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TTFA: Blame National Security for spectator hell at T&T/USA WCQ

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has stressed that it is the Ministry of National Security which should be held responsible for the issues faced by spectators yesterday evening before and during the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

The “Soca Warriors” held the United States goalless in an enthralling contest. However, patrons complained about long lines, due to a solitary entrance point, and a host of related problems.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football fans react to action during their team's goalless draw with the United States yesterday in 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football fans react to action during their team’s goalless draw with the United States yesterday in 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The following is the full release from the TTFA:

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association wishes to express sincerest thanks and gratitude  to all patrons who attended and  showed their unstinting support towards the National Men’s Team in Tuesday’s 2018 World Cup Qualifying Match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

The FA also wishes to inform the public that there was a heightened security alert on match day at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, not just due to the recent attacks in Paris but  also after Germany cancelled their international friendly against Holland in Hanover just 90 minutes before kick-off after receiving ‘concrete information’ about a terror threat.

The Ministry of National Security and the protective services which worked closely with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association to ensure the safety of all on Tuesday, were forced into taking strict security measures on Tuesday evening which resulted in some challenges for patrons entering the venue before kick off. 

These Decisions were taken purely by the protective services. Among those were decisions  to alter arrangements regarding entrances and parking inside the venue.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones (centre) terrorises United States players DeAndre Yedlin (right) and Michael Orozco during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action yesterday evening at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones (centre) terrorises United States players DeAndre Yedlin (right) and Michael Orozco during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action yesterday evening at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

While the TTFA and Local Organising Committee held the responsibility of hosting the event and overseeing and executing all game day operations, which included providing private security for the event, because of the high national interest of the match being held in the Capital, the protective services took charge of all security measures.

This included a decision to execute extensive searches on all patrons and vehicles entering the compound. This forced a delay in the entry process which resulted in a heavy back log of patrons at the main entrance prior to kick off.

The TTFA  pledges its commitment to collaborating with the Protective Services  to ensure the safety of its faithful supporters and will continue the serve the game in the best interest of the national population.

The next 2018 World Cup qualifier at home is against St Vincent/Grenadines on March 29th and the FA will make all efforts to stage another successful match that will be incident free and enjoyed by those in attendance.

About Raymond Tim Kee

Raymond Tim Kee
Raymond Tim Kee was elected unopposed as the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) president on 11 November 2012. Tim Kee previously served as a TTFF vice-president from the mid-1990s to 2010. He is also the Port of Spain Mayor, a Guardian Life Insurance executive and runs his own insurance firm, R.A. Tim Kee Investments Limited.

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67 comments

  1. The level of security was due because of the USA football team, we in T&T is a soft target for terrorist easy pickings, suicide bombings, mass shootings, who would of gotten the blame, same security services folks don’t forget 1990 better to be safe than sorry.

  2. Trinidad is safer than any other place hmph

  3. ..The difference between 1989 and 2015 was scale. Volume of fans. Nothing else. We have learned NOTHING..

  4. Trying to get 22,000 persons who are being searched through one entrance with six lanes in three and a half hours makes no mathematical sense. They should use at least three entrances with eight lanes when they to do security checks for any event at the stadium. The TTFA could not care less about their patrons. What would have happened if there was a stampede at the entrance?

  5. It is not rocket science to get a timing for a person entering the stadium and moving from point A to B going through all the checks. You then have a basis for working out the number of entry points required, of course you could save money by just using whatever you like and let the spectators take what they get, after all they have already paid for tickets so who cares.
    It’s the same with the Security services and Fire Service, you are forced to pay exorbitant sums otherwise they will stop the event but they have no clue about crowd control and corridors and steps are full with spectators, they also seem to work with the Referees whistle as you never see them at the end of the game.

  6. ..No. The stadium is rented from SPORTT. Under FIFA protocol the TTFA and the Organizing Committee are the responsible party. Same with the Soca Monarch people. Any fete or concert promoter..

  7. Isn’t SPORTT the people in charge of the stadium and its policies ? I can’t see the TTFA who do not own the stadium telling anyone how to set up entry points. That lies with SPORTT team and ministry of security and they have failed. That entry point idea was pathetic. It could have easily become disastrous

    • If I’m throwing a party at a club that doesn’t belong to me, I have to make sure arrangements are in place for the safety of the patrons trying to get into the club. The security services were paid but the TTFA should have worked with them to make sure that THEIR patrons are comfortable.

    • Yea I’m not saying Ttfa were not involved in the planning I’m just saying the final decision of entry ends with the people that operate the stadium (SPORTT) and the event security (Min of National Security)

    • Ironically I believe all parties met to discuss security arrangements the previous day. I guess that simply meant parking, armed police and fire service presense.

  8. ..The TTFA cannot simply wash its hands of the security debacle. As the Organizing Committee it is ultimately responsible. Its members include a Security Officer. The national security forces are responsible to the Organizing Committee. The real point here is that neither the TTFA nor the national security forces have the FIRST clue how to provide safe and effective security for a large football crowd. Given the fact that we could have new leadership in the TTFA in several days, and certainly by the time of the next match, they would be well advised to send a security team to a major event to observe how it is properly done..

  9. The protective services were paid… We should create a petition insisting that the TTFA executive enter the venue the same way regular patrons do for the home game against Guatemala. We’ll see a completely different scenario.

  10. Would you all have preferred that they call the game off because of security risks as they did in ……….(cant remember the name of country now) or do the best they can and still allow the game to continue? God forbid if something had happened here many remarks would have been expressed about the inefficiency of our security.

