Latapy’s claim on T&T football

Russell Latapy (L) being greeted by Barbados Football Association president Randy Harris at the time of appointment of head coach.
Photo by George Alleyne

As though the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association does not have enough troubles on its hands, a former star player for the twin-island republic and coach, Russell Latapy, recently reminded the TTFA that it owes him money and he wants it now.

Amidst TTFA’s worries of dealing with an overall debt surpassing some $7 million, Latapy has said that $1 million of that amount is owed to him alone for a stint as senior team head coach reaching back 11 years, then another period in leading coach position for the men’s under-17 squad in 2016.

“I am still being owed that money since 2009. It is not rocket science. The football association, based on reports from the newspapers, I would like to think that some of the money they owe me is also included in the TT$50 million (US7.4 million),” Latapy, who was recently appointed Barbados’ head coach, told the island’s Nation newspaper.

“It is money that I worked for and, like anything else, if I work for that money I am not asking any favours . . . So I want the money I worked for. I am no different from anybody,” he told the newspaper.

The reminder to TTFA this month of money owed to Trinidad’s former Trinidad and Tobago attacking midfielder comes against the backdrop of a takeover of the twin-island republic’s governing body for football by the world organisation, FIFA because of what appears to be financial mismanagement.

FIFA, which holds authority over every form of organised football the world over, last month stepped in and took over running of TTFA’s affairs with a ‘normalizing committee’, because the local organisation was faced with an unmanageable circumstances of a $7.4 million debt, with creditors and even players taking it to court.

Latapy, whose professional career saw him playing for several clubs in Europe, supported FIFA’s takeover of TTFA’s affairs.

“If FIFA is going to come in with a normalisation committee and straighten up football and give the young people in Trinidad the opportunity to make something of themselves and to dream big, that is how I see it. We do not have time; we know that Trinidad is in debt of [$7.4 million].

“If FIFA is going to come in on the right pathway for us, then I welcome that.”

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