Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sport Ashwin Creed said yesterday that the national football team, which successfully competed in the Caribbean Football Union first round qualifiers in St Kitts/Nevis over the past week, is likely to receive the funds by tomorrow. Creed said the ministry has every intention of keeping its promise to pay for the cost of the trip.
He reiterated, however, that the ministry was not a bank but had to wait until the funds were available. The Soca Warriors were promised $218,000 in appearance fees to players, four of whom are overseas-based, while the amount requested by the T&TFF was $423,218 to cover airfare and allowances.
Yesterday Anthony Harford, chairman of the authorisation committee of the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation, confirmed that the ministry had not yet provided the funds to cover the trip. “On the weekend, it was stated by permanent secretary that the money would have been ready by Tuesday, so we were hoping that it came through but it has not reached as yet.”
Harford said his company used its contacts in St Kitts/Nevis, with whom it had done business in the past, to ensure that the players and management of the team were looked after during the tournament. He added, “We did not actually send money, but were able to sign a guarantee on behalf of All Sport with the people in St Kitts/Nevis whom we have done business with in the past.”
On Sunday night, the Hutson “Barber” Charles-coached Soca Warriors crushed Anguilla 10-0 to top the qualifiers after beating French Guiana 4-1 on Wednesday and host St Kitts/Nevis 1-0 in their previous matches. The contingent was expected home on Monday afternoon.
However, due to Tropical Storm Rafael, flights in and out of St Kitts/Nevis were grounded, and only resumed late Monday. As a result, not all 27 members of the team got seats on the return flight on Monday.
Those returning were: players Jamal Gay, Seon Power, Marvin Phillip, Vietnam-based forward Willis Plaza, Sylvester Teesdale, Kareem Moses, press officer Shaun Fuentes, assistant coach Derek King and goalkeeper coach Jefferson George while Dave Isaac (physiotherapist/trainer) and Michael Williams (equipment manager) were able to get flights yesterday.
Those in Basseterre up until yesterday, include captain Jan-Michael Williams, Daneil Cyrus, Joevin Jones, Curtis Gonzales, Carlyle Mitchell, Robert Primus, Hughtun Hector, Densill Theobald, Clyde Leon, Kevon Carter, Keon Daniel, Richard Roy, Devorn Jorsling and coach Hutson Charles and manager William Wallace.