Trinidad and Tobago’s 20-player women’s football squad were spared the embarrassment of not having funds to meet their board, lodge, travel and other in-camp expenses in the United States yesterday as the TT Government, a TT state company and an online initiative produced a belated injection of cash that will be tapped into from today, second day of their pre-Concacaf Championship stay there.
Thirteen members of the squad left Trinidad on Tuesday afternoon to join six others in the US for a week-long camp during which they will fine-tune preparations for the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup Championship starting next Wednesday in the US.
The eight-nation Cup Championship qualifies the top three for automatic entry into next year’s FIFA women’s World Cup finals in Canada while the fourth-placed will engage in a playoff with a South American runner-up to determine another finalist.
TT open their CONCACAF Group preliminary-round challenge against the United States in Kansas next Wednesday before playing Haiti next Friday and Guatemala on October 20 at different venues.
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association acknowledged that the squad left here with just $500 US to meet their early expenses while the Association were finalising cost funding from the Government’s Sport Company.
But American-based TT team coach Randy Waldrum made a move to get the team some more cash and he has succeeded in raising close to US$10,000 online through accounts set up in the US to assist the team by supporters.
And the TTFA confirmed that it had received TT$250,000 from the Sport Company of T&T and TT$75,000 from Petrotrin on behalf of the team. The total request from the TTFA for the campaign is TT$873,118.67or US$137,715.88).
The TTFA advised that following the release of funds from the Ministry of Sport and Petrotrin, additional monies will be sent to the team today and the remaining funds will be delivered later in the week to cover expenses.
CONCACAF will cover all related expenses over the duration of the tournament.
Admitting that initially US$500 was sent with the traveling contingent on Tuesday to cover meals and transportation for the first day, the TTFA said it was in the process of finalizing transactions to convert funding to US Currency up to late Tuesday.
Team physio Michael Taylor, Equipment manager Claire George, along with team equipment and team captain Maylee Attin-Johnson were scheduled to depart for Dallas yesterday to join Waldrum and the rest of the contingent.
The money, in US currency will be taken to the camp in Dallas by the team manager Vernetta Flanders.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Sport and the Sports Company said they remain committed to providing the necessary support to national athletes and teams but they remind National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs) that the timely submission of documentation is critical to facilitate the necessary oversight, protocols and procedures associated with the release of state funds.