(Trinidad Express) It is neither captain Kenwyne Jones and his players, nor German coach Otto Pfister, but rather the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) which is coming in for the heaviest criticism following the national team’s early elimination from 2014 World Cup qualifying.
The Soca Warriors were beaten 2-1 at the Guyana National Stadium on Friday evening to end any hopes of advancing to the next round of the CONCACAF qualifying campaign. And former national players Clayton Morris and Marlon Morris and ex-coach Everald “Gally” Cummings are all calling for a complete change of leadership in the governing body.
“I think the TTFF executive should resign,” Marlon Morris bluntly told the Sunday Express yesterday, “because the footballing public has lost all confidence in their leadership. Nobody would put money in the TTFF.”
Morris, who recently failed in his bid to become president of the Northern Football Association, said further of the administration: “They lack credibility and the ability to think independently.”
He said Friday’s result did not come as a surprise since the team had been subject to “poor preparation”. But he also claimed the TTFF had also let the players down.
He said: “When players feel second class, when you hurt the football community, when the administration is fighting with the players, they are not going to play for you. Footballers are a fraternity. The passion isn’t there… All of this is a function of poor leadership.”
Clayton Morris, T&T captain during the 1990 World Cup qualifying campaign, linked the failed 2010 campaign to Friday’s loss.
“It’s very disappointing to see we went out so early. I don’t think these teams should be knocking us out. But having said that, it’s what we’ve been doing since 2006 (that is responsible). Since we blacklisted the (2006 World Cup) players, we started to go backwards.”
And referring to the resignation as Football Federation president last month of Oliver Camps, Morris said Camps’ colleagues should follow his lead.
“The rest of people should be man enough to let younger blood take over now. It’s time for the changing of the guards…I don’t think we could go forward if the same people remain there, same with coaching.”
Morris said a different approach was needed when it came to hiring coaches from overseas.
“We have what it takes to bring our football to a level,” he said. “To develop our football, we have to do it for ourselves.”
He said that if after that further experience was needed for a qualifying series, then perhaps a foreign coach could be hired. And he recommended his old coach as the one to oversee the future development of the local game.
“Gally Cummings should be the man given the responsibility to develop the football for the next couple of years, where he would have a panel of coaches going into the communities to find talent,” Morris (C) said.
“That wouldn’t cost the amount of money involved in hiring a foreign coach.”
Cummings himself said the timing of Pfister’s hiring, so close to the start of qualifying, was wrong.
“You don’t bring in a man at short notice to prepare a team. The side should have had a local preparing the team (well in advance),” he said.
And with the qualifying effort over at the first stage, he sees no reason for Pfister to be retained.
“The only person who benefitted from this is Pfister,” he said. “I think the entire technical staff should go.”
However, Cummings laid ultimate blame for the failure of the 2014 effort at the feet of the TTFF and their ex-special adviser, Jack Warner.
“I am tired of seeing the TTFF destroy football in this country,” he said.
Tongue-in-cheek, he added with reference to previous failed campaigns stretching back to 1990: “Jack Warner is in the best position as Minister of roads. He fixed the Road to Italy, he fixed the Road to France (1998) and the road to Germany (2006) still has many bumps. This road (Brazil 2012) get fixed too, because he was responsible for bringing Pfister.”
The former coach and technical adviser is now advocating that the senior team take a hiatus from international competition.
“I think for the next two years, we should take part in no international tournaments until we build a proper foundation. Build the football to a level where we can compete and stop embarrassing the country…
“Put an interim committee in place to hold onto the football until we get fair elections.”