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Ma Pau poser: How Pro League application led to Police probe in Sport Ministry

The Ma Pau Morvant Sports Club, almost certainly, will not participate in the 2015/16 Pro League competition, after an about-turn by the Ministry of Sport left the organisation without its registration fee.

And it is possible that the Ma Pau outfit, which participated in the Pro League between 2008 and 2011, may not have another shot at entrance in the local top flight until 2018.

Photo: Central FC star Ataulla Guerra (centre) takes the 2014/15 Pro League trophy from Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC star Ataulla Guerra (centre) takes the 2014/15 Pro League trophy from Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

There is nothing unusual about a local football club attempting and failing to secure admittance into the Pro League. It happens almost every season.

But it is not every year that a Pro League application leads to a passive aggressive media battle between the Sport Minister and a football coach, suggestions of a pliant Permanent Secretary, a police investigation for fraud and a frustrated community.

The most appealing aspect of Ma Pau’s proposed return to the Pro League is a promised TT$8.5 million refurbishment of a sport ground in Morvant, which the club will share with fellow top flight neighbours, Caledonia AIA, and the community.

And outgoing Laventille East/Morvant MP Donna Cox had hoped her last act as the area’s Parliamentary representative would have been to announce the massive infrastructural work on the sporting ground in the humble community.

Cox said that, over the last five years, she had filed questions in Parliament and written the Ministry of Sport, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Planning for help to fix the uneven ground, which is unbearably dusty one minute and flooded the next.

Photo: Outgoing Laventille East/Morvant MP Donna Cox.
Photo: Outgoing Laventille East/Morvant MP Donna Cox.

“It just needed refurbishing and some work done,” Cox told Wired868. “A lot of people use it because they don’t have a proper alternative but there is a lot of flooding and it is uneven and so on…

“We talk about crime but, if we are really serious about crime, this is one of the areas that is at risk. But no work has been done in Laventille East/Morvant by the Ministry of Sport. No netball or basketball court, nothing.

“Malick Senior Comprehensive has to go outside its community to train because there is no proper ground here for them… And I also made a plug for it to be the home ground for Caledonia AIA.”

Cox claimed she got nowhere with her pleas for State resources to fix the community ground.

Last month, former Central FC coach Terry Fenwick approached the MP with a promise to completely renovate the ground and she jumped at the offer. There was one caveat.

Ma Pau wanted the Ministry of Sport to support its bid to return to the Pro League.

Photo: Ex-Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) whistles from the bench during his  team's Pro League contest with Point Fortin Civic. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Ex-Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) whistles from the bench during his team’s Pro League contest with Point Fortin Civic.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“If the Ministry of Sport is not doing what it is supposed to do and a private company wants to come in and assist, then of course I support it,” said Cox. “I feel they should be allowed to get the job done. Why is it being stopped?

“Why didn’t the Ministry decide to partner with them and get it done?”

The catch was that Ma Pau wanted the Ministry of Sport to foot the bill for its Pro League return, which meant a TT$400,000 payment. The Ma Pau application, though, asked the Government for TT$450,000.

But why did Ma Pau, after promising to spend just over TT$3 million on a football ground before the end of year, not simply pay the Pro League’s comparatively paltry registration fee in the first place?

The Pro League gave Ma Pau chairman John Wallis an assurance that, should he choose to return to the competition, he would not have to pay a registration fee for a second time. But Wallis was not aware—or properly advised by his own staff—that this amnesty carried a deadline. And the club missed it two years ago.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago striker Cornell Glen collects his thoughts after striking the bar against Sweden, during the Germany 2006 World Cup. Glen is a former Ma Pau player. (Courtesy www.bbc.co.uk)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago striker Cornell Glen collects his thoughts after striking the bar against Sweden, during the Germany 2006 World Cup.
Glen is a former Ma Pau player.
(Courtesy www.bbc.co.uk)

When Wallis and Fenwick sat down in June to discuss Ma Pau’s return to top flight football, there were, according to the coach, two conditions: the club must have a home ground—Wallis was frustrated by Ma Pau being asked to play home games all over the country during his previous Pro League stint—and he would not pay to regain his club’s Pro League status.

From mid-June, Fenwick went into overdrive, as he met and wooed counsellors and regional corporation representatives with Ma Pau’s vision for the Morvant ground.

