Corneal: Tough to find opponents for Soca Warriors

 Anton Corneal

FORMER technical director of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Anton Corneal expressed his disappointment with the failure of the Normalisation Committee (NC) to settle up its debt to him, following his successful judgment won in the local High Court since November 2019.

Amid reports that some of their creditors have been paid — including a recent £15,000 settlement to extract the TTFA from a controversial agreement with British clothing supplier, Avec Sports — Corneal was concerned with how the Robert Hadad-led NC was prioritising their debt repayment schedule.

“I can say that was disturbing to me because knowing the history, and I don’t know if how that (debt payment) is going to go, but I have left it up to God and my attorney,” Corneal,a FIFA/CONCACAF instructor, said in an interview on Isports 95.5FM. “Money is going to be paid when they (NC) can work out how to pay the back debts.

“It is something that I have questioned because FIFA funds were always there to pay technical directors (TD), so whatever FIFA funds come again (it) should pay TDs, so it is not really a back debt. It is just pay that people should have been paid with the FIFA funds. That is it in a nutshell.”

Corneal said although he has had discussions with Hadad on the issue, they weren’t very specific and he is about to leave the matter of his $3.4 million judgment in the hands of his attorney.

“My lawyer, I have full respect for what he is doing, he is going to decide what are the next moves. I am not going to decide,” informed Corneal, who worked as coach with three T&T World Cup teams.

“It hurts a lot, I can’t hide it. This is every single day I think about this. I have to think about my kids, my family, my daughter who is in school in the US. What do I do? Do I continue what I was doing in the past, swipe a credit card and pay it off? What is the next move. It is something that, every single day I think about this and then I find out that other people were paid. It is tough, I am not going to fool anyone.”

Corneal said he just wanted the process of the TTFA’s debt settlement to be fair and he wanted no special treatment over the organisations’ other creditors which include Stephen Hart, Dennis Lawrence, Russell Latapy among others.

Asked if he thought his debt would have been settled more quickly if a foreigner, Corneal said: “I don’t know. I hope not because I gave up a lot of my time, personal family time for many years. To think that they would treat a local differently. I hope that we would be beyond that now but you can never tell.”

The former TD has not been inactive since his departure from the TTFA. Last year, Corneal conducted a 3 1/2-month CONCACAF programme in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua, and Guyana, assisting those countries in restructuring their association, youth programmes, youth education, standardising of their coach education across the board, and assisting their TDs with long-term development programmes.

Despite the trials and tribulations of the pursuit of his earnings from the TTFA, he is still open to working with the TTFA under a proper structure.

“Of course through discussions, once we could discuss and see there is a place where I can assist and use my experience to guide, I will be happy to assist,” Corneal said. “I am where I am because of T&T football and I must never forget that.”


GABRIELLA WOOD expressed her elation at becoming the first female judoka from Trinidad and Tobago to have qualified for an Olympic Games.

The Scotland-based Wood’s name was among those listed on the International Judo Federation’s published official list of athletes who have qualified for next month’s re-scheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Having seen his side swept 2-0 by South Africa in the just-completed Test series, West Indies coach Phil Simmons has admitted that they have some problems to solve ahead of the next series against Pakistan.

On Monday, Kraigg Brathwaite’s side lost inside four days by 158 runs at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia, after having been beaten in the first Test by an innings and 63 runs at the same venue.

The West Indies Players Association (WIPA) has congratulated West Indies cricket legend Gordon Greenidge on his knighthood.

The former opening batsman from Barbados has been officially made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) last Friday.

Yesterday, WIPA via a release sent “heartfelt congratulations” to Sir Gordon Greenidge on “this distinguished honour.”

Trinidad and Tobago winger Kevin Molino returned from injury with a 20-minute run when making his debut with the defending United States-based MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew last Saturday.

THE Trinidad and Tobago Under-14 tennis players are currently training in Florida, USA, for two leading junior tournaments.

The four boys and four girls will travel to Guatemala tomorrow to compete in the leading junior tournament in the Central American and Caribbean Confederation (COTECC).

West Indies started the fourth morning of the second Test against South Africa full of hope that they could chase down their victory target of 324, but any chance of pulling off such an unlikely win disintegrated in the final 30 minutes before lunch.