Corneal: We need to save our football! TTFA TD withholds services claiming ‘inhumane treatment’ by DJW

“I have been promised salary payments continuously but to no avail. I had meetings with the President and the General Secretary indicating the inconvenience of not being paid, and the toll it is taking on my life…

“I am tired of the disrespectful and inhumane manner in which I have been treated by the President of the association…”

The following statement on the leadership and behaviour of Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams was issued to the TTFA board of directors on 14 January 2019 by technical director Anton Corneal:

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) technical director Anton Corneal.

Dear Board Members,

After days of contemplation and legal advice, I have decided to withhold my services as Technical Director of the TTFA until they honour my contractual agreements  made in August of 2017. My last paid salary was June 2018, and the agreed contractual arrangement to pay off my owed arrears has not been honoured since December 2017.

I have been promised salary payments continuously but to no avail. I had meetings with the President (David John-Williams) and the General Secretary (Justin Latapy-George) indicating the inconvenience of not being paid, and the toll it is taking on my life.

In September 2018, I explained to the President, I am having to borrow a vehicle to perform my duties, and on two occasions having to rent a vehicle to transport FIFA and CONCACAF officials.

I am tired of the disrespectful and inhumane manner in which I have been treated by the President of the Association.

In December, I wrote to the President again, asking him to use his office to pay me during the festive season—again totally ignored, not even an acknowledgement of the mail.

Then finally on 5 January 2019, I was called to a meeting with the President, Vice President (Ewing Davis), and the Chairman of the Technical Committee (Richard Quan Chan), where it was indicated to me, they will pay off my current salaries at the end of February 2019, but will not be paying the agreed payments to my arrears and/or any arrangement concerning transportation, which is clearly stated in my contractual agreement with TTFA.

Photo: FIFA president Gianni Infantino (right) and TTFA president David John-Williams at a press conference at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 10 April 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

I honestly believe this situation is affecting my health, it is eroding my family life and forcing me to find other means of income to support my family.

I am prepared to meet with the Executive Board to answer any questions as most of our programs have been affected because of similar circumstances. I have seen the development of football suffer in our country, coaches working in our programs disenchanted with the way they are treated by the MA (member association).

I would be forwarding my 2018 yearly report indicating the status of our programs and the challenges encountered during the past year.

I await word from the President/General Secretary before resuming work in my position as Technical Director of Trinidad and Tobago.

I am happy to share my contractual agreement with the board, in case they were not privy to this information.

Please, we need to save our Football.

Photo: TTFA technical director Anton Corneal.
(Copyright Nicholas Bhajan/CA-Images/Wired868)
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  1. A good system of “checks and balances” should also be in place especially when it comes to managing the limited funding available and strategies to inspire the best in our sportswomen and sportsmen

  2. And make certain that the ones with the egoes stay far in their corners Them really good yes

  3. You need qualified Sports Administrators… not former athletes.. or volunteers.

  4. Brian Jordan When there are no more crabs in the barrels, only then anything can be fixed in our sweet country including the sports a matter of fact why isn’t the right people getting involved in order to finally change things in our sweet country, only ah set ah bootleg persons that is always running the show and cares about nothing else but only about themselves and to always satisfy their egoes and to hell with our players and coaches, while they continues eating streak and drinking the finest wine and always going to the bank smiling Them really good yes

  5. Would love to have some insightful feedback from Jamaal Shabazz, Earl Jean, Travis Mulraine and any other brothers whose views I respect on this development.. all hands have to be on deck at this critical time.. how do we fix this?

  6. I have said before Lawrence is complicit in this…..

  7. So I ask. Do you think that if a forum is organised to talk about the way forward, that you all will attend?

  8. DJW wouldn’t be drawing a salary from the TTFA if times are so tough he can’t pay the players would he?

  9. Yuh see this, Corneal has been making it bad for so much others by the way he has accepted shit. How they going to pay anybody else when the TD aint getting pay and he still coming to work? I too get fool by the passion plea not again. Was the only person present multiple times because i felt the players pain. But not again it’s time coaches, players, managers take a stand and stop this gimme a Bligh foolishness. If i dont get paid after the first month from here on in I done. Everyone must adapt that mentality. I know most people in TTFA didn’t invest 5 + years of study and occur loans as a result. I guess the man who just invest a 2500 into a b license or a 2000 and a 2 months in a PTI course wouldn’t care what they get if they get anything.
    I going and plant peas in Tobago yes, I give up.

