FRUSTRATED national women footballers Arin King and Lauryn Hutchinson have taken to social media to beg for help to ensure that the national team qualifies for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
The TT Football Association (TTFA), under the presidency of David John-Williams, is yet to appoint a coach for the national team, ahead of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship which takes place in the US from October 4-17. Eight teams will compete in this tournament for the three automatic qualification spots in next year’s World Cup. The Canadian-born King took to her Facebook page and posted yesterday, “21 days away from our final stage of World Cup Qualifiers!! NO CAMP & NO OFFICIAL COACH! This is madness. Help us make a change for Women’s Football and to inspire Trinidad and Tobago! #ISTANDWITHTTWSW We are simply asking for support. #RoadToFrance2019 #EQUALITY”
King also called for equality, respect and unity for women football by the TTFA.
HELP US OUT
Hutchinson has called for interested people to support a proposed training camp in Richmond, Virginia where she lives, by providing the TT players with accommodation, meals and/or training gear. “We wanna bring the team to Richmond, we wanna create our own camp. If you have any resources that you can donate to us, please, please, please reach out to me,” Hutchinson said.
"If you're willing to host a player in your home for a few days, if you have extra water, snacks, bananas or anything you can donate so I can get my teammates here," Hutchinson continued.
When contacted yesterday, TTFA general secretary Justin Latapy-George did not wish to give a definitive statement about the matter until he had spoken to both King and Hutchinson.
“While I’ve heard and been updated on what has been said, I am not sure in (what) overall context the ladies are speaking,” he said. “Until I have an opportunity to have a full grasp on that, I wouldn’t want to offer any immediate comment.”
He continued, “The ladies have their focus on the games that are coming up.”
NOT THE FIRST TIME
The national women’s team suffered similar struggles during its campaign for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. In 2014, former coach Randy Waldrum posted a tweet outlining the lack of support for the team ahead of the CONCACAF Championship. It took Haiti, one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere to pledge a donation to assist its Caribbean neighbours.
Maylee Attin-Johnson, who was the captain of the team during the 2015 qualifiers, wrote on her Facebook page, “Even though I’m not (a part) of things, I stand with the (TT team)!!! I believe one day it will get better!!!!!!#ifeelforthem#notmuchhaschange#praythatgodshinesonthem#keepfighting#”
Former TT men’s team defender Brent Sancho was also disappointed to hear about the obstacles facing the national women’s squad.
“I’m disappointed to hear that the women’s team has gotten to this state, particularly from three years ago (when) we had a very successful women’s football league,” said Sancho, with reference to the Women’s Premier League (WPL) which took place in 2015.
“We never built on that,” he continued. “It’s basically disheartening to see a team that (were) minutes away from qualifying for a World Cup being treated in this way, not just from the (TTFA) but corporate TT and the Government. No one has really given them any support.” Asked about his take on the coaching situation, Sancho simply replied, “disgusted.”