Football Tour To T&T Aborted

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

THE National Under 20 football team's tour of Trinidad and Tobago has been aborted.

The team which left here on Monday on a seven-day three match trip to Trinidad and Tobago is due home today.

In a release yesterday Jamaica Football Federation head, Heron Dale, said he had been told that the announced quadrangular tournament involving the Jamaica Under 20 team, Trinidad's Under 20, Flamengo Youth and the Napoli Youth team in Port of Spain, Trinidad has broken down because of internal problems with the sponsors 'Alcash', the Trinidad All Schools Association and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association.

Dale, in his release, said Jamaica, instead of playing three matches in Trinidad, were scheduled to oppose a club team yesterday and are due back in the island today. They were originally scheduled to play games on December 14, 16 and 18 and return home Sunday.

Following is the full text of the JFF president's release:

"THE Jamaica Under 20 team was invited to travel to Trinidad as part of an approval given to ISSA to stage the Wiz Tournament in Jamaica. The total cost of the tour being underwritten by the promoters "WIZ".

"Recent press releases have indicated that there is a problem in Trinidad, and the team will not be participating in any tournament.

"The team is presently in Trinidad, and are being housed at the La Calypso Hotel, on French Street in Port of Spain.

"Whilst all the meetings with the sponsors representative in Jamaica, Mr. O'Neil Cummings, prior to the departure of the team, indicated that all was well, it does appear that there is a problem of approval for the tournament in Trinidad. However in discussion with Mr. Cummings today he indicated that the tournament broke down because of internal problems with the Trinidad sponsors "Alcash", the Trinidad and Tobago All School Association and Trinidad and Tobago Football Association.

"He stated that as the teams were already in Trinidad a compromise was reached to allow the Trinidad and Tobago Under 20 team to have a game with Napoli, which took place on the 13th, and with a possible game against Flamengo if time permits.

"The Jamaican team will be playing a game against a club team on the 14th and return to Jamaica on the 15th.

"The J.F.F. would like to make the point that all the normal precautions with respect to a tournament of the nature were taken. We are constantly in touch with the management team in Trinidad and Tobago, and also in touch with the CFU secretary, Mr. Harold Taylor. Finally the decision to participate in this tournament, and the benefit to our youngsters and our National development programme was our prime consideration in making a decision to participate.

"The importance to the Federation is the exposure that the youngsters were expected to derive from this trip.