Tributes have continued to pour in as the Trinidad and Tobago Football fraternity was plunged into mourning earlier today following the passing of longstanding football coach Muhammad Isa.
The now former Director of Football for the T&T Football Association passed away on Monday morning while warded at the San Fernando General Hospital at the age of 69.
In an immediate reaction, President of the TTFA David John William described Isa as a pillar of local football.
“Isa’s passing came as a shock to the TTFA and myself. He was a pillar of football in Trinidad and Tobago at club and national level. He was particularly strong in the current TTFA grassroots programme. He served in several different capacities in the TTFA as a national coach, technical director and lastly as Director of football. When I visited him last week he was doing pretty well and it really is a sad day for Trinidad and Tobago Football. We have a lost a pillar in local football,” John Williams stated.
“I will like to extend condolences to his immediate and extended family. Our prayers and thoughts are with them at this trying time,” he added.
T&T Senior team head coach Dennis Lawrence expressed similar sentiments, saying “To lose a guy like Muhammad Isa, I think from a footballing perspective we all understand that we have lost someone with enormous experience and knowledge about the game. I have had the pleasure of working with Muhammad as head coach of the national senior team for the last year and a half,” Lawrence said.
“He has always been very supportive and very enthusiastic about trying to improve Trinidad and Tobago football. I think at this time it is more important to support the family because it is a very sad time for them. We need to help them and pray for them to get through this time of need. I am sending out my condolences and prayers to them . May God bless them and help them to get through the moment and bond together.”
Isa is a past senior team coach and assistant coach, and also led Police FC, at one time reaching the Concacaf club championship final in 1991 where they lost to Mexican club Puebla 4-2, Joe Public, San Fernando Technical Institute and St Benedict’s College of which he was also a former student. He also coached and served as technical director of Club Sando.
The following are further words of sympathy from local football stakeholders.
Anton Corneal, TTFA Technical Director
“His passing has come as a major shock to me and on behalf of the football fraternity, local coaches and the Corneal family, I would like to extend sincerest condolences to his family in this most difficult time. Isa was someone you could always anticipate running into at any football event. He was always present and eager to be part of something that had potential to contribute to the development of local football. I had the pleasure of working with him in several grassroots clinic throughout Trinidad and Tobago and I am certain that his presence will be missed in these communities when future programmes are held.”
TT Pro League CEO Julia Baptiste
“On behalf of the Chairman, Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer and staff of the TT Pro League, we extend our deepest condolences to the wife and family of Muhammad Isa on his passing. We pray for strength in this time of bereavement.”
SSFL President William Wallace
“On behalf of the SSFL, we too extend sincere condolences to the family and the football fraternity on the passing of Muhammad Isa.We use this time to recognize the tremendous contribution that Isa has made to football in the SSFL and moreover to the game in Trinidad and Tobago.
Richard Hood, Head Coach of Police FC, Isa’s former club
“I am really saddened having awaken to the news of the passing of Muhammad Issa. His influence on the fortunes of Police Football over the years cannot be overstated in his roles as Coach and Technical Director. He shall forever be immortalized in our memories. On behalf of the management of Police FC, I would like to offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones and the entire football fraternity.”
Sharon O’Brien, President, TT Women’s League
“On behalf of the Trinidad & Tobago Women’s League Football (TTWOLF) our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Mr. Muhammed Isa and Ms Ingrid for their sudden loss.We pray that God may give the family the strength, comfort and peace during this difficult.”
Keith Look Loy, President, TT Super League
“This is indeed bad news. Isa played his part over many years in our football. Please convey the condolences of TTSL and my own to his family.”
Osmond Downer, Ex-Referee
“ I wish to join with the General Secretary of the TTFA in extending condolences to the wife and family of Muhammad Isa on his passing. Isa and I go back a very long time, indeed, as true colleagues in football in T&T.”
Boni Bishop, General Secretary of the T&T Football Referees Association
“On behalf of the President and Members of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association, I wish to join you in extending condolences to the family of Mr. Isa Muhammed, on his passing. This loss will certainly, also be felt by the football family of Trinidad and Tobago.”