Home / Volley / Global Football / Jan-Michael: I was fit to face Honduras! T&T goalie hits out at Babwah, Isaacs and the Guardian

Jan-Michael: I was fit to face Honduras! T&T goalie hits out at Babwah, Isaacs and the Guardian

“At no point did Dr [Terence] Babwah or [Dave] Isaacs tell me they didn’t think I was fit to play the game [against Honduras].

“Here’s what happened…”

Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams gives his account of the lead up to his concussion against Honduras in San Pedro Sula on 15 November 2016, which sparked accusations of professional negligence by Soca Warriors coach Stephen Hart from team medic Dr Terence Babwah and paramedic Dave Isaacs:

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams is taken off of the field on a stretcher during their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on 15 November 2016. (Copyright AFP 2016/Orlando Sierra)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams is taken off of the field on a stretcher during their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on 15 November 2016.
(Copyright AFP 2016/Orlando Sierra)

I had the opportunity to speak to [Trinidad Guardian reporter] Mr Walter Alibey this morning. I called and said to him that I am extending him the courtesy which he didn’t extend to me when I picked up the newspaper, which is to let him know I am extremely upset with his article and completely disheartened with his level of journalism and professionalism or lack thereof.

I told him I don’t know much about journalism but I know about life. And if there is a story that involves two or three people, you have to speak to all involved and get their side first. If he did, he would have gotten information completely opposite to what what was published [in the Guardian].

At no point did Dr [Terence] Babwah or [Dave] Isaacs tell me they didn’t think I was fit to play the game [against Honduras].

Here’s what happened: While making a save in the warm-up before [kick off in] the Costa Rica game, I overstretched my left shoulder, which is not the shoulder I did my recent operation on.

Photo: Central FC and Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams established himself as one of CONCACAF's top goalkeepers over the last three years. (Courtesy Mysanantonio.com)
Photo: Central FC and Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams established himself as one of CONCACAF’s top goalkeepers over the last three years.
(Courtesy Mysanantonio.com)

I immediately told [goalkeeper coach] Michael Maurice what happened but I felt no pain because the adrenalin was high. I just knew that I had overstretched, so I told him. I felt no pain before the game, at halftime or after the game. But when I woke up on the Saturday [morning], my shoulder was extremely sore.

I went to Dr Babwah and Isaacs and told them; and Dr Babwah moved the shoulder a bit and said he thinks I had obtained the same injury that forced me to do surgery on my right shoulder [earlier in the year].

That was funny and strange to me because he initially misdiagnosed the injury I had on the right shoulder, which caused me to be out of football for six months rather than three.

I got the injury on the 13th of March, after I came back from [the Caribbean Club Championship in] Jamaica and, contrary to Central FC policy which is when you get injured with the club you have to do treatment with the club, I went to Dr Babwah and he did some tests by moving the shoulder around and an ultra-sound.

Then he said between 20 to 30 percent of the tendon in the shoulder was torn and it would not require surgery. And he recommended that I do a treatment called PRP, which is injecting platelets directly into the injured area.

Photo: Central FC and Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams. (Courtesy Allan Powder/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC and Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams.
(Courtesy Allan Powder/Wired868)

I did that for almost two and a half months and I did not get any progress in the shoulder.

I went back to Central FC and told them about it because Central FC paid the bill which was close to TT$3,000… Then, I went to see David Ceballo who works with the club and is attached to the Mount Hope hospital.

He asked me to do an x-ray, which he thought was standard procedure with those types of injuries, which showed an irregular space with the acromion bone and he immediately recommended a MRI. And when we did that, we found out that it was a 70 to 80 percent tear and not 30 percent. And they said the problem definitely required surgery.

If the basic standard was observed, we would have done the MRI and the surgery three months in advance and it would have been back on the field in May or June instead of September 9, which is when I played the Charity Shield game against Army!

So when Dr Babwah told me on [that] Saturday morning [after the Costa Rica game] that I had the same injury, I was a bit skeptical. Because it was impossible in my opinion, for him to make that diagnosis from just moving his hands, especially when he misdiagnosed the other shoulder initially.

Photo: Central FC goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams makes one of three penalty saves against Don Bosco FC in the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship semifinals. Central won 3-1 on kicks from the penalty mark. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams makes one of three penalty saves against Don Bosco FC in the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship semifinals.
Central won 3-1 on kicks from the penalty mark.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

I asked: ‘Do you think I should stay in Trinidad to do it?’ And he said no. I said well we can go [to Honduras] and see how the muscle responds over the next two or three days and take it from there. I told him I think it would be alright and it was just muscle soreness.

