Sat, Jun


The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) alongside the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and FIFA has collaborated to successfully launch the new face of professional football in Trinidad and Tobago; The Trinidad and Tobago Premier Football League (TTPFL). During Monday’s launch at the Hyatt Regency, the League’s CEO Colin Wharfe provided a full rollout of the plans for the new league including the structure, governance, marketing plans, and the start date, which is set for March 10th, 2023.

“This League has been approximately 18 months in the making. Its structure derives from the recommendations of a 2021 FIFA-led T&T Professional Football League Development Study. During the last couple months, the organising team, with the full support of the TTFA’s Normalisation Committee, the Ministry of Sport and Community Development, FIFA, Concacaf and the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago, has worked diligently to make this day possible,” explained the League’s CEO.

Mr Wharfe also noted the importance of the TTPFL as a means to help senior club players prepare for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup. “Qatar 2022 is widely regarded as one of the best World Cups ever staged, the next one is already on the horizon and…. it will be held in our region….so we need to get our senior footballers ready for a tough qualification challenge…”

TTFA Acting General Secretary Amiel Mohammed also joined in to celebrate a pivotal step in the right direction for Trinidad and Tobago’s football landscape. “Today is a momentous occasion. It is another big step for the TTFA as an Association that has had to make many big steps within the last few years to navigate many of its challenges. We look forward to the evolution of the TTFA as we work towards re-establishing all the facets of football, so that it’s transparent, accountable and adheres to good corporate governance.”

Mr Wharfe continued his breakdown of the league and its structure explaining the drivers behind it all. “The TTPFL has been planned and is being run and supervised by a four-member Executive Committee, chaired by me. The Executive Committee reports to an Oversight Body which comprises representatives of the TTFA, the League’s CEO, representatives from the participating Clubs, representatives of the Ministry of Sport and Community Development, the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago and independent members. Ultimate responsibility for the League rests with the Normalisation Committee as the Board of the TTFA.”

“The Executive Committee has access to existing departments within the TTFA, for example, Competitions, Technical, Licencing and where necessary we have engaged external expertise. Concacaf and FIFA have also provided resources, advice and counsel.”

The Minister of Sport and Community Development, the Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe, was also instrumental in ensuring that this league materialized and she expressed her wishes for it to foster development and growth in the sport in Trinidad and Tobago. “I really wanted to show that the government is supporting football and the development of football in T&T and the development through football. We, as Government, are being asked to support to the tune of $3 million per year for three (3) years in the first instance, and my response to that was that FIFA has to put something in. And you have to market and promote yourself and conduct yourself in such a way to attract private sector support,” Minister Cudjoe stated.

She continued, “this evening, I am happy that this is a collaborative effort. We say it takes a village…so today you will see Ministry of Sport and Community Development, SporTT, Normalization Committee, TTFA and I’m happy that you have private sector on board also…coming together as a village to restore football to its former glory.”

“This year is a collaborative effort. You have the Ministry of Sport [and Community Development] being welcomed to the [Executive] Committee for the first time…In addition to that, this new arrangement, there is a review after every single year…this time at the end of each year there is a review as to how the funds were utilized [to determine] does this make sense or not, what are the implications of our funding support, what are you doing right, what are you not doing right, so there is greater transparency and accountability going forward.”

“I stand here this evening, optimistic, hopeful, happy, pleased that you are doing your part to get the thing right and to make the investment in the young people. So I can comfortably commit TT$3 million in the first instance, with a review as planned and promised, and we hope that we would grow stronger, closer and united.”

In tandem with the Honourable Minister’s statements, Wharfe outlined that funding support would also be accessed through FIFA and other resources. “Funding is being provided by the TTFA through the FIFA Forward Programme 3.0,…for those not familiar, 3.0 is the Fund used to bolster football development of FIFA’s Member Associations,…. the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, corporate partners and other sponsors. Clubs will be granted subventions from these funding pools, which they will augment with their own investment.”

The TTPFL will be divided into two tiers, Tier One (1) and Tier Two (2), which would host twelve teams each. For this edition, Tier One will be active from March 2023 to May 2023 and from the next official season the schedule will run from September 2023 to May 2024. The twelve teams for this edition have been named as Defence Force, Police FC, San Juan Jabloteh, La Horquetta Rangers, W. Connection, Point Fortin Civic, Caledonia AIA, Club Sando, Cunupia FC, Prisons FC, Central FC and AC Port of Spain (pending approval of their licence).

The composition of the clubs in Tier 2 is being finalized consistent with the club licensing process for a kick off date in April 2023.

Thus far, the approved Tier 1 venues for the league are the national stadia as well as the newly refurbished Mahaica Oval, Ken Cooke Ground (Police Barracks) in St. James, La Horquetta Recreation Ground and the Moruga Multi-Purpose Sport and Youth Facility.

The Tier 1 league will be played over two rounds, a total of 132 games, after which the top two teams would be sent forward to represent Trinidad and Tobago in the upcoming Concacaf Club Competitions. When the league is completed, there will be a knockout tournament that is scheduled to start in June 2023, involving both Tier 1 and Tier 2 teams.

Tier 1 fixtures and other relevant details will be unveiled shortly.

The TTPFL will be marketed and advertised on all social media platforms and daily/weekly updates can also be found on any official pages belonging to the TTFA and/or the TTPFL.

We look forward to your continued support as we welcome back professional football to T&T.