Inevitably, Fenwick ended up at the Ministry of Sport and in front of his former employer and current Sport Minister, Brent Sancho.

Almost a decade earlier, Fenwick sacked Sancho at San Juan Jabloteh after he grew frustrated with the World Cup 2006 defender’s supposed fondness for night life. But they worked together twice at Central and, earlier this year, the English coach was at the helm when the “Couva Sharks” lifted the Caribbean Club Championship and Digicel Pro League and Pro Bowl titles.

Sancho was already Sport Minister when Fenwick returned to the Sharks and the UNC Senator claimed he had nothing to do with it. But an email between Fenwick, Sancho and his advisor Kevin Harrison suggested otherwise.

Photo: Sport Minister Brent Sancho (centre) pays a visit to Bourg Mulatresse. (Courtesy SPORTT Company)
Photo: Sport Minister Brent Sancho (centre) pays a visit to Bourg Mulatresse.
(Courtesy SPORTT Company)

At 8.30 am on Monday 23 March 2015, Fenwick asked Harrison, via email, to round his salary off at TT$30,000 per month and confirm his bonus for title success with the Sharks. But Sancho was the person who replied.

“We never agreed to rounding off to 30,” stated Sancho, from his Hotmail address. “It’s 28 and 10%. Please (do) not complicate this as time is of the essence.”

On March 24, Central confirmed that Fenwick would replace Serbian Zoran Vranes as head coach. Harrison claimed then that he made the decision and not Sancho.

Although Central won every available title under Fenwick, the relationship between the trio quickly soured.

At 10.52 am on 25 June 2015, Fenwick wrote a 515-word email to Sancho, Harrison and Central director Daren Mohamdally, in which the former England World Cup player ranted at the club’s supposed mismanagement and warned that the Sharks faced a thrashing from MLS club, LA Galaxy, at the CONCACAF Champions League.

Photo: Central FC players (from left) Elton John, Darren Mitchell, Kaydion Gabriel, Uriah Bentick, Jason Marcano, Leston Paul, Ataulla Guerra and Akeem Benjamin celebrate during their penalty shoot out win over Montego Bay United in the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship semifinal. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC players (from left) Elton John, Darren Mitchell, Kaydion Gabriel, Uriah Bentick, Jason Marcano, Leston Paul, Ataulla Guerra and Akeem Benjamin celebrate during their penalty shoot out win over Montego Bay United in the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship semifinal.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“Maybe, in my moment of weakness, I expected CFC (Central FC) to recognise the huge opportunity we have been presented to provide T&T football with a much needed ‘positive’ shot in the arm from the visit of LA Galaxy to Trinidad,” stated Fenwick, as he raged about the club’s failure to sort out players’ contracts and pre-season plans. “… It is unethical to have potential employees waiting on Management and the Board to have an epiphany regarding renewal of contracts! Do you have any regard for people’s lives and families noting that they all have responsibilities to their loved ones!

“I find it not only unprofessional but disingenuous to run your club with people/players’ welfare at your disposal and not communicate with them…

“For me and my players, it is demoralising and quite startling how individuals of self proclaimed pillars of society treat with such disregard their own work force.”

Exactly 31 minutes later, Central manager Jamie Along-Charles emailed Fenwick with bad news: “Dear Terry. The Board and Management of Central FC met to discuss your proposed contractual requirement. Unfortunately at this time they will not be able to facilitate your request.

“As such, they wish to sincerely thank you for your services rendered to the club.”

Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) receives a Blue Waters Coach of the Month award from Pro League secretary Julia Baptiste. (Courtesy TT Pro League)
Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) receives a Blue Waters Coach of the Month award from Pro League secretary Julia Baptiste.
(Courtesy TT Pro League)

Regardless, Fenwick took coach Keon Trim along to explain to Sancho and Harrison—in their official capacities at the Ministry of Sport—why the Government should support Ma Pau’s bid to enter the Pro League.

There had been a precedent as, just last year, the Government paid registration fees for Point Fortin Civic. But Sancho, despite his football background, did not support Ma Pau’s bid.

What neither Sancho nor Harrison knew is that Fenwick had already gotten the necessary approval from Ministry of Sport Permanent Secretary Gillian Macintyre, who, as the Ministry’s financial officer, does not need Cabinet or Ministerial oversight within a TT$1 million limit.

