NATIONAL men’s football team coach Terry Fenwick said there is too much negativity currently surrounding local football and not enough attention is being paid to the footballers.
The former TTFA executive, led by William Wallace, is currently fighting FIFA on its decision to take over the running of TT football on March 17.
FIFA appointed a normalisation committee, led by local businessman Robert Hadad, to run local football for a maximum period of 24 months.
The main responsibility of the normalisation committee is to reduce the debt facing the TTFA, which is said to be $50 million.
The former TTFA executive is appealing FIFA’s decision by taking the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Speaking to the media at the opening of the refurbished Police Barracks football ground on Friday, Fenwick said during the covid19 pandemic he is continuing to scout new talent.
The national coach however, said all the off-field issues can be distracting.
“What hasn’t helped (during the covid19) is all the negative press that we have seen and that is all the politics that has been played out with the TTFA and the normalisation committee now. It is not good for football. We are ignoring the youngsters on the ground that want to play football, we are devastating what their love is and we have to get back to that.”
Fenwick continued, “FIFA is our governing body, we’ve got to listen to them (and) that is where we get our funding from and, with all due respect, we are technical. We are about bringing positives to the table, coaching players, girls and boys, bring them from their communities into a national area where they could be proud of what they are achieving and proud for their families and communities. All of this negativity we are reading at the moment and seeing in the media generally is not good for the game, it is not good for the youngsters of TT. We’ve got to turn that around quick.”
Fenwick is concerned that if the former TTFA executive wins the case against FIFA, the world governing body will stop funding local football.
Asked if he supports Hadad, Fenwick said, “I have come in under William Wallace, who is a nice man, a good man but FIFA has made a decision, nobody else. FIFA has brought Robert Hadad in and I am sticking by that because that is what we have been asked to do.”