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Sunday 26 May 2019
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Cooper appointed women’s team coach

TTFA requests $$ for pre-tournament camp as…

TTFA general secretary Justin Latapy-George.
TTFA general secretary Justin Latapy-George.

THE TT Football Association (TTFA) have made a request for a pre-tournament camp for the national women’s football team, ahead of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which will take place in the United States from October 4-17.

So said TTFA general secretary Justin Latapy-George, during an interview yesterday.

And the TTFA, in a media release yesterday, also confirmed the appointment of Shawn Cooper as team coach for the CONCACAF Championship.

On Friday, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Shamfa Cudjoe, after a meeting with Latapy-George and TT women’s team manager Jinelle James, gave the TTFA until noon yesterday to submit a proposal for financial assistance for the squad, who are vying for a spot at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

Latapy-George admitted yesterday that the deadline was met.

He added that a reply was sent from Sports Company of TT executive manager, sports development, Anthony Creed, requesting some sub-totals to the request that was sent by the TTFA.

“That is what I’m working on, to re-send it to the Sports Company and the Ministry of Sports,” said Latapy-George.

Last Thursday, national team defender, US-born Lauryn Hutchinson, took to social media to request assistance for the TT-based players to travel to Richmond, Virginia (Hutchinson’s home town) for a pre-tournament camp. Hutchinson also called for help from anyone willing to accommodate the players, provide nutrients and clothing for the players.

Latapy-George commented, “Part of the request we sent to the Ministry of Sport, through the Sports Company (yesterday) morning included a request for a pre-tournament camp. It’s something that we usually try to do with all teams going into any major tournaments.”

The CONCACAF Championship involves eight teams battling for three automatic World Cup spots.

In the same release, the TTFA also outlined the sum of monies spent on the national women’s programme from November 2015 (when David John-Williams replaced Raymond Tim Kee as president) till now.

According to the TTFA, a total of $3,701,667.58 has been spent on player retainer contracts, salaries for technical staff members, overseas travels, medical supplies, transport and equipment.

The TTFA noted that technical committee head and board member Richard Quan Chan “prudently round robin the recommendation (of Cooper) for Board approval.”

The release continued, “Of the nine eligible voting members on (the) Board, five gave approval, one abstained and three did not approve.”

This decision has been met with condemnation from Keith Look Loy, outspoken board member and TT Super League president.

Look Loy said, “I am challenging those statistics. We have six members of the Board (who) called for a meeting under article 35 of the constitution to discuss this matter. Half of the Board has said ‘we do not approve of what’s happening and we need a meeting to discuss the (issue)’. I’m not surprised. The Board has 12 members.”

He continued, “No problem, let them proceed. We would hold to the position that this is an illegal appointment.”

Look Loy made it clear that he does not have an issue with Cooper, but in the manner of his appointment. “I understand the urgency of having a coach and a staff appointed to this team,” he said. “We all do. But things have to be done constitutionally and legally. The constitution is not a convenience.

“It is the law, and we have to abide by the law. All they had to do was call an official meeting where we could discuss it. How can they appoint anybody when they’re not telling us who applied? We do not know who applied, and there were multiple applications.”

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