“We went to (Sancho) with the complete proposal for Ma Pau and he gave us every possible excuse why he could not do it,” said Fenwick. “I gave them six different ways they could back it because of the level of funding put out by corporate Trinidad.

“Everything they said was a contradiction because we already had an agreement from the PS and we knew that Point Fortin had already received money before us.”

Photo: Point Fortin Civic midfielder Andrei Pacheco (centre) holds off Police FC players Elijah Belgrave (right) and Todd Ryan during a Pro League contest. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Point Fortin Civic midfielder Andrei Pacheco (centre) holds off Police FC players Elijah Belgrave (right) and Todd Ryan during a Pro League contest.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The Sport Ministry contacted Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene and advised that it chose to support Ma Pau’s bid and foot its supposed $450,000 registration fee.

There was no consensus as to why the Government wrote a cheque for $450,000 and not $400,000 and, arguably, it showed a flaw in the internal process at the Ministry.

Fenwick and a Sport Minister official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed they were verbally told the fee for entry was $450,000 while the Pro League officials could not remember ever saying so.

Clearly, nobody got anything in writing from the Pro League about its registration fee, yet, despite that fact, a cheque was drawn up for Ma Pau. Furthermore, the cheque was made made out to Ma Pau Morvant Sports Club and not the Pro League.

Skeene, a former “Strike Squad” player, thought the incorrect figure was an error and not fraud.

“If I had any problems with Ma Pau’s application, I would not have put forward their application to the (Pro League board),” Skeene told Wired868. “Or I would have at least hinted (about the problem) to the board.”

Photo: Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene (right) is in deep conversation with former Trinidad and Tobago standout Ron La Forest at the inaugural Wired868 Football Festival. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/ Wired868)
Photo: Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene (right) is in deep conversation with former Trinidad and Tobago standout Ron La Forest at the inaugural Wired868 Football Festival.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/ Wired868)

Harrison, despite his role with the Sport Ministry, was present at the Pro League’s board meeting and was stunned to hear that Ma Pau’s application was supported by the Ministry of Sport.

“I went to the Pro League meeting to present info on the delays in their subventions and so on,” Harrison told Wired868. “The Chairman said there was an application to enter the Pro League when they opened up the meeting and presented a cheque (from the Sport Ministry). I said I knew nothing about it at all and neither does the Minister.”

The Pro League clubs did not support Ma Pau’s bid and, ironically, there was grumbling by club representatives that Fenwick had used his influence with Sancho and Harrison to gain an unfair advantage.

In truth, Harrison was fuming and he sped straight back to the Ministry’s PS, Macintyre, for answers. The English football administrator claimed that he and Sancho implemented a system in which Harrison reviewed any cheques issued by the Sport Ministry for over $20,000.

“Once a cheque is issued, I would review the file to ensure all the processes are followed,” said Harrison. “This is something we put in place when we came into the Ministry because of the Life Sport thing to make sure we don’t issue money to the wrong people.”

Photo: Central FC goal scorer Jean-Luc Rochford (front) and his teammates celebrate with the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship trophy. Looking on is then Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (top left). (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC goal scorer Jean-Luc Rochford (front) and his teammates celebrate with the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship trophy.
Looking on is then Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (top left).
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Was Fenwick the “wrong people?”

Harrison questioned Macintyre about the Ma Pau cheque and asked her to withdraw it.

“When I went back to the Ministry, I saw the PS and asked if she issued a cheque for $450,000 to Ma Pau and she said yes,” said Harrison. “And I said it was declined and you can get it back. When we then looked at the file, we realised there were a number of discrepancies… So the PS decided to take it to the police.”

One of the suggestions, raised in a subsequent Trinidad Guardian article, was that Fenwick sent photographs that fraudulently misrepresented the state of the Morvant ground by showing a spanking track around it.

The bemused Englishman countered that he had merely shown the ground in its current condition and then used photographs of a foreign track to show what it would like after work was completed.

Macintyre never questioned Fenwick, though. She ordered the coach to return the cheque, which he did, and, although the PS herself signed off on the application, the police began interviewing Sport Ministry officials on the matter.

However, the Pro League never formally rejected Ma Pau’s proposal and Skeene contradicted Harrison’s report to the PS.

