Fri, Aug


In the wake of Jamaica's suspension of its national football programme and with no financial help coming from Government, the local Football Federation is forced to go overseas for financial assistance.

According to CONCACAF president Austin Jack Warner: "T&T football executives have one chance left to make its football programmes a reality - go begging overseas for money."

Warner said Oliver Camps, president of the TTFF, has realised that the present government has no interest in sports. "The TTFF now has to go and look for corporate funding outside of T&T. We have to do what no other country has done - go and become beggars outside our country. I don't think that our government is serious. Government and the Corporate sector do not understand that they have a role to play."

Warner said T&T has all the ingredients to succeed. "We have facilities, our economy is good but what we don't have are the men on the top with vision."
Warner added while government announced a few months ago that it will soon start a T&T $20M programme, the TTFF had no input in such programme.

He said, "While many governments in the Caribbean and in CONCACAF are investing a minimum of US $10 and $20 million annually in their football future, our Government and the business sector are not contributing one cent. But when success comes they all will want to be involved. I am ashamed."
Warner pointed out the last government played its part.

"PNM in the past used to help sports and sports persons with subventions but there's not that kind of assistance anymore," Warner said.
He said: "Because of those reasons T&T will not succeed for Germany 2006 but we can look forward to earning our place in 2010."

The FIFA vice president said he would meet with heads of local football and then a decision would be taken on how to approach the future.
Warner said: "After talking to captain Horace Burrell, head of the Jamaica soccer federation, who suspended Jamaica's programmes, football in the two top Caribbean nations is in trouble.

According to Warner, Burrell said the Government's Sports Development Foundation, the main source of funding for the federation, had decreased its financial support by 64 per cent due to a decline in profit from the Jamaica Lottery Co., from which it earns most of its revenue.

The government had given US$576,000 annually to fund the soccer programmes.
In February, the foundation said it could only provide US$207,360 a year.
Burrell said the cuts had already forced him to cancel a training trip to the United Kingdom later this month and it also jeopardised the women's participation in upcoming World Cup qualifiers.