TRINIDAD AND Tobago may opt out of the forthcoming Concacaf Girls Under-15 Championship and Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Boys Under-14 Challenge Series owing to financial constraints and visa issues.
The girls’ tournament kicks off in Tampa, Florida, US on July 31 while the boys’ competition takes place in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in August.
A statement issued by the T&T Football Association (TTFA) on Sunday said that, “After much deliberation, we are now facing the possibility of taking the very tough decision of withdrawing.
“A number of factors have contributed to this decision including challenges in securing the necessary travel visas to the United States along with financial constraints for air travel to the US and Dominican Republic.”
It added that since the venue for the Girls U-15 Championship was announced on June 6, the TTFA tried valiantly to get the necessary documents in order.
“Despite our best efforts to communicate with all relevant stakeholders, even prior to that date, we have been unsuccessful in obtaining US travel visa appointments for 20 players and staff, while being cognisant of the well documented backlog of applications for US travel visa matters, as a result of the covid19 pandemic.”
The statement said the TTFA has also been engaging with the Sports Company of T&T for assistance in obtaining the necessary funding for air travel to the two tournaments.
The TTFA stated that it “acted in good faith and proceeded with the preparations for the respective tournaments through our High Performance programme for the respective age-groups over the past few months.
“The TTFA will continue to explore available options and will keep you updated on any further developments.”
The association said that it has worked closely with stakeholders to meet all requirements necessary for the participation of its national teams in the various international competitions.
“Over the past two years, several of our teams have competed in different tournaments ranging from the senior men’s and women’s World Cup qualifying campaigns, the U-20 men and women, the U-17 women, the beach soccer men and futsal men’s qualifiers,” the statement added.
SOURCE: T&T Newsday