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Dear editor: Will the real Brent Sancho please stand up?

“[…] Is this the same [Brent] Sancho person as the former national footballer, who took Jack Warner’s all-powerful TTFA to court some years ago and subsequently levied on the umbrella body’s offices? And who, as leader of the levying group, took the trouble to ensure that he also took away with him the uniforms of the national team that was in training?

“Is this the same Sancho person who, alerted that those uniforms were needed for the national team to play in, flung over his shoulder the response that: ‘they can play bareback’? […]”

The following letter to the editor on interim Pro League chairman Brent Sancho’s decision to support the Fifa normalisation committee was submitted to Wired868 by Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) assistant general secretary Laurence Seepersad:

Photo: Former Sport Minister and Pro League interim chairman Brent Sancho.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Since the FIFA normalisation committee was appointed and put in place to supplant the duly and democratically elected officers of the TTFA after just three months in office, a lot has been aired and published in the media. Tom, Dick and Harrilal all seem to have an opinion on the issue and all seem to think that opinion should be shared with the public at large.

I can honestly say that I have no problem with that. I do, however, have a difficulty with the identity of at least one of those who have come out in open, unqualified support of the appointment of the normalisation committee.

I have to confess that seeing that one person in the ranks of the pro-Fifa cohort has left me confused. And amazed. That person is ex-Soca Warrior Brent Sancho, on whose broad back Peter Crouch unforgettably climbed, pulling at his inviting locks, during T&T’s 2006 World Cup defeat by England in Germany.

Is this the same Sancho person who loudly protested Crouch’s action and heard 1.3 million voices—or the better part of—echo his protests? Fair is fair and, if we’re playing by the rules, such action simply cannot be allowed to go unpunished.

Is this the same Sancho person as the former national footballer, who took Jack Warner’s all-powerful TTFA to court some years ago and subsequently levied on the umbrella body’s offices? And who, as leader of the levying group, took the trouble to ensure that he also took away with him the uniforms of the national team that was in training?

Photo: England forward Peter Crouch (right) gets the better of Trinidad and Tobago defender Brent Sancho (centre) after pulling his dreadlocks while goalkeeper Shaka Hislop looks on during the 2006 World Cup.
(Copyright AFP 2018)

Is this the same Sancho person who, alerted that those uniforms were needed for the national team to play in, flung over his shoulder the response that: ‘they can play bareback’?

I have nothing against the footballers, the young lady asking the question and the 1.3 million of us eavesdropping were supposed to understand, it’s the principle of the thing, man!

It is this same Sancho person who would go on to become a high-profile public figure, a minister of government, no less, charged with the responsibility of national development, of inculcating fair play, honesty, accountability and democracy among the nation’s sportsmen and women, young and old?

After all, you can’t go wrong with principle, can you?

So is this the same Sancho whose voice has been heard loudly among those leading the anti-William Wallace chorus?

Maybe. But maybe not. The same Sancho who has been so forthcoming, so forthright, so vociferous on the Fifa issue is heavily invested in national football.

He has his own professional football club and, despite irresponsible media reports that may seem to suggest otherwise, I am almost certain that all his players are well taken care of and have been paid all monies due to them for their services.

Photo: Central FC playmaker Che Benny (left) puts W Connection midfielder Briel Thomas on his backside during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 3 January 2020.
Central FC players have complained about being owed salaries from the club in the 2019/20 season–and before.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

The same Sancho, yesterday’s minister of sport, still has political aspirations today. Politics, we have it on good authority, has its own morality and yesterday is yesterday and today is today.

So today’s club-owner Sancho may well be no less passionate about the welfare and future of all local footballers, young and old, than yesterday’s minister of sport Sancho. But I don’t think he would want them to ‘play bareback’.

Maybe Sancho would not stand up in defence of any national sporting person or entity, against any organisation, however powerful, which might seek to perpetrate an illegal act on it.

But I don’t think Sancho would not be among the first to seek to protect the status of the duly elected officers of any local sporting organisation. Not because he has anything to gain personally from so doing but because it is the principled thing to do.

After all, old habits die hard.

So I cannot believe that the real Sancho, who braved the wrath of Warner and his TTFA all those years ago, standing up for what he believed in, is the same Sancho who today is vehemently against Wallace and his vice-presidents whose rights have been so clearly trampled upon…

…and sees nothing wrong with that.

Photo: Central FC managing director and ex-Sport Minister Brent Sancho (second from right) is flanked by then Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (right) and former World Cup 2006 star and Central coach Stern John during the opening of the Irwin Park Sporting Complex in Siparia in 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

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2 comments

  1. Finally someone is seeing this charlatan and opportunist for who he is.

  2. It is the same opportunist Brent Sancho, sometimes look at the true motives behind the actions. Not all activists carry out action on behalf of others, sometimes those actions are masked as being philanthropy, when it it is about filling the person’s money. Not everyone in the boat is rowing, some are only talking