  10. Football and cricket – international body sharing too much money with local bodies.

    • Philip Ayoung-Chee you sound like the old mantra from yesteryear. Many suggested that we should never pay football players to play because players of the past were never paid. You are stuck ,change gear. I guess you may be against people having their own home car etc. Open your eyes. Please

    • Earl Carter, your comments are flip-flopping like today is today and yesterday is yesterday. Where did I ever state that Footballers should not be paid?

    • Philip Ayoung-Chee international body sharing too much money with local bodies. What am I to take away from that.

    • Furthermore yesterday you stated the professional soccer league should never have started. Why would you say that. Look at the standard of football that are played around the world. Do you think that is possible if those same players have an 8-4 job

    • Why the Pro league should never have started Mr Ayoung. Explain

    • Earl Carter – you seem lost in this thread – the topic is poor administration and the possible reasons. Please go back to the top of the post of Lasana Liburd and Anton Corneal, etc. And I again state that a professional football league should have never been started. But I never stated that footballers should not be paid.

    • I am waiting take as long as you want

    • Philip Ayoung-Chee one thing I will not do is to belittle you in anyway. I am following you since yesterday. Too much money is that the real problem. Anyone can see the problem at hand. Having a professional league in your country should be for one main reason .To lift the level of play to a more consistent level . That is only possible if players are paid for their accomplishments which is a standard of achievement. We could never have too much money in sports. We can have people that are misguided ego trip no vision . It won’t be too much money rather the people in the organization.

    • A professional league should have started since 1970 in Trinidad and Tobago
      The T&TFA executives stated we were not ready for professional league play in 1980 Premier soccer league.
      Our professional soccer league started 2000 not because their was a need for it which we would have benefited from. It was only introduced because of the u 17. World cup in Trinidad and Tobago. More importantly their was a financial benefit for the organiza alleged I must say

  11. The irony, walk with the devil, what do you expect?
    Why have the board ignored or not followed through after financials have still not been delivered?
    Report to FIFA and demand a caretaker admin while these issues are addressed by impartial governance?

    • FIFA are a law of their own too. Corruption following them everywhere. Shame because ‘clean, well managed sport’ could be an effective way for young people to learn respect, self discipline, coping skills, health and fitness. Mentoring in sport is powerful as we have heard from the brilliant young athletes interviewed here on Wired868.

  12. To be honest I truly believe that.

  13. If players and clubs don’t take a keener interest on those selected or elected to administrate, which should lead to a stronger and better Board, we’ll forever be saddled with onemanism

  14. Sounds like just another court matter in the offing.. <>

  15. And.just.imagine that all the other Coaches and the previous Technical Director who came after him and sued the corrupted TTFA eh done get their monies long time already ent meh friend Mr Live Wire Them really good yes

  16. Where have i seen this movie b4….

  17. Is one thing to be broke and unable to pay staff, but is another thing to completely ignore people when dey inquiring about dey earnings. No class!

  18. So I ask openly and sincerely what do you guys is the way forward to save Trinidad and Tobago football ?

    • Callum Marshall the way forward is to get a leader to serve our nation footballers with the vision for a future of prosperity. It means therefore there must be chang at the top. Furthermore in my opinion I do not trust some of the Executive on the board .

    • We need someone to lead the T&TFA not only with transparency and a control with their emotional intelligence, but with ideas that will afford us the creative mind and processes that will impact every community in our country.

    • That is one way to go forward. If not we can continue the present path

    • ..That would be a start. But we need more than that. We need the people who make football happen – players, coaches, referees, clubs, leagues – to have a proper agenda for the development and governance of the game. That is the hard work we don’t like. But without that, is one manism all over again..

    • Keith Look Loy I am scared of the the way we look at the picture. At this point most people are correct to suggest we need a change. However I wonder sometime what type of person we should vote for who can like you said make football happen. Are we willing to give our vote to someone who is rough around the edges but has the vision developed programs good diciplin to govern in a framework that can take us up the ladder. I am curious as to what our approach will be to choose the correct individual.

