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Couva calamity: Unpaid players, uncaring TTFA, uneasy SPORTT and an unfulfilled World Cup dream

Proper management, irrespective of the industry in question, ought to be about the removal of excuses for poor performance.

It is ensuring, for example, that a student has books, tutors and study time, the taxi driver has a well serviced vehicle and employees have a safe working environment and receive clear instructions.

By that simple reasoning, Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence and his players were in trouble long before the kick-off of the decisive Russia World Cup 2018 qualifier against Honduras at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva last Friday evening.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino (left) walks past coach Dennis Lawrence during World Cup 2018 qualifying action against Honduras at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 1 September 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

It was, by consensus, the worst organised local sporting event in recent history. And yet the chaos that faced fans trying to access the Couva venue and the largely shambolic performance from the Soca Warriors represented barely half of the story.

In a bottom -of-the-table CONCACAF Hex clash, Trinidad and Tobago lost 2-1 at home and it would strain credibility now to believe that, in the remaining  away games to Panama and Mexico and a home fixture against the United States, the Warriors can amass the seven points necessary for a shot at a FIFA play-off.

As hard as the individual errors on Friday night were to swallow, the most costly blunders arguably came, yet again, from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s headquarters.

On 13 July, 2017, TTFA president David John-Williams confirmed that the do-or-die clash would be moved from the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain to the Couva venue. The Warriors played in front of 10,000 and 12,000 spectators against Panama and Mexico respectively in their last two home qualifying matches at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, which seats 23,000.

John-Williams, supported by Lawrence, reasoned that the team would be better off stuffing those patrons in the 10,000-seater Couva venue and the TTFA went to the trouble of erecting temporary stands, which allowed for another 2,000 fans.

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (centre), media officer Shaun Fuentes (left) and new Soca Warriors coach Dennis Lawrence at the TTFA headquarters on 30 January 2017.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/TTFA)

The TTFA president pointed out too that a sizeable portion of the team’s support came from south and central Trinidad and they should not be inconvenienced by a Couva fixture.

But John-Williams failed to consider that the reason the Ato Boldon Stadium is such an awkward venue is not merely because it is not in the capital. There are no direct taxis to Couva from most cities—fans from east Trinidad, for instance, need four taxis to get to the ground—while the lack of multiple access routes means awful traffic pile-ups as well as a shortage of parking options. A stroll across Ariapita Avenue to get to your car on a Friday night, it needs to be said, is a far less daunting prospect than trudging across the desolate Couva Main Road or Rivulet Road without even the security of a sidewalk.

And, crucially, the evening kick-off—gates were due to open at 5pm but the ticketing scanners were not ready up to half hour after that time—meant spectators were driving into peak rush-hour traffic, which made the venue far less attractive than if it were a weekend match.

It is now a matter of fact that there were barely 3,500 spectators inside the Ato Boldon Stadium when the players sang their national anthem. Another 1,500 managed to get inside before the final whistle but many others turned around and left in frustration.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino (right) tries to escape from Honduras opponent Alexander Lopez in front of an empty stand during World Cup 2018 qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 1 September 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

It is ridiculous for the TTFA to point fingers at “fair-weather supporters” after they made it so difficult for people who were willing to pay good money to see an under-performing team on the way to their fifth successive defeat.

On the last day of the school vacation, the John-Williams-led board had not offered discounts for children either. In fact, there was little evidence that the TTFA considered the needs and match-day experience of football fans at all.

Remarkably, we are not yet halfway through last Friday’s issues.

A lighting tower went down before kick-off and remained non-functional for the entire match while there were also non-functioning lights on some of the other towers. The Ato Boldon Stadium, unlike the Hasely Crawford venue, has its own generator and should have been much better prepared to deal with any issues.

The problem, however, is that Sport Company facility manager Anthony Blake and Raj Ramtahal, senior manager facilities maintenance, are both on suspension—along with SPORTT CEO Adam Montserin and six other managers—due to a ongoing investigation by the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs.

The government’s mysterious probe has left multi-million dollar facilities improperly supervised, with the Warriors and TTFA feeling the brunt of it at the worst possible time.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago and Honduras play under a malfunctioning light tower during World Cup 2018 qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 1 September 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Closer to the camp, there were other issues.

The TTFA has not paid its players since their 28 March qualifier against Mexico. The Warriors have played five times since then; it is noteworthy that  they have failed to win a single one of those games.

