TTFA president demands apology from US Embassy for 'lies' against his administration

By August 10, 2018
David John Williams has accused the US Embassy in Trinidad of lying and has demanded an apology. David John Williams has accused the US Embassy in Trinidad of lying and has demanded an apology.

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation David John-Williams is demanding an apology from the United States Embassy for what he says are lies against his administration.

The US Embassy had accused John-Williams of ‘dropping the ball’ with respect to members of TT’s U15 team not being granted visas to participate in the CONCACAF U15 tournament currently underway in Florida.

John-Williams comments came after the Trinidad and Tobago girls Under-15 team failed to obtain visas to the United States to compete at the 2018 Concacaf Girls’ Under-15 Championship which began on August 7.

In light of the situation, the TTFA president suggested that the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) should seriously consider the logic of placing future tournaments in the United States because most of its Caribbean members are being adversely affected by USA visa restrictions.

In what is seen as an unprecedented move, the US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John McIntyre accused the president of letting his side down as it related to the situation with the visas.

"Our Embassy for months noted that individuals and groups should plan well in advance for any trips to the USA. The Trinidad and Tobago Girls Under-15 representatives approached the Embassy about visas after we were closed on Tuesday, July 31 to get their visas by Friday, August 3 with the Emancipation holiday in between," McIntyre said in a statement.

“I will be blunt.  Mr. Williams and the TTFA just flat out dropped the ball on the visa process.  Our Embassy for MONTHS noted that individuals and groups should plan well in advance for any trips to the USA.  The Trinidad and Tobago Girls Under-15 representatives approached the Embassy about visas after we were closed on Tuesday, July 31 to get their visas by Friday, August 3 with the Emancipation holiday in between.

“No names or details about the visa applicants were provided.  Even after games were rescheduled, there was too little time allowed, just two working days for an established 7-10-day process, not to mention that this is peak visa season when most people have to wait six weeks just for a visa interview.”

However, John-Williams speaking to Newsday contradicted McIntyre's claim that the TTFA approached the embassy after it closed on July 31. He said visas were already paid for on July 26.

“We applied for the visas at no different time than we normally would apply. We made every possible representation, from the Ministry of Sport, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CONCACAF, the US Olympic Committee to get a group appointment for the girls. And it was unsuccessful,” John-Williams told Newsday.

“Historically, this is not the first time that this has happened with a Caribbean team with visas. I, myself, had an audience with (CONCACAF president) Victor Montagliani and I said it really cannot continue this way. If you look at it, everybody (have) to get a visa to go to the United States.

“It’s a situation that CONCACAF needs to look at, in terms of where they place the tournaments. The USA has the facilities to (stage) these tournaments. Gradually Trinidad and Tobago (are) getting there to start to host tournaments like these. With the exception of Mexico, Canada and the US, almost everybody has to get a visa to go the US. That, in itself, is a challenge.”

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • England 5 Czech Republic 0: Sterling hat-trick gives Three Lions roaring start to Euro 2020 qualifiers England 5 Czech Republic 0: Sterling hat-trick gives Three Lions roaring start to Euro 2020 qualifiers

    Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick as England made an impressive start to their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic at Wembley on Friday.

    Gareth Southgate's Three Lions qualified for the Nations League Finals in their most recent game late last year, and the four-month break since does not appear to have done them any harm, as Sterling inspired an easy victory.

    With Marcus Rashford injured, Southgate handed a first senior start to Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and he made a strong impact, setting up Sterling's opener, before the Manchester City star won a penalty that Harry Kane converted.

    The Czech Republic started the second half better, but two goals in six minutes from Sterling ended any slim hopes of a fightback, while Tomas Kalas' own goal rounded off an abysmal outing for the visitors. 

    England were dealt the blow of losing Eric Dier to injury in the 17th minute, with Ross Barkley replacing him.

    But the hosts took the lead soon after at the end of a sequence of 25 passes, with Kane's incisive ball finding the run of Sancho to square across the face of goal for Sterling to knock home.

    Sterling – who went into the match with only four international goals to his name – threatened again just before the break, winning a penalty after a combination of Kalas and Pavel Kaderabek blocked him off, and Kane made no mistake with the spot-kick.