    • Earl Carter This is the vital question. The “rebels” must make a collective decision on who to support. I will day this much – I am not interested in being TTFA President. I will content myself with fighting for good governance and supporting viable development.

    • Well I guess that person cannot be a business man the same like my dictator President, nor the presidents in the past eh because they will definitely be about making the millions of monies for themselves the same like the corrupted Jack Warner and to hell with our coaches the players and the beautiful game eh Earl Carter Them really good yes steeuupsss

    • Keith Look Loy you brought up a very important point. “the rebels must make a collective effort to come together “.To everyone I do hope you read this. You may not like who ever that should not count for anything except to remove DJW .Development of a good consensus on the best candidate for the head job in the T&TFA and let us all work together to move our country forward

  19. Very few people may understand this situation,please correct me if it’s not logical…I am business oriented minded just like many others here,This football is a billion dollar industry if you play your cards rightDJW knows he has no money to pay players and Coaches with the debt he incurred,so he got some local favorites to buy into the dream that if hired and they can turn around the almost no preparation into good results Sponsors may buy into the TTFA,but unfortunately the results have not been good except maybe the u15.
    So as these reputable person failed to bring home the promised bacon‍♂️ there goes The imaginary payment
    The home of football is also is to bring revenue and comfort to National teams,but again no good results means no Sponsors which means no payments which means both disappointed people and Court Action.
    So who is at fault

    • Who’s driving? Who’s the one deciding to turn left as opposed to right? Or gambling about what needs servicing and what doesn’t and how far the tank of gas could carry him?

    • Lasana Liburd yes! But this vehicle have been breaking down in the past and some still believe in the mechanic

    • Kurtwyn Baird we are bias to people who have promised something tangible for them exclude the country

    • Kurtwyn Baird I do hope people can choose a new President this year strictly on the bases of country first.
      Regardless of where the person resides in the country. Jack Warner lives 5 min walk from my resident yet I would never have voted for him to administrate the association. Moving forward we have to seek people who can move us out of this mess

    • Earl Carter not an easy feat Spider Man!finding someone to take the TTFA out of this hole,any recommendations?

    • Kurtwyn Baird let me close. I truly believe that David was a man with good intentions. Where he went wrong was his vision changed from moving the football association forward to moving himself forward.

    • Kurtwyn Baird he put himself for president with a slew of promises. I’ve reproduced his manifesto and most of his line items are unfulfilled with just months left in his term.
      To know complain about what you inherited would be amusing but for the very serious implications of the president’s failures.

    • Lasana Liburd I am in total agreement of removal by the right way.Also if he decide to run a campaign with unrealistic promises and he cannot deliver then vote him out BUT because each of us live in a democratic run Country have different agendas/expectations,we are not unified in the order of Progress eg.Payments of outstanding debts =$
      Funding for all National teams Preparation s=$
      Good Quality games for our players =$
      Winning at all cost with a high level Coaching Staff =$
      The Grassroots Programs and Domestic leagues=$
      I can go on but I am sure the New Man in charge would definitely have the same scenario to deal with.
      I am not an Advocate for anyone but I think I understand the task at hand

    • Kurtwyn Baird there is not even a marketing committee or finance committee in three years. He does everything.
      How serious was he about raising money then? (Or democracy for that point).
      The team heading into the Hex when he took over. I know for a fact that there was interest from Carib and the usual suspects.
      And yet…
      The next president is inheriting a far worse situation than DJW did—both on and off the field.

    • Lasana Liburd I agree it’s going to be hard, I can’t disagree but understands that this Mammoth task would take down a lot of good Men sadly

    • Kurtwyn it is a difficult task. And I hope the next president goes for a collaborative approach and includes more stakeholders in the business.
      Let it be ‘our’ failure and not ‘your’ failure.

    • Kurtwyn Baird Then why the secrecy and the arrogance? The messing around avoiding meetings, the taking everything to court, the micromanaging and lack of respect for the female athletes?

