Fenwick allegedly attacks press officer; TTFA opens probe into controversial English coach

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“I told you I am not doing any fucking interview once he is here!” Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick shouted at media officer Shaun Fuentes.

Fenwick was getting ready to start a press briefing at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva and had two journalists in close proximity when he cursed at the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) employee.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football coach Terry Fenwick shouts orders at his players during a friendly match against Orange XI at the St James Police Barracks on 6 March 2021.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/Wired868)

This journalist had just come within view, walking alongside two CNC3 media workers.

Fenwick and Fuentes moved towards the centre of the football field to continue their exchange, with the English coach clearly animated. After a few minutes, the two men returned to conduct the press briefing—and Fenwick answered two questions from Wired868 on the unavailability of Trinidad and Tobago’s Europe-based players for the 28 March World Cup qualifier against Puerto Rico.

But it may not be the last we hear of the spat between the coach and media man.

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Near to the centre of the Ato Boldon Stadium ground, at least three persons present alleged that Fenwick butted Fuentes. Equipment manager Michael Williams appeared to intervene to calm down the former England World Cup defender.

Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad was in the covered stands and subsequently asked Fuentes and logistics/safety and compliance manager Captain Basil Thompson to provide reports on the incident.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick (centre) sits with staff during a function at the residence of the commissioner of police on 5 March 2021.
Kit manager Michael Williams is seated (far left).
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/Wired868)

Neither Hadad, Fenwick nor Fuentes responded to requests for comment.

At this stage, it is uncertain what the implications might be for Fenwick—if he is found culpable—or the staff. Both men are expected to leave for the Dominican Republic tomorrow, where the Warriors tackle Guyana on 25 March before heading on to Puerto Rico.

Fenwick lamented the lack of administrative support afforded to the team during the briefing, as he confirmed that the Warriors will be without star winger Levi Garcia and experienced central defender Sheldon Bateau for the Puerto Rico leg, due to US Covid-19 travel restrictions.

He might have a more immediate issue with his employers first.

If guilty, it would not be the first time that Fenwick’s temper got him into trouble. On 4 November 2005, the then San Juan Jabloteh head coach infamously floored W Connection midfielder Gefferson Goulart with a forearm—after the Brazilian celebrated a goal in the Jabloteh technical area during the Toyota Classic final.

Photo: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith (left) has a word with Soca Warriors head coach Terry Fenwick after training at the Police Barracks in St James on 3 July 2020.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Richard Piper, the current TTFA director of football, officiated that cup final while Norris Ferguson was the match commissioner.

The Pro League’s disciplinary committee of Sharon O’Brien, Roy Jagroopsingh and Paul Regis subsequently suspended Fenwick for 10 matches and Goulart for two matches, while three other players were also suspended for their roles in the subsequent brawl. The Englishman had his suspension reduced on appeal.

Fenwick has stayed on the right side of the law on the football field ever since.

After this morning’s incident, Hadad has ordered an inquiry to ensure that has not changed. Based on eyewitness reports, the head coach might have some explaining to do.

Editor’s Note: The TTFA subsequently released statement that head coach terry Fenwick and press officer Shaun Fuentes exchanged apologies over the incident. Click HERE to read.

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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