Home / Volley / Global Football / Women Warriors still owed match fees; no bonus for Kimika Forbes

Women Warriors still owed match fees; no bonus for Kimika Forbes

The Trinidad and Tobago national senior women’s players are still awaiting outstanding match fees and per diems, which were promised to them for the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship in the United States.

A Ministry of Sport official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Wired868 that roughly $350,000 of its subvention to the football body was meant to go to the players as per diem.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Lauryn Hutchinson (centre) screams for joy after scoring the equaliser against Costa Rica in the 2014 Women's CONCACAF Championship semifinal. At right is defender Rhea Belgrave. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Lauryn Hutchinson (centre) screams for joy after scoring the equaliser against Costa Rica in the 2014 Women’s CONCACAF Championship semifinal.
At right is defender Rhea Belgrave.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

However, none of the money reached the “Women Soca Warriors” although the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) saved on meal expenses during the team’s pre-tournament camp due to donated foodstuff prompted by head coach Randy Waldrum’s appeal for help via Twitter.

Wired868 was also informed that some of the Government’s subvention was re-routed to pay for non-budgeted team costs, which included hotel accommodation and travel for several late additions to the technical staff including former national stand-out Lincoln “Tiger” Phillips, who is the father of Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips.

“We were promised $100 US a day but we never got it,” Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson told Wired868. “They told us we will get it before we go to Mexico. It seems that there was some misdirect.”

Narada Wilson, who is the agent for Sweden-based winger Ahkeela Mollon, said the women were owed match fees as well as per diems and, although there has been no uproar within the squad, players have grumbled.

“They were told that they would get US$100 a day and it was 21 days so, from their calculation, they are supposed to get US$2,100 and that is not counting promised match fees,” said Wilson. “The girls are upset about it. But, to be honest, they are feeling worse about the players who are at university and stayed away from school for so long and then left with nothing.

“Everybody shook their hands yesterday (at the VIP reception) and said everything would be settled off today but then nothing. They are hoping they get it before they leave.”

However, Phillips denied that the Government specified any money was due to the players in its subvention.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips. (Courtesy SPORTT)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips.
(Courtesy SPORTT)

“Our budgetary request was for $870,000 but we received roughly $650,000,” said Phillips, who stressed that he did not wish to be in conflict with the Ministry of Sport. “The $650,000 did not have line items. To me it was meant for expenses as they came along including hotel and meals and so on.”

CONCACAF paid for meals, accommodation and travel for 20 players and five technical staff members during its competition. The Trinidad and Tobago team had 11 technical staff members.

Randy Waldrum (head coach), Vernetta Flanders (manager), Claire George (equipment manager), Michael Taylor (physiotherapist) and Ben Waldrum (assistant coach) were involved to varying degrees with the women during their Caribbean Cup triumph.

The new additions to the squad were Muhammad Isa (acting technical director), Lincoln Phillips (technical advisor and goalkeeper coach), Wayne Cunningham (head of delegation), Nicholson Paul (cameraman), Dr Margaret Ottley (sport psychologist) and Adam Burns (trainer).

Cunningham, who is also the Eastern Football Association (EFA) president, and Paul are both GISL employees. They did one interview with Waldrum during their trip that was made available to the local media and public through the TTFA’s media channel.

Isa, Phillips, Cunningham, Ottley and Burns are among a list of staff members sent to the Ministry of Sport to receive $50,000 bonuses promised to the team. Only Paul missed out.

Photo: The "Women Soca Warriors" had 11 technical staff members during the 2014 CONCACAF Championship. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: The “Women Soca Warriors” had 11 technical staff members during the 2014 CONCACAF Championship.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Phillips said he had to speak to Flanders before he could divulge how money was spent on the trip.

“I have to have a meeting with the manager to reconcile where and how the money was used so i can give you the breakdown later today,” said Phillips.

After a chat with Flanders, Phillips suggested too that, apart from an inadequate Government budget without a clear directive for line items, a faulty bank card was also partly responsible for the women not receiving their per diems in the United States.

