There was no physical abuse at Wednesday's altercation between national coach Terry Fenwick and T&T Football Association's Media Officer Shaun Fuentes, chairman of the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee Robert Hadad said at the Piarco airport on Thursday before the team left for the Dominican Republic.
Hadad made the statement before the team boarded its flight for its two World Cup qualifying matches against Guyana (March 25) and Puerto Rico (March 28), as he called for better communication between the coach and the media officer, as well as within the team.
The media reported on Wednesday that an incident took before Fenwick address the media at the Ato Boldon Stadium, when he displayed an alleged fit of rage when he saw reporter Lasana Liburd present for the press briefing. It is alleged that he confronted Fuentes for inviting Liburd and allegedly head-butted him.
Hadad said there was a little misunderstanding which was immediately sorted out, but he admitted that there are issues sometimes with certain media personnel.
"I was at the ground when all this happened, so I can tell you clearly that there was no physical abuse. At the end of the day we have aggressive personalities all around, and I think it's good for T&T. I think Terry is a very passionate, very strong-minded person. There are issues sometimes with certain media personnel, I am not going to fight that, I'm not going to defend that. Sometimes we use headlines to make things sound completely different. You read the headline and then you go read the article and it's a totally different story. So without calling names or pointing to any story, I can tell you it gets to you sometimes, and yesterday I think we had a little misunderstanding and we immediately called everyone together and it was sorted out, so Shaun and Terry are working together," Hadad explained.
Hadad, a director of the Hadco Group of Companies who has been given a mandate along with businessman Nigel Romano and Attorney Judy Daniel to stabilise football in T&T, gave the assurance he will ensure proper communication between the duo and in the team to prevent a similar occurrence.
Meanwhile, Fenwick, who named a squad of 26 players for the Guyana and Puerto Rico matches, has called for a strong character among the players if T&T is to come away victorious against the Guyanese. He told the media on Wednesday that in addition to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, his team has had its challenges in the football circles in which a few of his players were injured.
However, He got some positive news yesterday following the involvement of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the President of the TTOC, Brian Lewis, who worked together to get the United States authorities to lift their coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions which will allow the T&T players who ply their trade in Europe to travel to Puerto Rico for the World Cup qualifier against that country.
This means that midfielders Andre Boucaud and Daniel Phillips, defender Sheldon Bateau, forward Levi Garcia and goalkeeper Nicklas Frenderup who were in doubt of not making the trip can now be selected by the coach for the second match.
According to the release on Thursday, the TTFA stated that: "TTFA would like to express its sincere and heartfelt gratitude to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), and by extension, The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee for their assistance in facilitating the processing of the National Interest Exemption (NIE) waivers for the Trinidad and Tobago Senior Men’s National Football players for their CONCACAF Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The NIE wavier now grants our affected players the opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico without being affected by the strict suspension of entry to non-citizens. This restriction applies to all non-US citizens who were physically present in a restricted country during the 14 days preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States."
The TTFA said that it was through the timely collaboration between the TTFA, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the President of the TTOC, Brian Lewis, the TTFA, is now able to have our European based players cleared to travel to Puerto Rico to play Puerto Rico on the 28th March 2021.
Hadad: Cool down, Terry Fenwick.
By Joel Bailey (T&T Newsday).
ROBERT Hadad, head of the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee to oversee the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), is urging men’s football team coach Terry Fenwick to temper his aggressive nature, as the squad prepares for a pair of 2022 FIFA World Cup Concacaf Zone qualifiers.
The T&T team left for the Dominican Republic on Thursday where they will play Guyana on March 25, followed by a meeting away to Puerto Rico on March 28.
Hadad was speaking during a media conference at the VIP Lounge, Piarco Airport, on Thursday morning, ahead of the team’s departure.
On Wednesday, at the team’s training session at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, there was an exchange between Fenwick and TTFA media officer Shaun Fuentes, after the English-born Fenwick expressed his displeasure over the presence of a media reporter at the venue.
“I’ll like to wish Terry good luck,” said Hadad. “I’ll like to say to the public, the relationship between the management team is healthy. If anything, it’s fiery at times.
“I will ask Terry to, as much as possible, keep it cool and let (us) win. The players of T&T will represent us properly, they will make (the nation) look good, and that’s what we’re about.”
Hadad pointed out earlier, “I actually was at the ground when it all happened, so I can tell you clearly that there was no physical abuse. We have aggressive personalities, and I think it’s good for T&T.
“I always say you can’t take a dead man and bring him back to life but you can take a man with a lot of life and tone him down a little bit, and work with (him). I think Terry is a very passionate, very strong-minded person.
"There are issues sometimes with certain media personnel, I’m not going to defend that.