The John-Williams-led board promised to pay for two of those five matches—the friendly against Grenada and World Cup qualifying loss to the United States—before their decisive clash with Honduras. But, two days before Friday’s match, the Warriors were told they would be paid those outstanding fees on 12 September instead.

There is not even a date set for payment of the other outstanding match fees, including the crucial 1 and 5 September qualifiers.

Matters were not improved when the TTFA informed the players that their complimentary tickets for the Honduras match had been cut from eight (four covered and four uncovered stands) to five (three covered and two uncovered stands).

The individual Warriors must have blinked when they stared into the stands before kick-off and saw over 6,000 empty seats.

Sacramento Republic forward Trevin Caesar, who is Lawrence’s only in-form attacker at the moment with six goals from 20 matches in the US Third Division, was absent. A TTFA release said he could not make it out of the United States owing to the disruption caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Trevin Caesar (right) takes the ball around St Vincent and the Grenadines goalkeeper Lemus Christopher during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016.
Trinidad and Tobago won 6-0.
(Courtesy: Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

Yet, Honduras had three players from Houston in their squad—Romell Quito, Alberth Ellis and Boniek Garcia. And, as if to rub it in, Ellis scored what proved to be the match winner while Quito had a hand in both of the Central American team’s goals.

Wired868 tried, unsuccessfully, to find out why the TTFA could not get one player out of the hurricane affected area while Honduras managed to move three.

Another notable absentee was AZ Alkmaar winger Levi Garcia, who is playing in the most competitive division of anyone in Lawrence’s pool.

Alkmaar could not prevent Garcia from linking up with the national team and the winger featured in his team’s last two domestic outings and was in good health. But, according to sources, the teenager wanted assurances that Lawrence valued his presence—after playing for 30 out of a possible 180 minutes during his only stint under the current coach.

Lawrence told the media that Garcia was “[not] mentally ready.”

Arguably, Lawrence might have had an easier time of claiming the moral high ground if he had not allowed Cordell Cato to waltz back into his squad without a public apology after he abandoned the Warriors for their qualifiers against the United States and Costa Rica.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) leaves St Vincent and the Grenadines defender Shawn Benjamin for dead during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

Curious too that, with a World Cup place on the line, Lawrence did not pull out all the stops by travelling to see overseas-based professionals like Keston Julien, Ataullah Guerra, Neveal Hackshaw, Aikim Andrews, Jamal Jack and Noel Powder play live before deciding on his best possible team to face Honduras. In his defence, TTFA funding might have been an issue where that is concerned.

Instead, Lawrence gave 71 minutes in his most testing friendly to date—away to Ecuador on 26 July—to WASA employee and TTSL forward Keron Clarke, who had already said he would not make himself available to play Honduras since he was a Seventh Day Adventist.

India-based forward Willis Plaza got only 19 minutes playing time in Guayaquil as a result and, judging by his lively cameo off the bench against Honduras, he might have deserved more time to find his rhythm before last Friday.

The Ato Boldon Stadium surface was another story.

Repeatedly, former coach Stephen Hart pleaded with facility staff to cut the grass to help rapid ball movement and penetrative dribbles, which he felt could be an asset for the hosts.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Willis Plaza looks to run at the Honduras defence during World Cup 2018 qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 1 September 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

On Friday, the grass was longer than ever and players from both teams were seen struggling to keep their feet. Defender Sheldon Bateau, who only returned from Kazakhstan 42 hours before kick-off owing to a ticketing issue, slipped in the build-up to Honduras’ opening goal.

That slip came during a horrific 45-minute spell for the Warriors, who could easily have been three or four goals down by the interval.

Everyone was at fault on Friday—the TTFA, the Warriors, the head coach, the Sport Company. And, when everyone is culpable, nobody is. Because each person can point the finger of blame at someone else.

It was the perfect storm of absurdity. And it blew Trinidad and Tobago’s World Cup dreams right away with it.

Photo: Honduras playmaker Alexander Lopez (centre) wheels away to celebrate after scoring the opening goal against Trinidad and Tobago during World Cup 2018 qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 1 September 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and 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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199 comments

  1. Well Mr Colin Murray didn’t my unite Kams and her UNC political party said that they was going and build a wall to separate them from the rest of the country eh, like you forget many of the government offices was moving to Central eh, the children Hospital, the cycling and the swimming arena and now that the Brain Lara stadium has completed that will be it with the Oval eh and fuss they are foolish the last game the Trini CPL team played at the cricket stadium eh the place was empty eh compared to when all the games are played at the Oval plenty crowded support and plenty nice vibes and I experienced that mehself when I went to my first ever cricket game in the Oval so let them continue with their madness nah citing that there is plenty more land space down there in Central. Them really good yes.

