’s decision.

  38. Wait he refuse to intervene….. Then he should not be minister. From captain to cook have this “hands off/not me nah” approach as if it’s a school gymnastic event. This is the Olympics. The woman made history. I feel is Donald trump leading the TTGA….we cannot be so stupid. I am still asking…. Who is the person that gave them the photos. Let that spineless person come forth. Utter ph#@%ry

  39. An athele at the Olympics represents their country!!!!!
    The governing bodies of said sport nominates their representative for the Olympics based on their choice of several ‘heats/competitions’ resulting with the top scoring athlete!!!
    The Government is approached /asked for funding for said athletes via their respective governing bodies and or maybe athletes themselves!!
    If this be the case why is there not 1 or 2 person on an official capacity from the Ministry of Sport,part and present on these governing boards when such decisions are to be made!!
    Darryl Smith, sir it is your duty to get involved!! Its not a matter of your choice its what you are there to do its your duty!!! Who on the TTGF is your friend and family!!! Please say,
    Geezan!!!

  40. ‘Damn, Darryl, Damn’; De Fearless One I955 FM-“The Most Influential Name In Radio” !!!!

  41. Ricardo Lue Shue I am disappointed in you.

  42. ..Poor, poor leadership. Doesn’t want to take position that may be interpreted as feminist or anti-feminist. Raymond Tim Kee lives..

  43. Brian, Dr Keith Rowley and CARICOM made a recommendation that the WICB should be dissolved. They are not chucking cricket officials out of offices. But they made a firm decision.
    Darryl Smith simply wants to let everything happen around him.

    • Ye his early days as MOS is not looking good

    • Lasana I think that decision is going to come back to haunt us. That ICC seriously considers suspending West Indies cricket. Didn’t they take a similar position with Guyana some years ago? Actually I would not be surprised that next Caricom meeting there is a change of opinion considering that a member of WICB is now a member in the new government in Jamaica.

    • The WICB hasn’t gone anywhere or changed one iota Lasana. The so called CARICOM decision is as pointless as the WICB itself.

    • Questions obviously still linger that CARICOM could do some aspects better – but I won’t call it pointless

    • Jason Baptiste Without going into a long explanation – if you didn’t know already – but you should that Sri Lanka cricket board was run by a interim committee throughout 2015 (ended in January) by that countries government and the ICC did not suspend Sri Lanka

    • Lasana apparently he really can’t intervene. Just had this discussion on twitter. It’ll set a bad precedent as the TTGF is an independent body. Sigh

    • Colin – has anything changed?

    • Colin, if you check, Sri Lanka cricket has been run by several interim committees appointed by the government over the last nine years, and the ICC has not taken any action.

    • Bruce Aanensen Yep that was going to be my next point and also to mention the IMC that have run Pakistan cricket since 2011

    • Kendall Tull Not sure what’s the last you heard but this happened yesterday

      http://www.tv6tnt.com/home/rotator/Morning-Edition-14th-March-2016-371993732.html

      PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Mar 14, CMC – CARICOM is actively pursuing legal advice in its ongoing battle with the West Indies Cricket Board, as it ups the ante in its quest to have the controversial recommendations of its Governance Review report implemented.

      A CARICOM-commissioned investigative panel, headed by UWI Cave Hill Principal Professor Eudine Barriteau, last November recommended the “immediate dissolution” of the WICB – a proposal which has since been rejected by the embattled board as an “unnecessary and intrusive demand.”

      Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said Monday, however, even though the WICB had taken a hard line stance against CARICOM, the regional prime-ministerial grouping did not intend to back down, and was pursuing other avenues.

      Keith Rowley
      Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley … says the WICB does not intend to cooperate with CARICOM.
      “There’s been no change. The West Indies Cricket Board has taken the position that they faced down Prime Minister Patterson and the Patterson Report, they have now faced down Prime Minister (Keith) Mitchell and the CARICOM Sub-Committee and now the Board has made it quite clear that they won’t cooperate with any attempt to reform themselves and to try and save West Indies cricket,” Rowley said on TV6’s Morning Edition.

      “The board has taken a position that ‘we are going to operate and you have no business dabbling in our business’ and that position of the board has a little caveat – except that ‘we want to use all your facilities … but we will determine what goes on.’”

      Rowley added: “CARICOM took another decision which hasn’t been making the news and it is this: they have asked the CARICOM Secretariat to get legal advice and support to determine what is the legal position with this product called West Indies cricket.

      “Because now that the board is behaving in that way – virtually telling the governments of the region to go to hell – the question arises with the people of the Caribbean, what is West Indies cricket? And how did this board get this product which they are marketing now and is being so bombastic in talking to the region’s leaders?

      “That’s where the issue is now because it is clear to us now and it should be to all of us in CARICOM, that the board will not cooperate with anything.”

