Last update: 07-Dec-2013 3:12 am
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Pfister gets US$50,000 a month salary
Outspoken Minister of Sports, Anil Roberts is of the personal view today’s Soca Warriors 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil qualifier against Guyana should be the last for German-born coach Otto Pfister. This after the Soca Warriors were dumped from World Cup qualification following a 2-1 loss away to Guyana on Friday night. The 74-year-old Pfister was hired at the end of March and has only been in charge of the national team for six matches, one friendly against India and five World Cup qualifiers versus Bermuda (two), Barbados (two) and Guyana. However, with T&T failing to get past the Concacaf second round hurdle, it’s expected that Pfister, a former coach of Togo and Cameroon will be axed after today’s encounter, the same fate which was meted out to his predecessor, former T&T captain, Russell Latapy, last December. Latapy was fired after failing to qualify the Soca Warriors for the Concacaf Gold Cup after a disappointing campaign in the Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals.
Speaking at a press conference held at his Ministry of Sport, head office Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, Roberts said his Ministry was in no position to continue paying the US$50,000 monthly salary of Pfister. “As far as we are concerned Brazil 2014 is over, but we have some arrears for them which will be handled, however, going forward the Ministry of Sport cannot undertake to pay that exorbitant salary when we are not going to the elite level of performance.” Roberts said, “Pfister is a great coach but things just did not work out for him and the team and what I can say is the Ministry cannot justify that level of US$50,000 a month salary when we have now switched our focus to development mode. “That level of salary is on the final path to greatness as a team to qualify for a World Cup and we have been knocked out from the top level of football, therefore we cannot justify paying the elite level coach.”
With regards to the US$50,000 salary, Roberts said it was only for World Cup qualification because when you qualify for a World Cup the benefits it can bring to T&T cannot even put that value in monetary terms. Roberts had first stated it was not really for him or the Ministry of Sport to decide on the Soca Warriors technical staff future but noted he had to justify to the people of T&T how he spend its money and right now the campaign was over. Pressed further Roberts said, “Of course he (Pfister) should be removed, but I’m not in control of that. “To me it’s clear once you understand the philosophy of coaching, elite coaches are paid to win and move forward and it does not matter whoever you are once you cannot make it you go, end of story.”
He stressed, “I cannot and will not justify paying an elite level coach salary when we have no elite level competition. “Whoever is the coach is for the T&TFF to decide but all I can say is the Ministry of Sport is focusing on, development at this moment. Commenting on how the remainder of the $45 million budget which was approved for the campaign will be used Roberts said Brazil 2014 was a separate element in the T&TFF budget and it had its own initiative and value for money. “We are now out and now its a whole new ball game and we have to start from the ground and we can expect to see a lot more funding being provided for the Under-23 (Olympic team) which is preparing for another Caribbean Football Union qualifying tournament. Roberts also sent out a call to local coaches, who in the past said, they didn’t have a chance to coach the senior team. “Now they have a shot because as far as I see it for the next three or four years it should be local, local and more local. So if they wanted a chance then take it and make it count. It will also save the tax payers a lot of money because and if they get the job they will be paid the same salary as what foreigners get when the major tournaments come around like the Gold Cup and so on.”
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