  2. Xoxo pure dotishness. You mean to say if they were serious to get to Russia get a huge bonus and enhance their resumes. These ppl chose to play like losers against mediocre opponents and shame the country and then still not get the money they want really are these ppl that dumb. ?

  3. I think that some of you players are not there because you love the game,some of you are there just to say you are touring and not to play that game to win I think money really is the root of all evil,you know long ago when the footballers use to play football was becaus of the love of it and when pan players played pan is for the love of it not the money because no money was given,I always say there are a lot of young players out there who might do a good job out there so give them a chance and stop making excuses

  4. Ever since Williams take over, it’s been abysmal. Very chaotic and poorly managed, which we expect but he took it to another level. We in the hex n the man just fork it up with his management.

  5. Lyndon go to the supermarket and pay your bill with pride of your country

  6. I was never optimistic…TnT needs to spend money if they want to reach the world cup…build youth academy’s n focus on them…in order to have really good player’s…You have to build them from youth..n this is what the youth academy is for…after you build them..spend the ppl money n get a really really really good coach…stop spend the money like it’s the Government own…it’s the ppl money

  7. Proper management, irrespective of the industry in question, ought to be about the removal of excuses for poor performance.

  8. Talent is talent I see way more talent in normal football in TT than on the international team like these ppl have the head in the ass ah set of shit tongs the picking an expect too win I does wonder who doing d recruiting

  9. What I am trying to understand is , we had a friendly against Jamaica and we played it at the HCS, why we didn’t play Jamaica at the “Ato ” so that we could get a feel of the ground seeing that it was our first world cup qualifier at the venue. Smh

  10. Is it safe to safe the corruption is affecting our game in at the very roots ??

  11. Apparently they don’t get enough money from their clubs so they can’t afford to represent their country from their heart

  12. lasana, are you seriously surprised about the circumstances in ato boldon stadium?
    and I mean all circumstances. the bad performance, the bad traffic conditons, the bad
    stadium conditons, the bad field conditions. all over all I would say, the bad organization
    and administration. that your administrators and managers are resistant to any advice or
    suggestion is nothing new. they ALL know it better.
    and when you now consider all the other incidents around your team and players, do you
    really expect a perfect performance?
    that the grass is too high is no secret, it was always to high when I was in the stadium.
    and that the lights were in bad conditons and one tower went down completely, well,
    for what there is a stadium manager/management. this has nothing to do with the suspension
    of Anthony Blake and/or Raj Ramtahal and all the others. and that your multi-million
    dollar facilities are improperly supervised is definitely not because of what you call a
    mysterious probe. if that would be the case you would indicate that everything was
    nice and fine and proper before they were suspended. sorry, but this did not come over
    night.
    this all shows only that the organization of sports in tt needs urgently a change.
    new ideas and the right people in the right chair. a defined structure.
    this refers to football as well as to all other sports.

  13. Manny Ramjoke was a disaster although it was done with good intentions. Them really good yes!! Lol

  14. This is Events 101 and Management 101 failure. Couva was a bad choice (location, timing, infrastructure, safety, risk etc) It has nothing to do with the lack of support. As it relates to management, we have to stop nepotism (friend-friend-thing) in selecting players, coaches, administrators and all the supporting staff and services. When they decide to recruit the right persons for the job and give them the necessary tools…the organization will succeed.

    • The condition of our national stadia is another big concern yes. I don’t think a single facility is working properly at the moment.

    • I agree…. we are challenged in facility management and we built some more (that’s another topic)

    • Does the TTFA board and executive staff sit down and ask: What will make fans comfortable? What can we do for them to enjoy their match day experience?
      My guess is no.

    • That’s a novel idea… asking what the customer wants ? I believe they think know what the customer wants, which is unfortunately because some customers do not know what they want. TTFF and the other NSOs need to interact with the fans and non-fans to find out what they want and offer options. That requires communication and disclosure, which people struggle with. “Not an easy road” Buju

    • sherlan, but who decides to recruit the right persons? and who are the right persons? what are the requirements for the right person? as long as you have decision makers who have no updated clou about todays requirements what can you expect then? the same again?
      you need to have a structure as well. and communicating has never been a problem in tt, but taking the right decisions – that is the problem. and as long as only the same crew of people is talking and deciding,
      well, then it is difficult. very difficult.

