T&T got a taste of the World Cup euphoria in Brazil a little more than a week ago through the presence of the men’s senior national team in Sao Paulo for the friendly match against Iran.
The Soca Warriors were afforded all the treatment customary to international teams leading up to the World Cup from maximum security escort to state of the art training facilities and the attention of the average fan on the street in Sao Paulo.
But for the next few weeks, a small club from Central, Trinidad by the name of Crown Trace FC will be putting the twin island republic on display through all corners of the globe.
Winning the Kia Fifa “Power of Football” contest led to the team, coached by Nicholas Griffith, to being featured in a five-minute video presentation produced by KIA Motors, which will be shown at every Kia showroom throughout the world and wherever there is a Kia presence in Brazil.
This was confirmed by Park June, one of the producers who was in Trinidad last month for the making of the video.
“The video turned out to be amazing and everything we wanted it to be.
“The kids were fantastic and the cooperation of everyone including Kenwyne Jones, Carlos Edwards, Stern John, the Football Association and others individuals was really appreciated. Now we are pleased to say that the video will be seen in Brazil and many other countries over the next month or so,” June said.
Griffith received his brand new Kia Soul motorcar at the Kia Port-of-Spain Showroom on Tuesday and was thrilled at the handing over which was witnessed by Southern Sales and Services directors Riaz Ahamad and Shiraz Ahamad.
“I literally gave up my life for these youths of Crown Trace FC. It was hard at first because I had to give up the regular things 20-year-olds would be enjoying but I couldn’t just give up on the kids. I wanted to see them accomplish something. I hope that now that we have been recognised on the international stage, that locally we will appreciated and acknowledged for the hard work we have been doing over the years as we try to go forward and create more opportunities for the youngsters,” Griffith said.
“There is no greater victory in giving of yourself for the benefit of others. In the end we both win,” the 26-year-old said. Local fans can view the video on the TTFA’s official facebook page or by using the keywords “Surprises Make Surprises”.
Latapy remains at Inverness
Russell Latapy will remain at Inverness Caledonian Thistle but his boss John Hughes insists that he does fear the former midfield maestro could leave the club at some point.
Latapy was listed as one of the possible men for the new Falkirk post created by Gary Holt’s departure to the role of Norwich City first-team coach.
Ex-Hearts boss Casaba Laszlo and former Dundee United manager Peter Houston were two others in the frame for the Falkirk Stadium post as we went to press.
Hughes did say though, that he felt it was only a matter of time before the former FC Porto man makes the move to guide a team on his own.
"I spoke to Russell the other day and there’s nothing in the Falkirk speculation and that’s all it is as far as I’m concerned, speculation.
"Russell applied for the job there before Gary Holt got it, but he’s enjoying the challenge here at Inverness.
"Don’t get me wrong, I would not stand in Russell’s way and he no doubt wants to manage on his own, but right now he’s happy at Caley Thistle and I’m delighted about that,” Hughes said.
T&T’s Allard leads formal investigation on Beckenbauer
T&T attorney Vanessa Allard, a member of the Fifa ethics committee, is leading the formal investigation into the non-cooperation of Franz Beckenbauer in the ongoing inquiry by Michael Garcia into Fifa’s vote to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively.
According to FIFA, Garcia, the chairman of the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee, has been seeking to interview Beckenbauer but received no co-operation, to the point where Garcia requested disciplinary action in the form of the ban.
“The case is now the subject of formal investigation proceedings being conducted by investigatory chamber member Vanessa Allard as chief of the investigation,” Fifa said.
Fifa added in a statement: “Franz Beckenbauer was today provisionally banned from taking part in any football-related activity, at any level, for 90 days.
“The apparent breach relates to Mr Beckenbauer’s failure to cooperate with an ethics committee investigation despite repeated requests for his assistance, including requests that he provide information during an in-person interview or in response to written questions.”
Fifa said the ban on the German football legend is provisional, pending the completion of a formal investigation into his alleged non-co-operation. Allard was appointed to the committee last year.
Concacaf teams top first set of WC matches
Concacaf has taken the laurels for the best results achieved by its teams after completion of the first round of 2014 World Cup matches in Brazil.
After all 32 participating nations had played their first game, teams representing Concacaf had secured 75 per cent of the points available to them, registering three wins and just one defeat.
This gave them the edge over the South American confederation (CONMEBOL) in second place with 66.67 per cent.
Europe (UEFA), with more than twice as many squads taking part as any other single footballing region, could only manage third spot, with 48.7 per cent, according to insidefootball.
The African confederation (CAF) finished on 26.7 per cent and the Asian confederation (AFC), none of whose four representatives mustered a victory in the opening round of matches, on 16.7 per cent.
Europe’s indifferent record is partly a function of the draw: with Spain playing Holland, in a repeat of the 2010 FIFA World Cup final, Italy taking on England and Germany up against Portugal, some of the strongest European teams almost inevitably suffered defeat.
It would be a surprise if UEFA’s score did not rise above 50 per cent by the end of the group phase, when all teams will have played three matches.
Shaun Fuentes is the director of communications for the T&T Football Association (TTFA).