THE national Under-15 girls footballers and technical staff are keen to move on from the indignity of missing the CONCACAF Under-15 Championship at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, United States.
The team was unable to compete at the Championship,which began on Monday and runs until August 13, due to their inability to get visas from the US Embassy.
Team coach Marlon Charles, in an interview last evening, commented, “The coaching staff and everybody are disappointed because these kids have worked very hard to reach to this point to represent Trinidad and Tobago. I know how much we want it. This is where the learning and the education would have taken place on the football field.”
The veteran coach added, “We have spoken to the girls, they’re ready to roll but they’re disappointed. It’s not an easy situation.”
Charles selected his team for the CONCACAF event on July 30.
But the TT Football Association (TTFA) was given an appointment date of August 28, well beyond the conclusion of the tournament.
Concerning the issue with the travel documents, Charles, who is also the assistant women’s coach, replied, “It just didn’t happen for us, getting the visas for the kids. That’s something we need to probably next time see how it works better.
“Normally it happens all the time, teams going to travel, they go into the Embassy and they get their things,” he added.
According to Charles, “There is always a procedure that used to happen all the time, you go into the Embassy and expedite things; that has been going on for years. I don’t know what’s the difference now. I can’t say much about that situation. I know where we are but we’re trying now to see what can happen next.”
Asked when the travel documents were sent to the US Embassy, Charles replied, “Even if you send it (on) Monday, they will give you an appointment time, from (there) you can get it expedited to help out a situation, which normally happens.”
Did he think CONCACAF should have intervened to get the visas expedited? Charles responded, “I’m not sure about that, I can’t say. In a situation like this, they’re supposed to step up, but I wouldn’t say something (that) I don’t know.”