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TTFA wants US embassy talks

The TT Football Association wants to meet with US Embassy officials after its president David John-Williams accused Charge d’Affaires John McIntyre of lying in his criticism of how Williams handled applying for visas for an Under-15 girls team.

In a statement posted on its website today, the TTFA said it will “seek an audience” through McIntyre, adding it wants to maintain a “cordial relationship” with the embassy.

On Thursday, Williams said TTFA was unsuccessful in getting visas for the girls team to attend a development tournament in the US which began on Monday. He said the TTFA could not get a group appointment for the players.

McIntyre, in a statement on Friday, criticised Williams for dropping the ball, warning the public to not be misled by “folks with cocoa in the sun” and said team representatives approached the embassy after it was closed on July 31, noting the next day, August 1, was a public holiday for Emancipation Day.

Williams in a Newsday interview said the embassy release was “an outright lie”, and demanded an apology. He said the TTFA paid for visas on July 26, and the embassy gave them an appointment date for August 28, long after the tournament. He said though the coach selected players for the tournament on July 30.

Williams had promised to issue a statement on Friday, but this was not done until the TTFA posted a release online.

See TTFA statement below:

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has taken note of the recent statement issued by the Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy, Mr. John McIntyre.

With utmost respect for the sovereign authority of the Chargé d’Affaires, and based on the already agreed plan of action decided by the TTFA given the matter surrounding visa applications for our Girls Under-15 Team, the TTFA will be seeking an audience with the U.S. Embassy through the Chargé d’Affaires.

Notably, it remains our desire to maintain the cordial relationship we have developed with the U.S. Embassy over these many years. A relationship that augurs well for the TTFA and all stakeholders of football.

Therefore, following an opportunity to meet and treat with this matter directly, with a designated official(s) of the U.S. Embassy, the TTFA will be better positioned to treat with visa related affairs.

Additionally, we wish to state that a recent report in a local daily news publication, ascribed to the President of the TTFA, was taken out of context, and more importantly, was not sanctioned by the TTFA.

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