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TTFA and Soca Warriors declare truce; T&T will contest Copa play off

The Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team can finally turn their attention towards tackling Haiti in a 2016 Copa America play off on January 8, after accepting an offer for outstanding payment from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacking midfielder Keron Cummings (centre) celebrates his 2015 Gold Cup goal against Mexico with teammates (from right) Cordell Cato, Joevin Jones, Mekeil Williams and Aubrey David. (Courtesy MexSport/CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacking midfielder Keron Cummings (centre) celebrates his 2015 Gold Cup goal against Mexico with teammates (from right) Cordell Cato, Joevin Jones, Mekeil Williams and Aubrey David.
(Courtesy MexSport/CONCACAF)

The “Soca Warriors” insisted that they would not play until they were paid for two Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala and the United States. However, Wired868 understands that the players, who were represented by captain Kenwyne Jones and vice-captain Jan-Michael Williams, eventually agreed to accept a slightly lesser payment.

The TTFA was represented in the negotiations by a three-member committee that comprised of vice-presidents Joanne Salazar and Ewing Davis and board member Samuel Saunders.

A press release from the local football body, which is headed by president David John-Williams, thanked the players for “their candour and maturity” and stressed that head coach Stephen Hart was now free to select his best possible team to face Haiti.

“All parties regard the matter of match fees for past games as closed,” stated the TTFA. “Stephen Hart, the Senior Team head coach, now has the opportunity to select the best possible team from the players available for the Copa America qualifier versus Haiti in Panama City on January 8, 2016.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart takes questions during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart takes questions during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Wired868 understands that the TTFA still intends to honour existing arrears to the players but does not foresee a problem between the two parties on the matter.

Hart is expected to name a 23-man squad later this week, which will enter a live-in camp on December 27 to prepare for the Haiti clash.

The players and administrators are expected to sit down again in the future to review their match fees arrangement and John-Williams has made no secret of his desire for change.

“The TTFA will develop and consult on a policy that addresses the entitlement to, computation and timely payment of match fees,” stated the release, “so that a similar situation does not arise again.”

But, with Christmas looming, the football body was happy to stress the goodwill between the two parties.

Photo: TTFA president and ex-DIRECTV W Connection president and CEO David John-Williams.
Photo: TTFA president and ex-DIRECTV W Connection president and CEO David John-Williams.

“The TTFA would like to thank the players’ representatives for their candour and maturity in the conduct of these difficult discussions,” stated the TTFA. “They fully appreciated the state of the association and demonstrated, in a very tangible way, their concern for the development and sustainability of the local game.

“All parties undertook to respect the sensitivity of the matters under discussion and therefore we will not be putting the details of what was agreed in the public domain.”

The following is the full TTFA press release:

Following lengthy discussions between the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association and the National Senior Men’s Team players’ representatives, a way forward has been agreed.

The TTFA would like to thank the players’ representatives for their candour and maturity in the conduct of these difficult discussions. They fully appreciated the state of the association and demonstrated, in a very tangible way, their concern for the development and sustainability of the local game.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football captain Kenwyne Jones (background) hugs international teammate and goalkeeper Marvin Phillip after their penalty shootout loss to Panama in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal. (Copyright Jewel Samad/AFP 2015)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football captain Kenwyne Jones (background) hugs international teammate and goalkeeper Marvin Phillip after their penalty shootout loss to Panama in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal.
(Copyright Jewel Samad/AFP 2015)

All parties undertook to respect the sensitivity of the matters under discussion and therefore we will not be putting the details of what was agreed in the public domain.

As stated previously, the TTFA will develop and consult on a policy that addresses the entitlement to, computation and timely payment of match fees so that a similar situation does not arise again.

There are a number of concerns raised by the players which we have undertaken to address immediately. The new administration at the TTFA looks forward to a very meaningful discussion and, most importantly, a swift conclusion.

The TTFA would like to take this opportunity to express its appreciation for the confidentiality in which these discussions were conducted.

All parties regard the matter of match fees for past games as closed. Stephen Hart, the Senior Team head coach, now has the opportunity to select the best possible team from the players available for the Copa America qualifier versus Haiti in Panama City on January 8, 2016.

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 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/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 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Mr Hart will subsequently announce his 23-man squad in the coming days prior to the start of a live-in training camp in Trinidad starting on December 27th.

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11 comments

  1. About time. Let’s hope for no repeats.

  2. This is becoming so borin. Day in day out they puttin stress on our staff, players and athletes. Do something progressive for a change nah man.

  3. Hannibal Najjar

    May the peace of CHRISTmas be with all the players and staff during these closing days of the year. May the New Year be the BRIGHTEST in T&TFA’s history. May the future beyond only be filled with the cleanest of hands and purest of hearts by all stakeholders. And indeed, we are never to forget that our decisions are the hinges on which our future swings. And so, my prayer is that each and every, even the simplest of decisions, will be made of a sound mind and fullness of attention.

  4. Good $ense must prevail like DUKE WAS ROBBING OFF ON THEM congrats to all the big men MERRY XMAS all