The Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team continued their slide down the Fifa rankings this week, as they fell two places to 104th. The Soca Warriors have never been ranked lower than 106th since Fifa introduced its ranking format in 1992.
The Warriors’ current position confirms that coach Dennis Lawrence failed to get the team to the Concacaf Hex for the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying competition. Worse, Trinidad and Tobago continue to head in the wrong direction.
Six months ago, the Warriors were 92nd in the world and 10th in Concacaf when the confederation announced that only its top six nations will be allowed to compete for an automatic place in Qatar.
Rather than make headway, though, the Warriors fell 12 places in the FIFA rankings while they are now 11th in Concacaf. Haiti and Antigua and Barbuda are in 10th and 12th place respectively in Concacaf while Trinidad and Tobago are sandwiched between Armenia, Estonia, Mozambique and Palestine in the Fifa rankings.
Trinidad and Tobago have won just one match in this calendar year; and it came against the worst team in international football, Anguilla. The record Anguilla triumph inside, Lawrence is on a run of 17 matches without a win.
Remarkably, Lawrence received a two and a half year contract extension by former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams in the middle of his winless run and is believed to have secured a pay increase as well. Should he see out his contract, the former World Cup 2006 star will be the longest serving coach in the history of the local national team.
Lawrence, who has never submitted a technical report to the TTFA board since he took up his position in January 2017, has been asked to provide reports for the Concacaf Nations League and 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup for review by the new board of the local football body.
The Warriors coach, according to his agent Mike Berry, handed over reports to John-Williams, former general secretaries Justin Latapy-George and Camara David, technical directors Muhammad Isa (deceased) and Anton Corneal and board member Richard Quan Chan—none reached to the wider board.
At present, the only confirmed board members are: William Wallace (president), Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick, Sam Phillip (vice-presidents), Richard Quan Chan (Southern FA) and Joseph Taylor (Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association).
Wallace has given the various bodies of the local football body until 6 December to submit names of their representatives for the board.
The Warriors return to action next June when they enter a two-legged play off for a place at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup tournament. There is also a FIFA international match window between 23 and 31 March which will allow the National Senior Team to have two friendlies before they resume competitive action.