“I don’t know where (Harrison) is getting this idea about the finality of the thing,” said Skeene. “The Pro League always continues to assist teams and we continue to try to help Ma Pau to get into the league… It is a continuing process.”

Photo: Central FC official and Advisor to the Sport Minister Kevin Harrison (right) presents a $12,000 cheque to Dion Sosa, the local manager for then ailing player Akeem Adams. Adams died on 30 December 2013 after failing to recover from a heart attack. (Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC official and Advisor to the Sport Minister Kevin Harrison (right) presents a $12,000 cheque to Dion Sosa, the local manager for then ailing player Akeem Adams.
Adams died on 30 December 2013 after failing to recover from a heart attack.
(Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)

Had Harrison overstepped his boundaries by instructing the PS to withdraw the cheque for Ma Pau?

And had Macintyre erred by taking instructions from Harrison rather than the Pro League Chairman or CEO?

Wired868 failed to reach Macintyre for comment. Harrison denied he was working against Ma Pau’s bid.

“We said we can’t find a way and he went around (Sancho and I) and submitted an application and he got turned down by the Pro League,” said Harrison. “I certainly had no say in how they voted because I wasn’t a voting member. It had nothing to do with me.”

Was there any ill-feeling between Sancho, Harrison and Fenwick?

“I don’t know (but) I see there is a post on Facebook calling me a liar,” said Harrison, in reference to a comment made by Fenwick’s wife and local attorney, Reyna Kowlessar. “I was told by two independent sources that Terry said he got money from the Ministry of Sport without me or Brent knowing about it. And he was laughing…”

Caledonia AIA coach Jamaal Shabazz said he abstained from the vote when Ma Pau’s application was raised before the Pro League board. Since then, he met with Fenwick and has been rallying other clubs to support Ma Pau.

Photo: Caledonia head coach Jamaal Shabazz (left) and assistant coach Rajesh Latchoo enjoy a good day at the office. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/ Wired868)
Photo: Caledonia head coach Jamaal Shabazz (left) and assistant coach Rajesh Latchoo enjoy a good day at the office.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/ Wired868)

“I had heard rumours that the regional corporation had given the ground in our Morvant community to Ma Pau and I abstained at that point to get more clarity,” Shabazz told Wired868. “Now that I have information to the contrary, I feel it is necessary for Caledonia to support Ma Pau’s entry into the League…

“The Ma Pau franchise would be able to employ at least 35 of our grassroots people and, while politicians continue to promise, the young people have to (be able to) eat.”

Shabazz suggested that Ma Pau might win a second vote from Pro League clubs but claimed the team’s bid was being undermined by “senior officials at the Sport Ministry.”

“Each club owner has their say and their vote and, because we own the league, we can change our minds as we have done and amend rules according to the situations that we face,” said Shabazz. “I’m hearing that there are senior officials in the Ministry who are trying to put stumbling blocks. I have spoken to one or two clubs who said that senior officials have insinuated that Terry Fenwick did not use proper information to secure the Ministry’s help…

Photo: Former Central FC coach Terry Fenwick gestures during his team's final Pro League contest. North East Stars coach Angus Eve is in the foreground. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Former Central FC coach Terry Fenwick gestures during his team’s final Pro League contest.
North East Stars coach Angus Eve is in the foreground.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“I can understand if you stop a man from doing bad. So if Fenwick trying to do something bad, I can understand (that) they stop it. But he is trying to do something good, so I can’t see why they want to stop him.

“And I am saying this as no friend of Terry Fenwick and it angers me when people think for some reason I shouldn’t stand up for him.

“I am not standing up for him, I am standing up for fair play in football. This is our livelihood and we have to make this industry work.”

Shabazz suggested that the Pro League needs Fenwick at least as much as he needs the Pro League.

“I see Terry Fenwick as a warrior like us and he brings a certain amount of competitiveness and finesse as a coach in the league,” said Shabazz. “He is second only to Stuart Charles (Fevrier) in terms of winning titles in the Pro League and for that he has my respect… Caledonia would vote in favour of Ma Pau, despite the fact that on the field I am a fierce competitor against Terry Fenwick.

Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (right) tries to get a reaction from his squad in the 2015 Caribbean Cup final. Looking on is W Connection coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (right) tries to get a reaction from his squad in the 2015 Caribbean Cup final.
Looking on is W Connection coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“We may never be friends but I think he has a place in Trinidad and Tobago’s football. And, as a Muslim, I have a command from Allah to stand up for justice.

“Allah says: ‘Oh ye who believe, stand up firmly for justice, even if it is against yourself.’ Despite my combative vibes with Mr Fenwick, I think in fairness to the work he has done, he should be in the league.”

However, Skeene said the time-consuming furore within the Ministry of Sport over Ma Pau’s application has probably killed the team’s chances of playing in the Pro League this season.

The Pro League is due to kick off with a Digicel Charity Shield fixture on September 11 while the official competition is scheduled to begin on September 25.

“I think there was a remote possibility for Ma Pau to come into the league last month,” said Skeene. “It was very tight. Right now, it would probably be next season.”

The new TTFA constitution, which was approved by its executive committee but must still make its way through the regional associations, calls for a promotion and relegation system between the Pro League and National Super League.

Photo: Malabar FC attacker Che Edwards (second from left) struggles with Edinburgh defender Aswad Alves (centre) while Shaheed John (right) slides in to win the ball during CNG National Super League  Championship Division action at the D'abadie Recreation Grounds.  Looking on is Edinburgh goalkeeper Joel Sansavior. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Malabar FC attacker Che Edwards (second from left) struggles with Edinburgh defender Aswad Alves (centre) while Shaheed John (right) slides in to win the ball during CNG National Super League Championship Division action at the D’abadie Recreation Grounds.
Looking on is Edinburgh goalkeeper Joel Sansavior.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

When that occurs, clubs will have to earn their entrance into the top flight by slogging it out in the Super League, which now has two divisions.

It would mean that Ma Pau and other ambitious clubs must spend at least two years battling their way past over 30 community teams before they can even apply to the Pro League.

“The Pro League board still has to finalise the matter of promotion and relegation,” said Skeene. “We are looking to have a discussion with the TTFA. I would like it to (have promotion) but we have to have discussions… It will place a totally different dimension on things.”

It means that local football fans might have a long wait before they see Fenwick coaching in the top flight again.

Shabazz would miss the combative Englishman, although there may be just as many rivals who would say ‘good riddance.’ Fenwick, outspoken, combative and provocative, has always split opinions in the local game, even though his titles speak for themselves.

Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) and North East Stars coach Angus Eve glare at each other during their 2014 Digicel Pro Bowl quarterfinal clash. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) and North East Stars coach Angus Eve glare at each other during their 2014 Digicel Pro Bowl quarterfinal clash.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Cox suggested that Morvant/Laventille would be the biggest losers, though.

“I am really disappointed with all the foolishness that is going on,” said Cox. “Anybody who wants to do something to uplift the grounds, I am very grateful for it… If someone is willing to pump money into sport, then shouldn’t (the Ministry of Sport) be happy?

“There must be some underlying confusion going on that we do not know about. I don’t think any right-thinking person will not want that to happen.”

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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285 comments

  1. The only way forward for professional football is community stadia. If we cannot get this relief for our people that outlet to make sport an industry under the group we call our own. Then the ballot would have failed us miserably. The process of dipping your finger in ink , wining with we red yellow ir green jersey. Rum and roti would have failed us.

  2. Sis Sav when you in the kitchen you does know the heat. And enough is enough my Dear

  3. I will say again Tubal Uriah Buzz Butler understood how to get things for the grassroots . And there is a reason why there is a place in Fyzabad called Charlie King Junction.

  4. Jamaal, why do you always sound as if you’re threatening someone? Is it how you normally speak?

  5. How Terry Fenwick get his $$ and his clearances is a lesson for me in sticktuitiveness . I not to concerned with how he gets his thing because I does have to do what ever it takes to get Cale thing. But he was able to penetrate the SJLRC in a way that I have not been able to. So I prepared to learn from him because trust me in Morvant we intend to take charge of what goes on in our community. After this its not business as usual. If Fenwick could bring the ground we will cooperate with him. If he cannot and that fall through we will find the resources to do it. Then if the SJLRC say no . Then there will be problems.

