`COURTS Trinidad Ltd, which is a member of the Unicomer Group, is excited to be a part of the invitational tri-nation football tournament – the Courts Caribbean Classic – which will take place from Friday until Tuesday.
The tournament will feature hosts TT, Barbados and Guyana, in a round-robin format, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.
At the media launch on Thursday, at the Courts MegaStore in San Juan, Shahad Ali, public relations officer of Unicomer (Trinidad) Ltd, said, “The TTFA (TT Football Association) had approached us with the concept of the Courts Caribbean Classic with these three Caribbean countries. Unicomer Caribbean would have gotten together and decided to give them the sponsorship they needed to make this event happen.”
He continued, “We have a long history with football in Trinidad and Tobago. We have an over 20-year relationship with Caledonia AIA. Courts is a household brand in the Caribbean (and) over the years, we’ve really invested in sport. This is the perfect moment for us to take the opportunity to get these players back on the field. We're very excited to be a part of it.”
Ali said that Courts is yet to decide if to sponsor the invitational tournament on a long-term basis.
“(Concerning) continued support, when the TTFA approaches us with a particular proposal, we’ll take a look at it, we’ll evaluate it and, once it’s something that’s feasible for us, once our resources allow, we’ll usually take up the mantle, especially when it comes to sports in the Caribbean.”
Robert Hadad, chairman of the normalisation committee (which runs the day-to-day affairs of the TTFA), is pleased with the return of international men’s football in TT.
“Extremely excited,” said Hadad. “I’m looking forward to it, I'm looking forward to the rivalry of Trinidad coaches.
Would there be more TT teams getting the opportunity to play international games at home, once there is a continued gradual easing of the covid19 restrictions? Hadad replied, “Absolutely yes. I’m hoping we can get well ahead of ourselves. I don’t want to make any promises but, once we can afford it, we can get all the teams, at all levels, playing international games here in Trinidad and Tobago.
“The national women’s team would be playing Guyana in Tobago, at the Dwight Yorke Stadium on the 12th of April,” he added.
Would there be more programmes involved for national teams, on a lengthy basis? Hadad responded, “Because of financial constraints, we would put any team back into training so long as there is a tournament imminent. The futsal is starting now. We've appointed a futsal coach and we’re now in the process of (selecting) a futsal management team.”
The TT men’s Under-23 futsal team, under the guidance of Paul Decle, will have screening sessions on Saturday and Sunday, at the International School in Westmoorings, from 3-7 pm (each day), for fully vaccinated persons only. The team is set to compete at the 2022 Caribbean Games in Guadeloupe.