A Dream Come True
It all resulted in new coach Wim Rijsbergen having just one World Cup player – Densill Theobald – at his disposal for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup after 16 players were barred from participating by the administrators.
It is a depressing situation for the former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke who captained Trinidad & Tobago at the FIFA World Cup™ but has since announced his retirement from international football. “For me, playing at the World Cup was the icing on the cake and I actually thought it had passed me by because I was 34 when I went to Germany,” the Sunderland player says. “But I’m worried about the future for the whole of the Caribbean. T&T and Jamaica are the dominant countries in that part of the world and I cant really see another one mounting a serious challenge, apart from Cuba in the short-term anyway.”
23-year-old Kenwyne Jones, whose goalscoring exploits since moving from Southampton to Sunderland in a GBP 6 million deal have prompted interest from English giants Liverpool, has raised hopes that peace could break out between the players and the T&T association. “Every international break I’m here but hopefully I will be back playing in the World Cup qualifiers next year,” Jones says. “As of now, we are in the middle of what I would call an exile. I guess everyone has seen the stories but hopefully it will be sorted out.”
Despite the political troubles, Jones, who has been compared to Chelsea’s Ivorian striker Didier Drogba, is optimistic about the future of his sport in his homeland. “Football has always been the number one sport in Trinidad & Tobago and it probably always will be,” Jones adds. “We have cricket and athletics but football has been the leading game ever since I personally can remember.”