Home / Volley / Global Football / Molino, Joevin and Mekeil fined for breaking camp; Hart confirms ‘isolated’ Warriors incident

Molino, Joevin and Mekeil fined for breaking camp; Hart confirms ‘isolated’ Warriors incident

Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team coach Stephen Hart confirmed today that three key Soca Warriors were fined for breaking team camp, just two days before their crucial Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Guatemala at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 2 September.

The breach of discipline was made public, on Sunday 11 September, by I95.5fm radio show host Andre Baptiste, although the players were not named.

Hart also declined to name the misbehaving Warriors. However, Wired868 understands that the trio were United States-based professionals Kevin Molino, Joevin Jones and Mekeil Williams, who represent MLS clubs Orlando City, Seattle Sounders and Colorado Rapids respectively.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones controls the ball during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016. Trinidad and Tobago won 6-0. (Courtesy: Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones controls the ball during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016.
Trinidad and Tobago won 6-0.
(Courtesy: Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

Contrary to the I95.5FM report, the three players were sanctioned for their behaviour in front of their teammates on 31 August. And the incident in question—the players snuck out to attend a boat party—actually happened three days before the Guatemala game and not 48 hours before.

Hart said he considered it to be an internal matter, which the technical staff dealt with immediately and firmly.

“Usually we deal with these sort of matters internally and we dealt with it as soon as we found out what happened,” Hart told Wired868, “and we dealt with it with a fairly hefty fine.”

The Warriors coach did not give the figure of the fine but it was substantial enough to have been in excess of the players’ bonus for advancing to the CONCACAF hex.

“In all honesty, we haven’t had to deal with a situation like this before,” said Hart. “We have had minor stuff with players breaking in-house rules. But not to the extent that they were out of the hotel.”

Hart pointed to Chile midfield star Arturo Vidal, who crashed his car while driving drunk just before the 2015 Copa America tournament. The Chilean FA allowed Vidal to remain with the team for the competition, which Chile won for the first time in their history.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart (centre) makes a point while midfielders Ataulla Guerra (right) and Khaleem Hyland look on during a practice session in March 2015. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart (centre) makes a point while midfielders Ataulla Guerra (right) and Khaleem Hyland look on during a practice session in March 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“It is not something that is unique to Trinidad and Tobago,” said Hart. “Usually these things are dealt with in-house whenever possible.”

Ironically, Vidal was allegedly kicked out of the Chile squad on 5 September 2016, after he was again caught breaking camp.

Did Hart feel that the technical staff dealt with the infraction seriously enough? Did he consider more drastic action, just two days before a decisive World Cup qualifier?

The Warriors coach said his technical staff weighed up the nature of the incident, the fact that it was a first-time discrepancy and the possible effect of withdrawing the players’ services from the team, which may have put their teammates in a disadvantageous situation.

“It was a first time situation as far as I know,” said the Warriors coach, “and you have to ask yourself: Do you punish the whole team for a situation of three players?

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfield ace Kevin Molino (centre) flicks the ball around Dominican Republic midfielder Heinz Barmettler (left) during the 2014 Caribbean Cup qualifiers while coach Stephen Hart looks on. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfield ace Kevin Molino (centre) flicks the ball around Dominican Republic midfielder Heinz Barmettler (left) during the 2014 Caribbean Cup qualifiers while coach Stephen Hart looks on.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“You are going into a crucial game and the players have broken team rules. We thought we dealt with it sufficiently in terms of it being a fine and [handling] it in-house.

“If this was habitual, they would probably have been sent home.”

Wired868 understands that Molino apologised to the coach personally for his behaviour. All three players started both games and Jones scored a double against Guatemala.

However, the Warriors were well below par in the two qualifiers. They played to a scrappy 2-2 draw with Guatemala on 2 September and then suffered a record defeat against the United States with a 4-0 loss in Jacksonville, Florida.

Did the breach of discipline—and possibly the technical staff’s response to it—affect team chemistry?

