A partnership that will ensure the top football schools in T&T come up against the best football clubs in Brazil and Italy is set to be signed soon. Talks between the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) and the Caribbean Football Trust Limited (CFTL), through its chairman and chief financial officer Chris Anderson will resume when Anderson returns to local shores sometime soon.
An official of the SSFL, who spoke to Guardian Media Sports on conditions of anonymity, revealed that the parties agreed to host a quadrangular football tournament before this year’s SSFL season begins on September 8 comprising of the Under-19 teams Brazil’s champion club as well as the Under-19 team of Italy’s winning Serie A team. They will come up against Shiva Boys’ Hindu School, winners of the SSFL Premier Division and the runner-up Naparima College in a ‘US$15,000 winner takes all’ format.
The source said SSFL officials have put forward a recommendation for the prize money to be broken down to facilitate the second and third place teams since the school teams will be at a disadvantage going up against established professional teams.
He said the parties have agreed to a four-team tournament but Anderson is desirous of having eight teams, as the sole sponsor of the event. “It is because of the short time available to us that the SSFL suggested that the tournament be scaled down to accommodate just four teams. Initially the idea was to have four teams from the SSFL, two schools from Jamaica, and the clubs from Brazil and Italy competing against each other in a tournament that will provide much needed international exposure to the T&T and Jamaican schools,” the SSFL official said.
He added, “We also wanted to have two tournaments, one in the sister-isle of Tobago and the other in Trinidad, most likely at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, but these plans may have to change and it is only when the sponsor returns we will know exactly what will happen.”
Anderson, who left T&T yesterday after confirming his group as the sponsor for the T&T Super League’s (TTSL) League Cup tournament as well as the TTSL’s Power Eight, is expected to be back to finalise all arrangements. According to the SSFL official, “The tournament this year will wet the appetite of football fans in T&T.”