A new bacchanal has emerged over the scandal facing the national women’s football team.
Because the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has failed to supply money for a camp for the women just three before qualification starts for the Women’s World Cup in France, there is a battle on between the manager of the women’s team Jinelle James, and TTFA’s general secretary, Justin Latapy-George.
James has submitted a document to the Ministry of Sports seeking funding to bring players to Trinidad for a camp.
Latapy-George called on the Ministry to withdraw that request because it did not come from the TTFA.
With the suffering of the women players now in the public domain, Shamfa Cudjoe, Minister of Sport, met on Friday with Latapy-George and James, in light of the recent claims circulating on social media in relation to the lack of support shown to the Trinidad and Tobago Senior Women’s Football Team.
Last week, a request was made for assistance with transportation for the locally based players to be transported to and from training at the Ato Boldon and Mannie Ramjohn Stadia and the Ministry provided its buses to be used by the team.
James contacted Patrice Charles, Director of Physical Education and Sport, MSYA last Monday to inquire about assistance for the team in its efforts to have the foreign-based players travel to Trinidad to join the locally based players for training.
Charles provided the necessary guidance to James and informed her that a formal detailed request must be submitted by the TTFA on its letterhead to the Ministry since the TTFA is the National Governing Body that has remit over the national team.
However, on Tuesday, the Ministry, through Patrice Charles, received an informal email from James requesting a total of $159,360 to cover the cost of airfare for 28 persons, in the effort to have all foreign-based players travel to Trinidad for training and preparation.
Following the developments in the media relating to the issue, Minister Shamfa Cudjoe called the management of TTFA to a meeting to discuss and attempt to resolve the matter.
At the meeting on Friday, Latapy-George claimed that neither he nor the executive of TTFA were aware of the proposal being made by James and he requested that James’ proposal be withdrawn with immediate effect. Latapy-George further stated that the executive of TTFA is in the process of considering other options, contrary to what James proposed, to facilitate the preparation of the players, that may consist of having the locally based players travel to the United States to train with the foreign-based players, rather than have the US-based players fly to Trinidad. He also stated that the TTFA executive is also in the process of finalising arrangements for a coach and other technical support for the team.
Latapy-George stated that the executive would like the opportunity to meet and reason with the team’s management in order to properly discuss the matter at hand, and subsequently produce a detailed proposal along with a formal request for funding to the Ministry.
Minister Cudjoe reminded the TTFA officials that time is of the essence and that the team is depending on the TTFA management to work diligently and harmoniously in the best interest of dedicated players, and football by extension.
As a result, the officials were given a deadline of Monday no later than midday to submit the relevant proposal for consideration by the Ministry of Sport.
The Ministry added that given the fact that the end of fiscal year 2017/2018 is near, it will explore all possible means in order to provide the necessary assistance to the team, once the required documents are submitted.
MINISTER OF SPORT, SHAMFA CUDJOE, CHAIRS THE MEETING