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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 managing director and chief 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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137 comments

  1. Lasana writes on facts. They leave tomorrow.

  2. The embarrassment continues.. They will never resign.. Oppressors of Trinidad and Tobago football..

  3. Those girls showed real guts to stand among those administrators and smile yes. Just looking at the picture made me sick ! What about Coach Marlon Charles ? Poor guy just rejected as superfluous. I can imagine how this hurting him.

  4. Imagine paying people a salary of promises.

  5. Lord knows how much I hate those smooth talking, convenient accent bandits

  6. And on top of all that,come and Blight dem !!

  7. Hmmm,when I was playing we used to get $10 and $20 US a day,so I don’t see no change with them and their bull shit..That is one reason I stop play. Things will never change with them.

  8. In the interview on 102 yesterday, I heard Wednesday, but with TTFA involved, one day doesn’t make any difference to them…they need years to pull their fingers out, it so far up

  9. The Wired868 article says tomorrow, Savitri Maharaj….>>>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. <<< Lasana Liburd was this a typo? At any rate, I hope the TTFA have sorted out their credit card issues this time around...but the Women Warriors need to be paid for the last trip and soon!

  10. The ladies are leaving for Mexico today Trin Bagonian

  11. Judy-ann Stewart, I want to know where all these cockroaches suddenly crawled out from with big job titles to reach the US

  12. Yes, Earl, I think it can, but they still need to look at the legal ramifications with scholarships etc.

  13. It’s after 4:30pm in T&T…for all intents and purposes this day is done…unless they are having a cocktail event during which they will be handing out checks to the Women Warriors….so…looks like nothing is going to be done today…unless something has changed in the last half hour…has it Lasana Liburd? I would imagine they would be milking any such presentation to its fullest with all the media coverage they can get…

  14. Does anymore in Trinidad administrations of sports ever get fired ? On another note, the coach raised a very serious issue regarding NCAA and the girls in US colleges. If not handled properly they could loose the scholarships and spots on their college teams.

  15. I think we need sports administrators who have the interest of the sport as their first priority, not how to get all of the funds for themselves, friends and family. Clearly the sports that are the most popular and therefore have the biggest funding suffer from this type of administrator while the unpopular sports that have to beg and plead for funding have the administrators who try to move the sport forward. Catch 22?!

  16. Here we go again! Sweet, sweet backward-ass TnT

  17. Same crap different day y didn’t they take the $ they put out for the half dead flowers and fake press conference and give the girls for their perdium. Next thing those who did not play in the us for this rounds that just pass deserve not 1cent cause that’s where the the incentive was offered how could they not pay Kamika that’s crap could never happen and the members of staff deserve nothing but their salary.

  18. Kierron Yip Ngow I luv your optimism….especially where TTFA is concerned!

  19. I am sure this will be cleared up today if not.early tmrw

  20. Savitri….cant it go into unit trust for them

  21. “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…” Please Randy, don’t give it to the TTFA!

  22. “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.”

    But the bank could sort that out in days! Look Lasana, why you post this story?

  23. “However, Phillips denied that the Government specified any money was due to the players in its subvention.” Somebody have to tell them that, WDA you telling me!

  24. Wait nah, ah cyant even finish reading the damn story. Why din Maylee Johnson say so during the press conference instead of bigging up the Minister and Raymond Tim Kee..

  25. Put the monies for the girls into unit trust fund…so that they can received it at a later date…that’s all

  26. Tim Kee again a total failure in sports administration, Tiger at least your son get a play.

  27. SAD SAD SAD THEY CAN AFFORD TO PAY THESE LADIES

  28. By the way, Wayne Cunningham and his cameraman were not paid members of staff in the US. Although Wayne’s name was forwarded for a bonus payment from the Government.

  29. The problem we face especially in sport is that most contracts are verbal so there will always be issues

  30. Haha Lasana Liburd sounds like an excuse my friend. I have international players that wire money all the time. The most I have seen them pay is 20 US

  31. I am so f**king tired of this eh. It is simply unethical, memorial, unfair and dishonest to have people work never knowing when or if they will be paid thereby being able to support themselves and their families. It seems as though there exists within Trinidad and Tobago a class of people who truly believe that certain other classes simply do not need money and can get by fine without it.
    Ultimately this is not shameful to the TTFA or even the ruling party, who this reflects most badly on is us the citizens of this backward-ass nation that allows those who most deserve our respect for what they have done for us to go unrewarded for their efforts.
    Am I to believe that those responsible for this injustice would stand for their salaries being delayed indefinitely?

    Had I been a Trinidadian athlete I wouldn’t for the promise of all the wealth in the world represent this ungrateful place!

