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President made own way to Argentina; touched by Guerra’s bow

Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona, despite being the patron of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), did not travel with the Ministry of Tourism’s chartered flight to Buenos Aires.

Theron Boodan, the Information Officer for the Office of the President, told Wired868 today that, contrary to reports in this website, Carmona took a commercial trip to Argentina to watch the “Soca Warriors” tackle the host team in an international friendly on June 4. Argentina defeated Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona (left) and his wife Reema Harrysingh-Carmona (centre) arrive in Argentina. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona (left) and his wife Reema Harrysingh-Carmona (centre) arrive in Argentina.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA)

The mix-up occurred because the TTFA sent a shot of Carmona’s arrival in Argentina alongside photos of members of the Government’s chartered flight.

Boodan said that Carmona landed in Buenos Aires at roughly the same time as the Warriors and was photographed at the airport with the Government’s delegation. However, the information officer claimed that the President took a commercial flight to Argentina, specifically because he did not want to displace any supporters.

“When they invited him, he said that, from experience, he knew a lot of people would want to go and about five or six people would be displaced because he would need his security detail,” Boodan told Wired868. “So he told them that he appreciated the gesture; but he made his own arrangements via a commercial flight and even spent four hours in transit in Panama.”

Two members of the Trinidad and Tobago national football technical staff, goalkeeper coach Michael Maurice and therapist Dave Isaac, did not leave Piarco with the “Soca Warriors” as they were told, at the airport, that there was no room for them on-board. There were, according to TTFA press officer Shaun Fuentes, over 100 fans on the flight to Argentina.

Boodan said Carmona would never have allowed his trip to negatively impact upon the team.

“Even if he said he was going on the flight and found out another fan would be displaced,” said Boodan, “he is the type of person who would have said ‘take that person’.”

According to Office of the President, Carmona turned his excursion into an “official trip” by visiting Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner during his stay. However, the highlight of his time in Buenos Aires was said to be the high profile football match and, in particular, Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Ataullah Guerra’s unusual greeting to Argentina football captain and global superstar Lionel Messi.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Ataullah Guerra (centre) ignored the usual pre-match handshake routine to pay a special tribute to Argentina captain Lionel Messi. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Ataullah Guerra (centre) ignored the usual pre-match handshake routine to pay a special tribute to Argentina captain Lionel Messi.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“(Carmona) is a passionate football fan,” said Boodan. “His cousin is former Trinidad and Tobago player Selwyn Murren (who was a defender during the country’s 1974 World Cup qualifying campaign)…

“The Excellencies paid an impromptu visit to the players at their hotel, on the evening before the game, to offer words of encouragement. And he said after that he felt it was a touching moment when Ataullah Guerra gave Messi a slight bow and a hug.”

 

Wired868 would like to apologise to President Anthony Carmona for suggesting that he flew with the squad to Argentina, which was prompted by a TTFA photograph of Carmona alongside other shots of the travelling party disembarking in Buenos Aires.

AboutLasana 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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24 comments

  1. I have seen a lot of improvement lately.

  2. wait. there are probably many things i can fault Carmona for. How is this trip one of them?

  3. Don’t make me ‘ha! ha!” here! What is the relationship between the President going to Argentina to view a football match and this nation being in crisis?

  4. Whether or not the President was on the same flight with the rest of the team is not the issue at hand. Who paid for the trip and what purpose did it serve the people of this country? Did taxpayers, the TTFA or his own funds were used? Was this the most appropriate time for his excellency to go abroad to watch a football match, while his nation is in crisis? And besides, an explanation is forthcoming 2 weeks later. Unacceptable!

  5. A patron and avid football fan but our football programmes are in shambles.

  6. Talk-a-lot do nothing President.

  7. Allyuh didn’t want Manning to buy ah plane – remember dat.

  8. Two things that stand out here to me, the grace and emapthy of thebhead of state, very proud of that one. And two the fact that the editor publicly retracted the incorrect information from a previous article.

  9. Lol. Alyuh too sweet yes. Like the apology ☺️

  10. Imagine HIS EXCELLENCY had to spend almost 4 hours in-transit in PANAMA! We should get an executive jet for him.

  11. I should be happy that he didn’t displace anyone because he spent taxpayers money to travel on an ‘official’ visit?

  12. That I can’t say Jerry. Lol

  13. Lasana Liburd would the Pres be heading over to Brazil on “Official Visit” tooo???

  14. Good for him on all fronts, I myself loved the bow

  15. Selwyn Murren was the captain of the TT team for the 74 WC campaign