  15. While issues do abound, professional players are supposed to act, well …… professional.
    Taking a lackluster approach to the game didn’t get them paid, did it?

  16. Let’s face it. The product we have out on the field is an inferior product. Corporate Tnt and the man on the street is not interested in buying or investing in it. We need to kill this prototype and bring forth a new one. We need a more versatile, multifunctional product. To ensure we bring forth a more successful product, we need to get the right stakeholders to a brainstorming session. At that session we will review the deficiencies of the current product, highlight the key components of the new more competitive prototype, identify a team to lead the development process, and implement timelines and performance milestones that the new team will need to meet. The sooner we go back to the drawing board the faster we can get the new more viable prototype on the market.

  17. On point. I was present, the evening was a disaster. Left Victoria Gdns at 4:50 took our seats at 8:10. Could not believe what we were witnessing. We were in the Jamaican friendly, where they played much better. Felt that the effort was not there. Sorry, I will not be going back to that Stadium.

  18. TTFA wanna lock man in camp and tell dem they cant go a boat ride without pay ? If yuh aint getting paid yuh not employed …

  19. I really thought John Williams would be different it’s just reincarnation off the jack warner regime

  20. I have read many comments with interest over some time.
    Let me ask, is money the problem why we are not able to put a pay structure for our players and staff in place and is this having an effect on the performance of our Senior National football team?
    If so, how is it that countries much poorer than T&T in our region are not having similar problems?
    How do countries like Venezuela, Jamaica, El Salvador and other Central American countries fund team preparation, pay their players and get far better results than we do?
    Has anyone from the Sport company and the Ministry of Sport have any interest in understanding the process and funding operations?

    • Money is not the problem! Leadership is one problem! Lack of proper strategic planning is another. Lack of accountability is another! Governance is another.

    • money is not the ONLY problem. of course not. but it’s a good place to start.
      Bad management cannot resolve the money problems. Money alone cannot resolve the management problems.

    • Dennis Allen but good and competent management can provide confidence and present sound funding proposals to raise financing. But who will make donations when there’s no accountability and strategy? Would you give money to TTFA?

    • I am well aware that money is far from being the biggest problem, but getting an appreciation of how these countries fund and manage their football programmes will be a good place to start as we will better understand the extent of our issues.
      The TTFA are hiding behind the mess created by previous administrations, but just like the politicians who do likewise, one needs to get behind the income streams, expenses, the policies, processes and management inefficiency before the situation can be appreciated and plans can be implemented to improve the situation.
      The TTFA cannot do it, the government cannot either, but the right people funded by the Government and the Corporate sector may have an opportunity to make a start.
      We need to stop talking and act, as our football continues to suffer.

    • Well said Brian Harry and Bruce Aanensen. Them really good yes.

    • It is all embedded in our sporting culture at the moment. We have the answers but we continue to place them in a point system and not see the linkages.

  21. I didn’t go to the match. I was at the cycling. different issues—TTCF makes more consensus decisions and is way more transparent and forward thinking than present TTFA—but the fans stayed away.
    We have to fix these issues in out TTO sport. It starts with filling the stands.
    Watching the ABS venue…i saw those them stands and shuddered in fear of a “Real Unity” scene. Sad to say but, in a kindah kindah way I’m kindah thankful it didn’t score and we won cause that stands would have….
    Lemme doh say it…
    But for real: T&T sports in dire straights. The match was lost from the time they chose ABS over HCS in my opinion. I think most top elite players see these other stadia as training or practice pitches, and “real” internationals play at either the Oval or HCS.
    We need to start seeing longterm event/franchise forecasting, planning and prep before we can even start to think of profitability. And without profitability, our top elite sport evens will always be a challenge to fund winners.
    Sports fans demand success on and off the pitch.

  22. And Lasana Liburd I might add even though it might have ended up in failure – Lawrence didn’t seem to want follow up on Hart’s efforts to bring in the TT heritage MLS trio or Bostock

    He never even recalled Glen Ranjitsingh who at least committed to T&T

  23. The Levi & Ceasar situation needs further digging that’s all I’ll say for now

  24. How many of these stories are we going to continue to see? It is easy for me to point the finger at the current administration and granted they have their issues, however, they were placed in a serious deep hole. I would love to see someone who would instill confidence in the private and public sector run football. Enough of the football jokers who are imposters at running businesses. We need someone who knows business and understands how to do things the right way. Quite frankly I am get up of the players and the admins..