  32. Lasana Liburd it’s a lame excuse at best! Not one that anyone should buy…this is not their first “rodeo” (as they say) – how could they possibly expect us to believe they didn’t have the proper arrangements to ensure the card would work in the USA or have a contingency plan for the card?

  33. Well, thankfully that won’t happen as Randy Waldrum, for one, is very mindful of the rules. But those college students still want their per diems.

  34. despite being grateful The Minister could have caused players to lose their scholarships

  35. This goes beyond the PPG I think Marian Charles

  36. Shameful! They did not pay what they were supposed to pay but they send 5 persons (including one who is Head of the Delegation) and then these people cash in?! What did they do for the team in the few days that they were there? Where did they stay – in the same sort of accomodation that the team had or 5 star accomodation? This is so fishy that it appears that the TTFA have not learnt any hard lessons and seem to feel that football in TT is for the express purpose of giving TTFA officials and their friends and relatives some free money. Anybody who wants to form a government in this country better jettison anyone even remotely connected to TTFA or FIFA because that will come back to bite!

  37. The #ppg is bad for sports bad for everything

  38. I would love to hear from our US-based forumites as to the best ways of getting large quantities of money from T&T to the States.
    What did you make of Phillips’ explanation where that was concerned?

  39. And the saga continues…will it ever end?

  40. Ian no respect for people. The men are sometimes treated the same.

  41. I wonder how it feels to be Isa, Phillips, Cunningham, Ottley and Burns – to have your name on a list to collect bonus money while your team, the Women Warriors who worked so hard, are not getting what they justly deserve or what was promised to them.

  42. Typical! smh Shame on TTFF for treating our Women Warriors with such scant respect! I wish there was something we could do.

  43. I was just thinking about the award earlier this morning before you write this…lol… if college students get money may lose eligibility… and why should we expect treatment of the team to change TTFA?….even with phenomenal success they still have no respect for women… so not seeing much changing here

  44. If the players have Visa Travel Money Cards, the funds can be sent to them in US dollars. The maximum amount at any time on the card cannot exceed US$5,000.

  45. “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.”

    Wait, I thought earlier in the article yuh said “… the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) saved on meal expenses during the team’s pre-tournament camp due to the donations generated by head coach Randy Waldrum’s appeal for help via Twitter.”

    How did they save on meal expenses (implying that meals were paid for from the Twitter campaign) when the Twitter money remains untouched? Does this not imply that no money was “saved” on meal expenses, that some of the “subvention” had to cover that? Incidentally, you should have asked Randy Waldrum whether he got paid a per diem. Rather than making it seem like the women were getting screwed, why not report the straight facts, that no one has yet received the promised per diem, coaches included?

    • Lasana Liburd

      You quoted me correctly Bakes. From the photographs already published on Wired868 and everywhere else, you should know that people donated foodstuff.
      Did I say anyone got per diem? I did not.
      Anything else I can help you with Bakes?

    • Could it be that they saved on meal expenses because people donated foodstuff as well? Btw is this the only thing you want to question after reading this article?? Interesting…

  46. Can’t the players sue TTFA now…if no money is forthcoming today…don’t wait years and years like the men soca warriors! What is the excuse for this abuse of the players?!

  47. the USD credit card or USD ATM card to a USD account based in T&T will restrict the total cash available for withdrawal, so paying a per diem through such an account will be cumbersome.
    depositing TTD into a US based bank account will be less costly than wiring funds through Western Union or MoneyGram, but it will only make sense if they do those transactions in bulk and send all through with one transaction, which costs in the ballpark of USD$100 per transaction.
    the BEST way IMO is to use a T&T based international bank, like Scotiabank or RBC, and pay the funds into an international credit card account with very high, or no limits to cash withdrawals—like a VISA Platinum or AmEX Black Card. Either way, ANY cash advance will cost 3-5%, so nothing is FREE.

  48. As a past manager of the senior men’s team and someone who has taken teams all over the world, I cannot understand how the TTFA, the Manager, and others can make such a mess of very simple procedures. Players are always the ones who suffer when proper arrangements are not made in advance, and a check list is not used to ensure that no stone is left unturned. All this foolishness about Credit cards not working, the Government not specifying line items is a bunch of baloney. Did the budget not go to the Ministry? Did the TTFA just ask for a bunch of money? Did the Ministry approve money without knowing for what purpose the funds were being released? This is absolute madness. And the President of the TTFA is the Treasurer of the Opposition party? Come on guys get your act together and look after our players. They are the priority. And do not add staff when bonuses are announced. These guys do not deserve to be any part of the bonus, and the ministry should take a position on this.