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‘We’ve taken this matter very seriously!’ Guyana asks Fifa to sanction T&T for using Boucaud

Guyana Football Federation (GFF) president Wayne Forde has formally asked Fifa to sanction the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team for using a then match agent, Andre Boucaud, as a player.

Boucaud, 36, retired as a player in 2020 and was registered as an agent with the England FA. However, the midfielder accepted a call-up by Soca Warriors head coach Terry Fenwick last month and featured as a late substitute in their 1-1 Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying draw away to Puerto Rico.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielders (from left) Kevin Molino, Andre Boucaud and Khaleem Hyland prepare for kick off against St Vincent and the Grenadines in Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016.
Trinidad and Tobago won 6-0.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

Rule 1.2 of Appendix II in the English FA rules states: ‘An official (as defined by the Fifa Statutes or any successor here to) or a player cannot be an intermediary. An intermediary becoming an official or a player shall have his registration suspended for as long as he remains an official or a player.’

Boucaud was subsequently de-registered as an agent by England’s FA. Forde wants Fifa to also take action.

“We have taken this matter very seriously and have presented our findings to Fifa—that this individual was ineligible to play for Trinidad and Tobago as a registered intermediary with the English FA,” said Forde, in a press statement. “It is vital for the integrity and fairness of the game that the rules are respected and upheld by everyone. We look forward to Fifa’s response in due course.”

Forde saids Guyana’s protest followed ‘an extensive investigation and careful consultation’.

However, to date, the GFF has not stated exactly what Fifa rule was infringed by Trinidad and Tobago with Boucaud’s participation.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Andre Boucaud (centre) looks for passing options under close watch from US players (from right) Jermaine Jones, Gyasi Zardes and Tim Ream during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 17 November 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Fifa law states that ‘any person holding a permanent nationality that is not dependent on residence in a certain country is eligible to play for the representative teams of the association of that country’.

Boucaud, who was born in England, holds a Trinidad and Tobago passport and has represented the twin island republic since 2004. He has 48 senior international caps with two goals.

Fifa does not expressly restrict players from acting as agents and there is precedence for the Soca Warriors. Former Trinidad and Tobago captain David Nakhid operated as an agent in Lebanon while still an active player for club and country.

Were the governing body to rule that Boucaud was ineligible, then, according to Fifa Disciplinary Code article 22.1, Trinidad and Tobago ‘will be sanctioned by forfeiting the match and paying a minimum fine of CHF 6,000. The player may also be sanctioned.’

Incidentally, article 46 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code states that associations have ‘within 24 hours of the end of the match in question’ and ‘the 24-hour time limit cannot be extended’. It is uncertain whether Guyana would get special consideration since they did not have knowledge of the alleged breach at the time.

Photo: Haiti playmaker Hérold Charles (left) tries to keep the ball from Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Andre Boucaud (centre) while Aikim Andrews looks on during 2017 Gold Cup playoff action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

At present, Trinidad and Tobago are second in Group F with four points from two games, after an opening 3-0 win over Guyana. St Kitts and Nevis top the group with six points followed by T&T (four points) and Guyana (three points).

With two games remaining, only the winner will advance to the next round of Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying.

If Trinidad and Tobago were stripped of a point, it could mean the Warriors would have to rely on goal difference to stay alive—even if they won their remaining two fixtures against the Bahamas and St Kitts and Nevis.

Still, it would not alter the mindset of Fenwick’s team who would have anticipated a healthy win over Bahamas in any case. Trinidad and Tobago have a +3 goal difference at present while Bahamas are -8 and St Kitts and Nevis, who already paid the group’s whipping boys, are +5.

An altered table, due to a sanction, would give Puerto Rico life though, as they would have three points with games against the Bahamas and Guyana remaining.

Photo: Puerto Rico left back Raúl Gonzáles III (centre) looks to advance past Trinidad and Tobago flanker Levi Garcia (left) during World Cup qualifying action in Mayaguez on 28 March 2021.
Looking on is Trinidad and Tobago coach Terry Fenwick.
(via TTFA Media)

However, it is worth reiterating that the ‘Golden Jaguars’ have so far failed to clearly point to the grounds on which Boucaud should be punished.

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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2 comments

  1. If TT loses one point, they may have to hammer Bermuda by 10 goals say. AND beat St Kitts.

    Interesting ….Guyana also has to play St Kitts. A draw would be great for TT.

    Let’s wait and see. JUNE 5TH is a very important day… TT sharp shooters get ready to rumble like La Soufriere. Wired 868…fuel the fire build up.

    • “Wired 868…fuel the fire build-up.”

      Whaaaaat! Since when daiz Wired wuk?

      Reminds me of what then TTFA president Peter O’Çonnor told me in the build-up to November 19, 1989 while Jack Warner busy selling 40,000 ticket fuh a 25,000 capacity stadium: “Ït is the responsibility of the media to support the national team, no matter what!”