  6. Travis Mulraine if I was to expose things that I know about others who also have skeletons in their closets eh, and they saying this and saying that about Terry Fenwick eh you know they will get vex with me eh because they cannot handle the Truth eh I heard that Gally Cummings said that he will sue me for what I said on TV when I was invited by Wayne Cunningham on his TV show eh, about what happened in 1989 eh and I really thought that I was coming to speak for about an hour not ten minutes because the Truth must be told and Prof Jamaal Shabazz knows the Truth about what transpired because he was the one that wrote my story in the newspapers back then. Them really good yes

  7. *Sigh*…big people *rolls eyes way into my head*

  8. Clearly the problem was being able to sell your idea to the regional corporation. I don’t have many advantages as a small businessman.
    But I do know one has to be positive and look for the good in what your are selling and understand what the people you are approaching are looking for.
    I don’t know about your personal war and I am happy not knowing. But you won’t help yourself if you focus on that.
    You just have to keep looking for solutions.
    As far as the “white foreigner” bit. Today this issue is “white foreigner”, tomorrow it is “indian”, the next day it is the “big shot oreo”…
    I don’t like the racial references. They don’t help. They only cause bitterness and divisions.
    I have people I like and dislike in all races. It is irrelevant.
    I think Fenwick is a good salesman with a long record of accomplishments in local football. And that gives him an advantage.
    I can’t comment on the racial side of things because neither of us can prove it.

  9. once you is a trini and looking out for our country’s best interest i don’t care what race you are but this fella in question i know he don’t care bout nobody but heself,since when he care bout players welfare,please ,i will war him forever.and yes artur suite was a great visionary who cared about the players, he should’ve stood firm against Jack and he would’ve won the war,but he conceded with a snake and didn’t prepare for the bite.

  10. One doesn’t have to be a white foreigner to come to our sweet country to get things done in a quick timing our white locals will get things done in a quick timing the same yes and if the Syrians and Indians like Arthur Suite who started the first professional league eh and with his vision our football would have been on the World stage a very long time ago just like how the cricket is today but the corrupted Jack Warner and his cronies was only about themselves and their pockets steeuupss Them really good yes

  11. I had a plan to refurbish Sogren trace ground close to despers pan yard since that is the only ground in laventille capable of any real infrastructural upgrade,i outlined the spin off jobs that it would generate ground staff etc etc not t mention making an impact on crime by recruiting a player from all the warring zones in Laventille to show that sport can help to unite people not a cent ,i think maybe that is what turned them off, if the youth in laventille calm down, a whole industry would suffer. people who profit off crime would see their fortunes dwindle.

  12. From what I’ve seen Travis Mulraine, the draw that got the support was a $8.5 million refurbishment of the ground in Morvant. That’s what Shabazz is supporting as well.
    If you had the same proposal and got turned down, only then can I say that it was probably race.

  13. Its amazing that a foreigner could come here and get $450,000 so easy cause he have an accent and a different skin colour.I went with a similar proposal to the ministry for a club to be named Laventille Utd, and all i got was an interview not a black cent ,i disappointed that my bro Jamaal support Fenwick ,Fenwick using this as a means to his end cause Fenwick only care bout Fenwick Fenwick couldn’t care less but any youth from Morvant trust me. But as a student of history and a student of politics i understand what this “democratic” system really stands for, the fire is enough for them whose fuel is men and stones’

  14. I’m sure Keith Clement will jump at the chance to have your side Reyna Kowlessar 😉

  15. I think the most unprofessional thing, at least one of them is the unethical reporting by Rhondor Dowlat. To this day she has NOT interviewed Terry, gives the most misleading headines ” Cops probe Fenwick” which they haven’t. Used our press release to sound like she interviewed Terry….. btw the State can grant permissions to any legal entity by way of a lease and certain other legal requirements. If anyone in this thread has the unfortunate experience of working with Ms Dowlat kindly inform her, all the documenation from The San Juan /Laventille regional Corp granting permissions, correspondence from ” The Office of the PS” at the MOS can be provided to her. To this day, monies have never even been “accidentally” slipped into our accounts.

  16. If there is fraud here, then I hope the police investigates and lays charges. From the appliers to the PS and everybody in between. But I think I have quoted reputable sources.
    In terms of the police investigation, I was told by a Gov’t official that it wasn’t the fraud squad that was probing. Someone who isn’t as close to it said otherwise and that it is the fraud squad.
    I genuinely don’t know. I’ve given about as much info as I can on this matter.

