PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 side’s campaign in next month’s CONCACAF Championship has been thrown into doubt, following a decision by the Ministry of Sport to pull out of partially funding the trip.
Team manager William Wallace said he had met with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Amroodeen Ali, who informed that government would no longer be able to offer financial support.
“All that I am willing to say is that I had a meeting with the PS (Permanent Secretary) and he indicated that they don’t have any money to fund the trip. I am at a loss where we go from here,” Wallace told the Trinidad Express newspaper.
“We were told all they would have been able to help us with was tickets and what we would have had to spend in Jamaica. Now they are saying there is no money to do that.
“Getting around this is very difficult. Right now everything is in limbo. It is not a tournament that you can just cancel. It’s not a friendly match. You can’t just walk from a tournament.”
T&T are reigning Caribbean Under-20 champions, having beaten Haiti 3-0 in the final of the tournament at the Hasely Crawford Stadium here last September.
By topping Group A of the preliminary round, they qualified for the CONCACAF Championship in Jamaica, scheduled to run from January 9-24.
They are down to do battle in Group A alongside Aruba, Panama, United States, Guatemala and the hosts.
Despite the setback, Wallace said he remained hopeful of a favourable outcome.
“I haven’t given up. I asked that the visa for the boys be done, should something work out,” he said.
“Our original travel date which was the 27th and 28th (December), because we were going up in two batches. If we get through, it will have to be pushed back now.”
The CONCACAF Championship serves as a qualifier for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand next year.