      Following its Intersessional meeting in Belize last month, CARICOM reiterated its resolve to ensure the recommendations of the report were implemented, and also indicated it would be taking its fight to the International Cricket Council and other international bodies.

      In its response to this development, the WICB reiterated its stance against CARICOM’s position following its Annual General Meeting in Kingston earlier this month, with the member boards signing a statement of opposition which was subsequently issued in a media release.

      Rowley said in light of the WICB’s recent defiance, CARICOM needed to clarify the basis of the power being wielded by the board but assured there would be no “walking away from the problem.”

      “We can’t go and tell Massy or tell Ansa McAl what they should do with their board and so on because we know what Ansa McAl is, we know what Massy is,” Rowley argued.

      “What we really don’t know and what is not clear … is what is the product called West Indies cricket and why is it the Heads [of Government] could be saying ‘so and so should happen’ and a handful of individuals incorporating themselves saying ‘no it can’t happen’, so we need to know now what is West Indies cricket.”

      He added: “If any action [against the WICB] is possible, then one needs to know what is the basis for the action and whether we like it or not, cricket is important in the region and will remain an important conversation.”

      And while there has been speculation CARICOM would deny the WICB use of stadia across the region for upcoming tours, Rowley said there was no immediate action on the table.

      “I don’t [see a solution] at this stage but I do not also see us walking away from the problem. When we meet in July in Guyana, the issue of the response from the board will come up again.”

    • Didn’t see that but nothing has changed this far hence my cynical position stated earlier.

    • I’m cynical too since I think they could be moving a bit faster instead of waiting until next CARICOM meeting in July – but since they taking legal advise that is change update on the situation.

      They were dead quiet for a good two months before the leaders met in Belize about 2 weeks ago

    • I can’t understand why in 2016, Caricom doesn’t know their legal standing as it relates to the WICB. Mind boggling..

    • Its a complicated issue – because WICB is really a shell, that is run by the domestic boards which are in itself countries as we all know of course – that is different to any other cricket nation’s governance make up.

      This is why it has been suggested to break up WICB, CARICOM got to disband all the territorial boards individually. The fact that last week in Jamaica – Cameron got all the boards to sign that document hints that they know this too

    • Understand that.. it just seems comedic that governments don’t have a handle after all these days, but I can’t say that I am too surprised.

  44. Lasana, this is utter nonsense! how the hell could the Minister of Sport asked to be left out of a matter of this nature?! SERIOUSLY?!

  45. we cud send d three board members to represent we tdey full ah -hit and self importance

  46. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said openly that the WICB must shut down. I would say that Sport Minister Darryl Smith is the absolute opposite to his Prime Minister Rhoda.

  47. Respecting an organization’s autonomy when clearly it’s indecision on a simple matter is affecting the country’s chances to leave a positive mark in the world of Olympics Gymnastics is profoundly asinine. The Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad & Tobago Gymnastics Federation is seriously flawed in managing this matter. It smells of cronyism, incompetence, and stupidity.

  48. If he cannot stand for fairness in the public interest, why is he a minister? Please ! This is why I hate our political system. No one has an independent mind.

  49. This isn’t a popularity contest. He needs to take a position and deal with the consequences . Indecision is not a decision

  50. Having the overall ministerial responsibility and refusing to involve onesself in a matter such as this, is as appalling an omission as any mistake he could make if he tried. Remind me again, please, why exactly is he Minister?

  51. As a citizen and a former athlete of this beloved country, it pains me to read this article. I hope future athletes take heed of this incident and don’t suffer this unfortunate path…#GodBlessUs✔?❤?!!!

  52. “NGBs may be held accountable to the Government should the use of public funds be in question. Further, the Ministry responsible for sport may consider withholding funds from an NGB if it cannot resolve its internal disputes professionally and maturely or if executive decisions are not in keeping with best sporting practice or the tenets of the National Sport Policy”
    Can’t taking WEEKS to arbitrate this matter & thereby impacting on the athletes mental preparation be considered “not best sporting practice”???

  53. Any of these people know what it takes to be an elite athlete? I rest my case

  54. I also hope he remembers that any funds he gives to to the TTGF is our money, is tax payers’ money and not his

  55. Dunno how to feel about this

  56. I also hope he remembers that any funds he gives to to the TTGF is our money, is tax payers’ money and not his.

  57. Exactly what i have been saying and they will stick with it, but it interesting to note that they did put a lil threat into that…That shows they leaning out of the window, it is for what can be said a loud and clear message. That concludes with the messages from TTOC also getting louder telling them: Get your act sorted out and fast….

  58. This guy seems to like photo ops ONLY after teams or athletes win.. why not be a mediator and still respect autonomy??