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Warriors staff, players still await salaries
Amidst the recent revelations by the T&T Football Federations that its operation is under financial constraints, members of the senior national team and its technical staff are still awaiting salaries for 13 recent international matches. The matches run from July of this year to the just concluded Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals in Martinique. During that period, the senior national players played matches against Antigua & Barbuda (two), Jamaica (two), Belize, St Lucia, Guyana (two), St Vincent and The Grenadines, Haiti, Cuba, Grenada and Martinique. The lone match for which the players and some staff members were paid was the away international friendly on September 7 away to Panama.
Three days later, T&T also played away to Belize but the players were not paid. During the 13 matches, some members of the technical staff have had to use monies from their pockets to cover team expenses. Members of the technical staff have also gone close to a year without payments from the TTFF. The Guardian learned staff last received $10,000 each in September 2009 before the team was disbanded after T&T failed to qualify for the World Cup Finals. Four members of the staff, inclusive of coach Russell Latapy, manager David Muhammad, assistant manager, Peter Rampersad and Technical Director Lincoln Phillips have all been receiving monthly stipends.
Latapy has not received a full salary for over a year. While not wanting to make excuses for Latapy, his staff and the players for their failed Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals campaign, the source said the T&T Warriors must be commended for working under those circumstances. He drew reference to the situation with the Jamaican players who threatened to withhold their services in Martinique if their wage demands were not met. The source noted the Warriors knew of the Jamaican protest but never thought about doing the same. “They were all committed to the team effort and doing their country proud.” The source added that there was never a chance of the T&T players striking.
“But you have to understand the technical staff has been working with limited resources for a very long time and they are expected to pull off miraculous results. “The guys were hoping with Mr Warner in Government and Anil Roberts at the Ministry of Sports it would have been easier to get support for the sport. “They were told that they had to wait until a new board was put in place at the Sport Company of T&T (SporTT) but that has taken place over a month now and the guys are still awaiting payments.” “Mr Latapy continued to work with the players telling them to forget about the money situations and the conditions and that it would come once the results were being achieved on the field.
Yet after three consecutive wins in the Digicel Cup, the players were still left waiting. Not even a word of congratulations from the T&TFF. These things don’t go unnoticed by the players because they are human beings too and can be sensitive at times. And also you have to consider that all of our players in the current squad are not fortunate to have lucrative contracts in Europe like some of the others, so it cannot be a situation where the money should not matter.”
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