Shaka Hislop, former Trinidad and Tobago football team goalkeeper, stated that he’s keen to see a resolution in the recent controversies involving CONCACAF and the parent global football body FIFA, regarding bribery accusations against CONCACAF head and FIFA vice-president Austin Jack Warner.
“It has been an unsettling time for the sport in the region,” said Hislop during an interview on Saturday evening. “There’s been a lot of infighting and certainly some of the most powerful associations have been dragged into a mire that I don’t think a lot of us have been able to appreciate because of the lack of transparency that has plagued the sport for some time.
Hislop, who is now a football analyst at American-based sporting channel ESPN, continued, “my only hope, as of right now, is that as this whole situation develops, and unfolds, there can be greater transparency, there can be greater fan involvement in the decisions that affects the sport, not just at a domestic level but certainly how it’s governed internationally.”
Asked about his take for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which began yesterday, Hislop replied, “I don’t think we can look past Mexico or the US, in all honesty. Those are the powerhouses, whether they use under-strengthened teams or not.”
He added, “Mexico and the US certainly, for my money, would be the two teams to beat in this competition.”
Whether he sees himself taking up an active role in Trinidad and Tobago football, Hislop pointed out, “as I’ve said continually, I’m willing to assist Trinidad and Tobago football, in whatever way I can.
I obviously have to respect my own responsibilities, professionally and personally, and as long as I can be a part of what goes on in Trinidad and Tobago, I would only be too delighted to give of myself.”
With regards to the ongoing player dispute between the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) and certain members of the 2006 FIFA World Cup squad, Hislop noted, “there’s not much more I can say. I don’t know what the defendants have planned, legally-speaking.
“As far as we’re concerned, it’s ongoing and in the hands of the judge. He would rule in the best of his own legal expertise.”