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Griffith: Only dinosaurs don’t back Fenwick and think they know Covid laws better than me

“The identical training programme for our national team—having them train in pockets, etc—is being conducted by almost every English Premier League team, as is being done by [Terry] Fenwick; and the restrictions were similar.

“Likewise, other national teams in Concacaf have also commenced such training, as they want to have a head start in upcoming World Cup qualifiers, since every session can count. But they are lucky, as they do not have backward thinking individuals who simply do not know better and always try to find excuses not to move forward…”

The following letter to the editor in defence of Soca Warriors head coach Terry Fenwick’s decision to start training the Men’s National Senior Team was submitted to Wired868 by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith:

Photo: Then TTFA security advisor Gary Griffith (left), SPORTT facility manager Anthony Blake (right) and TTFA manager Richard Piper await kick off between Trinidad and Tobago and USA on 8 June 2017 in Commerce City, Colorado.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

Over the last decade, I worked closely with every football administration in this country, and always held a good relationship with each one.

It varied from being a security consultant, to supporting the national team’s technical staff both at home and abroad—inclusive of the last World Cup qualifying series when I provided the administrative and security briefs to the Fifa Match Commissioners. And this was done with the sole purpose of playing my part to help build our football.

Unfortunately, the biggest hurdle has always been ego; and those, who when not in authority, go with the motto of: ‘If I cannot control it, then I would be an obstacle’.

I make mention of this as it relates to the hilarious comments being made by a few mocking pretenders who, because of their dinosaur style of leadership and inability to be proactive, have an issue because the National Senior Team has commenced training.

The quotes made in a daily newspaper confirm all too clearly my earlier comment of those not being prepared to build and support, unless they are in control. To clarify, I am referring to the misleading comments by Mr Keith Look Loy, who had the audacity to make the most ridiculous comment that the National Senior Team head coach was breaking the law, because ‘the government said so’.

Photo: TTSL president and FC Santa Rosa owner Keith Look Loy leads a march for peace in Arima on 17 March 2018.
Look Loy is the current TTFA technical committee chairman.
(Copyright Annalicia Caruth/Wired868)

Let us refer to the dozens of persons who have entered the country in the last few months, even though ‘the government said’ that the borders were closed. Does this mean that all who entered broke the law? Obviously not.

In the same way that permission is granted for particular circumstances—based on the situation—likewise the relevant authority in government was briefed, and approval was given.

Additionally, by some going down the road of ‘Terry Fenwick is not one of us’ and saying that if this was England, it would not be done; it again shows that some need to read and educate themselves before making comments.

The identical training programme for our national team—having them train in pockets, etc—is being conducted by almost every English Premier League team, as is being done by Fenwick; and the restrictions were similar.

Likewise, other national teams in Concacaf have also commenced such training, as they want to have a head start in upcoming World Cup qualifiers, since every session can count. But they are lucky, as they do not have backward thinking individuals who simply do not know better and always try to find excuses not to move forward.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick is introduced to the media at the National Cycling Centre, Couva on 6 January 2020.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/TTFA Media)

Look Loy is neither a minister nor a police officer, so he is out of place to fool anyone into believing that he can interpret the Covid Regulations and know who is breaking the law or not.

No one would know and understand the enforcement of these regulations better than I would, as I have been the one who had to make decisions as to the enforcement of the law dozens of times daily throughout the pandemic. So Look Loy should spare us with his perceived knowledge of the law or what the government stated.

To also make an irresponsible comment like: ‘well there is no tournament soon, so why train now’. Again this shows the dinosaur attitude, whereby for years—due to poor administration—national teams would start training only days prior to a tournament.

And when poor results follow, we try to blame players and coaches, when it is really administrators that are at fault.

So to those who condemn my actions to ensure pro-activity, simply show the old time arrogance and fight-down that has marred our football development for the last 15 years. They are dinosaurs, not understanding that the type of football structure that they used in the 1960s, is no longer applicable if we are to match with the best in the region.

Photo: Then Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (right) looks on as his wing back Jamal Jack (centre) tries to break clear from Stars midfielder Keithy Simpson during Pro League action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

So to the few who condemned the actions by those who are trying to develop our football, I ask that they look in the mirror and ascertain if they are in football only for their own self-interest. Because it is mind boggling that a national team commencing training under trying circumstances is seen as an issue by wanna-be police officers who have foolishly misinterpreted the law—as well as those who criticised this decision but were the first to be there.

It is high time that those who want to be involved in our football understand that they need to lead, follow or get out of the way and stop being an obstruction to our success.

Editor’s Note: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith has given the Soca Warriors permission to train at the Police Barracks in St James. His son, Gary Griffith III, a former National Under-17 attacker, is among Fenwick’s training squad.

Griffith’s involvement in football predates his son’s.

About Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
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