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Concacaf bans T&T clubs from Champions League; Kenwyne appointed without coaching badge

Trinidad and Tobago football clubs look set to miss out on the 2019 Caribbean Club Championship and the 2019 Concacaf Champions League due to the alleged failure of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) to properly execute its club licensing programme.

The shock announcement, which was revealed at a TTFA board meeting tonight, means that North East Stars, W Connection and Police FC will have shorter seasons than anticipated. Concacaf’s supposed decision to ban the three Pro League clubs is believed to be final, although it was not yet communicated to Stars or Police.

Photo: Then North East Stars forward Rundell Winchester (right) challenges Police FC midfielder Todd Ryan during Pro League action at the Arima Velodrome on 28 July 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

“Nobody has contacted me or [club owner] Ryan Nunes as yet, so I cannot make a statement on that,” said Stars director Michael Awai.

Police FC head coach Richard Hood said he was also in the dark.

“You’re telling me something I did not know,” Hood told Wired868. “As far as I know we are compliant in all aspects, so that is news to me. We did everything we were required to do [by the TTFA] and we were granted our license.”

Ironically, Connection are owned by TTFA president David John-Williams and chaired by his daughter Renee John-Williams, who attended several FIFA/Concacaf workshops since her father’s election in November 2015.

Wired868 could not reach Pro League interim chairman Richard Fakoory or CEO Julia Baptiste for comment.

TTFA Club Licensing manager Michelle Lynch has apparently shouldered the blame for the ban, as the TTFA board was informed that she was dismissed with immediate effect. Lynch’s position is due to be advertised in the media until Tuesday 19 March while a Club Licensing Department will also be created.

The TTFA constitution mandates that the football body has an audit and compliance committee but the board failed to properly set up the body in the three years served thus far by president David John-Williams.

Photo: Concacaf official Howard McIntosh (centre) makes a point while TTFA president David John-Williams looks on during a press conference at the Hyatt hotel on 28 January 2019.
(Copyright Annalicia Caruth/Wired868)

At one point, the committee was manned by TTFA employees Sharon O’Brien and Lynch. However article 45.3 of the constitution states: ‘the chairman and deputy chairman of the Audit and Compliance Committee shall be independent from TTFA, its bodies and Members’.

In another bit of business today, the TTFA board effectively rubber stamped the appointment of National Under-17 Team technical staff members Kenwyne Jones (assistant coach), Caleb De Souza (assistant coach), Ross Russell (goalkeeper coach), Aaron Pollard (manager) and Devin Elcock (equipment manager).

They will assist National Under-17 Team head coach Stern John.

Jones, a former National Senior Team captain and England Premier League forward, has just three months coaching experience as assistant at Queen’s Royal College (QRC) last season while, according to the CV presented to the board, he does not hold a coaching badge at present.

However, the majority of the board voted to support the appointment of the 34 year old on John’s recommendation and with the belief that his success as a player could prove inspirational to the young men. The board did not appoint a therapist recommended by John as no CV was yet provided for consideration.

All National Under-17 technical staff members have agreed to work without pay.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Kenwyne Jones (right) celebrates with teammate Sheldon Bateau during international duty at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Jones retired from football in 2017.
(Copyright Concacaf)

In other news, Tobago Football Association (TFA) president Anthony Moore and Southern Football Association (SFA) president Richard Quan Chan were elected to serve as TTFA vice-presidents for the remainder of John-Williams’ term. Both men were nominated by John-Williams and seconded by Veteran Footballers Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFOTT) president and new board member Selby Browne.

They replace Allan Warner and Joanne Salazar who quit their roles. The TFA and SFA will select replacements for Moore and Quan Chan respectively on the board.

Moore was also elected to the commission of the new proposed league set-up between the Pro League and Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) entities. Again, John-Williams and Browne teamed up to recommend his ascension.

The TTFA also agreed to hold its Champion of Champions tournament before the end of March with winners from the North, South, East, Central and Tobago zones. The Eastern Counties Football Union (ECFU) will not participate after again failing to hold any competition in the last calendar year.

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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187 comments

  1. The real story here is not the ban by CONCACAF. The real story is the hoax that is being perpetrated by this administration regarding club licensing and membership compliance by keeping these functions under the Big Boss’s control in the TTFA office, as opposed to activating the independent committees. Lack of transparency and accountability.

