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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. Then one would have thought that the “President” and “General Secretary” of the TTFA particularly the latter ought to have been more than familiar with the rules regarding the NCAA and not encourage any financial offers be made to any of the girls. If some are ineligible to receive then find some other way to compensate them that will be beneficial to all. They’re the experts…they’re the ones to guide the process. That’s what they are being paid for…one would think.

  2. I could tell you why that is offline…. 🙂

  3. The reality is the TTFA is so heavily indebted that there are probably loads of holes it might have been used to plug too.
    Might. Who knows.
    But of course it is improper to use funds for any reason other than what you got it for.
    The TTFA has not been meetings its financial obligations and seems to have no clue beyond asking the Government.
    Football is the most marketable sport in the world. But the cricket board seems much better at raising funds from the corporate world than the TTFA

  4. Perhaps they spent the money for the USA trip on the official TTFA delegation which also shared in the spoils…

  5. I was told they did. Yes. But why did they need to wait on the Government money for the Mexico trip to settle an old debt?
    I’m never satisfied when I think there are unanswered questions.

  6. Lasana did they also pay the per diems for the current trip?

  7. Great. Why we always have to protest to get what’s legitimately ours? Sad

  8. hooray at least they will be able to buy a little something for them selves and not be hungry in mexico … this Gov’t is failure to sports

  9. That’s a start, hope the hotel and meals in Mexico are pre-paid

  10. Lawd fadda …when will this end…year after year is the same pains..the same cries…why these big hard back people making the young ones who bring some glory and lift to people spirit..suffer so..is why…gosh man administrators..

  11. The biggest squad of bandits in t&t for umpteen years now is ttfa. They use the players talent and struggles as a trump card to every government that is in power and send a hefty proposal and then tell the players about play for country and pride. Bullshit. Money allocated for the players never ever reaches the players and ttfa laughing all the way to the bank. Is time corporate sponsors and the government give the players their dues on the proposal direct. No middle man who thiefing all the money.

  12. Perhaps one day I will be pleasantly surprised and things will run legitimately, smoothly and for the better of the ATHLETES.

  13. Editor’s Note: The Trinidad and Tobago national women’s team postponed its trip to Mexico City from Thursday morning to Thursday afternoon 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 today.

  14. I feel we need bravo and the windies team to advise these players on the best way to deal with the non payment of match fees.

  15. Hahaha! I want good vibes but these comments will force my mouth!

  16. I say you get a gag order like Rachel Price! Lol

  17. Sana u trying to force my mouth!!

  18. Phillips say a faulty bank card ….. 🙂

  19. You’re on point I think Nicky Archer.

  20. This is so unacceptable. How fishy and senseless does the following explanation sound

    “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.”
    …expenses as they came along…
    Oh well I need this designer outfit for the upcoming Christmas dinner…how ridiculous could we get!!!

  21. Mr Ian Gooding if you know anything about Local Sports , more so TTFF…now TTFA and it’s history with the national teams you would understand that this is not about “putting money before winning”. All these young atlethes sacrifice their time , energy and possibly more fruitful careers to be athletes and to represent this country. They take time away from their families and jobs (where they would be earning just as competitive salaries or better) to put on the stripes of the Red, White and Black. You could almost call it blind loyalty and for what to be sold “dreams”. The TTFA has been taking it’s footballers for granted, simply because they still come out and give their best no matter the promises. And you have the audacity to talk about putting money before winning. The Ghanian National team almost boycott their WC 2014 group game against Portugal because of promises from their federation. They sent US 3 mil via a private jet for them to distribute to the players before they agreed to play the game. Yesterday I had a chat with one of the players, you don’t know of the struggles this team and players had to face in getting to that tournament. At least three (3) players got injured at home because of playing on poor fields in their preparation. I agree with most of the writers that Trinidad is just to damn backward. Players need to take a stand.

    Who feels it, knows it!

  22. and they wonder why WI cricket team boycotted india??….

  23. Our athletes are the only bright spot on our darkening future, and often they achieve with little or no support. Give them their dues.

  24. We should expect this, what about that cheap inappropriate looking plastic stuff the women got in the airport , there is no component of management involved with this team. The women are doing it by themselves ,the administrators are doing it for themselves

  25. and why is Jack Warner STILL not in jail ?

  26. Money was paid to the TTFA from the Ministry of Sport. That much we know.

  27. Serious question. Who running min of sport an do they have money?

  28. Btw, I mentioned that Wayne Cunningham was not a paid member of staff. I don’t know what I was thinking. There are NO paid members of staff!
    So he isn’t different from the rest on that account.

  29. Nope. This is ongoing. I can update you and say that the women were not paid today either.
    They were supposed to leave tomorrow morning. Instead, they re-booked on a later flight to give the TTFA time to come up with the owed per diems.
    Which begs the question: If the money was here all along because the team manager could not access it on her bank card, then where is it?

  30. This is an old story right? Before the $500 incident?

  31. Without a little rain, we wouldn’t appreciate the sunshine Philip Ignacio SC. Ian is our rain cloud. 🙂

  32. The girls in University cannot accept any form of gifts, cash clothing jewelry or the sort, they will lose their amateur status thus losing their scholarships. no one of influence can receive the money either that is their parents or other family members. and it cannot be put away for them to receive later like in a unit trust account. Its the rules and it applies to all once you are in college.

  33. Ian you always have to be negative why? For a grown man please grow up!

  34. I don’t think that Coach Waldrum is really sorry about his tweet tho.

  35. Putting money first instead of winning?

  36. This footballing body is a total embarrassment. No one in the earlier part moved with the ladies now all of a sudden there are 11 members of staff. When are we going to see our sporting bodies exercising a high level of professionalism throughout? When?

  37. So…they have to wait. They haven’t qualified yet and should be concentrating on those two last games….not money…like the cricketers.

  38. SMH ‘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.’

  39. Give them balloons and flowers and a promise of something if they win.

  40. All that I have read here is ” we supposed to, and it is supposed to happen, and we will supposedly find out if anything otherwise could be done” all smoke screens for the same mismanagement to take place…… Lasana Liburd shouldn’t we get jw’s take on this?….and i eh mean Jason

  41. what we are seeing here is jack warner all over again timkee and the rest of them just riding the backs of these young girls, now tell the me the announcer and the camera man getting money, this is madness, maybe our football team should do like the west indies cricket team and strike,

  42. Yes. Savitri Maharaj, Randy Waldrum initially wanted the team to leave today. But they were unable to handle the logistics of that in time. So tomorrow instead.

  43. Mr Sheldon Phillips does have the worse excuses idk when football in T&T will get the right ppl to take good care of it #ttfa #istheworst