Inside Sports

Baz Freckleton
Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Striking Footballers

In the Commonwealth Caribbean the same lack of communication is causing embarrassment. This time it is in Trinidad where fourteen members of the 22-member national soccer team for the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Football Associations) Finals, which began in Trinidad yesterday with defending champions Costa Rica playing Cuba went on strike in support of their demands for better conditions.

Again a lack of proper communications since even here in Jamaica I had heard from Trinidadians that the Trinidad national team were unhappy about a number of things, had failed to get a proper hearing from the TFA and were contemplating strike action.

Now with Trinidad as hosts to the tournament there is more than a likelihood that Trinidad will not field a team or at best will field a second-rate team if they do not meet the following demands from the strikers:

(1) Two pairs of football boots for each player.
(2) Insurance coverage for the 16-match tournament.
(3) Track suit and sweat shirts for each player.
(4) Proper hotel accommodation.
(5) A bonus tour to Canada if they win the series.
(6) Four passes for each player, per match.
(7) A pass for each of the trainees eventually left out of the final squad.
(8) Security against loss of revenue for employed players.
(9) Some $209 per player for themselves.

The Trinidad Football Association is holding firm to its original offer of $4.18 a day for each player or J$62.50 per player for the series. But the players say the least they will accept is J$8.36 per player for each of the days the series will last.