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Thu, Oct

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Every cent of the $1.5m given to the Football Players Association of T&T (FPATT) by the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs on Tuesday will go back into the game.
The assurance came from FPATT president Shaka Hislop after he received the first payment in the Ministry’s three-year investment into the organisation. The second payment, worth $1m, will be presented next year with the final payment of $750,000 set for 2011. “We welcome the financial input from the Ministry and every penny will go back into the game,” the former national goalkeeper said. According to Hislop, the money will get the operation up and running in an efficient manner after it spent almost a year in the doldrums. Because of a lack of funds, FPATT has been finding it difficult to look after the players’ interests.

“Our response has been very slow so far because we came into this a bit starry-eyed,” stated Hislop. The financial boost, he said, will pump some life into the association. “We are here to give the players a voice in the game.” Important issues that will be dealt with immediately, he added, will be the repayment of a government loan, a membership drive and insurance, health and educational benefits for players at all levels. “We will be investing back into the players and expect the players to invest back into their communities,” noted Hislop. “We hope that off the field, the players will have a direct input by devoting their time to organise camps and workshops to help the young footballers.”

“We will continue to remain focused on our membership drive and establish a voice in the local game. “Our only tangible asset is the players and we will begin to educate them on life after football.” Hislop said that FPATT will be addressing some of the concerns of the players and hopes to work closely with them on an individual basis. He also mentioned that FPATT has invited the T&T Football Federation (TTFF) to meet with them but to date, the governing body for the sport has not replied. FPATT has been at loggerheads with the TTFF over players’ issues and Hislop said: “We are not against the TTFF. We are just here to give the players a voice in the game.”

At present, FPATT has a membership of only 70 people - comprising mainly of national and T&T Professional Football League (PFL) players. There are over 1,500 registered players in T&T plying their trade in the Pro League, Super League and Zonal League. The association’s annual general meeting is due in a month’s time, following which workshops and other projects, including one with the Family Planning Association, will be held. This year, FPATT is targeting to have at least 300 players from the PFL registered with the association. In his address, Hunt said that the money promised for the final two years will be granted “upon the receipt of audited statements.”

The Ministry of Sport has also supported the West Indies Players Association (Wipa) and believes that footballers, like cricketers, are important stakeholders in the development of sport. “A Football Players Association has a major role to play in the development of young footballers since such an organisation would have a deeper understanding of the major issues affecting the player,” said Hunt. “They must insist that all players, especially those who represent T&T, conduct themselves in a manner befitting national representatives. They must demand discipline at all times as well as an unswerving commitment to professionalism. “If they can accomplish this, then FPATT would have provided a great service not only to the game but to the wider society as well. The pursuit of this goal is also a major reason for the Ministry’s support and we expect that FPATT will fully embrace this challenge.”

Ah dont know if this was posted before , if it was please excuse me but i jus cant believe for the length of time that FPATT been in existance 70 members they have what is it that these players dont understand that FPATT is about .