THE Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) will petition Government and the business sector for between two to four million dollars in funding for the World Cup preparation effort of the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national team.
American Randy Waldrum, Trinidad and Tobago’s national women’s coach has discussed with the TTFA having training camps here and abroad, and a couple of high calibre international friendly matches as well. All this, prior to the new Caribbean champions participating in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, the final leg of World Cup qualifying which begins in six weeks in the United States. Also proposed is that the team arrives in the United States at least a week before the competition which runs from October 16-25 in the United States.
Newly-installed Minister of Sport, Dr Rupert Griffith and members of the local business community were among the TTFA’s guests at the inaugural Women’s Caribbean Cup which Trinidad and Tobago won when beating Jamaica 1-0 in the final on Tuesday night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. The TTFA has petitioned some of those persons for financial assistance.
“We are also looking to have the team in the United States seven to 10 days before the tournament depending on the cities where we are drawn,” TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips told the Express. “The draw takes place on September 5 in Miami, and that will also determine the teams we play in warm-up matches.”
Phillips added: “Between Government and the private sector, we hope to raise the money needed to ensure proper preparation of the women’s national team.
We are having some discussions which are ongoing. At the final, there were a lot of good impressions about the quality of play produced by the team on the field, and the overall production of the Women’s Caribbean Cup.”
Phillips also revealed that the TTFA had a meeting with Griffith immediately upon his recent appointment, with a view to continuing of the Association’s programme with the involvement of the Ministry of Sport. He said that five national teams are currently active and in need of funding, including the national Under-20 and senior teams which host Caribbean Football Union qualifying tournaments in September and October respectively.
“When the new TTFA executive came into power, we inherited millions of dollars in debt,” Phillips declared. “Yet, we are still able to have five national teams functioning. We have been able to restart the development programmes and the Association has been functioning despite its challenges.”