“There was a problem where the manager couldn’t get money from her visa card while in the US,” said Phillips. “We need to find out why the card wasn’t operating. A per diem was budgeted but if the manager cannot get access to the funds she can’t do it.”

Could the TTFA not have wired the money to the women?

“If you wire money, it is a very expensive process and you end up spending hundreds of dollars,” said Phillips. “The card is really the best approach; so you have to find out from the bank what was the problem and why the card wasn’t operating.”

Phillips assured football fans that the women will be paid today.

Waldrum, in a telephone interview with Wired868, also revealed that the money raised from donations in the United States is still in a PayPal account set up for the players. He explained that the money will go to the players but has not been disbursed yet since he is trying to clarify NCAA rules on the matter.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Kimika Forbes (right) saves from United States record goal scorer Abby Wambach in Women's World Cup qualifying action in Kansas City. Forbes is prohibited from receiving a match fee or bonus payment due to NCAA rules. (Courtesy Kyle Rivas/AFP)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Kimika Forbes (right) saves from United States record goal scorer Abby Wambach in Women’s World Cup qualifying action in Kansas City.
Forbes is prohibited from receiving a match fee or bonus payment due to NCAA rules.
(Courtesy Kyle Rivas/AFP)

Goalkeeper Kimika Forbes, her younger sister and midfielder Karyn Forbes, defenders Brianna Ryce, Liana Hinds and Rhea Belgrave and attacker Anique Walker are all university students. They can collect the per diem, which are considered living expenses, but none of them can receive match fees or bonus money given to their teammates.

Waldrum hopes that they can get a share of the money raised by Twitter, though.

“We wrote a letter to the NCAA to find out we can do with the money for those six players,” Waldrum told Wired868. “It cannot go to the players or the players’ families so we are trying to find out if we can put it in an account somewhere or if the Government or (TTFA) can hold it for them…

“So the money is still in a PayPal account until we get word from the (TTFA) and NCAA on that. We felt it wasn’t a good idea to give some players their money in front of other players who could not get any.”

The Women Warriors are due to leave tomorrow for a seven day training camp in Mexico City where they will prepare for the first game of their two-legged FIFA Play Off against Ecuador. The Ecuador national team plays its home matches in Quito, which is 2,782 metres above sea level.

The players hope to receive their per diems before then while the US-based players hope to have their stipends sent to them.

Waldrum apologised again for any embarrassment caused by his tweet for financial assistance and thanked the football body and the government for their response since then.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Randy Waldrum (right) speaks to his players during a practice session in the United States. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Randy Waldrum (right) speaks to his players during a practice session in the United States.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

“I never intended to embarrass anybody,” said Waldrum, who confirmed that he is still working without a salary for the TTFA. “I thought as a parent who was trying to take care of his kids. I am extremely happy with the way the Government responded and Sheldon and Mr Tim Kee responded once we got things moving forward.”

He pleaded with football fans not to let any negative feelings for any of the parties involved in their World Cup bid detract from their support for the women.

“I want everybody to know how much I appreciate the support for the team,” said Waldrum. “It is important to get all the people of Trinidad and Tobago to throw all their differences aside and get behind the team.

“With the social media and internet, it is hard to keep the girls from seeing the negative stuff. So I hope even those who don’t support me will support the team and what we are trying to do for Trinidad and Tobago.”

 

Editor’s Note: The Trinidad and Tobago national women’s team postponed its trip to Mexico City from Thursday morning to Thursday afternoon on October 30 in order to allow the TTFA to pay overdue per diems.
The TTFA finally met its obligation shortly before the “Women Soca Warriors” departed for Mexico at 3 pm.

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

“The boys were not mentally prepared!”; football insider opens up on miserable T&T U-15 showing

Trinidad and Tobago National Under-15 Team head coach Russell Latapy has not addressed the public since …

137 comments

  1. how the hell cunningham and that camera man got paid what part did they play with only one interview? and is he not been paid by gisl? what the hell is going on in this country? will some one or some bodies stand up and demand this shit stop? cunningham is tim kee and them buddie and it all a friend thing just so this man big in football. it reminds me about jack warner from a teacher to a thief, cunningham from a wanna be sports caster at gayelle tv to what? another smart man ripping us off.