We slept over in Panama on Saturday night and I did some icing and used the electronic tens machine and when I woke up on Sunday, I said: ‘Doc, the shoulder is moving up and down, left and right, and feeling much better’.

When we arrived in Honduras, I trained on Sunday evening, normal. When I got in that night, I said: ‘Doc, it is a little sore, so I will take some ice and Cataflam 50mg’.

I trained the next day normal with absolutely no pain. None. He asked me about it on Monday immediately after the training and I said: ‘Doc, my shoulder is perfect. No pain’.

And that was the end of it. We never had a discussion after that.

Photo: LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena (centre) congratulates Central FC custodian Jan-Michael Williams, after their 1-1 2015 CONCACAF Champions League tie in August 2015. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena (centre) congratulates Central FC custodian Jan-Michael Williams, after their 1-1 2015 CONCACAF Champions League tie in August 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

On the day of the game, which is the norm, players would take pain killing tablets if they so desire. I always take because I always have pain in some part of my body…

If you are a professional footballer and you have no pain before the game, then something is wrong with you. You must have a pain somewhere.

I looked over the tape [of the collision which led to my concussion] a million times and I would have done the same thing a million times…

I don’t know if there is some underlying tension between the doctor and the coach but I am really upset that they are trying to involve me in it. I really can’t understand why they are trying to tarnish the coach’s reputation and mine to a lesser extent.

I am completely flabbergasted. I would never put my personal ambition, pride and ego in front of Trinidad getting a good chance of qualifying for the World Cup, especially now at this crucial point!

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team medic Dr Terence Babwah (centre) signals for a change while goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams lays unconscious during 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Honduras in San Pedro Sula on 15 November 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team medic Dr Terence Babwah (centre) signals for a change while goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams lays unconscious during 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Honduras in San Pedro Sula on 15 November 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

I am a complete professional and I understand that, with or without me, it is possible for the team to win or lose. And I always put team in front of myself.

Last night, Doc sent me a message on my phone which was: “How things? Any symptoms?” That was at quarter to nine last night. I found that very strange because we got back Thursday last week.

So why did it take him four days to ask that question, which was sent just before the article was published?

My response [to the message] was: No headaches, dizziness or anything at all. Shoulder is fine as well, no pain and/or soreness. And he never responded to that. 

My only regret is that Dr Babwah or David Isaac would have answered the phone or responded to my messages [today] before I made this statement, so I would have afforded them the same courtesy that they did not extend to me before they passed on the misinformation about me being injured and unable to play.

It is very unfortunate that at this crucial time where we all need everyone stick together, people are letting their personal agendas take the forefront.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams is helped on to the stretcher by paramedic Dave Isaacs during their 2015 Gold Cup fixture against Cuba. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams is helped on to the stretcher by paramedic Dave Isaacs during their 2015 Gold Cup fixture against Cuba.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Response from Dr Terence Babwah to questions about his allegations:

“At this moment, I do not want to engage in a war of words with anyone, especially via the media. A report was sent to the Federation and that is why I am asking you to contact them.”

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71 comments

  1. Terence Babwah, this fat man is a medic and is accessing fitness level. like he wanted to wear the no 1 jersey. Get out of sports you fat F,,, you cause a good manger to get the axed

  2. damn cunt ! David John Williams

  3. Too much politics in Trinidad football. They don’t do things for love of country but for money or fame. If he misdiagnosed you why also did you all not ask for a different doctor. I won’t go to a doctor who told me wrong results. Just saying

  4. We ent have good players who can knock ball and create chances or take on players on a 1on1 level our foot ball boring and we’re producing few international players

  5. Every year same monkey pants. .. we like it so… ent?

  6. Did babwah refute what was written in the guardian

  7. I don’t know why everything in Trinidad these days seems to involve some sort of bachannal

  8. sack hart n say goodbye to Russia 2018. Cuz them.players will BAWL

  9. what hart do wrong ? smh. ppl forget fast yes

  10. Get rid of Williams please.. from his inception as president it has been a blight and problems

  11. Much respect for Coach Hart, because USA in a couple hours and simple press release fire Klinsmann who score 11 goals in WCs, over 100 goals for country, over 200 clubs goals for the likes of Stuggart, Inter Milan, AS Monacao, Totteham, Bayern Munich, etc. Not to mention the helm of Germany, Bayern Munich and USA; at the USA he had the 2nd highest winning percentage of any USA Manager.

