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Thu, Nov

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FINANCIAL WOES are afflicting the Trinidad and Tobago men’s futsal team, according to national coach Clayton Morris.

According to Morris, the national team is supposed to participate in the CFU (Caribbean Football Union) futsal playoffs in January, but are currently hampered by a lack of funds.

During a recent interview, Morris related, “at present I have the national futsal team under my wings. It’s so sad to know that (two months) ago we shortlisted 28 players to reform the national team and (recently) I received an e-mail where the fixtures (are) set for the CFU playoffs in January from the 22nd to the 26th and the team is not in training because of a lack of funding.

Morris, captain of the 1989 Strike Squad team who missed out on qualification for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, continued, “it really hurts my heart to know that here it is we have these 28 youths, they are waiting (for information). We talk about crime and what have you but this is a tool to fight crime.

“And it’s really important for us to get the funding so we can keep the guys focused,” added Morris, who was recently inducted into the First Citizens Sports Foundation Hall of Fame. “And not only for them but you can also develop the other teams in the future. Also we have the National League that we want to get going.

“Receiving the award is really nice but I wish this award could turn into funds which I can use to get the national team up and running.” Morris was quick to admit that, “the TTFA (Trinidad and Tobago Football Association) has their situation with funding with the World Cup campaign and what have you. So I’m looking forward to the corporate sponsors, if one of them could come forward and, at least, help us with this CFU qualifying, because it’s also qualifying for the World Cup.” He continued, “after qualifying through CFU, you go to CONCACAF (qualifiers in Costa Rica next May) and, from CONCACAF you go onto the World Cup (in Colombia next September).

I’ll really look forward if the corporate sponsors could come on board and assist us, at least, with this CFU tournament.” Morris, who is currently the technical director of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) football team, spoke on his recent induction into the Hall of Fame.

“It’s really, really an honour to be given this award, moreso for the work done and moreso for the work that’s still to be done,” he related.

“It’s really an incentive. It’s like a vehicle you drive and it runs out of gasolene, and this is like coming back to the gas station, refill and ready to go again.” The former national youth team coach stated, “I received the Chaconia Medal Silver on behalf of the Strike Squad in 1988, when we qualified for the last six. This is really a milestone for me and it’s an incentive for me to go on for me.

“I’m so happy that I’m healthy enough that I still play the game, I still coach the game so there is a lot more for me to give. I’m very happy to be given this award at this point in time in my life,” he ended.