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‘United TTFA’ blame John-Williams for ‘alarming destruction’ of T&T football

“United TTFA sees the immediate ill fortune of [the Men’s and Women’s National Senior Teams] as emblematic of the ongoing collapse of TTFA’s national teams programme under the David John-Williams administration…”

The following media statement on the state of Trinidad and Tobago football was issued by ‘United TTFA’ members Anthony Harford, Keith Look Loy, Sam Phillip, Clynt Taylor, William Wallace and Susan Warrick, who have vowed to submit a slate to challenge current Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams at the 24 November elections:

Photo Trinidad and Tobago coach Dennis Lawrence (second from right) urges on substitute Duane Muckette during Concacaf Nations League action in Port of Spain on 10 October 2019.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

United TTFA is alarmed at the home defeat of the Soca Warriors by Honduras last night, which condemned our senior men’s national team to its longest ever run without a win since Trinidad and Tobago joined FIFA in 1962—an unprecedented thirteen matches.

Moreover, the loss forces our team to the bottom of the CONCACAF Nations League group standings and virtually eliminates our country’s chances of securing  an automatic berth to either the World Cup or Gold Cup. Sadly, our team is headed into the second division of the CONCACAF Nations League.

Within the same week, Trinidad and Tobago’s senior women’s national team finished second to last in its Caribbean Olympic qualifying group and was eliminated from that CONCACAF tournament. Merely four years ago that team challenged Ecuador for a place in the Women’s World Cup.

United TTFA sees the immediate ill fortune of these two national teams as emblematic of the ongoing collapse of TTFA’s national teams programme under the David John-Williams administration. Since coming to power in 2015, the David John-Williams has presided over the alarming destruction of Trinidad and Tobago’s once unrivalled domination of Caribbean football, and the loss of its hard won status as a member of CONCACAF’s elite.

This catastrophic decline is evident in all of our national teams, irrespective of age group or gender. The absence of fans from national team matches is an increasingly desperate protest, even from loyal supporters, against our increasingly abysmal performance in the international arena.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago flanker Shanelle Arjoon (foreground) cuts a dejected figure while St Kitts and Nevis players celebrate during Olympic qualifying action in Couva on 7 October 2019.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/CA-Images/Wired868)

United TTFA rejects the standard excuses being offered by the TTFA President and national team coaches in defence of their dismal record. Failure is now being camouflaged by talk of ‘development’.

United TTFA believes the explanation for our dramatic fall from grace is that under David John-Williams the selection and contracting of national coaches has become increasingly arbitrary and non-transparent; the operation of national coaches and national teams has become untethered from any form of technical supervision and accountability; and the selection of players has become increasingly haphazard and narrow.

United TTFA also believes, however, that deliverance is on the horizon—the TTFA election of 24 November.

United TTFA has a vision, supported by a plan, for the restoration of Trinidad and Tobago’s fortunes and status on the international stage. This will require time and investment but United TTFA pledges to achieve this worthy objective. We call on all football lovers, and all of Trinidad and Tobago, to be of stout heart. Deliverance is close to hand.

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