  17. The lands owned by SJLRC but leased to entities for a period of time, whether it be sole or joint

  18. Lasana the clarity you outline is the information I have also….teh ground was to be shared between 2 clubs and Ma Pau was not buying anything….over & out!.

  19. Steups. Kevin Harrison, you are not adding clarity to anything. Because Ma Pau was never buying or taking over the land. My understand, confirmed by last MP Donna Cox, was that there would be a ground sharing situation.
    The ground remained owned by the corporation but Ma Pau got it for use for training sessions and games.
    People seem to be deliberately muddying this discussion and I haven’t time to be always responding to try and clear things up.
    So everyone can listen to their own source on this I guess. Just make sure it is someone you trust.

  20. It is very long winded process, but I don’t think it has to wait to be discussed in Statutory Mtgs tho…it can be debated/approved at Council mtg.

  21. Correct Kevin. The Corporate Secretary (Legal rep of the Corp) has to approve, it is then passed to Council for approval

  22. Just to add a little clarity it is my understanding that public land cannot be given to private entities without many procedures taking place. For example, TTFA are being awarded a piece of land near Manny Ramjohn Stadium. It has the Ministry’s backing and a cabinet note I believe but it’s taken over 6 Months so far. The Morvant ground, I believe, would have needed backing from SJLRC and then Ministry of Sport and then the legal process would begin. This is my understanding of the process.

  23. If Ma Pau isn’t accepted but really wants to make a contribution to Morvant/POS; why not fund & work with Caledonia AIA or Rangers; last year’s last and second to last strugglers.

  24. Pantin is the key here. It could mean that he gave approval without the power to do so (according to De Lamo). We could only wait to see how this mess unravels. This situation just proves the mess that sport administration is in in this country

  25. The CEO is a Public Servant and I don’t think they’ll speak to a journalist. I guess we will see when this matter is taken to Council, if at all. At the end of the day, it’s the community that loses out in all this confusion. My suggestion is they all get together and come to a decision, if that’s possible at all

  26. It is interesting Sav. Maybe the Guardian should speak to the person who supposedly granted permission and not someone who didn’t.
    I really don’t know if Pantin can or cannot. I do remember seeing a document from the regional corporation.
    I didn’t speak to every single person in the process. I spoke to the MP for the area, Caledonia AIA, the Pro League CEO and an official at the Sport Ministry.
    I can only go by the info I have. It is good that Dowlatt is quoting people here so it isn’t people from behind shadows.
    I think if Pantin speaks it will help. But I just cannot chase this one story indefinitely with so much other football happening.

  27. Just perusing the Sports section of the Guardian this morning Lasana, here’s what the SJLRC has to say:

    http://www.guardian.co.tt/sport/2015-09-12/sjlrc-denies-fenwick%E2%80%99s-claim

  28. Since I have been back i asked lasana for a follow up but he has been busy with elections

  29. Well said Dion Sosa and good to have you back….maybe at some point you will update us on your Turkish venture?

  30. WE HAVE A WEIRD MENTALITY
    SOME OF US

    AS SOON AS SOME TRINIS SEE A CAUCASIAN THRY LOSE TGEIR BRAIN AND FORGET TO ANALYSE. CRITIQUE QUESTION

  31. Gordon Pierre that’s why i am making the statements. The same criteria is used with the men and women’s rankings. Women’s teams play less games generally their male counterparts so a couple games can either sky rocket or deflate ur rankings. My point is though US women are the best team in the world and Canada is another top team in world football and our women’s teams have been able to compete with them in the last few years. I doubt very much that The MNT can compete with the top ranked teams in the men’s game.

