The T&T Football Federation will spend a total of T&T $15 million on the international friendly between T&T and England which takes place at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on June 1. This was announced at a press conference for the match, entitled A Score to Settle, at the Hyatt Hotel on Wrightson Road yesterday. - Trinidad Guardian
In attendance were Special Advisor to the T&TFF, Jack Warner, President of the TTFF, Oliver Camps and Vice-president of the TTFF Lennox Watson.
Warner insisted that the sum was a fitting one for a centennial celebration and said that the TTFF had no regrets about the cost. The monies will cover all expenses associated for the event.
It was also disclosed that tickets would go on sale online for $300 (Uncovered Stands), $600 (Covered Stands) and $1200 (Special Reserved) beginning on May 5 (see box). There are 18,040 uncovered stands, 4,150 covered stands and 1000 special reserve seat allotments. 750 tickets for the uncovered stands have been reserved for English “away” fans.
Surprisingly, it was announced that T&T would take the field in white uniforms since negotiations had specified that England would play in red. As a result, fans are being asked to don white apparel.
Warner encouraged Corporate T&T to get on board in supporting the event, advising that there would be three sponsorship packages available (Platinum, Gold and Silver).
He also promised that the pre-match cultural show, to be produced by Band of the Year 2008 winner Brian Mc Farlane, would be beamed throughout the world as “the mother of all cultural shows.”
The English team will arrive in T&T via private jet on May 29 following their match against the United States at Wembley Stadium, London the day before. On May 30 they will take part in a training session open to school children and the media at the Hasely Crawford Stadium beginning at 9 am.
Later that day at 6 pm, a coaching clinic conducted by coach Fabio Capello and two England players will take place at the Marvin Lee Stadium. The clinic will feature 60-70 selected young local players and will be open to the public.
That night, a media reception featuring approximately 200 invited BBC journalists will take place in Movie Towne.
On May 31, a media conference will be hosted at the Hyatt Hotel featuring coach Fabio Capello and captain John Terry followed by a dinner for the two teams which will be hosted at the President’s home in St Ann’s. (Photo above show four football model girls at the Press Conference)
May 5—Commencement of online ticket reservations (ttffonline.com) and telephone bookings (800-FANS (3267)). Limit of five tickets per person.
May 15—Reservations and Bookings close
May 17-18—Collation of successful ticket applicants and their respective ticket allotments for the match
May 18—Ticket packages to be collected at Hasely Crawford Stadium from 9am - 4pm. Online applicants that paid with credit card can get their tickets prior to May 18.
May 19-20—Uncollected tickets will be collated for resale (Nicholas Clarke, Trinidad Guardian, April 30, 2008)
Soca Warriors vs TTFF impasse - Trinidad Guardian
THREE of this country’s top footballers took the witness stand yesterday at an arbitration hearing in London in the million-dollar dispute between the Soca Warriors and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF).
Goalkeepers Shaka Hislop and Kelvin Jack, along with striker Stern John were tendered for cross-examination before arbitrator Ian Mill QC.
Their testimony followed the evidence given on Monday by defender Brent Sancho. Hislop, Jack, John, and Sancho, were among the 16 members of the Soca Warriors team that played at the FIFA 2006 World Cup and eventually took the T&TFF to court over an outstanding money dispute.
In the dispute, the players are contending that they are owed 50 percent of all commercial profits derived from the World Cup campaign in Germany in 2006.
The cross-examination of Hislop, Jack, and John lasted all day, but the details of the testimony must be kept confidential, according to the guidelines laid down by the arbitrator.
The case for the Soca Warriors was closed yesterday after the testimony of the players. But unlike normal criminal and civil cases under the English legal system, the T&TFF does not plan to call any witnesses or tender evidence on its behalf.
Neither the President (Oliver Camps) or secretary (Richard Groden) of the T&TFF, nor Jack Warner, FIFA vice-president and special advisor to the TTFF, would be called before the arbitrator.
The T&T Guardian was reliably informed that the onus is on the players, not the T&TFF to prove the case.
Today, the final day of arbitration, will see both sides making closing submissions to the arbitrator. Most will be in writing and lawyers on both sides will be expanding their cases orally. At the end of the day, the arbitrator will announce when he intends to deliver his ruling.
The hearing was held at the London headquarters of the Sports Dispute Resolution Panel before arbitrator Mill and several attorneys representing the players and the T&TFF.
English attorney Rupert Butler and Mike Townley are appearing for the Warriors, while Trinidadian lawyers Om Lalla and Kelvin Ramkissoon, along with Englishman William Mc Commick, are representing the T&TFF.
Sixteen players are involved in the dispute—Marvin Andrews, Christopher Birchall, Atiba Charles, Cyd Gray, Ian Cox, Cornell Glen, Shaka Hislop, Avery John, Stern John, Kenwyne Jones, Kelvin Jack, Collin Samuel, Brent Sancho, Aurtis Whitley, Evans Wise, and Anthony Wolfe.
The impasse started in the Port-of-Spain High Court last year, but the T&TFF took the preliminary point that this matter was not suitable for litigation. The Federation asked for the matter to be stayed and to be resolved by an arbitrator. The arbitration proceedings were then filed in London on October 4, 2007.
The players are seeking 50 per cent share of the commercial profits received by the T&TFF during the Soca Warriors’ historic appearance at the World Cup Finals in Germany in 2006. The players claim there was an agreement with the T&TFF.
But the Federation is disputing the claim. The only agreement which exists, according to the T&TFF, was the one which it agreed to pay the players, and which was honoured.
