THE EDITOR: It is nothing short of a disaster that this country is being forced to play its World Cup qualifier against Guyana in the Dominican Republic (DR) on March 25. As I write this, it's 31 days before the game. And someone is telling us that this is enough time to uproot our team, make arrangements for travel/quarantine to the relatively far DR, settle in and get ready for the match but not enough time for us to host it where the team is entrenched?
Guyana, the seat of Caricom, is right next door, with much less hassle for travelling. It is willing to host the match, but we must pay for accommodation which, to me, is reasonable. Won't we have to pay much more for accommodation/meals/other expenses in the DR? So why balk at paying Guyana what I'm sure would amount to much less?
But, money aside, if Guyana can host it, why can't we? Are we so incompetent compared to the DR and Guyana? And if they have no covid19 fears about hosting the game, why should we?
If we needed any proof that the normalisation committee, led by Robert Hadad, is either grossly incompetent or does not have our football interest at heart, this is it. Hadad knew the date of the match, so didn't he find out the requirements for hosting the match long in advance?
In his defence, though, the blame really lies with Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe. She said the request was made on February 2, 51 days before the match and that was "short notice?" No, no, no, ma'am. I suspect that in Hadad's mind, 51 days was more than enough time (but it does assume a minimal level of competence). Even now, we still have enough time to host the match.
So tell me again, why do we need to go to the DR to play this match? If you ask me, the authorities are going out of their way to make life as difficult as possible for TT to win this game. It's almost as if they want to make Terry Fenwick look bad are hell-bent on doing whatever is necessary to make that happen. I hope he frustrates them by winning the game.
If the match could be played in Guyana or the DR, there is no logical reason why it can't be played here. This is where Prime Minister Rowley should intervene and order the match to be played here. It is our match, we have the right to host it, and we should. If we have enough time to play it in the DR, we have enough time to play it in Trinidad. Obvious, don't you agree?