The Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team will play for their place at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup between 2-6 July, after Concacaf confirmed its playoff dates yesterday evening.
The Soca Warriors play Montserrat on either 2 or 3 July at the InterMiami CF Stadium in Ft Lauderdale with the winner moving on to face either Cuba or French Guiana at the same venue on 6 July.
The Montserrat football team are ranked 180th in the world at present and 26th in Concacaf while Cuba are 181st and 27th respectively. French Guiana, as an overseas territory of France, is not a full Fifa member and does not have a ranking.
Should Trinidad and Tobago win both contests, they will be placed in Group A of the Gold Cup alongside Mexico, El Salvador and Curaçao.
The other nations involved in the Gold Cup Playoffs are: Haiti, Guadeloupe, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Gold Cup is of particular significance to head coach Terry Fenwick since his contract guarantees him an automatic renewal at an increased salary—from his current wage of US$20,000 to US$25,000 per month—once the Warriors get into the group stage.
The renewal clause is one of the more controversial aspects of Fenwick’s contract. In December 2019, the TTFA Board offered Fenwick a two-year deal at US$17,500 per month with an automatic renewal and pay rise to US$20,000 per month once the Warriors qualified for the Gold Cup quarterfinals.
However, Fenwick had then president William Wallace and general secretary Ramesh Ramdhan alter the terms, apparently without the knowledge or permission of the board.
At present, the Warriors are fighting to stay alive in the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying series, with must-win games against the Bahamas and St Kitts and Nevis on 5 and 8 June respectively.
Their next two outings, in July, will be of immense importance to the immediate future of the Trinidad and Tobago team too, as Fenwick prepares for his most significant match windows as an international football coach.
(T&T’s upcoming fixtures)
Bahamas v Trinidad and Tobago, World Cup qualifier, Nassau, 5 June;
Trinidad and Tobago v St Kitts and Nevis, World Cup qualifier, TBD, 8 June.
Trinidad and Tobago v Montserrat, Gold Cup Playoff, Ft Lauderdale, 2/3 July.
T&T/Montserrat v Cuba/Fr Guiana, Gold Cup Playoff, Ft Lauderdale, 6 July.