There are now rising concerns that Trinidad and Tobago’s women’s Under-17 and 20 teams may not get the opportunity to play at their respective World Cup Qualifiers in February and March next year because they will not get the preparation in due to a lack of funding.
Guardian Media Sports has been reliably informed that a planned camp for the teams from this weekend was cancelled due to a combination of money woes and the unavailability of the Home of Football and Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s board of directors will decide on the future of the teams at a meeting tomorrow, which will be the first official meeting of the TTFA board.
The camp, which was scheduled to take place at the now-shuttered Home of Football in Balmain, Couva, was suspended as the facility has been labelled unsuitable for use by new TTFA president William Wallace’s next executive because it does not have all the approvals. Wallace has also ordered a freeze on certain financial activities while the TTFA conducts an audit into its finances.
According to sources, the squads of 30 players each were expected to be trimmed to 25 players in time for submission to the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) ahead of the qualifiers early next year.
“Why was it decided to suspend the camp only a few days before the start when it was known a long time now that the teams would be preparing for the World Cups?” a source close to the team who did not want to be identified asked Guardian Media.
“We were given just a short time frame to prepare the teams and now this sets us back because we would only have a few weeks to prepare the team if we start after the Chrismas holidays.”
Guardian Media was also informed that alternative arrangements are being considered for one team, such as having them travel to the Dominican Republic a couple of weeks before the start of one of the qualifiers.
However, the cancellation of the camp has hampered the teams in more ways than one, the source explained.
It is understood that some players based at colleges and universities in the United States are here for the camp based on invitations from the coaches, but now have nothing to do, while planned international friendly matches with other countries such as Cuba and Venezuela, who are also scheduled to be at the Home of Football at the end of this month (December) for camps, will no longer take place.
The TTFA also faces a possible loss of income from not hosting the Cuba and Venezuela teams.
Contacted on the issue, TTFA vice-president and T&T Women’s Football League (T&TWoLF) president Susan Joseph-Warrick admitted that her association really did not have any money to fund the camps. She said she was not at liberty to comment further on the matter, but assured that the TTFA board will decide on the future of the women’s teams at tomorrow’s board meeting.