Home / Volley / National Football / Wreckers operate at stadium for T&T WCQ; Griffith acts as TTFA security consultant

Wreckers operate at stadium for T&T WCQ; Griffith acts as TTFA security consultant

Patrons at Trinidad and Tobago’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against St Vincent and the Grenadines on Tuesday March 29 will follow parking guidelines or face the consequences.

Photo: A car falls victim to the wrecker.
Photo: A car falls victim to the wrecker.

Wired868 was reliably informed, by a football insider, that a wrecker will be in operation both inside and outside the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

“This thing about us calling out people’s names to move their vehicle and nobody coming or taking us on,” said the source. “We will not be going through that this time.”

Ticket holders, like with last November’s fixture against the United States, will have just one entrance to the venue, although there will be multiple entry points to get into the actual stadium.

Patrons holding covered and uncovered stands tickets must use the gate next to the Red Cross. Media personnel and vendors will use the entrance obliquely opposite the Lion’s Centre while VIPs can drive in off the Maraval Parkway on the western end of the stadium.

However, match organisers do not expect the problems endured for the United States fixture since, on this occasion, all patrons will not be subjected to full body scanners. If necessary, the football official suggested that two walk-in gates outside the Jean Pierre Complex will also be opened for ticket holders.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football fans react to action during their team's goalless draw with the United States yesterday in 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football fans react to action during their team’s goalless draw with the United States yesterday in 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Gary Griffith, the former national security minister, was hired by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) to consult on security arrangements for the match.

The TTFA stated that all security arrangements on March 29 will become standard procedure for the football body under current president David John-Williams.

“Several meetings and on site viewing have been conducted  with all the different arms of the Protective Services, TTFA Security officials and SPORTT, over the last few weeks,” stated a TTFA release, “to ensure that there would be a comprehensive Security Operational Plan, and all of this would be monitored and coordinated through a Venue Operations Centre in the Stadium on match day…

“These systems will continue for future International matches so supporters can attend the match to support their National Team with that knowledge.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (right) presents a Wired868 token of appreciation to "Soca Warriors" supporter Peter Cumberbatch during the 4th Annual Wired868 Football Festival at UWI SPEC Grounds, St Augustine on Saturday 2 January 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (right) presents a Wired868 token of appreciation to “Soca Warriors” supporter Peter Cumberbatch during the 4th Annual Wired868 Football Festival at UWI SPEC Grounds, St Augustine on Saturday 2 January 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

“In fact, because of no stone being left unturned in terms of security for this match, one of the safest places to be will be at the Hasely Crawford National Stadium that day.

“However, this does not mean that patrons would be inconvenienced or burdened to enter or depart after the match, as some may have experienced at the last qualifying game against the United States.”

Once inside the venue, there will be four gates for patrons to get into the stadium and to their seats in the uncovered stands with three lines per gate. There will be two gates for the covered stands with two lines each plus a special entrance for VIPs.

Gates will be opened from 4 pm and “Soca Warriors” fans are asked to come early without coolers, large knapsacks or alcohol. Patrons are advised that even legal firearms will not be permitted while they should refrain from walking with metallic objects—apart from car keys—to prevent a secondary security check.

Photo: A female Trinidad and Tobago fan (centre) phones it in during a lull in action at the 2018 World Cup qualifier between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States on 17 November 2015. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: A female Trinidad and Tobago fan (centre) phones it in during a lull in action at the 2018 World Cup qualifier between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States on 17 November 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Tickets are on sale from 9 am at the match venue as well as at advertised outlets at a cost of TT$300 (covered) and TT$150 (uncovered). All patrons including children must have a ticket to enter the stadium.

The Hasely Crawford Stadium seats 22,575 spectators, which is split between 4,572 in the covered stands and 18,003 in uncovered.

The Soca Warriors versus “Vincey Heat” clash kicks off at 7 pm and, should the host team win, they will move within one point of the CONCACAF hex—or final round—with two games to spare.