  2. I hope the last head coach marlon charles got paid also he contributed a fair amount in these ladies’ development

  3. No income streams? They have representative clubs that should be paying dues, they organise matches where money is paid by spectators, they get money from FIFA. Yes they may need some help but there should be an investigation into how much these ‘poor’ associations pay their executive. We need a huge cleansing of all of these organisations before we can move forward.

  4. Did Randy not offer to work freely??

    Did he not appear to coach the team, and sent his son, who at the time was not hired by TTFF?

    Is the true reason he offered to coach for free tht he was and is still committed to other Teams, and could not truly commit to coaching the team due to those commitments?

    We easily accept mediocrity.

  5. Kester you could not have said it any better.

  6. the bigger pic is that most of these sporting bodies have no income streams and are reliant on our tax dollars to run there self serving interest…so u set up a body and fleece the state or cry victimisation when u dont succeed at it

  7. yes very wrong when will it change

  8. Russell Latapy and Anton Corneal are owed millions of dollars in unpaid salary. Marlon Charles was coach of this team up until the camp in Palo Seco and was not considered for any benefit but there are people that played absolutely no part in that team’s development that are benefitting. Is there something wrong with this picture?

  9. Incredible! First Lincoln Phillips hand picks Randy Waldrum to coach the U17 team back in 2009 and supposedly pays him USD $10K monthly. Now Sheldon Phillips is hired out of the sky as no one is interviewed for this position, so he in turn hires out of the sky (well really out of Dallas) Randy Waldrum who in turn hires Lincoln Phillips in time for the US camp and tournament 6 weeks ago to see him benefit to the tune of $50, 000.00.

  10. SMDH!!! Unbelievable that this &%^#$ idiot still in the TTFA and still controlling disbursement of funds. What next???

  11. What about coach desiree sargeant n coach spencer who was incharge of the team during the 1st phase of qualification,,in trini wen we won the caribbean cup

  12. It is unfortunate that opportunists seem to succeed giving others encouragement.

  13. Bullshit just keeps rolling on.The same feeders who just cast a line and eat ah food from since in Corneal time.Wow.Pitiful

  14. where my mormorneeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyy i did post match interview with coach it posted on FM spent my $9,200 to go ACUADOR and supported the girls where my $$$$$$$$$$$$ nar man that not fair like is only the friends getting the $$$ i buy my ticket for tuesday already no body don,t give me nothing but i still supporting without profit a real patriot

  15. Some guys cant get roles and others keep being recycled.

  16. In the end or beginning, it comes down to money.
    The big countries are putting money into the sport and the disparity shows when they meet a country putting little to no money into it.
    The Women Soca Warriors are an inspiring bunch, and I really hope they qualify. But against the ‘big’ teams, the lack of money shows.
    Not placing money as an incentive here, but as a tool.

  17. i want to say little about this whole scenerio until d journey is over one way or other! Trying not to add to d negativity that d group of bandwagonist bring in d name of concern and sudden support!

  18. In a perfect world but government did this on their own, d girls had an agreement for match fees, per diem, world cup qualification etc d government jump d gun to get mileage thinking qualification was sure!

  19. I am aware that it is the Government that made the offer hence my saying that the TTFA should “not have encouraged financial offers” that’s why I also said that they are the experts and should have “guided the process”…

  20. Editor’s note d ttfa did not make d offer d government did!! The minister of sport should have gotten advice!

  21. Ian, I think you shud tell all of us offline. Secret among company is bad manners eh

  22. Lasana Liburd Ha so true. Windies cricket is a mess…but the TTCB certainly has always been good at getting corporate financial assistance.

  23. i’ve had many personal experiences being on national youth teams 1990 u17 tournament held in this country we were thrown out from normandie hotel after playing our first game against panama (ppl may wonder why). we were the only team not in a hotel and we were the home team. thats only one incident of a few. what happened to the women in the US thats not the first time that has happened.

  24. Rayshawn Mars you always speak the truth.

  25. In an ideal world that should be the case but everything is not so “ideal” in TTFA when it comes to disbursing funds to other ppl than themselves.