    • Brent what serious deep hole they was placed in?

    • 200 million sponsor ship monies ,30 million from Adidas, in 2006, the Center of Excellence, the hotel, the travel agency and all other businesses that was acquired when meh corrupted uncle Jack Warner used the football just to get rich, rich, rich, eh and hence the reason why meh untie Kams UNC won the last elections because he invested the football monies into the politricks and then they spat him out like a dog eh, hence the reason why the current administration was placed in a hole eh, and just imagine that he was only the advisor to the TTFA eh. Them really good yes steeuuppss.

    • TTFA facing same lack of trust from private sector like WICB after years of administrative woes

      CPL comes in all all private sponsors in TT & around Caribbean giving to cricket again

    • So why did the fella who started the CPL ended up in jail again. Them really good yes.

    • To be fair when DJW took over the TTFA was in a serious financial hole. Now he has plugged some holes but has also created new ones.

    • Brent the hole was no deeper than it always has been, that is to say reliant on FIFA developmental and programmatic disbursements. The difference was that the money was held up due to the late audits, once the audits were completed and DJW pledged loyalty to Infantino mine started flowing. He deserves no credit for that.

    • Ok, for discussion sake, let’s say they were in a hole rather than a deep hole. It’s still a problem that they inherited. Until the we have an administration that the public trusts we are going nowhere. Can we agree on that?

    • The TTFA, because they’re not self sustaining are always in an operational hole, DJW’s challenge was no different than that of his predecessor, plus he wasn’t up against an obstructionist Minister of Sports out to score political points (Anil) or to settle personal scores (Sancho). Factor in that he sold his vote to Infantino, and the money that was already in the pipeline pending the audit and he actually started his reign with a leg up. We don’t need an administration that the public trusts, we need an administration that is more than marginally functional. Win games and the public will support, trust or no trust. Jack proved that.

    • I think we agree to disagree….

    • And just imagine that my foreign base bestest coach sometimes never knew if he would get a ticket in order to travel with the team eh, but the folks in the TTFA is always eating steak and always going to the banks smiling come month end eh, and then they are always wondering why our Soca Worries men/ women team was always so demoralized steeuuppss. Them really good yes.

    • Brent just make sure that if yuh going to tote water for John-Williams that yuh mix in some facts as well?

    • Nah sah… we eh toting no water bro lol

  25. I know people who parked on Rivulet Road and walked to stadium due to the traffic mayhem. Not sure what the confusion is?

  26. Lasana, The question has to be asked. What has DJW managed successfully and profitably? I suspect previous business ventures and his football team may be losing money but would love to hear otherwise. There is just too much bluster and not enough substance..

  27. In the past TNT football has reached some semblance of respectability for the following world cups – 1974, 1990, 2006. It’s a 16 year cycle. So hopefully the TTFA will not eff things up and we could a somewhat successful campaign for the 2022 World Cup.

    • Lasana Liburd

      Hahaha. Nice positive thinking. Maybe. Although our youth teams aren’t given us too much hope with their performance. But our under-20 team that won the 2015 Caribbean title would be in their peak years then and that includes Levi Garcia… So maybe.

  28. Sadly…not enough was loudly said about poor choice of venue…..unwillingly paid $20.00 to park @ cricket centre…then walked myself “fit” to stadium…..reached half time…the traffic, poor roads and access…a nightmare…..well done T&TFA…wow…next trini chaos….CPL T20….Brian Lara $tadium….

  29. Lasana, you keep on referring to Levi Garcia and that Lawrence made a blunder in not choosing him but the truth is Garcia hasn’t done anything to merit a pick in the squad. Hopefully he improves for 2022.

    • Lasana Liburd

      Kirton, I would agree with you insofar as Levi might not have done quite enough to be guaranteed a spot in starting team. But don’t you think he has shown enough to at least be an asset off the bench?

      • I can’t remember him doing anything much coming off the bench in the hex. I like the guy is just that we need the best impact players playing.

  30. Again, NOTHING NEW, no surprises. As a people we seem hell bent to show the world that we cannot organize ourselves out of a paper bag.

  31. @ Marlon. Actually, Wired868 has been highlighting this for a while, along with many other poor administrative decisions by the DJW led TTFA….