  32. As for Marcus Gomez he is by far the best 21 year old in Trinidad he is so talented that football is so natural to him he does everything so easily he is a super star if he gets his head right he can be a mega star

  33. Your fans was missing you on wired eh, so ah had to mention about the Europe trials and thanks for responding but don’t stop there your input is always appreciated with regards to fixing our professional league so share your wisdom with us eh.Dion Sosa

  34. Mango you won’t believe it more difficult to get into the mls than Europe in Europe a player has many more opportunities than in the US who want marquee intl players to fill stadiums while in Europe the fan base is already there so teams only need to focus on winning to please fans

  35. Kester Lendor u of all ppl should know women ranking differ! An inactive team ranks 150 two wins u are ranked 35
    to compare the men or women game through ranking is not based in fact. The men draw with gold cup winners mexico during the tournament and again recently when mexico drew with argentina. Our women have not been able to get results against concacaf top teams where its the top three and the rest

  36. The only practical route to get there to be self sufficient is as I have always been saying the bootleg professional league needs to be in the communities where they can print the shirts and sell them in the communities amongst other things the only person and team I see had these ideas and implemented them was Kevin Harrison at Central FC once the teams are representing their communities the game and the players standards will be at a greater higher level and when the Soca Worries doesn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup this will be the reason why because we depends to much on the foreign base players who doesn’t give 100 percent because of injuries and I don’t blame them because the corrupted TTFA would just throw them by the way side but on the other hand if we raise the standards of our local players at home they are the ones that will always give 100 percent because they will be looking for real professional contracts abroad in the real professional leagues perfect example when Dion Sosa took the players for try outs in Europe recently eh, how many made it to be seen again 2 or 3 eh which tells us our players are not ready as yet but some of them really think that they are they need to settle for trying out in the MLS first yes where they might have better chances Them really good yes

  37. Looking forward to that conversation Mark Snell.

  38. That’s the end game everyone wants Mark Snell. The problem is identifying the most practical route to get there.

  39. Lasana Liburd I would love to discuss from my perspective here in the US, but also knowing the T&T football landscape fairly well I have my own ideas on how it should work there,,,but the end game is that every club needs to be self sufficient

  40. Gordon Pierre to some extent Chabeth Haynes is correct. Our WNT are ranked higher than the men’s. Additionally, we play in a qualification system that includes the number 1 ranked team on the globe USA. The number 11 ranked Canadians, 24th Mexicans and 35th ranked Costa Ricans. This is comparable to the men having to qualify out of a group with Argentina, Spain, France and Ecuador or Poland. (lol) That is the reality in the women’s game as compared to the men.

  41. Chabeth Haynes and just to let you know that it wasn’t Bahrain that our sweet country had to play eh, it was another country with a long name that had a problem and the corrupted Jack Warner took advantage of that and allowed Bahrain to take their spot eh, he really orchestrated that 2006 World Cup qualifying to make certain that it only happened under is reign yes I wonder what the corrupted TTFA is waiting on to play against them in a friendly eh. Them really good yes.

  42. hahaha not yelling madam just exclaiming for emphasis!! lol

  43. Gordon, if you no longer want to discuss, that is fine. But why are you yelling? Lol. I’m not. I thought we were discussing, not arguing.

  44. Some time logic amazes me!!! I will leave u with this in 2006 the men had 3 1/2 and made it in 2014 the women 4 1/2 in reality and did not make it!! and the WPL was two rounds of football which is comparable to women proleague around the world the only reason it was called a tournament is bc it had not age group structures please do your rearch and make logical arguments!! Check the womens proleague in usa or around the world and before u talk about the number of teams remember the player pool in trinidad bc the salary was comparable to womens league around the world and the same can not be said about the men league

  45. And when the men qualified in 2006, it was because CONCACAF got the playoff spot against Bahrain (not sure if I’m phrasing that right, but I know you know what I mean). Since then the men have not qualified even though there was expansion since 2006.
    And aren’t the men out of Olympic qualification? Wasn’t it a first round exit?
    And that women’s tournament cannot be compared to the league that the men play. Hence it was a tournament and the men have a league. Be serious. LOL.

  46. Performance needs to be put in context!! and yes d tournament was named WPL check its meaning

  47. Chabeth Haynes i will explain!! The world cup this year was expanded which led
    to concacaf getting 3 1/2 places and the tournament was held in canada to in reality concacaf got 4 1/2 trinidad finish behind usa canada mexico and costa rica which occured this wc qualification as usuall but the above situation made ppl who do not follow women aware but in reality it was no major improvement in performance!! the women olympic qualification is yet to start

  48. Uncle Earl I looking for funding first…this business thing on your own is ketch a$$ in sweet TT. But sure I could stry and sponsor a trophy too…

  49. Not doing better? Who got closer to the most recent WC? And who is still in the running for Olympic qualification?
    And what women’s pro league? The tournament Sancho had this year?