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TTFA offers “update” but few answers on controversial Home of Football project, on eve of AGM

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has offered an “update” on the state of construction at its Home of Football project, just 24 hours before what is likely to be a heated AGM at the Cycling Centre in Couva.

The construction of a technical centre, players’ hotel, entertainment centre and training pitches—and, more specifically, its tendering process—has been a sore topic for months with TTFA president David John-Williams, general secretary Justin Latapy-George unwilling and/or unable to answer questions on it from the football body’s own members, let alone the media.

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams enjoys himself at head coach Tom Saintfiet’s maiden training session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain on 15 December 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Williams/Wired868)

There was still no answer to the pertinent questions today but the TTFA did offer some details on the construction work, complete with aerial photographs and a video.

The narration for the video was done by Board member Wayne Cunningham rather than TTFA press officer Shaun Fuentes.

The following is the TTFA release:

As a matter of public interest here is an update on the TTFA Home of Football project.

In August 2017 the Government of Trinidad and Tobago approved a long awaited request, when it granted 7.64 hectors of land to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association in order to establish a home for football.

The land is separated into three main parcels, one located in close proximity to the National Cycling Center and two west of the Ato Boldon Stadium. The association quickly mobilized in order to make this distant dream a reality and got approval from FIFA for the ‘go ahead’ in September with the official Sod Turning ceremony being held on September 29.

Photo: The site for a Beach Soccer Pitch, Recreation and Entertainment Centre, Restaurant and training pitch at the TTFA’s Home of Football project in Couva.
(Copyright TTFA Media)

After countless brain storming and planning sessions the plans for various aspects of the project were approved and sent to Town and Country Planning for final approval on the building projects which finally came in February 2018.

At the time of this update, two new training fields are 90% completed and the foundation has been laid for the Athletes Accommodation facility. The “Income Generation Project” (which include, small goal pitches, the Beach Football pitch as well as the bar and recreational area) 50% completed.

With offices for the TTFA, TT Pro League, TT Super League, SSFL, WoLF and Referees’ Department already relocated or established at the Ato Boldon Stadium, The Home of Football is now a reality.

The following is Keith Look Loy’s Boxing Day 2017 Request for information on the TTFA Home of Football project, which was sent to general secretary Justin Latapy-George and copied to president David John-Williams and his Board of directors:

Dear Sir,

As a new TTFA Board member, I obviously lack intimate knowledge of key areas of TTFA work, programmes and projects. Accordingly, I have decided to seek relevant information in several areas, one of which is the technical centre now under construction in Balmain.

I would appreciate information re: the following:

  • The contribution of FIFA, TTFA and Government to the project and the overall project budget.
  • The names of all companies/parties which submitted construction/professional bids in connection with said construction.
  • The TTFA body or personnel which/who selected the contractor and any sub-contractors now engaged on the project.
  • The name of the project manager.
  • The name of the contractor and any sub-contractors engaged in the project.
  • The quantum, duration and terms of all project contracts.
  • The current financial and construction status of the project.
Photo: The site for the TTFA’s Player Hotel.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

Clearly, your response would be appreciated prior to the January 2018 Board meeting.

I thank you in advance for your co-operation.

Editor’s Note: According to Look Loy, the TTFA is yet to provide a satisfactory response to his questions.

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19 comments

  1. And it is a going to be a huge project…One should see the acreage that has been cleared..The area will become a complex sporting complex..Ironically the cricket centre which is about 200 metres adjacent south of the Ato Boldon, maybe 10 mins walk along the road is operative and busy much of the time. I have worked in there on p.e/sports programmes .Inside of it , on the walls is a veritable pictorial history of W.I cricket going back to the days of Collie Smith..Point? Administrative failure is not an inevitable phenomenon in Trinidad and Tobago

  2. ..I do not care if DJW is building the eighth wonder of the world in Balmain. Too many questions arise regarding the PROCEDURE by which he is doing so. Naturally, the issue of TRANSPARENCY OR THE LACK THEREOF, as well as the apparent side lining of the Board, are a critical aspect of all of this..

  3. No audited financial reports for the past two years,salaries still being owed to personnel for the past couple of years and a multi-million dollar project on the way. Sounds to me that someone is writing a cheque their lower back can’t cash.

  4. ..Smoke and mirrors. Tomorrow DJW and cohorts better be prepared to answer the hard questions about the tendering process and the awarding of contracts. My information from Board members willing to volunteer a little information is that the Board has never awarded any contract(s). Tomorrow is the day for answers to be provided and the facts to surface..

  5. Here is a socio-geography lesson..East of the site is the Ato boldon which is really poor excuse for a facility..North West is the Aquatic centre..large and modern but our Carifta swimmers are being asked to pay their way..Adjoining the aquatic centre is the Cycledrome but our local cyclists are finding difficulty to travel to meets abroad..Oh down the the road, South of all these, 10 mins drive is the Brian Lara cricket academy, displayed in magnificent silence and under-utilisation….It is call ‘sporting/development/policy/programme” which come/s in ‘green, brown, white, paper/s.

  6. What is de deal with Fuentes and Cunningham’s positions? Almost seems as though Fuentes does operate in de background these days. Since his “leave of absence”, he’s been relatively quiet.

    • He operated in the CONCACAF U-20 tournament but not the senior men’s trip to Guadeloupe and Martinique, which Cunningham did. I think Fuentes is doing the senior women’s releases too, as those were going out while Cunningham was away too.
      This release is the closest so far to a conflict of interest for Cunningham as board member/PR officer. I’m not sure if it is a paid position but it is a reminder of the issue you have when the people who are supposed to hold DJW to account at Board meetings also rely on him for a salary/stipend.
      I don’t know if Keith Look Loy or the Eastern Football Association see an issue there.