    Yet in sweet TNT, we going through all this to decide whether to fire Hart. HART yuh is a BOSS!

    Much Respect to Jan-Michael for speaking up

  12. Akkyuh just get rid of Hart and Kenwyn please.

  13. That duck not even good for the pot…..

  14. Somehow I feel this eh done here !!!

  15. Gordon Pierre this isnt an attack on you but a serious question……are you so naive or an agent of the TTFA? Why would Dr Babwah Isaac and Alibey launch an attack on coach Hart on their own? Give me the real reason Gordon……because it seems pretty obvious what is going on here?

    Maybe i have seen too many movies but im 1 that is betting that they are simply doing as instructed with Dr Babwah and Isaac easily being able to resume their roles on the national staff when coach Hart is replaced .

    This smells of an order/request /directive from the big boss in the TTFA and minnions willing to do the job with promises of some sort of show of gratitude down the road. Mr Alibey has already shown questionable judgement by his involvement in the national embarassment that was LIFESPORT. So him willingly being hired to do DJW and Company’s dirty work doesnt surprise me. QRC and The Guardian cannot be proud to lay claim to Mr Alibey as one of their own…..his integrity and or journalistic skills are sorely lacking

    Coach Hart for the work and service he has given and without being paid for months does not deserve this…….especially from his own countrymen.

    Smells of 30 pieces of gold and Judas to me………but then again you seem to have another theory Gordon Pierre……please share your knowledge

    ps when coach Hart is relieved of his post cue the entry of Latapy and Yorke as part of the new set up……..this murky pond is very deep

  16. Jan thumbs up to you. Speak out.

  17. “It is very unfortunate that at this crucial time where we all need everyone stick together, people are letting their personal agendas take the forefront.”

    This final paragraph sums up my views on all this.

  18. You don’t believe j m Williams

  19. Sarcastic whistling…..occasionally breaking into a cartoon villain’s laugh……

  20. This doesn’t look good at all for the doc and the reporter who wrote the story

  21. Real bacchanal now I am not surprised.

  22. I hope this put to rest the TTFA conspiracy theories and focus on the inner team politics!!

  23. “I told him I don’t know much about journalism but I know about life. And if there is a story that involves two or three people, you have to speak to all involved and get their side first.” Everyone in this country does this, hence the reason sweet T&T is in the mess its in

  24. So babwah is a liar and nit as diligent or professional as made out to be

  25. Somebody disappointed in guardian sport reporting – surely that’s a first ha smh

  26. What’s amazing is dis long article u write about Jan n I believe there is a lot more going on in the socawarriors camp d doc is nut ah mad man 2 send a resignation just so BTW way y don’t u inform d public of ah keeper who played 2 wcq against gutemala n us was drop 4 sum d captain said to d coach just 4 d odda 2 cum back n start n it’s unfair 2 a other keeper who was dere all d time n dis man injured months just came back in just like dat. ….clearly u have ur favorites on dat team n write wat u want 4 d public 2 defend ur ppl u like…..

    • Candice . The backup goalkeeper while he is a good shot stopper, is not a better goal keeper than Jan Michael. There is more to the job if a goalkeeper than just blocking shots. That is why Jan Michael came back into the team. He is better goalkeeper. Jan Michael is by no means perfect but he is better the the backup.?

  27. I found it strange that during the Honduras match Babwah was calling for a sub after the 3 subs were made. A player had to tell him we were out of subs. Like he was daydreaming on the bench!?

  28. Earl Best

    Mouth open and the true story jump out. Over to you, Messrs Alibey, Babwah and Isaacs…

  29. Open conspiracy, from an apparently incompetent sports medicine professional. Can’t even diagnose an injury properly; he’s using prehistoric methods to diagnose the players. Last time I recalled, this is the year 2016. Lord, please help Trinidad and Tobago football; it is still operating in an archaic manner in an era when he game has gone high science.

  30. Duck and run Babwah but karma is a bitch.

  31. Response from Dr Terence Babwah to questions about his allegations:

    “At this moment, I do not want to engage in a war of words with anyone, especially via the media. A report was sent to the Federation and that is why I am asking you to contact them.”

  32. Y&R etal eh want nutten with we. My word

  33. He make Babwah look like a quack there