TTFA guidelines for patrons:

—No Coolers;

—No large Knapsacks;

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago soca entertainer Swappi tries to rouse the ground during halftime between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 17 November 2015. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago soca entertainer Swappi tries to rouse the ground during halftime between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 17 November 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

—No alcohol to be brought into the Stadium by spectators;

—No Firearms would be permitted, even if citizens have authorisation to carry such weapons;

—All spectators will be scanned via Walk through scanners on entry;

—All spectators are asked to have their ticket in their hand to show on entry into the Stadium just prior to being searched at that Check Point;

—As much as possible, other than motor vehicle  keys, spectators are asked to refrain from walking with any type of metal object, to prevent a secondary check;

Photo: "Soca Warriors" supporter Joey "Posh" Richardson (right) exchanges notes with some football fans during 2018 World Cup qualifying against against the United States. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: “Soca Warriors” supporter Joey “Posh” Richardson (right) exchanges notes with some football fans during 2018 World Cup qualifying against against the United States.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

—All ticket holders for covered and uncovered stands are to enter thought the same gate, which is the Gate next to the Red Cross Compound;

—Ticket holders will NOT be allowed access through any other entrance;

—All persons with Accreditation will not be allowed entry at this gate;

—Accredited Personnel will gain access through the gate which is obliquely opposite Lions Centre. This includes vendors, staff, security personnel, and the Media;

—Gates would be open to the Public from 4 pm, so all are encouraged to turn up in large numbers from early.

Photo: Eighteen year old Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) celebrates with "Soca Warriors" fans after his double set a 3-2 World Cup qualifying win over St Vincent and the Grenadines at Arnos Vale on 25 March 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Eighteen year old Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) celebrates with “Soca Warriors” fans after his double set a 3-2 World Cup qualifying win over St Vincent and the Grenadines at Arnos Vale on 25 March 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

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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61 comments

  1. Happy for GG…expect smooth operations!!

  2. A A… Well tht day all d pretend football lovers will come out ouiiiiiii lol

  3. Lasana I think we will wreck SVG…..

  4. If there’s security at the one entrance then that’s less manpower than if you have multiple gates open I guess…

  5. I want to know if the other gate is being used by VIPs only…and whats that list like

  6. What are the exit plans ? They closing one side of the gate to go out ?

  7. Lasana Liburd all I want to know is the rationale for using that one gate as an entrance and not others. That’s all. Can you get feedback on why everyone must fit through that one sole gate.

  8. They should put out surveys after each match so they could get feedback and be guided by that…

  9. Well, maybe it was always planned but just not communicated. Dunno.

  10. When ppl are guided by social media feedback and not common sense and good policy in their decision making…

  11. Shaun, I was just told by a football insider following the comments that–after a chat with relevant officials–the security officials are prepared to use two gates near Jean Pierre Complex to allow fans in if the flow of patrons becomes “retarded.”
    Maybe that will help a bit.

  12. What are the parking guidelines, though? Just park on the street or by MovieTowne? Where 5,000 vehicles supposed to fit?

    • Lasana Liburd

      I have to believe there will be “helpful” police and fire officers there to give instructions. But will see if I can get you a better answer from the match organisers. 😉

  13. Earl Best

    Papa! Motor Mouth Griffith? Fadder, put a hand! Because actions speak louder than words, T&T, don’t expect to hear from this particular security consultant until after the end of the match. And keep allyuh fingers cross that he ent decide to bring armoured vehicles to use fuh crowd control

  14. And what’s the nature of the contract? Is it that he gave a template for a system and that came with a one-off payment? And the TTFA is just going to use the template? And if it is a one off template and it doesn’t work, does he have to be paid again to provide other solutions?
    Or is it a contract that runs until the end of DJW’s term and he has to get paid for every event?
    Does he also provide personnel to man the gates?

    • I know Griffith has his own security firm. I also know that the Ministry of Sport provides some security personnel free of charge and also takes care of clean up and toiletries and so on.
      I really don’t have more specifics on Griffith’s deal. Maybe the TTFA will reveal it along with all costs after the game.
      But judging from the current administration’s love for secrecy and unwillingness to communicate with the public, I doubt it.

    • “In the fullness of time…” SMH

  15. I wonder how many of our “consultants” just use Google and cut and paste, as opposed to having actual experience at major events like what they are consulting on.

  16. This thing about calling ppl to move their vehicle and nobody taking us on…. ???

    And Gary Griffith did an outstanding job when he was in charge of security for the whole country… So we should definitely expect nothing less for this match. ?

  17. One concern I may have is the cost and need for the security consultant for this game. It may not be a huge crowd so was it necessary. Hopefully his services were not costly because if so I would have preferred to hear with extra cash that a few small businesses were paid off. Just my concerns.

  18. once again we never learn geez

  19. Kevin Cleric Greenidge how dat person looking like you so!!!

  20. Will game be broadcast live on tv here in T&T?