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Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Sancho on Strike

News from Trinidad where Brent Sancho and other T&T squad members walked out of a training session, prior to Wednesday's international friendly against Finland, protesting at the compensation packages being offered by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF).

The TTFF has been reported to be experiencing financial difficulties, but recently assured the players that measures were being put in place to pay out a suitable compensation package for the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifiers which start in March.

In 1999, the technical staff implemented a pay scale based on seniority which was determined by the number of international caps by each player.
The scale began at $300-$500 US (less than 10 caps) and ended at $3,000 US (75 caps or more) for a full international outing.

An anonymous player was quoted thus:

"It is something that has been brewing for a long time. Our whole effort is geared towards making World Cup and being a successful national team. We just want the best situation in place for the players who are making that journey."

[update]
Trinidad's training session went ahead with the striking players, led by the CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh quartet of Brent Sancho, Travis Mulraine, Kelvin Jack and Gary Glasgow, looking on, having turned up hoping to resolve the crisis. Among the players benefitting from the walkout was Rochester Rhinos defender Craig Demmin who happened to be home and was drafted into the makeshift T&T squad.

The players on protest held a press conference at the Cascadia Hotel yesterday to voice their opinion and plans of forming of forming a players association. They refused to accept the proposals put forward by the TTFF for friendly internationals and competitive matches from February onwards. The TTFF offered US$200 per player regardless of international caps for friendly internationals, and US$600 per player per match for the Gold Cup Qualifying matches regardless of international appearances.

The players requested US$1,000 for players with 15 caps and over and US$750 per player with 14 caps and under for friendly matches beginning with the Finland friendly. When it was told to them that no money will be offered for Wednesday's friendly, the players walked away. The players’ wish list also included insurance coverage; medical supplies at training sessions; sports drinks on a regular basis; meals; access to unbiased professional advice; and a long-term pension scheme.

The players' actions received this response from the TTFF:

Players who have indicated their unwillingness to represent Trinidad and Tobago in this match are hereby suspended from all football activity under the aegis of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation and all its affiliates, both local and international, pending a full scale inquiry into their withdrawal from the National Squad.

In addition, a number of players have been suspended by their clubs for their actions.

posted by the timberlog at 4:02 PM



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