Thu, Sep


DAYS before Trinidad and Tobago are scheduled to defend the Shell Caribbean Football Cup, the national team is threatening to strike unless retroactive benefits are paid up.

The national football team has served the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) with an ultimatum to agree to their proposals for retroactive benefits or have their services withdrawn for the Shell Cup finals, starting Sunday.

Members of the 18-man squad say they are displeased at the way they are being treated by soccer officials and have elected captain Clayton Morris as their bargaining agent.

The squad broke camp on Sunday and submitted a written letter to the TTFA's secretary Terrence O'Neil Lewis, through skipper Morris.

When contacted by CANA on Tuesday, TTFA Secretary O'Neil Lewis said: "We consider the problems an in-house matter and we intend to deal with it accordingly. The players sent us some proposals and we replied to them as we saw it fit. If they are not happy, we will meet with them and try to solve the problems. The players are part of the Association and we consider it our duty to meet and talk to them."

In stories carried in both dailies, the Trinidad Guardian and the Express, Morris and his players are calling on the TTFA to pay players a gradient appearance fee for international and club games.

Their proposed asking rate is TT700 dollars for internationals and club games for players with 16 to 49 appearances; 600 dollars for those with one to 15 appearances and 500 dollars for games against club sides.

A higher rate of 900 dollars for international matches and 700 dollars for club matches is being asked for players with 50 or more appearances.

Current manager Sedley Joseph had reportedly submitted an earlier letter on behalf of the players since May 16 of this year, to which the TTFA responded on July 10.

The letter had also requested certain measures to be implemented by the TTFA for the benefit of all national players when in training or on national duties.