For much of yesterday, a significant amount of debate within footballing fan circles was dedicated to a now ongoing social media row between Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith and sports journalist Lasana Liburd, essentially over whether the former’s son had earned the right to be part of T&T’s recent 2022 World Cup qualifying squad.
The back and forth between the duo was fierce and naturally garnered much interest from the fans and even citizens who do not necessarily support the Soca Warriors. CoP Griffith, with his often frank and controversial statements on various issues, has a way of sparking commentary on various issues and this one is no different.
But in all this furore, one point seemed to have been missed by citizens.
The Soca Warriors have lost out on yet another chance to qualify for a World Cup and did so in the most spectacular of ways.
What should have been an easy early-round group run for skipper Khaleem Hyland and his men turned out to be a nightmare, as they failed to secure full points against minnows Puerto Rico and Bahamas and ultimately lost out to St Kitts Nevis for a place in the next phase by a point.
This is not to say, of course, that anyone seriously looking at T&T’s efforts in recent months expected that the team would have realistically reached the critical stages of the qualifying competition.
Since then, assistant coaches Kelvin Jack and Derek King have resigned while head coach Terry Fenwick was fired and seems to have ridden into the sunset without even as much of an explanation to the T&T public for why this team failed so miserably.
And quite frankly, Mr Fenwick owes the country an explanation to allow for a new developmental blueprint going forward.
Indeed, as the saying goes, if you do not know your past you will be doomed to repeat it in the future.
Truth be told, the current FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee under Robert Hadad failed to give Fenwick and his squad the resources they needed to do a more effective job. Mr Hadad too has questions to answer on why certain decisions which were deleterious to the team’s preparations were made. But Hadad too has been shirking his responsibility to keep citizens in the loop on the critical issues his team has to deal with both on and off the field.
T&T’s football is where it is today due to the continued failures of TTFA administrations. Therefore, merely focusing on its financial weaknesses, which seems to be Hadad’s main objective, will not take T&T out of the rut in which it now finds itself.
Having said that, this media house hopes that newly-minted coach Angus Eve and whomever he selects going forward, will get the support of all of T&T as he charts a course toward the Gold Cup tournament later this year. That must come from the administrators, players, fans, corporate T&T and the Government because the Soca Warriors and the TTFA cannot be allowed to continue to float further into an abyss.