The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation on Wednesday announced that it had finally reached an agreement with thirteen members of its 2006 World Cup Squad following seven years of legal battle over unpaid bonuses.
The Federation, of which Raymond Tim Kee is President since being elected last December, confirmed via a Press Release that a court order was fully executed and further details will be disclosed at a Press Conference on Friday at which TTFF officials and representatives of the thirteen players will be present.
Tim Kee stated : “We are quite pleased today to announce that we have reached an agreement and that the court order was fully executed. This is a major hurdle that has been crossed. While we are delighted to have reached a settlement, this goes far beyond just a settlement. We felt it was important to begin a period of reconciliation and collaborative efforts in our thrust forward for football in Trinidad and Tobago.
“My initial reaction is to simply breathe a huge sigh of relief and a sense of accomplishment,” Hislop told the Federation’s website.
“When we set out on this ‘journey’ we had NO idea where it would take us, or what was at sta
ke. All we knew was we were entitled to more than the TT$5,000 on offer. And for that we were, and even now, subject to the most distasteful character assassinations. We did nothing to deserve that.”
“For Trinidad and Tobago’s footballing future, players and administrators alike, a precedent has been set. One that I think will give the players a better footing in the game going forward, and one that gives the administrators of the present and the future a framework of mutual respect to build from,” Hislop continued.
The current ESPN analyst stated that finally the players feel a sense of acknowledgement.
“To the thirteen players it means an acknowledgement that we were right to stand our ground, stand for what we believed was just. For far too long we felt that players had been taken advantage of, and at some point someone had to make a sacrifice in making a stand that would benefit future footballers. No team before us had that opportunity or ability, an ability we earned in qualifying for the World Cup. I’ve always said that with success comes responsibility, and that responsibility had fallen to us, rightly or wrongly. Whichever way we had to respect it.”
The former West Ham United and Portsmouth custodian who was outstanding in T&T’s 0-0 draw with Sweden in Dortmund almost seven years ago, paid tribute to President Raymond Tim Kee and his team at the TTFF for their efforts in reaching this settlement.
“Ever since Mr. Tim Kee and Sheldon Phillips (General Secretary) engaged us in constructive dialogue things moved very quickly from there,” Hislop said.
“I’ve known, trusted and respected Sheldon for a long time, but this was my first meaningful interaction, certainly of this nature, with Raymond Tim Kee. They have been professional and true to their every word throughout. I honestly cannot say when last I have felt comfortable and as confident with anyone in football administration anywhere as I did with them over the last 3 months. Between them I feel confident that they will give their all to the betterment of the game in T&T. They are not in this for themselves,” Hislop stated.
Further details will be disclosed at a Press Conference in Port of Spain on Friday.