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Gally’s farewell: Football icon rules himself out of future TTFA role

It is a shame that unscrupulous characters have continuously been allowed to stifle the progress of Trinidad and Tobago’s football for the financial gain of themselves and their cliques.

Even though I have been victimized by these small-time tyrants for my integrity, strength of character and seriousness and having a level of commitment to success that they could never understand, I still submitted various proposals to several Sport Ministers and Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) presidents and fought to share my talent, knowledge and experience.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago stand-out player and coach Everald "Gally" Cummings (right) is recognised by former President Maxwell Richards at the TTFF Centennial function.
Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago stand-out player and coach Everald “Gally” Cummings (right) is recognised by former President Maxwell Richards at the TTFF Centennial function.

But, time and time again, a TTFA poisoned with corruption and nepotism has continued to select those who are uninspired, lack vision and don’t have a clue when it comes to football development, planning and execution. It was all for the love of Trinidad and Tobago; a sentiment that few seem to share in current times.

I have even taken my case to the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) and the President of FIFA. I was almost run out of town by the EOC but my situation was acknowledged by president Sepp Blatter. (His response is attached in which he acknowledged the role I should be playing in the development of Caribbean Football).

The TTFA surrounds itself with mediocrity so it can hide its lack of performance but the people of Trinidad and Tobago know what good Kaisoca soccer looks like. If you don’t know, then get your hand on some “Strike Squad” (1990 World Cup team) footage from ‘87-‘89; or you can even take it back to 1974 World Cup team. The football history has already been written!

If you don’t think I have grounds for my statement, then compare my resume, coaching results and football career on the whole to that of any local coach and 99 % of the foreign coaches selected by the TTFA in the past 25 years.

I must say it has been painful looking at some of these coaches rotated and recycled in positions and continuously proving themselves to be futile and feeding the cancer the football is suffering from; limited by their lack of capability. To them I say, have some pride and strength and try to be true to yourselves. Don’t let your thoughts be clouded by self-interest and think about what is beneficial to our nation.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago's famous 1989 "Strike Squad." (Courtesy TTfootballhistory.com)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s famous 1989 “Strike Squad.”
(Courtesy TTfootballhistory.com)

It is no wonder that the corporate sector has refused to fund their programmes and they have always had to end up feeding off the treasury, which is the country’s resources! But is the country getting value for money?

I’ve made myself available for Trinidad and Tobago football for the past 50 years so it’s sad for me to say that I’m no longer available to this country’s football association nor any similar type of unproductive regime.

I am fed up of being disrespected in my own country that I’ve dedicated so much of my life to, by those with no intention of making any positive contribution to this nation and those who lack the ability to have any impact. I am however, willing to assist any of the other Caribbean Football Associations who are serious about developing their football.

The historic inconsistency, lack of development and vision and the current state of football speaks for itself and Trinidad and Tobago better get serious if we want to regain our respect and shine in the CONCACAF region.

Nothing significant has happened in Trinidad and Tobago’s men’s football history without my involvement or those whom I have developed in some way. Even Jack Warner’s infamous rise to the post of FIFA vice president was fuelled by the hard work of the Strike Squad. His selection as CONCACAF President would not have been possible if Trinidad and Tobago was not playing at this exceptionally high level. Check the records!

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfield maestro Russell Latapy (centre) tries to evade United States defender Paul Caligiuri (left) while Philbert Jones looks on at the Port of Spain National Stadium.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfield maestro Russell Latapy (centre) tries to evade United States defender Paul Caligiuri (left) while Philbert Jones looks on at the Port of Spain National Stadium.

While I applaud the senior women’s team for their recent efforts and I know they too have had their  struggles with the football administration. I was amazed though after the final game in the quest to secure a place in the Women’s World Cup to see how quickly the coach’s continued involvement was revealed by the TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips even while the coach, Randy Waldrum, has a full time position in the US.

I would however like to thank the Trinidad Guardian Sports Desk for the Lifetime Award “in recognition of distinguished service to Trinidad and Tobago in the field of Sport” received on 23rd December, 2014.

May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a fantastic and safe New Year!

Photo: Former TTFF president Oliver Camps (right), FIFA president Sepp Blatter (centre) and 2010 LOC deputy CEO Nataki Kerr. (Courtesy TTFA)
Photo: Former TTFF president Oliver Camps (right), FIFA president Sepp Blatter (centre) and 2010 LOC deputy CEO Nataki Kerr.
(Courtesy TTFA)

Letter from Zurich:

Mr Everald Cummings, HBM, CMT,

Chaguanas,

Trinidad and Tobago.

Zurich 9 November 2011

Dear Mr Cummings,

Thank you for your letter of 26 October, I was impressed to read about your footballing achievements and contribution to football in Trinidad and Tobago and sorry to hear of your troubles.

I am naturally concerned about recent events in Caribbean football and in CONCACAF as a whole and the damage this has caused. At the same time, I strongly believe that with FIFA’s support, Caribbean football will eventually come back stronger and be run in a more transparent, accountable and fair manner with equal opportunities for all, including of course persons such as yourself.

I wish you all the best for the future and hope that once Caribbean football has recovered from its problems and made a fresh start, you will be able to continue to play an active part in the game in your region.

Yours sincerely,

Joseph S. Blatter

About Everald Gally Cummings

Everald Gally Cummings
Everald "Gally" Cummings was coach of Trinidad and Tobago's famous 1989 team, which was known as the "Strike Squad", and was a key midfielder in the country's infamous 1973 World Cup qualifying campaign. He played professional in the United States and Mexico for over a decade and was inducted in the Trinidad and Tobago Sports Hall of Fame in 1989. He was also listed among the country's top 100 sportsmen and women of the last millennium by the Ministry of Sport.

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8 comments

  1. Jevon there are many other coaches who suffered the same fate as Gally and still are but at least they acknowledge the contribution of the others but what i gathered from reading Gally’s article none has been of any use since Gally and i think that a bit unfair.

  2. Still proud of what u did for that famous strike squad…always and forever coach gally

  3. Debbie Espinal I wouldn’t say sour grapes, it’s just him throwing his hands and saying I had enough. …..and the fact that none of his ideas where implemented.

  4. When the TTFA is reorganized, new leadership who is committed to lead the organization for the benefit of all T&T is assigned, Gally will probably return. As of now, TTFA accounting is not performed under basic accounting procedures, marketing is ineffective, and leadership is tarnished by politics and favoritism. Good move Gally.

  5. While i have respect for Gally for all he has done for Football in this country i’m saddened that he would lump all the other hard working coaches in one mould. A little bit of sour grapes here. As for Blatter he could go fly a kite.

  6. Gally, this is a war that you deserve to win but your terrain of choice should be the football field and not the media, social or conventional. Let your footballing feet and brain take centre-stage and leave the talking to Warner, Tim Kee, Phillips and others of that ilk who don’t know what it is to DO. Talk, remember, is cheap.

  7. Wonder how soon he will change his mind.