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June 03, 2020

Do not flinch in the face of adversity

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s announcement that phase three of the reopening of the T&T…
June 03, 2020

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June 02, 2020

Rolf Bartolo - A man of integrity

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June 01, 2020

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May 28, 2020

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OpEd: The IOC Stands in Solidarity With All Athletes and All Sports

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Do not flinch in the face of adversity
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TRINIDAD AND Tobago football team coach Stephen Hart has slammed the decision by English League Two club Barnet FC to deny permission to wingback Gavin Hoyte to represent the “Soca Warriors” in their friendly football international against Mexico tomorrow at the Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah, United States.

In fact, Hart made it emphatically clear that he will not tolerate any form of disrespect by players and/ or clubs towards the team, especially with the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers slated to get going later this year.

According to a media release from the TT Football Association (TT FA) yesterday, “up to Friday Hoyte was in contact with the TT team manager William Wallace and all seemed set for his travel until he didn’t show up for his flight out of London along with fellow English-based pro Andre Boucaud.

Hoyte later admitted that the club had asked him to miss the encounter.

But there was no communication from the club and Wallace was not pleased that the decision was only taken at such a late stage.” Hart, in a media interview yesterday, confessed, “I was not pleased with how his club handled it. Basically they bullied the player. They told him he would be available and they would release him and then just hours before he is supposed to get on the plane they refuse to let him go and then you place the player in a situation where he is in a scrap with the club and the manager.

“I think that was very unprofessional and quite frankly they showed disrespect to the Trinidad and Tobago international programme because I am sure if it was England who called him, or Ireland or Wales, they would let him go,” Hart added. “It is certainly a situation that I am not going to look upon lightly with other players as well if it comes up. I will enter discussions with Gavin because he has to also put his foot down with the club.” The national team coach went on to say, “They didn’t say yes from the beginning because then they knew we could refer to the FIFA statutes.

Quite clearly going into World Cup is extremely important players are on top of their game and playing regularly for their clubs and of course we want to have proper relationships with the involved parties.

“There will be no situation like this come World Cup qualifying because we will have to know from the onset whether the player is coming or not and take action accordingly depending on the matter at hand,” Hart stated.

Hoyte’s brother Justin has been a regular member of the national team but he was not selected for tomorrow’s fixture.

Referring to the ongoing training camp at Salt Lake City, Hart noted, “I’m glad we got these days in because the altitude takes a bit of getting used to for the players.

They aren’t struggling but they have to adapt.” About the recalled trio of Trevin Caesar, Neveal Hackshaw and Marcus Joseph, the former Canada coach said, “they have done well. Caesar is coming in with a renewed energy and passion. I like how he has trained. Hackshaw has always been a player that seems to be all business. For a young man he has a very good professional attitude and I like that. “A lot of players when they look around at the squad, they realise there are new faces and there are positions to play for and fight for and this is essential for our team to move forward.”