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Bostock rules himself out of crucial W/Cup qualifiers against Guatemala and USA

The Soca Warriors will not have the services of France-based midfielder John Bostock for Friday’s vital 2018 World Cup qualifier against Guatemala or next Tuesday’s qualifier away to the United States.

Bostock, who plays professionally for RC Lens in Ligue 2, announced that he would not be linking up with the Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team via his Twitter account this evening.

Photo: Lens midfielder John Bostock. (Copyright Butfootball)
Photo: Lens midfielder John Bostock.
(Copyright Butfootball)

The talented midfielder is a former England National Under-17 captain but, after failing to make the grade in his homeland, agreed to switch allegiances to the birthplace of his father, John Bostock Senior, who grew up in Diego Martin before migrating to Britain as a child.

Bostock was due to make his international debut against St Vincent and the Grenadines on 25 March, only to be set back by an administrative error from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).

Now, he will not play against Guatemala or the United States either. Bostock released a statement at around 4pm on his Twitter account:

“Unfortunately due to the hold up of FIFA’s decision with my international clearance [and] the recent theft of my [British] passport, I’m not able to travel to [and] from Trinidad within the timescale to play against Guatemala [and] the US.

“Understandably I’m very disappointed to miss out on these crucial games for T&T but I wish the boys all the best and I’m confident we will qualify for the next round. I look forward to making my debut for the Soca Warriors in the near future.”

Photo: Lens midfielder John Bostock (centre) is congratulated by his teammates.
Photo: Lens midfielder John Bostock (centre) is congratulated by his teammates.

The news is believed to have surprised the Warriors technical staff, who expected word from FIFA today on Bostock’s international clearance.

Wired868 understands that Bostock has a Trinidad and Tobago passport but would have been unable to get a United States visa in time to travel for their game in Jacksonville, Florida on 6 September. Not that he could play anyway without FIFA clearance, which has not yet been granted.

To further complicate matters, his France work permit was supposedly lost with his British passport. According to sources, Bostock faced the potential issues in re-entering France if he left the country and tried to return without his work permit.

Last Friday, Hart stressed Bostock’s value to his squad for the upcoming matches, despite the fact that he has never played senior international football before.

The Warriors coach said Bostock could operate in several midfield roles and credited his attitude at training sessions in March.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder John Bostock (left) strikes the ball during national practice while team captain Kenwyne Jones look on at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 21 March 2016. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder John Bostock (left) strikes the ball during national practice while team captain Kenwyne Jones look on at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 21 March 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

“I think his mannerism and his approach is one that will allow him to settle with the team quite nicely,” Hart told Wired868. “He has a way about him of taking in what you want and trying to adapt as quickly as possible. He is not an antagonistic type of person…

“He can [operate as a deep-lying midfield playmaker]. He can also play the ‘10’. And he is very good at dead ball situations.”

The TTFA is yet to release a statement on Bostock but it now appears that the Warriors will have to continue without him.

Hart initially named a 24-man squad, just in case, and will not need to call up a replacement.

The Warriors will not be short of options in midfield as Kevan George has returned, after finding a new club, and joins fellow midfielders Khaleem Hyland, Andre Boucaud and Neveal Hackshaw.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Andre Boucaud volleys home the second goal in their 2-0 win over Cuba at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Copyright Christian Peterson/AFP 2015)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Andre Boucaud volleys home the second goal in their 2-0 win over Cuba at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
(Copyright Christian Peterson/AFP 2015)

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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64 comments

  1. Fans dont be so hard on Bostock the guy has been waiting 6 months for word from fifa and nothing happen

  2. Can’t imagine the lineup with him though. Both Boucaud and Hyland are the ones who really threatened there…and they are our best centre mids currently. The ball winner (george/hackshaw) really can’t be sacrificed and Molino is our clear #10

  3. Earl Best

    See? I told the Express “Waiting for Bostock” was the headline. Like Godot in the Beckett play, he might NEVER reach. Ohgadoie!

  4. Lens to London is a 4 hour drive, eurotrain or bus via Eurotunnel(Calais to Dover) to get a new passport for the common man from Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO). A professional footballer can fly to London sort this out on an emergency basis. But how does he exit France and enter UK without passport?

    Do not understand if the absence of a work permit in your new passport could prohibit entry and employment but the absence of a stolen passport and work permit allow employment and residency.

    The online application for HMPO takes about 6 weeks, maybe ??? hahaha. BREXIT not in effect for 2 years.

    Dempsey out for USA Saturday, Bostock work permit with passport stolen Sunday.

    Lasana ah leaning towards your conspiracy theory..lol

    Once we beat Guatemala on Friday, he will be cleared by FIFA, passport and work permit will be in place.

  5. Btw Lasana Liburd…a European national needs a WORK PERMIT to play in an EU country?.. BREXIT happen already or that kinna suspeck? “

    • Hence my conspiracy theory…

    • Urmm..yeah for football you do becuz of the transfer system

    • But there is a difference between needing to be registered and needing a work permit. British players don’t need work permits in England.
      I’d admit that I don’t know exactly how this works with the EU but I know football can’t ignore EU law.

    • According to inbrief.co.uk website he doesnt need one. The para below. I would assume it works both ways.
      “Within the European Union workers are able to move freely between European Union Member States without the need for work permits and visas. Footballers for the purpose of the law are regarded as workers and so can rely on the EC Treaty.

      As a consequence a club playing in England can procure the services or European footballers without the need to apply for a work permit for that player.”

  6. Steups…again..what?.. Watson Duke shut down passport office again?

  7. Maybe he wants to play for France eh hahahaha

  8. Consider this Brian Manswell, John Bostock would have been travelling to Trinidad without knowing whether he could even play or not.
    Maybe between him, his agent and his club… Somebody decided that was a nonsensical situation and he opted to stay in France.
    How’s that for a conspiracy theory? Lol.

  9. Maybe his agent wants him to wait until we qualify for the Hex to ensure he has options?

  10. Maybe he doesn’t want to play for our sweet country because the corrupted TTFA doesn’t pay our Coaches and players, they always have some money issues so they say. Them really good yes.

  11. Ruled himself out????? Interesting

  12. 6 months and we can’t get this sorted . Unbelievable

  13. Well, we have to take him at his word. I tend to get suspicious about such stuff. Like a wish an Argentine doc would check out Aguero to see if he really has a calf injury… Or if Pep is trying to keep him fresh for the Manchester derby. Eh Brian Springer?! Lol.
    I would be glad to forego Fantasy Football and see him banned for that elbow he threw against West Ham, just because I think Pep might be trying to sabotage Argentina!

  14. lmao what allyuh expected anything else

  15. Keep yuh head up John … we await your entry to the team.

  16. Lasana Liburd I am mad….ah waiting since March to see this man play. ….since March

  17. Disappointing news… Lasana any word from Press Officer re FIFA clearance that was supposed to come today?

  18. Look I am going and refund my ticket eh, because I was really looking forward to see a real playmaker/goalscorer on our Soca Warriors team once again. Them really good yes.