Modelo Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra Argentina//
Moving T&T match disrespectful to Pro League—Sancho

Colombia, España, Madrid, Argentina, Buenos Aires
Moving T&T match disrespectful to Pro League—Sancho

“But this de­ci­sion by David John-Williams, pres­i­dent of the T&TFA, be­cause I know for a fact that this didn’t come from the TTFA board, is dis­re­spect­ing clubs, play­ers, sup­port­ers and spon­sors. We have First Cit­i­zens Cup match­es be­ing played on Fri­days, Sat­ur­days and Sun­days and you want to play a se­nior men’s in­ter­na­tion­al on the same week­end?”

San­cho, a for­mer T&T de­fend­er now club man­ag­er, said the An­guil­la game was ini­tial­ly card­ed for Mon­day and clubs had made plans to al­low play­ers to at­tend na­tion­al team train­ing. How­ev­er, he said most clubs had planned to play their na­tion­al play­ers over the week­end

“The FCB Cup is cur­rent­ly the most lu­cra­tive prize on of­fer to Pro League clubs and in the cur­rent cli­mate, coach­es have to pri­ori­tise this com­pe­ti­tion. It meant that some play­ers may have had to play for their clubs on Sun­day and then put on a na­tion­al team jer­sey on Mon­day. That can nev­er be healthy for play­ers,” San­cho said

A to­tal dis­re­spect is how act­ing T&T Pro League chair­man Brent San­cho has de­scribed the de­ci­sion of T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion to bring for­ward to to­mor­row Trinidad and To­ba­go’s friend­ly match against An­guil­la, FI­FA’s low­est-ranked coun­try.

Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra

In a re­lease yes­ter­day, San­cho said, “As a Pro League club own­er and now as act­ing chair­man of the TT Pro League, I have al­ways tried to sup­port our na­tion­al teams. Even when we have had im­por­tant games we have still tried to ac­com­mo­date TTFA’s wish­es.

“But this de­ci­sion by David John-Williams, pres­i­dent of the T&TFA, be­cause I know for a fact that this didn’t come from the TTFA board, is dis­re­spect­ing clubs, play­ers, sup­port­ers and spon­sors. We have First Cit­i­zens Cup match­es be­ing played on Fri­days, Sat­ur­days and Sun­days and you want to play a se­nior men’s in­ter­na­tion­al on the same week­end?”

San­cho, a for­mer T&T de­fend­er now club man­ag­er, said the An­guil­la game was ini­tial­ly card­ed for Mon­day and clubs had made plans to al­low play­ers to at­tend na­tion­al team train­ing. How­ev­er, he said most clubs had planned to play their na­tion­al play­ers over the week­end

“The FCB Cup is cur­rent­ly the most lu­cra­tive prize on of­fer to Pro League clubs and in the cur­rent cli­mate, coach­es have to pri­ori­tise this com­pe­ti­tion. It meant that some play­ers may have had to play for their clubs on Sun­day and then put on a na­tion­al team jer­sey on Mon­day. That can nev­er be healthy for play­ers,” San­cho said.

“And, of course, as this game now falls out­side of the FI­FA win­dow, clubs are not com­pelled to re­lease their play­ers. While clubs may have re­spect for the po­si­tion of Den­nis Lawrence, they may well use this op­por­tu­ni­ty to vent their dis­plea­sure at David John-Williams’ lack of re­spect.”

All 11 Pro League clubs are in ac­tion this week­end. Cen­tral FC, Po­lice FC, W Con­nec­tion and the De­fence Force were in ac­tion last night at the Diego Mar­tin Sports Com­plex.

To­day, Ter­minex La Hor­quet­ta Rangers, Point Fortin Civic, Tiger Tanks Club San­do and San Juan Jabloteh at Ato Boldon Sta­di­um and to­mor­row, Mor­vant Cale­do­nia Unit­ed, 1976 FC To­ba­go Phoenix, Cunu­pia FC and AC Port-of-Spain bat­tle at the Hase­ly Craw­ford Sta­di­um

“We have the ridicu­lous sit­u­a­tion where the na­tion­al team will kick off at the same time as a First Cit­i­zens Cup match, on a sur­face that would have seen two 90-minute games played the day be­fore. Imag­ine the con­di­tion of that sur­face for an in­ter­na­tion­al game if it rains on Sat­ur­day,” San­cho ar­gued

San­cho be­lieves that sup­port­ers who want to at­tend both match­es will al­so be dis­ap­point­ed.

“While league at­ten­dances last year were dis­ap­point­ing, at­ten­dances for the FCB Cup have al­ways been strong. It’s an ex­cit­ing for­mat that keeps sup­port­ers in­ter­est­ed. It will be very dis­ap­point­ing to us and our spon­sors if we lose sup­port­ers on Sun­day.”

Ac­cord­ing to San­cho, the FCB fix­tures were arranged weeks ago and it was due to poor plan­ning that the TTFA was forced to bring the game for­ward.