  32. Need to intensify the pressure and get #DJWOUT…. His administration is a complete disaster

  33. Why it is only when we are not successful we start to hear these things

  34. Spot on article…
    Couldn’t have said it better myself

  35. I’m fedup when we play badly everyone blames the coaches ttfa sportt but not the poor performance of the players

  36. Scrap that entire team and build from scratch,get rid of these pot hounds.

  37. Thank you for this story lisana it bought a lot of clarity for me no one looked happy and it’s clear why shame on ttfa for all the bad decisions that cost us this campaign including firing Stephen hart people didn’t agree then don’t agree now our football has many problems the people in charge need to take a serious look at how they run our football until then god help us

  38. Steups! Players start to prove they’re worth their salt then they get money instead of everytime they come home behaving like Angostura and Carib going to close down and like all nice gyul going to die and they wont get another…then they should get money… left up to me they eh worth a dam cent! And doh get me wrong…IF WE WIN…I HAPPY but this bunch in particular does stress people who love the country first…

    • Like any contract employee, they should be paid as agreed upon in writing, or otherwise promised.

    • Brian Jordan I’m not disagreeing with you eh but I just feel too them fellas don’t give any effort man…

    • So maybe they should implement performance clauses in the future?

    • Bass Cleff try your best eh, from since in 1973 our players have been exploited by the corrupted TTFA , and if this wasn’t so and our players were all treated like the real professional players from since then and always gotten their fair share of the pie this madness wouldn’t have been happening today and just to remind you how many coaches have the corrupted TTFA in court again for their monies, well of course except for your step father and I wonder why Them really good yes.

    • Earl Mango Pierre I maintain… NOT ONE DAM CENT!!!

    • Or slave master Bass Cleff. Alyuh really good yes.

    • Dey eh even worth the one cent that we now making extinct…

    • Do you know why when I had my team in Brooklyn / N. J. and was always victorious eh, it was because I always make certain that my players got paid, their boots, ect,ect so that they will always be happy and win for me and it wasn’t even about winning eh, it was about treating them like real professionals and taking them to the professional teams tryouts or hoping that they are seen and the word spread and they make it to the real professional teams or receive football scholarships eh, when you see Marvin Oliver, Kurtwyn Baird, or even your very own Rodney Dennis ask them how I use to drop it back in meh football days and that is the way our footballers/ sports men and women should always be treated in our sweet country and they will always represent for you the lies and exploitation really needs to stop eh. steeuuppss Them really good yes.

    • Well clearly you weren’t paying him enough Earl Mango Pierre… anyway… Renée… hold yuh tongue…

    • Doh hold your tongue nah , because the reason why your Maracas team in money problems it is because of folks with the same mentality like you eh always using the football/ sports/players to go around and beg for sponsorship monies, no wonder why you always defending the ex corrupted sports minister who also have that same mentality about our players steeuuppss eh. Them really good yes.

    • Doh leh meh buss some files on the football corruption up dey in Maracas St. Joseph valley this early morning eh, because you should know how the police does know everything that is even going on in the football/ sports communities eh. Alyuh really good yes.

    • Eh heh? Well I’m sure it eh me you have files on nor the club I was involved in… I’m sure sure sure about that! So Earl Mango Pierre … go right ahead. Enlighten me…

    • Wait nah! Lol…I now read your first comment… just verifying eh…are u saying that my club and myself included begged for money and used it otherwise??? Folks like me always using the club to beg??? Yes becoz I don’t need to beg for myself…but ummmmm your statement is very very confusing tho

    • Look meh daughter just organize some folks and lets start the Players Association in order to educate, change their mentality and defend the future younger generations nah before it is to late eh and because ah have plenty wisdom with respect to running the thing eh, and yes your name have been calling eh, but I doh take on your own people in your community eh because do you know how many things that was said about me back in meh football days eh and I am still standing strong doing what is meh passion and with meh clean heart eh, so all the haters can keep on talking eh and never forget that jealousy will always be a hell of a thing eh. Them really good yes.

