Trinidad and Tobago’s soccer team is known as the Soca Warriors. Not the Sucka Warriors.
That’s the message 13 Trinidad and Tobago World Cup veterans relayed to the nation’s soccer federation Wednesday after going all “Operation Repo” on the governing body’s offices.
Still owed bonuses for appearing in the 2006 World Cup, former players, accompanied by policemen, raided the T&T soccer federation’s offices, loading trucks with desks, computers, refrigerators, microwaves, uniforms and beer crates.
Red Stripe, hooray beer!
After qualifying for the World Cup for the first time in the nation’s history, players, led by former Manchester United star Dwight Yorke, threatened to quit the team if the Trinidad federation didn’t reward players with 50 percent of profits generated during the team’s run in the 2006 World Cup. The players eventually relented, instead preferring to take their fight to the courtroom.
Jack Warner, formerly FIFA’s vice president who resigned last year after a bribery scandal, offered each player $880. Good luck with that. Obviously, they balked and a Trinidadian court ruled that $4.6 million was still owed to the players.
The federation claims it doesn’t have the resources to pay up.
“This is extremely sad day for football and Trinidad and Tobago sport,” said former Soca Warrior Brent Sancho, who was among the raiders. “Just a few years ago we were in the World Cup and today we are here doing this. But we feel we had no choice. They had every opportunity to pay this money.
“While we know sale of the items will not amount to much. We had to do something.”
Trinidad’s soccer federation has been in shambles since the country became the smallest nation to qualify for a World Cup. Along with Warner’s bribery scandal, former federation president Oliver Camps also resigned last year for his role in the alleged bribery plot involving former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hamman.
Perhaps if the country’s two highest officials weren’t so intent on bribing others, they’d have enough money to pay their players.
But that’s just me.