Anton Corneal, Technical Director of local football has said he will be withholding his services with immediate effect until monies owed to him for salaries are paid.
Corneal in a letter to the T&T Football Association and copied to other members of football fraternity said his last paid salary was in June last year. Also, the agreed contractual arrangement to pay off his previous arrears has not been honoured since December 2017.
Corneal, considered one of the most qualified coaches in the Caribbean, wrote to David John-Williams, president of the embattled football association on many occasions in an attempt to receive monies owed to him. But his words appear to have fallen on deaf ears, with little or no action coming from the local football boss.
According to Corneal, "After days of contemplation and legal advice, I have decided to withhold my services as Technical Director of the TTFA until they honour my contractual agreements made in August of 2017. I have been promised salary payments continuously but to no avail. I had meetings with the President and the General Secretary indicating the inconvenience of not being paid, and the toll it is taking on my life."
Corneal said in September last year he had to rent a vehicle on two occasions to perform his duties. Then he had to transport FIFA and CONCACAF officials.
Corneal joins his colleague, National under-15, 17 and 20 coach Russell Latapy in the struggle for salaries, by both withholding their services within the past year. But they returned to their jobs for the CONCACAF Women's and Under-20 Men's Qualifiers late last year respectively, with the hope that payments will be forthcoming.
Instead Corneal said the situation has been taking a toll on his health and family life and he has been considering seeking other means of income to support his family.
"In December, I wrote to the President again, asking him to use his office to pay me during the festive season, again totally ignored, not even an acknowledgement of the mail. Then finally on January 5th 2019, I was called to a meeting with the President, Vice President, and the Chairman of the Technical Committee, where it was indicated to me, they will pay off my current salaries at the end of February 2019, but will not be paying the agreed payments to my arrears and /or any arrangement concerning transportation, which is clearly stated in my contractual agreement with TTFA," Corneal explained.
He is set to hand in a 2018 yearly report indicating the status of the national teams' programmes and the challenges encountered during the year but afterwards will await word from Justin Latapy-George, the TTFA's general secretary before resuming work as the technical director.
Contacted yesterday John-Williams told Guardian Sports his association, in spite of the difficult financial times faced, was still able to pay Corneal $500,000 out of the $3 million owed to him. He believes Corneal's decision to copy his letter to Clynt Taylor, general secretary of the Central Football Association (CFA), William Wallace, president of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) and Anthony Harford, president of the Northern Football Association (NFA), all of whom has support a vote to have him removed as president recently, was a blatant show that he has an agenda.
He promised a release from the TTFA will be sent to the media today but said a decision to pay out current salaries will be done next month.
Corneal said he has seen the development of local football suffer and coaches grow disenchanted due to the current situation.