  2. This is why TTFA needs proper and independent club licensing and membership compliance committees.

  3. Two points to note about that:

    1. WC’s books were not in order up to the time pro league clubs were about to receive funding from the gov’t. News of that went dead.

    2 The same people at the top of management at his club are among those appointed to the Home of Football committee unilaterally appointed when UEFA visited before Carnival. Go figure.

  4. W Connection was found non-compliant when MSYA and Cudjoe intervened and asked for financials when the pro league was seeking assistance. No one would have found out if it weren’t for the MSYA’s involvement.
    This is the club of the sitting president. That was in the printed media. Do you recall? Sure you do. Corrupted administration.

  5. They ought to resign, all of them. They are detrimental to the game.

  6. How can so many things go wrong under one president and he still maintains his position? Football has suffered on so many levels in Trinidad and it seems as though the person/people that are supposed to care the most about it, actually cares the least. It is time for change! There is far too much potential in Trinidad and Tobago for players to be robbed of the exposure, experience and effort that they deserve. What else has to fail for positive changes to be made?

    • Liana KM Wait are you speaking facts sis? OR ARE YOU SPEAKING FACTS! TTFA has been a joke and a disgrace to the national team athletes under this regime, we have been failed tremendously and it’s unfair. While you’re at it, SPEAKING FACTS, bring back Randy Waldrum!

  7. I wonder if I mount a challenge against DJW in November if I’ll get the support

  8. Excerpt: Stern John meantime, spoke about his experience of the TTFA coaching courses, saying “I did the C in England as well as the UEFA B and the TTFA C and B at home. Our B and C courses in Trinidad are full of information. It’s more strenuous and intense and very comparable with the two I have been on abroad when it comes to the information being passed on and the methods used,” John told TTFA Media.

    “Anton’s mentoring is very important in helping you to be a better coach. He explains at length. For me, doing the the C and B license courses in Trinidad helped me with my UEFA B course in the UK to understand the game better and with putting down my sessions. I think it’s important for local coaches to do the local B and C licenses,” added the former Sunderland forward.

    “I think the B and C licenses are recognised in other parts especially the Caribbean. It is important that the our coaches keep up with the times of coaching and graduating from these courses is an important step for them.”

    http://ttfootball.org/2018/11/20/stern-sees-benefits-from-ttfa-coaching-courses/

  9. Along with the backward Caribbean sporting trend of sports organizations that constantly ask governments for funding when in developed world this is never done

    The second disturbing trend is people wanting to work for sports bodies for free

    I would have thought guys like Stern & Kenwyne who played at highest levels of pro football wouldn’t go down the crazy Anton corneal route & would reject any TTFA proposal to work for free

    Lasana Liburd Kirwin Weston Keith Look Loy Amiel FullyFocus Mutilal Bruce Aanensen Leslie Fitzpatrick Kelvin Jack Kion S Williams Dayne Brizan Dennis Allen Stephon Nicholas Nigel Myers

  10. Let me say the following:

    1. I made the obvious point that Jones has no coaching certification and virtually no coaching experience. I was the only one to vote against his appointment.
    2. I have repeatedly made the point that TTFA club licensing is a mess, and that the official in charge of same was “a figment of TTFA”s imagination”. TTSL clubs have constantly complained about her incompetence. The DJW administration allowed this rot to continue. This is what we now have
    3. People I once believed were warriors for good governance and the proper development of football have been silenced. They now continue to disguise themselves as progressives but have gone over to the dark side.
    4. SSFL is the biggest and best financed league in the country. Nonetheless, it remains excluded by football from the TTFA Board. I proposed William Wallace, SSFL President, for a VP post. I made the point that we had an opportunity to redress the glaring exclusion of that league. He got three out of eleven votes.

    I could go on but no need. I will say this though, the Big Boss is buying out everybody in sight. With beads and mirrors. A trip to Wales for a Board member. An appointment to a committee for a regional association member. A promise here and there. Every man and woman has his or her price. So they say.

    • I will repeat the statement I made a few days ago. We have produced world class players in Trinidad and Tobago for a long time. If that is the case, then why are we struggling to break through the top three teams in the Concacaf? Our administrators have failed us continuously as far back as the sixties. I have seen it first hand during my career which came to an end in Trinidad and Tobago in 1989. If any of the Board members can recall what happened November 19th, 1989 then it should be your duty to be fair to our country by doing the correct thing, to make sure November 19th, 1989 never happen’s again in the history of our country. Instead, Board members engage in behaviors similar to what prevented us from qualifying for the 1990 World Cup. I appeal to all Board member each one of you should stand for principle, to correct the wrong and make it right. Board members, before you give in for a few pieces of silver, think, about November 19th, 1989, and if you do, then nothing will be too much to give up for the advancement of the game of football in Trinidad and Tobago.

