Shamfa Cudjoe

RESPECTING PARENT BODY: Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Shamfa Cudjoe.

Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs (MSYA) Shamfa Cudjoe is expected to meet with FIFA Normalisation Committee chairman Robert Hadad for the first time sometime next week.

FIFA apart, the T&T Government, through MSYA and the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago, is the major provider of funds to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).

Cudjoe admitted FIFA had brief the Government of its impending action, prior to dissolving the debt-ridden TTFA on March 17 and subsequently imposing a Normalisation Committee — headed by local businessman Robert Hadad — to manage local football.

“I am yet to meet with the new head of the body, which FIFA has put in charge, but I expect to do so in the next week or so,” informed Cudjoe, who has also indicated to availing herself to a meeting with William Wallace, president of the usurped former TTFA executive.

US$7m debt inherited

Wallace’s regime, which was elected to run the TTFA only five months ago, inherited a US$7m debt; several current and impending litigation matters; and has had its accounts frozen by a creditor prior to when FIFA intervened, citing the possibility of impending insolvency. Wallace has declared that he is still in charge, even as the ousted TTFA executive contest FIFA’S expulsion, via an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). However, Cudjoe indicated that MSYA would deal with Hadad’s Normalisation Committee rather than Wallace’s former TTFA executive.

“We have to operate on the basis of what is before us,” Cudjoe explained. “Each national body has an international parent body and in the case of football, it is FIFA.

“FIFA has come in and done what it has done. We will monitor what is taking place,” Cudjoe continued. “We have been updated by FIFA and we are keeping abreast of developments.“

The Minister has on several occasions reiterated that football is a very powerful tool for youth development in communities and provides many avenues for personal and professional growth.

Last year, Cudjoe issued a cheque for $3.6 million for funding of eight of 11 clubs that participated in the 2019 Trinidad and Tobago Pro League. Arising from a Cabinet decision to fund the TT Pro League for a period of three years, a number of clubs, namely Central FC, North East Stars FC, Calendonia AIA FC, W Connection FC, Pt Fortin FC, Club Sando FC, Terminex Rangers and San Juan Jabloteh FC.

Cudjoe also does not expect FIFA intervention to last indefinitely and thinks that football needs to be in a better place than it is now. She has urged stakeholders to focus on creating opportunities for the nation’s youth.

“We have all been concerned with the situation in football for some time,” the Sport Minister stated. “I hope that all stakeholders will work together because at the end of the day its about football and restoring Trinidad and Tobago football to its former glory.”

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Trinidad and Tobago left-arm orthodox spinner Akeal Hosein is happy and grateful to be awarded a Cricket West Indies central retainer contract and is focused on repaying the faith of the selectors by lifting his game as he aims to become an all-format asset for the regional side.

RAMIRO AMARELLE says that Trinidad and Tobago is ready for next week’s CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship.

T&T are in a very tough Group C and begin their campaign against hosts Costa Rica on Monday, before meeting the USA and then Turks and Caicos Islands. The two finalists in the 11-team competition will qualify for the 2021 Beach Soccer Championships.

Tyler Herro scored 24 points and the Miami Heat clinched a playoff spot and sent the Boston Celtics to the brink of the play-in tournament Tuesday night with a 129-121 victory.

Serena Williams brought up a landmark 1,000th career match at the Italian Open, but it ended in defeat at the hands of Nadia Podoroska.

The 39-year-old American, who was playing her first match since the Australian Open at the end of February, went down in straight sets to the world No 44.

Guyana Amazon Warriors manager Omar Khan is backing Nicholas Pooran to come good in the 2021 edition of the Hero Caribbean Premier League as the franchise builds its squad for a run at the elusive title when the tournament is staged at Warner Park in St Kitts, starting August 28.