    The away side showed some positive intent after the interval, but goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka was helpless to prevent England increasing their lead just past the hour as a pass ricocheted to Sterling in the area and he curled home a left-footed effort after a clever turn.

    Sterling completed his treble 22 minutes from time when his long-range strike deflected in off Ondrej Celustka, and Callum Hudson-Odoi replaced him soon after to become England's youngest competitive debutant.

    The Chelsea winger played a role in the final goal as his shot was parried by Pavlenka and Kalas put the ball into his own net with a woeful first touch, completing a humiliating match for the Czech Republic.

     

    What does it mean? Sterling and Kane to have a field day in Group A

    Sterling was deadly in front of goal on and, while Kane was a little quieter than usual, he still managed to add to his goal haul in an England shirt.

    Most will consider the Czech Republic to be England's toughest opposition in Group A, but the Three Lions tore them apart, with Sterling leading the surge.

    Sancho is the real deal

    A couple of wayward early passes suggested nerves on his full England debut, but Sancho eased into proceedings, teeing up Sterling to give England the lead. After that he looked his usual self, catching the eye with his silky footwork and fine movement. He is surely a mainstay in the making.

    Alli fails to sparkle

    Most of England's more forward-thinking players impressed in one way or another, but Dele Alli looked a little off the pace and was significantly less involved.

    What's next?

    England travel to Podgorica to face Montenegro on Monday, while the Czech Republic host Brazil in a friendly a day later.

  • Goretzka urges fans to 'stand up with courage' to racism Goretzka urges fans to 'stand up with courage' to racism

    Leon Goretzka has implored supporters to "stand up with courage" to racism having called the alleged abuse of Germany team-mates Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan "terrifying".

    The German Football Association (DFB) released a statement on Thursday condemning an incident that occurred during Germany's 1-1 draw with Serbia on Wednesday, when Sane and Gundogan were "constantly insulted by a small group of spectators" in Wolfsburg.

    A journalist posted a video on Facebook in which he described the alleged abuse, footage that Goretzka witnessed himself, and that prompted him to address the issue during a news conference on Friday.

    "I would like to make a statement on this matter," he told reporters.

    "I watched the video too and was moved by it. The scenes he described were terrifying.

    "I think you should do everything possible against these people. I grew up in the Ruhrpott, where if you get asked where you are from, you answer with Schalke, Dortmund or Bochum.

    "Here at the DFB we have said multiple times that we stand for diversity and integration natural to us.

    "So this is something that has to be punished. He described that nobody stood up against these people and I can only support everybody out there to stand up with courage."

    The DFB statement said police had been informed of the incident and were now investigating. 

    It added: "Football is diverse - just like the whole society. Football is a role model and has the power to support social-change processes. 

    "The DFB therefore advocates that a climate of respect and humanity in football is taken for granted. 

    "To live up to this claim, on and off the pitch, is both a challenge and an obligation. Discrimination in the form of insults, disadvantages or marginalisation should not be allowed in football."

    A Wolfsburg police spokesperson has since told SID that three perpetrators have turned themselves in.

  • Courtois: I'm still one of the best, even if the Spanish press want to kill me Courtois: I'm still one of the best, even if the Spanish press want to kill me

    Thibaut Courtois insists he is still one of the world's best goalkeepers and has accused the Spanish media of wanting to "kill" him.

    The Real Madrid man gifted the ball to Denis Cheryshev to score after being caught in possession during Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier.

    Although two Eden Hazard goals eventually helped to secure a 3-1 win, Courtois' error has led to further questions over his form this season.

    The former Chelsea star has failed to impress in his first season at the Santiago Bernabeu and was dropped for Keylor Navas in Zinedine Zidane's first match back in charge against Celta Vigo.

    However, the 26-year-old has no doubts over his abilities.

    "I still consider myself one of the best, despite the Spanish press wanting to kill me," he said, according to El Espanol.

    "I feel very strong. I'm calm because I train well and play well.

    "It was a small mistake, but that's the life of a goalkeeper. Despite that, afterwards I stayed calm and played my game."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.