    • Well it seemed to me based on the direction in which you were going but allow me… I know my name has been calling but I’m certain NEVER for money reasons okay? Let’s get that straight… I have LOST MORE and I can’t even say more than I have gained becoz I nor my family have EVER gained off of Real Maracas and I say so BOLDLY WITH A CLEAR CONSCIENCE!!! The people that are talking, I have sent messages… begging them to come forward and take the team, I am withholding NOTHING! I can give them equipment et tal… but nobody’s coming forward…all who think we did such a bad job by all means come forward and correct my mistakes…but no

    • Furthermore, why you want me to come forward to help the youth if I’m just like my corrupt ex minister?? To use the youth name to beg for money again then to thief all??? No no no then I am the last person you should want around the youth… not so??? Hence my staying out because people like yourself who are supposed to kno better are to gullible and stupid… added to that doh smile and hug me all this time knowing you not only heard all those things but believe it too and calling me “daughter”??? Well tell them u have no daughter who steals okay Mr. Earl Mango Pierre? Thank you.

    • hahahaha Gullible you say, after the investigations was completed eh any how it was true eh meh whole fraud squad police was coming up dey in Maracas for you eh so just continue to stay on the straight and narrow road and continue receiving your blessings eh.

    • Allyuh too good yes…btw, morning

    • Well clearly “investigations” took place without me even being asked a single question?? You know what I realize… you really just say whatever comes to your head??? Okay so tell me…is it becoz of you the “Fraud Squad” didn’t come for me??? Lol Earl Mango Pierre you really saying these things jed??? Where you fabricated that story from??? You have me really confused jed and trust me… I WAS NOT LOOKING FOR YOU THERE! You’re a man I did in fact have some level of respect for but you have me in total total shock to think that NOTHING LIKE THIS EVER HAPPENED… ONE AND TWO… MY NAME NOR MY FAMILY’S NAME IN THE HISTORY OF MARACAS AND MARACAS FOOTBALL HAS EVER BEEN CALLED IN ANYTHING LIKE THAT!! And you of all people doing this?? I’ll say this now… I take ABSOLUTE OFFENCE TO THIS!!! I will die before my name calls in ANY money scandal…and for the record YOU ARE THE FIRST PERSON THAT I KNOW OF TO DO SO and with that I AM VERY DISAPPOINTED becoz I thought you ought to kno better…

    • With friends like you Earl Mango Pierre …who needs enemies???

    • What friends yuh talking about eh, try your bestest and never forget that yuh is meh daughter for life eh, and nobody could ever make me think any different about you and your beautiful family eh, because as you know that our connection goes way, way, back in meh football roaming days in Maracas St. Joseph where all the beautiful ladies comes from eh LOL

  39. Well I am presently doing some research into our football for my research paper and where I have I reached I have already realized that from Inception the biggest problem was and continues to be the administrators .

  40. They no damn good! Money can’t change that old stags!

  41. Playing at that stadium gave honduras the advantage because that the type of grass that they are used to in Central and South America . But It be would very useful for preparing to play away matches vs teams from the above mentioned zones.

  42. Nothing is going to change as long as the same idiots remain in control of the football with their outdated , selfish, corrupted ways and we just continue to chat on blog over and over with no action just a bunch of comments day after day.

  43. “Proper management, irrespective of the industry in question, ought to be about the removal of excuses for poor performance.”

    Good opening. I’ll go a step further… proper management limits poor performances, thereby obviating the need for excuses. For local football, the problem inherent in that concept is that the sport has been rife with poor performances, with qualification for the 2006 WC and the Gold Cup run two seasons ago being the standout exceptions. Poor performance therefore being the norm, the public has grown used to a spate of excuses for what is essentially a tri-fold problem: poor development, poor management, and poor administration of talent and resources.

    • Yes. I agree fully. And the short-sighted response to this story would be more fingers pointed by all the involved parties, instead of each one trying to lift his game to the required level.

  44. Somebody’s G.P.S is in the same shape as TTFA’s management,,

  45. Rivulet road? To reach the Ato Boldon Stadium? Pavements? On a major artery to Point Lisas industrial estate? Heeellllp!!!

  46. If so, why did DL “blast” his players then…what!!! to make good “PR”lets face it….POLITRICS killing Sports in TnT

  47. I hate to hear professional players and their mouth piece blame poor performance on unpaid salaries, especially when you are representing your country. Steup!!

    • @lyndon I guess you forgot they have families…

    • Money paid to national players are pittance, compared to what you can make out there. But you need to demonstrate what you are capable of on the field, otherwise they will always be…. Boi I find that such a petty excuse….

    • Would you work for six months without being paid and still give 100 percent on the job? ???

