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Ex-Warriors ready to go to court again

By Mark Pouchet

The 13 2006 Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors are heading back to court to treat with the debt Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) still owes them.

The players are dissatisfied with the pace of the payments and the failure of the TTFA to upkeep the  four-part payment schedule agreement signed by the two parties, which is scheduled to end in 2015.

According to website Wired 868, the players are now getting together to instruct  local attorney Dave De Peiza to bring the matter back to court to enforce the debt.

The players are owed nearly US $2million  after the UK-based Sports Dispute Resolution Panel (SPDR) and later the Trinidad and Tobago High Court ruled in their favour in a legal impasse with the then named Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF).

Last May, the players and the new TTFA reached an out-of-court settlement to be paid in  four tranches. 

But five months on, players spokesperson Brent Sancho players says the TTFA’s failure to stick to their agreement can’t continue.

“The players have been very lenient so far. We could have rejected the offer but we understand the importance of football to the country,” Sancho told the Express yesterday. “But we can’t continue like this because this has been going on for nine years and.. the TTFA has not shown us any tangible efforts that they are sticking to their word.” The Central FC managing director said, “numerous deadlines have been broken and we have only reached the second tranche.”

The SDRP had awarded the players 50 per cent of proceeds associated with the 2006 World Cup campaign. However the matter had to be contested in the high court here after the TTFF failed to settle on the grounds that the players had breached the Panel’s gag order.

When the Express spoke with TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee Wednesday at the welcome home ceremony for the national Under-20 women’s team, he said the outstanding debt is being approached in a very serious and positive way.

“ We want to thank the Soca Warriors for their patience. They are very  reasonable  people and they understand we are cash strapped and we can’t depend on the Government because I don’t know  that the Government will give us money to pay debts. 

“We  have to  create our own revenue streams to as quickly as possible liquidate that debt.” 

Tim Kee said those ventures are currently under  discussion and at a sensitive stage but, “we (the TTFA)  are making every effort to pay the debt because it still is a weight on my shoulder, owing people for so long and some of these players  really need the money. I know they need it  and I am committed to paying the debt.”

Tim Kee placed the remaining debt at US $ 1.7 million and said all of the money CONCACAF had for the TTFA went towards settling the Soca Warriors debt.

According to Wired 868, the SDRP had awarded the players 50 per cent of proceeds associated with the 2006 World Cup campaign but the matter had to be contested in the high court  after the then TTFF failed to settle on the grounds that the players had breached the Panel’s gag order.

The threat of a return to the High Court comes a week after the TTFA announced an out-of-court agreement with another ex-World Cup player, Russell Latapy.

 Latapy accepted the promise of payment over two tranches from the TTFA and an acknowledgment of its debt to him for his tenure as national coach.

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