  11. Thank You to the Ministry of National Security for their presence at the stadium. A good job done well. I felt totally safe in the environment entering and exiting the stadium. The mentality of “15 minutes late is still early” will not cut it fellow citizens. There are certainly ways to improve the process but given the last minute changes required because of the fear of terror affecting sporting events, you responded well.

  12. If safety was considered at all there would not be hundreds of ppl packed like sardines to get in. If someone had a weapon or bomb in that crowd? Stueps! Safety!

  13. Samo,samo. We went through this same crap in Nov 2005 when Jack Warner had us herding like cattle for our final home game against Bahrain. My Husband and I were carried along with our feet barely touching the ground and i wondered aloud at the same thing. What would have happened to us if there was an incident? No apology from Jack either. Nothing changes in this Country at least nothing for the better. SMH.

  14. A load of …………BEES WAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. It was a disgrace. They could have used the ither entrancevand have more ‘lanes’ for patrons. It reminded me of November 19. As a player on that day i witnessed how the footvall leaders do not really care about the patrons nor the players. I can further attest since i was a former member of the ttff tecnical committee and was unsuccessful in the north zone football elections 3 years ago. Trust me; the leadership do not care about the stakeholders. That’s why I have exited fottball administration. I would not advise any young person to try and pursye football as a career optionnunder this current system.
    Marlon

  16. Real 3rd world stuff. Thank goodness I got there early enough to avoid the madness I heard that went on to get in….

  17. Thank god for having a media pass that’s all I can say – when I saw that line to enter stadium with people clustered together like sardines – it was cringe-worthy viewing

  18. When is there a major match at the stadium and it’s not overcrowded and unregulated ??? Was anyone a spectator for TNT vs England ??? Same shit, different day…..I went to the AudiCup in Germany August gone and I watched Real Madrid vs Munich with 80,000 people and it was smooth plus well organized…We too damn backwards sometimes.

  19. As Earl Best pointed out, nowhere in the letter does Raymond Tim Kee tell football fans: We are sorry you had to go through this.
    Read it carefully.
    It is another one of those uncaring responses we have seen from the Akeem Adams farce to the women’s warriors humiliation in the US.

  20. They isn’t any reason to blame anything for the manner of the event. The world has taken into consideration the events of Paris, and has reports of attempts to targeting international games. I felt secured and safe that the matter was handled with appropriately care on a professional level. The Soca Warriors had a successful game and we are looking forward to the victories ahead.

  21. Extensive security search = officer shining a torch light in my handbag while flirting and smiling with me
    Ensured safety for all patrons = 20,000+ patrons using one entrance taking hours to get into the stadium to further lining up to get tickets scanned and ripped. That was so safe. I felt safe at all times

  22. So their idea was to hv only one narrow entrance for close to 18,000 or so fans to pass thru?

    Hmmmmm interesting.

    N the searches were jokey to say the least

  23. That massive T&TEC truck immediately in front the entrance made perfect sense….

  24. it took 45 mins 2 get in and over 2 hrs 2 get home and I live in barataria

  25. That so-called security arrangement was atrocious and could have easily had the opposite desired effect. To say it was not well thought out is an understatement. Just plain ridiculous.

  26. That situation was nothing short of disgraceful. I feel guilty having my 11 year old nephew go through that.

  27. I am a T&T fan but I am not a headless chicken.

  28. What security they talking bout Lasana when they had a big fete on the compound after the game….look it too late

  29. I want to know if they paid for the disco arch that occupied so much space outside and how much it cost

  30. National Security in T&T is a waste of time. Imagine soldiers and police hugging up friends/family inside the venue. There were no officers patrolling the aisles where we were, staircase was crowded and the corridors on top of the uncovered section ws full of people liming. But hey…when I mentioned the crush outside to an officer she sid it was for our safety….look

  31. 3rd world…we like it so. TTFA elections coming up, Tim not taking the blame for this one

  32. I stopped attending soccer games after the Austin Jack Warner 1989 fiasco…the more T&T lost the higher jack rose in the FIFA hierarchy. I now state that in similar manner I wont attend another cricket game as long as Cameron and his bunch of incompetents are in office.The more the WI lose the richer some people get…even players seem to be happy to lose once the get interviewed and smile all the way to the bank after cameo performances.. No longer do the players and Administrators have pride in and appreciate what the game means to us as West Indian peoples..Rally round the West Indies is but a plaintive wail from Dr David Rudder..

  33. We claim to be a progressive nation and in 2015 we have one entrance for 20,000 people #brilliant

  34. National Security could have caused a stampede. 23,000 people passing through 6 individual isles to be searched. MADNESS!

    • Nicholas, You say it is “madness” because you think you are important, i.e. that your comfort and well-being matter. In spite of Mr Tim Kee’s protestations, I do NOT think the TTFA shares your view. Nowhere in his letter does he register the slightest regret/remorse over the way patrons were treated.
      Notice that his letter begins with his wish “to express sincerest THANKS and GRATITUDE to all patrons who attended” and ends with his wish to “STAGE ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL MATCH” on March 29th. Regrets? Remorse? Apologies? For what? A successfully staged match?
      So, lIke Mr Noreiga, I hereby declare that I’ll be watching Mr Tim Kee’s March success on TV – Oh, wait! After November 29th, it might not be Mr Tim Kee’s success, for which many football fans will be expressing sincere thanks and gratitude.

    • And a lane designated for ladies…couldn’t understand that one