Hart claimed that, far from being divided or further demonstrating slipping standards, the squad pushed the three players incident and, at least off the field, have reiterated their commitment to qualifying for the Russia World Cup.

“I think the pressure placed on those three players by the rest of the squad, after it happened, sort of addressed the issue,” said Hart. “I don’t think it caused a division. The squad pulled up on them and put them under pressure and put things back to where it should be.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Mekeil Williams (left) races past United States defender Geoff Cameron during World Cup qualifying action on 6 September 2016 at EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida. (Copyright Logan Bowles/USA TODAY)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Mekeil Williams (left) races past United States defender Geoff Cameron during World Cup qualifying action on 6 September 2016 at EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida.
(Copyright Logan Bowles/USA TODAY)

“I think that these young players have to understand it is about more than themselves. It is about their teammates, of course, but also about their country.”

Trinidad and Tobago’s next fixtures are in the Caribbean Cup, as they host the Dominican Republic on 5 October before travelling to face Martinique on 11 October.

They will then reconvene for CONCACAF qualifying action on 11 November when they tackle Costa Rica in Port of Spain for their first outing of the hex. The Warriors are the only Caribbean representatives left in the World Cup race.

Molino, Jones and Williams should be key members of Trinidad and Tobago’s upcoming fixtures. But Hart has warned that they face more drastic penalties if they violate team rules again.

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

‘Teflon Terry’ takes centre stage, Fenwick emerges stronger from United TTFA collapse

Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick looks set to benefit …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

222 comments

  1. I quite agree Keith, and that’s the Coaches call ,separate from what the Administrators may want to do .

  2. BIG match versus Juve and Inter coach de Boer drops one of his key players for “unprofessional behaviour”. People like to talk and call for hard measures EXCEPT when it affects THEM. Drop all who can’t abide by the team code of behaviour..

  3. Breaking camp for trysting or feting seems to be a regular occurrence. There was a camp at Chaguaramas which made news. DY and RL may remember.

  4. Sean Taylor, David John-Williams said on TV6 Morning Show on Sept 13 that he had report on incident from 48 hours before. Check that timeline.

  5. let them sit out some games to decide if they really want to play football for T&T or party…

  6. Lol Carlos Lee just saying if I am handed a hefty fine with my bonus affected or taking,my dispossession would be different,but if you were to lose money or got it taken away,you would have a happy facial expression because you have it like that,but only time would tell hahaha!

  7. Dais how Trinidad police does go to work yuh see. Face set up

  8. But not going to happen. Fine a man who eh get pay. Best yuh did give him laps. Or let him run to the boat cruise venue and back to Radissom.

  9. Suspension from 5 international games (regardless of whether a player walks on water) may be a good deterrent.

  10. I truly hope they put this issue to rest ASAP. DJW would be well advised to not waste time bringing this issue to the TTFA Disciplinary Committee for further punishment of the players and possible undermining of the coachman’s actions.

  11. The Coach will take his action as the person in charge of the team but the TTFA has to deal with the breach in terms of them being the employer and ultimately responsible to the Country.

    • In football, coaches tend to have a certain autonomy within their squads. Which is why they select players and formations rather than the employer.
      The coach would then advise the TTFA on the action to be taken. Which makes it even more bizarre that DJW has pretended not to know that action was taken.

    • If the decision was to withhold their bonuses, the someone on the TTFA should have known of action of Coach. The TTFA would have been responsible for doing payments. Were the other bonuses paid to the other players? To be a devil’s advocate, is it possible that DJW really did not know? That matter was dealt with just team and apologies? And no bonus was withheld?

    • I said before. It is impossible for David John-Williams not to know. He is always a stone’s throw from team and he has his players within the squad.
      He probably knew they broke camp before even Hart did!

    • Lasana Liburd Yes he would have known, but officially, would he have been updated? Or is it as how all of us know? I am not taking excusing him, still, was process followed? What does the Manager’s report say? Was one submitted?