    • Jo Ann I don’t believe DJW does anything in secrecy,he confides in who he regards,arrogance I cannot talk about??‍♂️the female side of the sport seems to be low down in the pecking order,Why??‍♂️

    • Kurtwyn Baird yuh know that you is meh boy but you need to drink some coffee and open our eyes eh, and you know what I stand for with respect to our players first and our coaches, the debts that my dictator President came into the corrupted TTFA office and met should have been taken care first before any Home for the football was built and also the youth development program where the sponsor TLCB donated over 8 million of monies I think it was and who knows once other sponsors realized that he is a man of his word only then more wudda come on board and to answer your question, there is always another person to run the show because if you reads your bible our Father God raises up the kings and queens to run things and removes them the same like the corrupted Jack Warner when he got to the top, what happened to him, so if my dictator President thinks that my Father God words isn’t true let him continue with his madness and I dun talk Them really good yes

    • Kurtwyn Baird David John-Williams told the entire media including myself that he prefers to operate in secrecy.
      His favorite quote is who moves in silence moves furthest.
      I feel you don’t know the man as well as you think. Lol.

    • Apart from obvious fact that it can’t be alright for him to only “confide” in who he wants to and refuse to answer everyone else including board members.

    • Lasana Liburd DUE believes he is managing W Connection. Did he read the constitution. He is in charge of the people’s business. Ok then we will move in secrecy to vote him out. That will be made public

    • Lasana Liburd why does the Executive members allowed him to operate in secret.

    • Earl Carter they have even gone as far as to take him to court for answers. So they’re trying. But they haven’t taken the ultimate sanction and removed him, even as he refuses to give answers.

    • The corrupted Jack Warner and his cronies did things in secrecy the same and if it wasn’t for Mr Jennings (R.I.P.) And our very own Mr Live Wire the whole of our sweet country wouldn’t have known the millions of monies and businesses that made him the billionaire that he is today .Them really good yes

    • Maybe he is following this quote that I just saw on meh friend Hassan C Araujo fass book page “WORK HARD IN SILENCE….LET YOUR SUCCESS MAKE ALL THE NOISE”….Them really good yes

    • Earl Mango Pierre I did all that and still it was not enough. Maybe they wanted me to be a brown nose. Lol

    • The fact is football is not the TTFA. it’s all of us who love and cherish the game ,the annonted one is among us but he or she does not fit our description ,but when we recognise that individual don’t crucify him …words to the wise in the football fraternity

  20. The only thing that matters now in TTFA is the Home Of Football Project.Dont forget we like it so!!

  21. What if some people don’t like to be treated as a human ? What if the person who is treated less than human likes the treatment. Why should they be treated differently

  22. Keep up this nonsense and there will be no more football left, everything to come out of the TTFA recently is so disheartening. TREAT PEOPLE LIKE HUMANS PLEASE.

  23. They like that don’t feel sorry for him and others who chose to be victims

  24. time everyone walks awy from TTFA…this one man rule is killing footbal in TT….the law and constitution has to change first….

  25. here Corneal quotes extensively from his soon to be released book, “The TD/Coach/Everything Who Cried Wolf Five Times And Still Ain Geh Pay Yet”….

  26. But this man use to encourage players to play without match fees. Smfh

  27. This same ole sad and tired story. Anyone who continues to work for this organization and not get paid well…..fool me once as the saying goes!

  28. Anton like the old people would have it to say ” like dey break stick in yuh ears’.

    • Print them jerseys print them .

    • Just imagine eh the corrupted TTFA is owing me over 4 million monies eh, and Anton Corneal gone back again just to be the Technical Director just because like many others is the power they like to do this and that and to say that they is the TD eh, so now you ran up another bill eh, and still not getting paid, paying monies out of your own pockets and he start to complain again about having a family etc, etc, eh, ah wonder how many more stories meh friend Mr. Live Wire have to write eh before he finally wakes up and smell the coffee, but as the Trini saying goes. “We like it so”…..Them really good yes.

    • Ah guess the Home for the Foootball was built with your millions to eh Anton Corneal so doh beat up nah man….Them really good yes.

    • Earl Mango Pierre Anton I wish I can help you with though, but you can’t do the same thing the same very way and expect a different results. That is insanity. That is ah “StAnns “case.