  11. I officially reneged my position on his appointment and wish him the best

  12. It is supposed to be annual. It was not done with TTSL clubs in 2018.

  13. Keith, Is club compliancy something that you do annually? I see 25 clubs received certificates in 2017.
    http://ttfootball.org/2017/02/11/9953/

  14. “Concacaf will monitor the progress via spot checks and I have a very good relation with the club licensing manager Michelle LynchThere will be a team approach towards the monitoring, implementing and helping develop the club licensing programme.”
    http://ttfootball.org/2016/10/15/club-licensing-program-off-to-strong-start/

  15. Is the club license programme the same one that is supposed to have all academies registered and each player at each academy registered? And ensure that coaches at academies are licensed?

  16. 1. I made the obvious point that Jones has no coaching certification and virtually no coaching experience. I was the only one to vote against his appointment.
    2. I have repeatedly made the point that TTFA club licensing is a mess, and that the official in charge of same was “a figment of TTFA”s imagination”. TTSL clubs have constantly complained about her incompetence. The DJW administration allowed this rot to continue. This is what we now have
    3. People I once believed were warriors for good governance and the proper development of football have been silenced. They now continue to disguise themselves as progressives but have gone over to the dark side.
    4. SSFL is the biggest and best financed league in the country. Nonetheless, it remains excluded by football from the TTFA Board. I proposed William Wallace, SSFL President, for a VP post. I made the point that we had an opportunity to redress the glaring exclusion of that league. He got three out of eleven votes.

    I could go on but no need. I will say this though, the Big Boss is buying out everybody in sight. With beads and mirrors. A trip to Wales for a Board member. An appointment to a committee for a regional association member. A promise here and there. Every man and woman has his or her price. So they say.

  17. If Saintfiet coulld be hired, then you know due diligence is not a common practice in that organization.

  18. Lasana, this is confusing. For what Selby Browne supposedly stands for, why would he second the nomination of Moore and Quan Chan? Keith Look Loy

  19. John Williams alone is not to blame. The people who constantly support his wrong doing are equally guilty. The rest of the executive and some of the members of the board are all culpable. It is a continuing saga of ” eat a food”. It goes on in all organizations in this country

  20. This fucking John-Williams ‍♂️

  21. Let him only study his Home of Football an Men’s National Team…as d local saying goes..As d grass growing….d horse starving…cah wait to see wat happens in November

  22. Besides the obvious insult to all REAL coaches who sacrificed their time and monies to qualify themselves it’s another quantum leap backwards to do the job for FREE and please don’t tell me about national duty ….. if we as coaches don’t respect ourselves and our profession we’ll never get respect …
    Dexter Cyrus
    Keith Look Loy

  23. Michelle Lynch reported to whom? Fish rottens from the head.

  24. Would really love to hear more about this club licensing fiasco.

    Was anyone else not compliant in the region ?

    What’s the real reason ?

    So this person just say I take the blame and quit ? Bye bye ?
    If she taking blame and is in fact at fault for these clubs non-participation, can she or TTFA be sued…again ?

  25. I thought he was just planted in the ground and couldn’t move. From what I understand the staff chosen was because they all working for free

  26. But like u didn’t see wa went on in the wc qualifiers all d ball es come to he his touch let him down he need to leggo some of the cement of his foot

  27. Aye allyuh not easy yuh know, Kevon yuh saying that Kenwyn can’t trap a ball

  28. What madness I seeing here jusso dey hire a rookie to be on d coaching staff an he never did no course what he going an teach d young men to do trap wen he can’t trap to save he life or how to improve your first touch is like we football getting worst every year

  29. And we still have people who will defend this… and say all is well… we are building a Football Home….a legacy

  30. Oh geeeeeez when will this stop. A cat has nine lives. DJW and his stringband is nine times nine a cat. And the TTFA and football fraternity are a bunch of spineless muppets. How can one man bring the local game and the country into disrepute with so many faux pas and just sail along? Really? Are we this weak? I guess I know the answer

  31. This is getting more comical by the day. The TTFA is starting to rival the trump administration