    • I don’t know if a manager’s report was done yet. But if the coach tells you such and such happened and you suggest that nothing was done on the matter… Then you’re being dishonest.
      And, in a sensitive case where the public is up in arms, there is case for such an action to be malicious as well as dishonest.

    • The coach can still take his own action,if a schoolboy does not turn up for training without a suitable excuse of if he behaves badly in school I as the coach take action , separate and different from the school. If the coach feels that players can perform at their best without being in camp then do it for all , he also has to select those who he thinks are capable of giving their best.

  12. this is what they come back home for…to fete and lime…football is not their main concern…that is why the team is performing so…is better we play with players who will give their hearts for T&T than these players who just dont care…enough…dont recall them…time to deal with these indisciplines firmly one and for all…and it will stop…look what happened to Dwight at Man U when he stayed back to party…had to leave his club…he threw it away for a lime…these guys feel that T&T needs them so badly that they cann do whatever they want…and still be on d team…enough indiscipline Mr Hart…enough of this nonsense…this team work rate is so poor its not funny…a lazy tired bunch thats obviously not interested in playing for T&T…send them on their way Mr Hart…we can do without such players…no wonder the team is performing so….

    • so we must allow our players to come back here and fete and party …and then cant even run on d field when its match time…u r a sensible one…let them do that for their club…let any other intl player do that and see what happens…any real prefessional player knows better anyhow…u think Messi and Ronaldo does that sort of thng….no its discipline and hard work that get u to the top ..not fete and party…guess u r truly a true Trini…party man….

    • They can’t even do it at their previous clubs when they are in camp b4 games but because they know that their pick is sure they ack like that

    • This is why there is justification for foreign coaches…with a big name foreign coach…that would never be allowed…and not a man would ever even think of doing such…but with our local coach…they are getting away with it…time for Hart to get serious with discipline and hard work…or else maybe we bring a foreign coach as well..as this nonsense has to stop….

    • Ronaldo Francis were they here as tourists??? Did our TTFA pay their airfare, hotel, meals and salaries for them to come to T&T as tourists…to party and have a good time??? If that was the case then we dont have an issue…if they were paid to come and do a job…then its a different matter…these players are Intl Players…paid by their clubs…they have money…they can come back in the off season and fete and party all they want…T&T never short of that…so why choose to do it at such an inopportune time…??? its not a matter that is justified on who we will pick then…

  13. It’s no concidence that team performance has dropped off. If players feel they can do that and get away with it ….. from a win away vs guatemala and a draw with the us to a home draw with the opposing team down to 10 men and a thrashing in the US. Something has fallen off and it needs to be revamped. Certain players may feel their pick is guaranteed so the effort isnt there as it was previously. The irony to me is the players caught in this little scenario. Jones doesn’t play defence anymore since his new found attacking status quo aka garret bale …Molino has been underwhelming and Mikheil who has never impressed at left back. Think it’s time for these gentlemen to take a seat next to the coach and put men in who want it more. The English kid …Kevon George … Levi …. folks who hungry and focussed.

  14. I find it ironic that you all bashing these three players about discipline……..yet most of you all who are commenting are against Leonson Lewis instilling discipline in teenagers……Go figure

  15. The indiscipline of Trinis. . .thinking talent is enough but then again we are a Carnival Nation not a Footballing Nation. #wearenothungryenough

  16. Look carefully eh Keith, Carlos, Rose-Marie and Brent. Sean Taylor spoke to the TTFA president today. I’m curious at this excerpt:
    “Feedback from the TTFA indicated that no discussions regarding the incident have yet been had, but should be tackled soon to find a resolution. According to reports in the media, three overseas-based professionals broke camp on Independence Day, which was virtually on the eve of the crunch match against Guatemala at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on September 2.”
    Now Stephen Hart said the players were disciplined in front of the entire team and technical staff, a full two weeks ago. This was corroborated by another party as well.
    So how could the TTFA president not know this? Is it that someone deliberately wants the public to believe that this matter was not dealt with by the coach?
    Now, you may disagree as to whether the coach went far enough. But he did deal with it. I’m curious as to how I don’t get that impression from two separate sources now.

