Trinis cry foul
January 21, 2005

Trinis cry foul

Manager of Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior National football team, Richard Brathwaite, last Sunday questioned the integrity of match commissioner, Kittian Peter Jenkins.

An irate Brathwaite, in his distinct “trini twang”, quizzed the dimensions of the area used at the Arnos Vale Playing Field in the Digicel return leg of Vincy Heat versus the Soca Warriors.{{more}}

Brathwaite was overheard asking Jenkins if the playing area had met the minimum dimensions stipulated by FIFA. The minimum dimensions for international matches are 100 meters in length and 64 meters wide.

Brathwaite, who is employed as director of development, spouted his knowledge of FIFA’s statutes and regulations.

The issue of the dimensions of the field came to the fore after Jenkins brokered a deal between the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation and the National Sports Council (NSC).

The compromise involved reducing the size of the playing area to avoid engaging the newly laid cricket pitches.

Much uncertainty hovered over the staging of the match, after the NSC had indicated that the Arnos Vale venue was “out of the question”.

The issue dominated the airwaves last week with both sides holding their ground.

The NSC had offered the SVGFF the Grammar School Playing Field as an alternative venue, but this was met by a brick wall of resistance until Jenkins’ intervention.

It was not until Jenkins made his inspection early Sunday morning that the matter was resolved.

Manager of the NSC, Osbourne Browne, credited Vincy Heat’s manager Maxim James for his poise in the entire saga.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines went on to win the match 1-0, through a 65th minute penalty scored by Burton Forde.

Trinidad and Tobago won the tie 3-2 on aggregate and advanced to next month’s final in Barbados.

Humbled by this defeat, the management of the Trinidad and Tobago team referred to the latest outing as a “warm up match” ahead of their World Cup qualifier against the United States, February 9.