The players contended that after Trinidad and Tobago defeated Bahrain 2-1 on aggregate in 2005 to qualify for the World Cup Finals, the T&TFF received US $5.6 million from the governing body, FIFA. As a result, the players argue that there was an inevitable commercial spin, in that sponsors paid large sums of money to be associated with any of the teams reaching the finals. (Francis Joseph, Trinidad Guardian, April 30, 2008)
Big Bucks to see England - Trinidad Express
PATRONS who cannot afford the ticket prices can always get a glimpse of the England national football team when they hold a public training session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium at the end of May.
Yesterday, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) special advisor Jack Warner announced that tickets for the Sunday June 1 friendly international between England and the T&T Soca Warriors will be in the range of $300 (uncovered stands), $600 (covered stands) and $1,200 (special reserve).
The teams kick off from 5.30 p.m. at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain in a replay of their World Cup clash in Germany two years ago which England won 2-0.
Fittingly, the rematch has been titled: "A score to settle."
England arrive in Trinidad on Thursday May 29 by private jet, a day after meeting the United States in a friendly international at Wembley Stadium. As one of the agreed conditions, the England team will wear a red strip, while Trinidad and Tobago will play in their white outfit.
Retired T&T World Cup captain Dwight Yorke, who has already confirmed his participation, has been specially invited to play with the Soca Warriors, along with Falkirk midfielder Russell Latapy, the "Little Magician".
The rest of the Trinidad and Tobago squad will be based on the selection of Colombian head coach Francisco Maturana.
At yesterday's launch, it was announced that just over 23,000 local fans will get tickets to see the match. In addition, 750 travelling England fans and 200 journalists are expected for the encounter.
The match will be broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and will be carried live in England, Europe, USA and the Caribbean.
Geoffrey Wharton-Lake, who is in charge of ticketing arrangements, announced that tickets can only be accessed on-line at the T&TFF website (ttffonline.com) or by calling the prescribed number, 800-fans (800-3267).
Once a ticket request is made, a conformation code will be issued and fans can pick up their tickets at the venue on May 18. A maximum five tickets will be made available per person and all arrangement are being done on a first come-first served basis. Wharton-Lake said the new arrangements were put in place to avoid a repeat of the chaos which occurred during the last World Cup qualifying campaign.
"On the Road To Germany, it was a nightmare. We think it's time we go forward from there," Wharton-Lake announced. "It will work. We will not have any trampling or breaking down of fences."
Both Warner and Wharton-Lake anticipated a huge response to the event despite the prices. And Warner also sent a warning to those seeking tickets.
"I am not prepared to satisfy anybody's request for tickets outside the ticketing system," he said. "And I hope people will understand that. At least, on this occasion." Warner announced it is costing the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation $15 million to bring the England team to these shores. And, in addition, England have made certain demands, such as insisting that the playing surface is up to international standard.
"I have again been asked to confirm that the playing surface is fit and ready," said Warner."I have not done that yet."
However, FIFA vice-president Warner said he has been assured that work is going on apace at the venue.
In addition to a proper surface, England officials have requested three dressing rooms and seven massage tables among a list of other demands.
As a result, the Hasely Crawford Stadium is being given a facelift. Among the work to be done is painting and repairs to the dressing rooms and replacement of chairs.
"I have said that one of the legacies of this match shall be a football stadium," stated Warner. (Ian Prescott, April 30, 2008)
ENGLAND IN T&T SCHEDULE:
Thur May 29: England team arrive by private jet
Fri May 30, 9 a.m.: Training
sessions, T&T and England, Hasely Crawford Stadium
Fri May 30, 6 p.m.: Football clinic for kids, Marvin Lee Stadium
Fri May 30: Media Night-Cultural exhibition for 200 English plus local and Caribbean media
Sat May 31, 2 p.m.: News Conference to be hosted by England coach Fabio Capello and team captain
Sun June 1, 5.30 p.m.: T&T
vs England, Hasely Crawford Stadium
Tiger concerned about defence - Newsday
LINCOLN “TIGER” PHILLIPS, technical director of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF), is pleased with the improvement that the national team showed during their 2-0 win over Grenada in a friendly encounter at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Tunapuna.
Moments after Sunday’s victory, with goals from debutant Jerol Forbes (56th minute) and Kevon Carter (70th), the ex-national goalkeeper said, “I think it was a better game in the second half.”
Regarding another newcomer, Kevaughn Connell, Phillips said, “I think that Connell came on and added a little spice to the game. He was definitely one of the few forwards that (were) going at the defence.
“I like Connell very much,” Phillips added. “He looks like he’s going to be a nice player, one for the future.
“Kevon Carter was very penetrative with his runs and I think that was a difference in the second half,” said Phillips.
But he is concerned about the ability of the TT defence to deal with stronger opposition, especially within the CONCACAF region, especially with the FIFA World Cup qualifiers due to resume in June.
“We’re still not out of the woods in the defence,” he said. “The defending, we’re a bit square.
“I’m sure that (coach Francisco) Maturana knows that’s one of the areas that we have to put a lot of work on,” he added. “We definitely have to keep working at it.”
Marlon Charles, coach of the national women’s Under-17 team, has lauded Maturana and his technical staff for their emphasis on young blood.
“When you look at what’s happening in Trinidad right now, (it) is to give the opportunity to young players,” said Charles. “And for me, this is what it’s all about.
“I am satisfied with what I’m seeing,” Charles continued. “There are a lot of things which they can improve on but the coach knows what he’s doing.” (April 30, 2008)