    • How do you expect the home of football to finish.

  29. Another coach is waiting in the background to take over for free as well. Coaches are disrespecting themselves when you lower the bar of character. What do we stand for ? Nothing. Because when the bar is lowered you are disrespecting the country.

  30. I do agree . Stop complaining and continue to work for free.

  31. We approach the TTFA has a history of being ruthless dating back to the 70’s

  32. If the professional soccer player were treated similarly back then why is it that Anton is treated in such a deplorable way. He like many others my self included always want to help out your country.

  33. ..If you give up tune out. Pressure does buss pipe..

  34. Anything is new ?.When professional soccer player’s were treated similarly back then their won’t any support . If anyone believes something will be done, think again.

  35. Is Mr. John-Williams collecting, or has he been collecting, a salary from the TTFA?

  36. Anybody stop to think that any new administration will inherit all this debt.and how they will deal with it?

  37. Remember this is what the last technical director Kendall Walkes had to say about TTFA president David John-Williams:

    • Well they all know that my dictator President is who he is and will never change so why Anton Corneal went back to be part of the corrupted TTFA when he had them in court the same like Russell The Magician eh these fellas just likes to be a glutton for punishment yes, and with their Coaching experiences they really need to leave our sweet country and head back to my second sweetest country or Europe and get involve with the youth football they will definitely always be paid and on time to eh Them really good yes

    • I had an unfortunate situation similar to this in 2016 and when I returned to Canada I told Athletics Canada… don’t ever agree to anything in Trinidad because a contract in Trinidad means absolutely nothing and you will spend a lifetime in court for nada.

    • I was now coming to comment on Walkes’ situation. It’s not that I don’t have sympathy for Corneal (this excerpt is particularly vexing “I am having to borrow a vehicle to perform my duties, and on two occasions having to rent a vehicle to transport FIFA and CONCACAF officials.”)… but did he NOT see how Walkes’ was treated?? When you agree to take another man’s job after he was unjustly terminated, you wittingly or unwittingly abet the wrongdoing, no different from when scab workers cross picket lines.

    • Nigel S. Scott.That is nothing new with Anton Corneal yuh remember when he also took Coach Ken Ellie job he Ellie prepared the U17 for a tournament back in the day so it is a customary with him doing these things eh you must never forget that the man topped the Coaching course in Germany so he returned to our sweet country with a serous ego and always thinks he is the bestest man for the job and what happened when he went along as the Technical Director when he never showed up for the last game when our your Soca Worries was eliminated from the U 20 tournament and the same thing happened when he took over Coach Elie job when they went to meh second sweetest country and the USA dropped 6 goals in we backside and as usual lost the other games so I really doesn’t understand what he is complaining about and it seems that he really expected to be treated differently eh Them really good yes steeuupsss

  38. Why he doesn’t stop complaining and just continue to work for free since it seems that he have a serious addiction / passion for the beautiful game eh and it seems that he has yet to understand that he is paying for the sins of his father eh the same wrong things that he did against some of our players especially when he was the Coach of our Soca Worries many moons ago Them really good yes steeuupsss

    • Mango…you really good yes…. DJW too disrespectful

    • Hassan C Araujo Our people really needs to get strong like meh Jamaican people and stop taking the nonsence from my dictator President and the corrupted TTFA and don’t get involved with them until they are finally respected he is behaving like some of the white and 1 % people who disrespects our black people and always expresses some racists behaviors when wukking for them and just imagine in our sweet country the same like in my second sweetest country eh as I told someone just this weekend that worked for some of them and had first hand experience with that they are , well I told him that I wudda pack up one time and he even tell them keep their damn monies , not taking this madness in our sweet country not from these outsiders eh Well he said that is what he did to yes so again I will say our coaches and players and to send a serious message and stand up together and say that will not represent our sweet country until my dictator President is removed from office and whoever else is the same just like him Them really good yes

    • Earl Mango Pierre o gord mango LoL

    • Travis Mulraine Them really good yes lol

    • Oh lord he call Travis … Earl Mango Pierre yuh like bachanal eh

  39. Isn’t this the norm for this President. I wonder which staff members are getting paid or are they all going to withhold services?

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