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05
Wed, May

Payments for TTFA staff up to date says Hadad.
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OUTSTANDING salaries for TT Football Association (TTFA) staff members are up to date, according to Robert Hadad, chairman of the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee.

However, the T&T men’s team coaching staff are set to receive all that are owed to them within the next two months.

During a media conference at the VIP Lounge, Piarco International Airport, on Thursday, Hadad disclosed, “I think we’ve worked through all the problems. The people that we have problems with are the past coaches that worked under previous administrations. We do have to find funding to deal with that.”

Hadad continued, “The current group of coaches have been paid completely, up until August of last year. All of the payments have been in. As soon as that comes through, we would then be paying the last four months of last year, I would say in the next month-and-a-half, then we’re only left with this year.

“All of the other coaches, apart from the men’s team, have been brought up to date. The admin staff and the technical staff have been brought up to date. It’s just the men’s team that have to be brought up to date, and that is going to be done in the next couple of months.”

Due to covid19 restrictions, T&T will be playing their 2022 FIFA World Cup Concacaf Zone qualifier against Guyana on March 25 in the Dominican Republic, instead of the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

Hadad noted, “It is not an ideal scenario. Not only are we playing outside but we are playing on fields that we don’t know.

“We got some images of the lighting on the Dominican Republic field and it didn’t look like the lighting we would need. We’re not excited about it. In addition, we have to play on an astro-surface in Puerto Rico (in their March 28 qualifier).

“We’re not excited by these things but these are the challenges that everybody faces in life. At the end of the day, what you have to do is take these challenges and make them work for you.”

Hadad is hopeful that T&T’s scheduled qualifier against St Kitts/Nevis in June will take place in Trinidad.

“I’ve already called (Chief Medical Officer) Dr Roshan Parasram and we’ve started discussions around the June games, and if we could play St Kitts here in Trinidad. Fingers crossed, we would see, in his words, where this pandemic is taking us. We have to wait and see what’s happening, how much people are going to be vaccinated, are they going to allow people with vaccines to come with less quarantine (time).”

FIFA appointed the normalisation committee (featuring Hadad, Judy Daniel and Nigel Romano) in March 2020, after removing the TTFA executive (headed by William Wallace) due to mounting debts, estimated at $50 million.

According to Hadad, “It’s been a tough year, the first nine months between court matters and (a FIFA) suspension. We’ve had to manage a lot of personalities, we’ve had to understand FIFA, understand Concacaf, work with the TTFA staff that has been here for many years.

“We’re making the best of it. We have a lot of good things to announce. We have a women’s coach coming, we have a new uniforms contract coming. We have a lot going on behind the scenes – beach soccer, futsal (and) World Cup qualification coming up.”

About the search for the T&T women’s coach, which began in January, Hadad said, “We are in the final stages of agreeing (to the person) coming to Trinidad. You can expect (an announcement) soon.”

How concerned is he that football is not being played in T&T due to the covid19 restrictions?

Hadad replied, “I’m very concerned but we have to respect the Government’s decisions. The downside is we haven’t been able to play football however I would say that the Pro League and the Super League have been very good to us. We’ve been actually talking more along the lines of a unified league.”