Thu, Dec


Trinidad and Tobago has been drawn in Group B of the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying tournament. This country will come up against US Virgin Islands, Cuba and Barbados. This is the Caribbean phase of qualifiers from which the leading teams from four groups will advance to the CONCACAF Final Round following which the top two nations will qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.

Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica Haiti and Antigua & Barbuda were pre-seeded into positions A1, B1, C1, and D1 respectably, as the 4 top Caribbean teams on the FIFA- Coca Cola Ranking for the draw which took place on Wednesday morning.

The competition will be played in a group stage phase for the Caribbean and in a home-and-away series for Central America. Two teams from the Caribbean and three teams from Central America will qualify to the Men’s Olympic Qualifier final round.

The preliminary round of the Men’s Olympic Qualifier will take place in four venues in the Caribbean and in the six PMA’s from Central America from July 17 to July 21, 2019.

For the Caribbean, the Qualifying Group Phase will be staged in four (4) host countries. It will consist of four (4) groups of four (4) teams. The four (4) winners of each group will advance to a final play-in matches and the winners of the two play-in matches will qualify to the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying final stage.. In Central America, a home-and-away series will be play between the six (6) participating teams. The three winners of each series will qualify to the Men’s Olympic qualifier. The preliminary round will be played in the same window of July 17 to July 21, 2019.

The 2019 Championship will be the 15th edition of the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, the quadrennial international age-restricted football tournament organised by CONCACAF to determine which men’s under-23 national teams from the North, Central American and Caribbean region qualify for the Olympic football tournament.

The eight berths were allocated to the three regional zones as follows:

• Three teams from the North American Zone (NAFU), i.e., Canada, Mexico and the hosts United States, who all qualified automatically due to them being the only teams in the region
• Three teams from the Central American Zone (UNCAF)
• Two teams from the Caribbean Zone (CFU)

Football at the Olympics is an older tradition than the World Cup and it will return for the 27th time when the 2020 summer tournament rolls round. Some of the world’s most iconic footballers have graced the Olympics, including Lionel Messi, Neymar, Andrea Pirlo, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo.

A total of 16 teams will compete in the men’s football section of the 2020 Olympics.

Japan qualify automatically as hosts and they will be joined by 15 other national teams drawn from around the world.

The top four teams from the UEFA Under-21 European Championship qualify, with three coming from the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations and three more qualifying from the AFC U-23 Championship.

Two teams will represent South America in the tournament with the CONMEBOL pre-Olympics tournament deciding which and two teams will also qualify from the CONCACAF region in Central and North America.One team from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) will reach the Olympics.

The Americas have dominated the latest Olympic football tournaments.

Argentina – 2004, 2008

Mexico – 2012

Brazil – 2016

The women’s football section will see 12 teams compete for gold, but qualification is somewhat different to the men’s.

Japan qualify as hosts and they are joined by Brazil, who won the 2018 Copa America and New Zealand, who won the 2018 OFC Nations Cup.

Three more teams will be drawn from the 2019 Women’s World Cup, two from the CONCACAF qualifying championship and two from the AFC qualifying tournament.

One team will come through the CAF qualifying tournament and another will be decided in the CAF-CONMEBOL (Africa-South America) play-off.



T&T start Olympic qualifiers in July but neither coach nor squad in place; ex-TD advises TTFA to turn to minor leagues.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has been advised to turn to ‘minor leagues’, as the chronically under-prepared local football body is tasked to build a team from scratch to compete in the 2020 Olympic qualifying series, which kicks off in three months. The TTFA does not have a National Under-23 Team in training and is yet to even appoint a coach.

Trinidad and Tobago are drawn with the US Virgin Islands, Cuba and Barbados with only the winner advancing to a Caribbean play-off to determine the two regional representatives for the final Concacaf qualifying round. Jamaica, Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda and Trinidad and Tobago are the four Caribbean seeds.

In the end, the top two Concacaf under-23 football nations will advance to the Japan Olympic Games.

The TTFA has made a habit of sending out hastily thrown together teams in the past two years, often to disastrous effect—as the Women’s Senior and Men’s National Under-20 Teams can testify. At present, the Men’s National Under-17 Team are in a similar boat as Head Coach Stern John was given just six weeks to screen and prepare for their Brazil 2019 Under-17 World Cup qualifying campaign.

However, according to a former TTFA technical director, the future National Under-23 coach’s job moves from very difficult to nigh impossible when you consider that there has been no competitive football over the past five months for players over the age of 17.

And due to teething problems in the formation of a new TTFA-run ‘T-League’—which has absorbed Pro League and Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) clubs—the senior domestic football calendar remains in paralysis and can be postponed till as late as September this year.

The former technical director suggested that the TTFA, which banks as much as US$1 million or TT$6.7 million a year from the FIFA Forward Programme alone, may be best served turning to the minor league competitions they usually warn players to avoid like the plague.

“My suggestion is they need to have someone put together an age group minor league tournament,” said the former technical director, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It is absolutely crazy that you might have no league football until September and it is a disaster for our football.

“If they don’t want to use the minor league route, they can create a pool of players and split them between north, south, east and central [and Tobago]; and from those games you can choose players.

“I hope this will be discussed soon. But if the local league starts in September, how can we possibly compete?”

Wired868 understands that Technical Director Anton Corneal and TTFA Board Member Richard Quan Chan recommended Club Sando and Naparima College Head Coach Angus Eve and Police FC Head Coach Richard Hood for the posts of National Under-23 head coach and assistant coach respectively. However, the TTFA is yet to act on that advice.

It is uncertain what remuneration package might be offered to the Under-23 coaching staff. At present, the National Under-17 staff, which includes assistant coaches Kenwyne Jones and Caleb De Souza, is working pro bono.

TTFA President David John-Williams and General Secretary Camara David did not respond to questions from Wired868 on the local football body’s plans for the National Under-23s.

The 28-year-old David, who was controversially appointed as general secretary in February after moonlighting in the role for at least two months prior, has ordered technical staff members not to speak to the media without his explicit permission.