The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has again been accused of violating its constitution, after today’s appointment of Anton Corneal as caretaker head coach of the National Senior Women’s Team with Shawn Cooper as his assistant.
Corneal and Cooper will lead the Women Soca Warriors into the five-team 2018 Caribbean Championships in Jamaica from 25 August to 2 September. The top three nations advance to October’s Concacaf Championship, which serves as the 2019 France Women’s World Cup qualifying series.
The problem, as TTFA board member and Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) Keith Look Loy pointed out, is that neither appointment was made by the football body’s board of directors, as mandated by the TTFA constitution.
Article 36 (j) of the TTFA Constitution states: “The Board of Directors: shall appoint the coaches for the representative teams and other technical staff.”
However, the TTFA board has not met since April and president David John-Williams did not call a meeting to discuss the appointment of a new women’s coach, after Jamaal Shabazz quit the post earlier this month.
TTFA general secretary Justin Latapy-George said Corneal, in his role as technical director, and Southern Football Association (SFA) president Richard Quan Chan “took the lead” on the appointments and would be better placed to comment.
Article 47 of the TTFA constitution spells out the role of the technical committee: “The Technical and Development Committee shall primarily analyse the basic aspects of football training and technical development.”
The technical committee has no power to hire but can only make recommendations to the TTFA board. So, if the board did not hire Corneal as women’s coach, then who did?
Wired868 failed to reach John-Williams, Corneal or Quan Chan for comment.
Whether a technical committee actually exists is also debatable. The committee was hobbled, almost 18 months ago, when the appointment of Dennis Lawrence as Soca Warriors head coach was followed by the resignations of chairman Dexter Skeene, vice-chairman Dr Alvin Henderson and member Errol Lovell.
In February 2018, the technical committee was shut down altogether. Look Loy told Wired868 that the board was not informed of any activity on the committee ever since and does not know what the body that recommended the current Women’s Team coaches looks like.
“Did Corneal recommend himself?” Look Loy asked Latapy-George. “When was Quan Chan appointed chairman of the technical committee?”
Up to the time of publication, the questions remain unanswered.
The TTSL president insisted, via letter to Latapy-George, that all information regarding the coaching appointments and the conditions, contractual or otherwise, which they would operate under should be brought before the board, as it is the only body with the authority to award contracts.
At present, the TTFA board comprises of: John-Williams (president), Joanne Salazar and Ewing Davis (vice-presidents), Karanjabari Williams (NFA), Richard Quan Chan (Southern FA), Anthony Moore (Tobago FA), Joseph Taylor (Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association), Sharon Warrick (Women’s League Football), Julia Baptiste (TT Pro League), Collin Partap (CFA) and Look Loy (TTSL).
TTFA vice-president Allan Warner is suspended for repeated absences, Sherwyn Dyer is sidelined due to the non-compliance of the Eastern Counties Football Union (ECFU) and the Eastern Football Association (EFA) is yet to replace its representative, Wayne Cunningham, who was blocked from serving on the board due to his role as a TTFA press officer.
The Women Warriors, who are the defending Caribbean champions, travel to Kingston next week where they will face Cuba in CFU action on 25 August.