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08
Sun, Dec

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As T&T was drawn against the USA again in yet an­oth­er tour­na­ment, I could al­most hear the col­lec­tive yawn from a group of men in this coun­try, who seem on­ly in­ter­est­ed in what foot­ball can do for them and not what they can do for foot­ball.

Can we de­scribe them as a "gang" or should we say some­thing else? That is a de­bate worth lis­ten­ing for in the next few weeks.

Some of these in­di­vid­u­als, who have sad­ly been de­scribed re­cent­ly as prob­a­bly, false prophets, jok­ers or pre­tenders, would have rep­re­sent­ed this coun­try at one time or the oth­er but now that their best play­ing days are be­hind them, they are still strug­gling to stay in the lime­light with ir­rel­e­vant di­a­logue and mis­placed words. Did some­one say, once a foot­baller on­ly a foot­baller?

Imag­ine if you may and if you care that is about foot­ball on the field of play, that the ma­jor­i­ty of our lo­cal play­ers have been in­ac­tive for al­most four to five months in terms of league foot­ball, whether at Pro League or Su­per League lev­el.

It is safe to say that there is noth­ing pro­fes­sion­al or noth­ing su­per in what is be­ing de­scribed as plans to amal­ga­mate the two leagues. As can be ex­pect­ed, it ap­pears every­one is wait­ing on some de­ci­sion to start some­thing with much more con­cern with ap­par­ent­ly de­fend­ing his or her own beat­en up turf.

It is ab­solute­ly shame­ful and sig­ni­fies to every­one, why it is that a lot of ad­min­is­tra­tors are not trust­ed in var­i­ous sports in this coun­try and in the re­gion. It is easy to talk but ac­tion speaks loud­er than words.

If I did not know bet­ter, then I could be­lieve that this was an in­ten­tion­al con­spir­a­cy by well-known fig­ures, to en­sure that cur­rent na­tion­al foot­ball coach and goal-scor­ing hero from Bahrain, for­mer play­er Den­nis "Tallest" Lawrence and his staff are em­bar­rassed at the up­com­ing Gold Cup.

How­ev­er, when last I checked, it was Team T&T that is wear­ing our na­tion­al colours and hope­ful­ly, that should mean some­thing to peo­ple who pur­port to know bet­ter.

What a lot of these "men", seem to have for­got­ten, is that many per­sons are well aware of their con­cert­ed plans and there­fore a lot of re­spect has been lost if not al­ready erod­ed and per­haps that is why some of their com­plaints, no mat­ter le­git­i­mate or not, will be tar­nished by their ob­vi­ous ap­par­ent self­ish be­hav­iour. It is not too late though to change all of that.

So this is the cur­rent re­al­i­ty.

First­ly, T&T will play against USA, Pana­ma and Guyana in Group D at the Gold Cup, with lo­cal play­ers who will most like­ly have on­ly played three or four friend­lies as their match prac­tice ahead of this en­counter.

Sec­ond­ly, while foot­ball burns on the field, all we hear is gun talk about this and that off the field, who wants to be in charge, who should be in charge and who can do what, if in charge, re­al gang­land it seems.

Third­ly, our lo­cal foot­ballers mean­while are earn­ing no mon­ey and there­fore are be­ing forced to find oth­er ways to earn a liv­ing so they can sup­port their fam­i­ly.

Giv­en all of the above, we have to ask why the T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion is not in­volved and the an­swer is that it again ap­pears those at both the Pro League and Su­per League, do not be­lieve that is a "wise de­ci­sion". But mean­while our lo­cal foot­ballers are in­ac­tive and frus­trat­ed and quite nat­u­ral­ly are won­der­ing if dur­ing this process to es­tab­lish a new league sys­tem, there is some promised fund­ing from UE­FA or FI­FA.

It is a rel­e­vant and per­haps ex­treme­ly per­ti­nent ques­tion in light of the con­cern for many with be­ing paid for their ser­vices es­pe­cial­ly with so many cred­i­tors aris­ing from ap­par­ent­ly nowhere re­cent­ly.

Sad­ly, no­body cares enough to at­tempt to in­ter­vene in the mat­ter and in­stead, we the pub­lic wrong­ful­ly will de­mand suc­cess from Lawrence and his squad de­spite the ob­vi­ous lack of match prac­tice. That is just how the peo­ple of this coun­try be­have, many times pass­ing judge­ment with­out all the nec­es­sary facts.

It is ac­tu­al­ly ridicu­lous that there is not a greater out­cry by more. But I want to bet all of you, read­ing this to­day, that if it was friend­ly char­i­ty match, then all these so-called for­mer foot­ballers from the past, would be the first set en­quir­ing about play­ing, about uni­forms, about food, about drinks and every­thing else.

We have be­come too self-cen­tred in this coun­try and there is a mis­guid­ed opin­ion that talk­ing loud helps but let me con­vince those with those er­rant thoughts, that it is the com­plete op­po­site.

When the pub­lic was re­cent­ly asked about what was wrong with sports in this coun­try, they all point­ed to cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tors and many who seek to be ad­min­is­tra­tors or re­turn­ing ad­min­is­tra­tors, in oth­er words, the pub­lic can see the cloth you wear or the lie you pile.

What is hap­pen­ing with the se­nior na­tion­al foot­ball team should con­cern these peo­ple if they re­al­ly be­lieve in foot­ball in­stead of agen­das and sad­ly, there are many in the me­dia for their own per­son­al self-grat­i­fi­ca­tion that has fall­en prey to such. What can be said, soon the truth will set all free.

The good thing is that af­ter the last few weeks in lis­ten­ing to the pub­lic on the ra­dio and tele­vi­sion, is that there is now an aware­ness of the re­al­i­ty that is foot­ball in this coun­try, that a few do not care about our foot­ballers but rather them­selves. I get the feel­ing the pub­lic can name this "gang" if asked.

Lawrence though, giv­en his up­bring­ing and train­ing from over­seas, is not al­low­ing the many ob­sta­cles be­ing placed in front of him to de­ter his pur­pose, and the process­es he and his team have put in place. It is sad when peo­ple for­get that their lega­cy is now be­ing writ­ten and it is one filled with self-in­ter­est for foot­ball and no care for its fu­ture and it does not mat­ter, where you were ed­u­cat­ed or if you played foot­ball in the ’70s, ’80s or ’90s, it is be­ing doc­u­ment­ed and I ex­pect a strike back soon.

A lot of in­tel­li­gent per­sons have stat­ed that it is a case of a lot of jeal­ousy and while some have learnt hard life lessons, oth­ers on­ly seek to de­stroy at all costs, re­gard­less of the in­no­cent as­pir­ing foot­ballers that are be­ing hurt dai­ly by the be­hav­iour of a few.


SOURCE: T&T Guardian