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TTFA suspends national training sessions, Canada friendlies set to be called off

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has suspended all national team training sessions for the next two weeks while Concacaf also halted all competitions scheduled for the next 30 days, as regional football responds to the threat of the Corona virus.

Yesterday, the twin island republic had its first confirmed case of Covid-19: a 52 year old Swiss male who resides in Trinidad.

Photo: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed a Covid-19 pandemic.
(Copyright AAFP)

Across the region, events ranging from the Carifta Games to Tobago’s Goat race to Phagwa celebrations were postponed indefinitely or scrapped altogether. The TTFA is expected to confirm later today that Men’s National Senior Team friendly matches away to Canada on 27 and 31 March have also been vetoed. Both games, which were booked for Langford, British Columbia, were sold out.

The global health scare means Soca Warriors head coach Terry Fenwick will have no idea when he will make as a debut as an international coach and throws his training schedule—a source of discontent between the coach and the technical committee—into disarray.

The TTFA reported yesterday that Fenwick and technical committee chairman Keith Look Loy, who clashed last week, had a ‘cordial and productive’ meeting in which they promised to acknowledge and support each other.

For now, Trinidad and Tobago’s technical programmes are on pause and the TTFA has asked all technical staff members to contact the local football if they or anyone in their family or team displays symptoms.

“In light of the entry of the corona virus into Trinidad and Tobago, and Concacaf’s suspension of the Scotiabank Champions League yesterday,” stated a TTFA release, “the Technical Committee in consultation with president William Wallace is suspending training for all national teams with immediate effect for a minimum of 14 days from 13 to 27 March.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National U-20 players train at the Ato Boldon Stadium training field in Couva on 7 February 2020.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/Wired868)

“Head coaches and managers have been asked to disseminate this information to all players and to remain in daily contact with them and other team staff in order to monitor their health status—specifically with regard to the presentation of Corona virus symptoms.

“Should anyone in their family and/or their team present such symptoms, they have been directed to immediately inform TTFA for immediate action. Prior to the expiry of the suspension period the Technical Committee will issue further advice to teams on how to proceed.”

Concacaf’s postponement of this month’s play-offs between Guyana and Barbados for the 2021 Gold Cup will impact on Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team, who were due to face the winner in the June match window.

It is uncertain when the international sport calendar will regain its footing.

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