    • You all misunderstanding my point. There is a bigger picture here

    • Lyndon Winston Joseph everybody here missing the real point… it’s called “Electioneering”. On who’s behalf is yet to be seen lolololol…

    • I feel battered and bruised already ah just waiting on de licks now… ????… it bunning it bunning it bunning!!!!

    • @ Lyndon…..As a former national footballer, you can NEVER perform at your best when you’re constantly battling with the same people you represent. Been there and done that and I’m fairly certain this isn’t the only sticking point.

    • What’s the “bigger” picture here Lyndon? You read that article good ? Men ain’t get pay since March ino pal ..MARCHHHHH.. them men playing for free since March boy ..you still tryna justify that?! Yes men would make more money so basically what uh saying is because uh representing uh country uh should play for free? Pal uh crazy yes ..

    • If they have a problem with salary, don’t play. Professional players have a salary. Don’t ask what your country can do for you but what you can do for it. That should be the motto. This is as far I’m reaching with this conversation.

    • Sir Lyndon Winston Joseph did you think before you wrote that ….”professional players have a salary” so you think the players that represent our country isnt worth being paid ? Lol alyuh good yes

    • I honestly believe if some of these players were to go out on that field and play their hearts out and play with pride and passion that they would be noticed and be signed to big clubs in europe like the premier league but as it is they mostly play with no heart….yes they have families and a life to live and money from the pro league and from playing for the national team is nowhere near sufficient in these times of high food prices and recession….but sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture

    • Wasn’t going to be dragged any further into this debate, but I could never condone players playing for free. Ppl need to understand the realities of the organization’s (TTFA) position. Players need the TTFA to get out there, because without national duty some leagues don’t care how good you are and the TTFA need its players to win games so they can generate income to pay its players. If they love football money should never be a distraction on the field of play. On field, they represent thier selves and we support them because they are one of us. This is the mentality that makes me want to live in ah hole. Wake me up when it’s over.

    • It’s about managing ones football career wisely.

    • Correct if you not getting paid don’t play simple like that .

    • I understand where Lyndon is coming from, however let us be honest in a country like Brazil where poverty is high.There is no shortage of players who will gladly represent for their country without a salary because Why???? That opportunity alone is can be their ticket towards betterment abroad. It is unfortunate that our TTFA has diminished the morale of our players but it is up to the player’s themselves to realise the right performance can be the difference between local clubs and international.

    • Lyndon Winston Joseph yea, leave it right there. No sense trying to explain your point anymore.There is always an excuse and someone else to lay the blame on. Remember contracts abroad are based on the way and the times you represent your country..there’s a lack of patriotism within this crop of football players most of whom are lucky to be playing pro football.

  48. Spot on, Lasana! And your opening sentence should be included in every Management Studies lecture.

  49. Lord put ah hand! When would this madness end?

  50. With all these issues, I’m shocked that we as supporters expect to win. We won’t (except for the odd game against poor teams) until we fix the structure around football

  51. WHY did they play…stueps….?????

  52. Well said…. straight to the point…thank you… but you know what…this too will blow over as we like it so

  53. Article was bang on. Everything written was exactly what possee said on the night. I also felt the boys would have had that little extra if we played in the National Stadium as this is the venue every T&T footballer wants to play in. This is our football Mecca.
    The administration may change but the same crap thinking abounds.
    When will we learn? Only God knows.

  54. But KJ knew what he was doing in December 2015…

  55. Does the TTFA have to pay to use the HCS?
    Does it have to pay to use the ABS now that it’s the “home of football” and land has been leased to it? Is part of the land lease agreement free use of the stadium?

  56. My 16 year, Samory Powder who was in the U17 pool but not selected for CFU Finals said that Ato Bolden pitch is the worse, he told me to watch how deep the players boots sink. He told me if they moving from Halsey Crawford then Manny Ramjohn is next best. in How a 16 year old living in New Jersey know this but no one in TTFA can see the obvious?

  57. Where to start???? Sigh…..

  58. I was in two minds about reading it tonight as well eh

  59. DJW needs to go, and take everyone in his staff with him #djwout

  60. Hello is labour day weekend – you couldn’t keep this gunshot article until Tuesday ha

  61. Sigh……we should have been consistently qualifying since 06, but for the selfishness and incompetence of administrators from then to now…..and we remove d one that mighta actually get us close, simply on the premise that he was not known for meddling in team affairs…….now we have ah chronic meddler who cyah administer he ass from he elbow.