The Soca Warriors players who were embroiled in a prolonged legal battle with the local governing body are Shaka Hislop, Cyd Gray, Brent Sancho, David Atiba Charles, Avery John, Aurtis Whitley, Collin Samuel, Evans Wise, Anthony Wolfe, Kenwyne Jones, Stern John and Cornell Glen.
In a report on local sports website Wired868.com on Friday reported that the players were yet to receive full payment promised by TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee last year, and are likely to use legal means as a result.
Shaun Fuentes, TTFA director of communications, said yesterday, “The fact is that part-payment has been made. We are awaiting funds that we’re going to allocate for this particular payment.”
“It has not reached the TTFA as yet and this dialogue has been ongoing with the players,” he continued. “There has been an outstanding amount dating back to September. But the fact is that there has been some amounts of payment already, since that settlement.” A source, close to the TTFA later revealed, in a brief interview last evening, “US$1.7 million has been paid to the players in the first tranche. In November, US$200,000 were paid, from the FIFA Assistance Programme, which clearly states that money must go towards the development of youth football and national teams.
“The TTFA received a waiver from FIFA to be able to use this fund towards settling these issues with the World Cup players. People need to understand there is ongoing efforts to meet the requirements to pay this off and that is taking away from football in general.”
Fuentes pointed out, “These are funds that has been taken from funding for the Association, that had to go towards development of all national youth teams, the development of youth football. There is a situation where football is suffering because the TTFA and (president Raymond) Tim Kee made a firm decision to come to a settlement with the players and to ensure that this debt is taken care of. They thought it was fit that we tried to ensure that this matter came to an end.”
He continued, “There has been comments that the players saw what has gone on with (former coach Russell) Latapy. He has not been paid any money, there has been an agreement towards a settlement. Leo Beenhakker has not been paid a salary, hence the reason he’s not here right now. And also, you look at the women’s team, a lot of people thought the team could have done much better with more preparation. And monies that have been used now to settle the situation that we are facing is money that should have been spent on the development of these national youth teams.”
In the Wired868.com report, Hislop was quoted as saying that the players should have a level of restraint and allow the TTFA more time to garner the funds.
“The president also (yesterday) made the comment that Hislop is totally right,” said Fuentes. “The last payment did not come as we or the players would have liked but the TTFA did not turn their backs on this agreement. When the monies come to the TTFA, it would obviously be channelled through to the players.”
The TTFA media officer noted, “what the president is also asking for is patience and Shaka has been very sensible on the matter. He is willing to work together with the Association so that the money is paid. Unfortunately, that’s not the take by the (other) players. We’re not saying that we expect them to do like Shaka but, at the end of the day, that’s the sensible approach.
“This is not a fight against the players,” he added. “The national ‘senior’ team is awaiting funding for matches and there are still coaches that are awaiting outstanding salaries. And yet we are trying to source the funds to ensure that these players receive their funding.”
On the other side of the coin, Sancho commented, “we’ve tried to be as lenient as possible with the (TTFA), in terms of the agreement that we have with them, and they have reneged since September of last year. They’ve been default of their payments and they have not given us any tangible causes for non-payment.”
The former TT defender stressed, “we have given them many ultimatums to repay us, not ultimatums but we’ve asked about the situation regarding the funds. But they have broken numerous deadlines. So now we’re reached a situation where we don’t have a choice really but to take it back to court.
Sancho said the court matter will resume “as soon as. We have already initiated with our legal team to put certain things in place.”