  17. As an Ex Police Officer,show me proof of those fine s Hahaha! TTFF have extra money,politricks right across the board with this team,prove me wrong Lasana Liburd ask for figures and where is it now?

    • More than one person said there was a team meeting where the fine was announced Kurtwyn.
      I did find this excerpt in the Express to be very curious though:
      “Feedback from the TTFA indicated that no discussions regarding the incident have yet been had, but should be tackled soon to find a resolution. According to reports in the media, three overseas-based professionals broke camp on Independence Day, which was virtually on the eve of the crunch match against Guatemala at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on September 2.”

    • So Lasana are you beginning to see why Hart’s “plan” is almost treasonous – because it erodes the exact thing we trying to build. The comments from kurtwyn Baird illustrate the lack of faith that will continue to fester. Then Jamilia Wallace said it even more succinctly. We cannot run from the fact that the players should have been properly sanctioned. Other possible suspicions can be that the TTFF and others have hands in selection and the coach is not as independent . When we start to add up all of what is now going thru the minds of John and Jane Public – we begin to see the crumbling of a national organization that should be delivering results and instilling pride. How we can condone this is beyond me !

    • They were sanctioned though. Not everyone may agree with the severity. But it was something.
      If the TTFA president is giving the public the impression that the players are misbehaving while the coach sits on his hands… Well, it is not hard to think what the possible motive for that might be.
      I agree that it is sad to see the respect of this team being eroded. And I agree with Jamilia too.
      But let us have eyes wide open and see what is going on here. Do we accept it? Which party is more likely to bring success to local football?

    • What do you mean by which party? We talking about a system . All parties should be working together . Discipline doesn’t start at the team level – it starts at the top ! Well we won’t go far anyway then we will wonder why. Talent is 30% of success in international sport – simply because everyone produces talent but it’s the other pieces that create success

    • There are two parties here. The coach is saying one thing. And the football president is subtly whispering something else.
      Be mindful.

    • So the system already broke down? I wish as taxpayers we could decide where to send our tax dollars

    • It is a Mexican stand off at the moment.

    • This man won’t be happy till the whole team is made up of W connection men. I already scope the next coach in waiting done reach and biding his time with the youths until time is right. Interim position pending the outcome of the hex. Who have eyes…

  18. Under Leo Benhacker this would of never happened a find isn’t enough this is sh!t ? ?? ? ?

  19. Normal trini could never take nun serious smh

  20. As an Ex Police Officer,I am not buying that Hart fined anyone of those players,because the players themselves never looked like they were unhappy within the squad during any of the both games,any player losing money never looks happy,in fact Hughton Hector looked more disappointed by his facial expressions,so I am asking for Lasana to ask for proof of this and how much each player was fined,and is the money going back to the TTFF can a manager shed some transparency into this,otherwise don’t take T+T public for fools☹️

  21. And I just picked the names of the most important players on the team eh, and it was really true about two of them eh, well what alyuh really expected eh, back in the days eh players use to line up by the hoe house in the foreign countries when the team went to compete against them eh, and even also shop lift in the people country and the only reason why they wasn’t locked up and prosecuted eh is because the authorities realized that they represent our sweet country and gave them a Bligh and guess where most of them came from in our sweet country eh, and yes from the ghettos eh. Them really good yes.

  22. Breaking camp smh….no wonder they can’t perform on the field….take your sport seriously young men

  23. SMH.. at least show us that you taking this serious, that you doing your best! And people say the public was too hard on our Olympians..

  24. Starboys lookin for hoes and release at the height of world cup Q…..Shameful!!

  25. I am not surprised.Time to take serious action.