Given permission by the Police Commissioner, Englishman Terry Fenwick held his first session as national senior team coach on Monday, apparently in breach of a Government ordinance for the gradual opening up of the economy since the nationwide lockdown following the coronavirus outbreak.
A week ago, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley outlined the conditions under which certain sections of the population can resume activity following the lockdown.
“We are looking at the opening up of our beaches, rivers and sporting activities on June 21, provided that everything is all right,” Dr Rowley had said.
“If things are opened at that time, you will be required not to congregate,” Rowley added, “because it is the congregation that poses the threat, because it provides the breach from one person to another.
However, on Monday, June 8, Fenwick invited 40 players, including Police Commissioner Gary Griffith’s son, to the newly-refurbished Police ground at the St James Barracks. Griffith approved the session and also gave permission for the group to use the Police Barracks ground in St James. Griffith’s gesture came in for both praise and condemnation among the football fraternity, with most preferring to debate the “hot” topic anonymously.
“It breaking the law,” stated one of the persons who were present on Monday, but who himself could not refuse the opportunity to be there.
A question was also asked whether Fenwick could have done same thing in England, where he was born.
“This is not England, you know. This is Trinidad and Tobago,” another stated.
Though conducted in small groups, the session provided a confusing scenario, with Fenwick using a combination of coaches from his own school that have no national team affiliation, alongside official national team coaches.
Another anonymous source commended Griffith for his involvement in sport and allowing the session on the newly-refurbished Police ground, when all other venues are still under Government lockdown and closed.
“If the boss (Griffith) gave them permission and they trained in small groups, well then, I guess it all right,” he said.
Richard Ferguson, the recent TTFA presidential candidate and La Horquetta Rangers owner, refused to allow his footballers to attend the session. Likewise, TTFA technical committee chairman Keith Look Loy was openly opposed to Fenwick’s session.
Ferguson could not be reached after several attempts to contact him. However, Look Loy provided three reasons why he thought Fenwick’s action was wrong.
“The first one is that it breaks the Covid regulations. The Government has given us directions for the last three months, whatever it is. All of us, we are supposed to abide by these directions,” Look Loy stated.
Look Loy knocked Griffith’s involvement as well.
“The Police Commissioner is not the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, and if we are under directive from them (Government), we have to abide by it,” Look Loy remarked.
Look Loy also questioned the use of unauthorised personnel to conduct a national team session and thirdly, what was Fenwick’s rush to get the national team training when there is likely to be no international football until 2021.
“The second concern that I have was that there was a number of persons functioning in the role of team staff, that have not been appointed, haven’t even been vetted by the TTFA. Some of the names that came back to me, I don’t even know. That is entirely improper,” Look Loy declared.
“The fact of the matter is that a national team staff was appointed with many, many coaches properly appointed with terms and conditions. If the senior men’s national team is training and the senior men’s coach needs assistance, he should go to them and not be bringing in all kind of people to coach, and as I understand it, to perform managerial functions as well. I have a serious issue with that,” Look Loy declared.
SOURCE: T&T Express