Sat, Apr


SIX T&T footballers – who were previously stuck in India and granted provisional exemptions – are now stranded in Barbados. They say since arriving, they have received no official communication from the National Security Ministry.

The players – Daneil Cyrus, Taryk Sampson, Marcus Joseph, Andre Ettienne, Marvin Phillip and Nathaniel Garcia – play in the Hero-I-League in India. The league eventually cancelled its remaining matches in April owing to the covid19 pandemic and they – along with three other players – were stranded.

After writing to the National Security Ministry for weeks, they were granted provisional exemptions to return home. This means: they must provide their confirmed route home, commitment to be quarantined and choice of quarantine – state or supervised – before final exemptions are granted.

The group of six managed to get a flight to get them to Barbados and had updated the ministry about this. They arrived last Tuesday.

Recently, five T&T students who were also stuck in India were repatriated to T&T and had used Barbados as their final stop point before home.

Cyrus told Newsday the group is frustrated, especially since accommodation is costing $US 400 a night.

“It have a flight with cricket (Caribbean Premier League) players from Barbados (to T&T) on Monday (at 6 pm) and these people not allowing us to come home.

“It have no excuse now ‘bout we too far. I’m tired now, we are just here and don’t know what going on.”

He added, “I e-mailed them about our situation and the response we got was to send everyone’s bio page on our passport and that’s it – nothing else. I ready to see my family.”

He said it is unfair that national footballers “who have done so much for this country” are being treated like this.

“I feel after this, I not going to play for the country again after this... It’s almost four months we fighting this to get closer to home. Now we’re in Barbados and nobody helping we.”

All six players were tested for covid19 on Saturday and received negative results on Sunday.

The players still in India include Radanfah Abu Bakr, Robert Primus and Willis Plaza.

Questions related to covid19 and exemptions were posed to National Security Minister Stuart Young at a press conference on Sunday morning, but he made it clear he was not there to discuss such matters.

SOURCE: T&T Newsday