T&T try to settle in Belize
Money issues sorted out
Trinidad and Tobago's senior team had their first training session at the MCC Ground in Belize City yesterday ahead of Saturday's friendly international against Belize at 6pm T&T time.
Head coach Hutson Charles welcomed the second set of players who arrived via San Salvador yesterday morning. Central FC's Jason Marcano was drafted into the squad after skillful midfielder Ataullah Guerra was forced out as his passport will not be ready in time to allow him to travel this week.
Guerra recently signed with Finnish Premier League club RoPS on a six-month loan deal from Caledonia AIA. But although he trained with the T&T team on Monday, he was informed a day later that his work permit will not be processed in time to allow him use of his passport. North East Stars defender Kareem Moses was also a late addition to the squad.
A first batch of players left Port of Spain on Tuesday morning after efforts by TTFF and Sportt officials led to an outcome in which match fees and per diem would be afforded to the players who on Monday night spoke of their intentions to boycott the trip which also includes a friendly against Peru in Lima on Tuesday.
Charles was relieved that the team would go on to play the two games.
"It was not an ideal situation in front of us, especially so close to the trip but thankfully those in authority were able to come to an agreement and the team has decided to travel for the two games," Charles told TTFF Media.
"These are issues we will like to avoid in the remainder of the build-up to the Gold Cup. These players should just be focusing on football and nothing else. We will do our best to get their frame of minds intact again this week before the game on Saturday against Belize," Charles added.
"The main thing is we are all here as a team in Belize and I believe these kind of outings away from home will in some way help to build character and team chemistry for future assignments. But we have a group of committed players and staff members who want to work towards getting our football back to a decent position and we will continue working towards that," Charles said.
The game was initially scheduled for FFB Stadium in Belmopan but had to be shifted to the MCC Grounds after the LOVE FM Band Fest concert was given first preference to the country's only FIFA approved football venue. Several locals have protested the decision to switch the venue of the match. Up to yesterday afternoon, discussions were ongoing between the TTFF and the Belize Football Federation to have the match shifted back to Belmopan even if it means playing tomorrow as the MCC venue is below international standard.
Belize football federation president Ruperto Vicente tried to defend his decision for switching the match saying that it will benefit Belize's national team financially.