By George Vecsey

Maybe it’s good for the national soul to be a back-bencher.

Jebb Sinclair of Canada, left, and Todd Clever of the U.S. on Saturday in Toronto.

In their own personal Standard & Poor’s rating, the United States men’s rugby players have won exactly 2 matches and lost 15 in six previous Rugby World Cups.

The Eagles, as they are known, are not going to win the coming World Cup in New Zealand, either.

Fresh from not winning the soccer World Cups for men in 2010 and women in 2011, and, for that matter, the first two World Baseball Classics, in 2006 and 2009, the United States has a rugged schedule in the next Rugby World Cup, which opens Sept. 9.

Nevertheless, with the zest notable to rugby players on and off the field, the Americans are delighted to be heading to the home of the All Blacks, with their Maori in-your-face war dance, the Haka. The All Blacks are the favorites again.

The Eagles did not win a match in the most recent World Cup, in France in 2007, but they did produce the single most memorable play — a four-man burst of lateral passes (football, eat your heart out) that ended with a stunning dash by Takudzwa Ngwenya, their Zimbabwean-born sprinter, which is still very much a video staple.

For the moment, the United States is all right with just qualifying. The one time it did not, in 1995, the tournament was won by the host, South Africa, in a nation-changing event depicted in the Clint Eastwood movie “Invictus.” That film showed many Americans not only the joys and challenges of moving an oval ball against bone-crunching opponents but also how much the sport means in a wide swath of the world.

“You’re going in there as an underdog, but it’s still exciting,” said Todd Clever, the captain of the Eagles, who played in the World Cup in 2003 in Australia.

“You’re listening to your national anthem and playing opponents who are true professionals,” Clever said. “It’s hard to compete with those countries.”

Just like the World Cups of soccer, the rugby tournament is a quadrennial jamboree of the top nations, up to 20 now. The tournament in France sold an estimated 2.2 million tickets with a worldwide television audience of 4.2 billion, making it in some ways the third-largest sports event in the world, behind the men’s soccer World Cup and the summer Olympics.

This year, for the first time, Universal Sports and its partner NBC Sports will show all four American matches, including the opening match against Ireland on Sept. 11, on a tape delay bucking the N.F.L. on a Sunday.

The six-week exposure will help Americans discover a sport that combines the manual dexterity of basketball with the jarring physicality of football and the full-field creativity of soccer.

“The biggest thing in rugby is that everybody plays offense and defense,” Clever said. “It’s a team sport with no timeouts, and when things get tough, you have to work it out on the field. It’s not about the coaches. It’s about the players.”

Clever began the play voted the best try (or score) of the 2007 tournament. Against the eventual champion, South Africa, he intercepted the ball near the goal line, and after a 30-meter run, rather than be taken down, executed the alert rugby tactic of shoveling a sideways pass to Alec Parker, who unloaded the ball to Mike Hercus, who heaved it to the right flank to Ngwenya, who performed a few stutter steps and then outran Bryan Habana, one of the fastest players in the world.

Even in the 64-15 defeat, the sequence was properly recognized by broadcasters on the spot and has been memorialized ever since. Also, Ngwenya’s romp earned him a contract from a pro team in Biarritz, France.

It takes more than one play to grow a sport. Rugby is on a bit of a roll in the United States, partly because the seven-player version of the sport has been accepted into the 2016 Olympics and the American men and women are among the leaders in that form. Nigel Melville, the former English captain who has been president of USA Rugby for four years, is overseeing a version called rookie rugby, for children to get a taste of moving the ball before they are introduced to contact. Melville says 500,000 children are playing rookie rugby, with 100,000 active players around the United States, mostly in the northeast and on the West Coast, and also as a club sport at a growing number of colleges.

Mike Petri, from Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, was invited by a coach at Xavier High to play something called rugby. When he mentioned this odd conversation at home, he learned his father, Michael, had actually played rugby at St. Francis Prep, and had even made a tour of Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

“I had no idea,” recalled the son, who has since played for pro teams near Manchester, England, and Newport, Wales, and now represents the New York Athletic Club. Petri is often asked why rugby players, with minimum padding and no helmets, do not sustain grievous head and body injuries, the way American football players do.

“I never played football,” Petri said, “but I see players with helmets leading with their heads. A lot of guys just stick their heads in there. We are taught to tackle with our shoulders. You wrap up the opponent’s legs, you don’t just throw yourself at him and hope he goes down.”

Is that an ethical or technical consideration? Both, Petri said. Not that crude, one could even say vile, events do not happen inside the scrum, where the official cannot possibly see, but the open-field human cannonball aspect of football does not carry over into rugby.

The sport seems to be expanding in the United States the way soccer did two decades ago, with the best players starting to earn salaries and experience overseas. The United States soccer team reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 2002, and that remains a realistic aspiration every four years. Every soccer tournament has a so-called Group of Death, and the Eagles seem perpetually drawn into their own rugby version — Ireland, Russia, Australia and Italy this time, with Russia the best chance for a victory.

The Eagles lost to Canada, 28-22, last Saturday in Toronto and will play a rematch in rugby-specific Infinity Park in Glendale, Colo., on Aug. 13. They play in Japan a week later en route to New Zealand, the nation that has incorporated its Maori heritage into daily life. The national museum in Wellington is called Te Papa Tongarewa (container of treasures), and pedestrians greet each other in Maori: “Kia ora.”

On the field, it is a little less hospitable, as the All Blacks stomp and chant and perform throat-slitting gestures at their opponents. With the aura comes the pressure; New Zealand has somehow won only the first World Cup, as co-host with Australia in 1987.

This could be the only full World Cup in New Zealand for a long time. England is host in 2015, Japan in 2019, and 2023 is “up for grabs,” as Melville put it. With children playing rookie rugby, and huge stadiums and audiences a given, the sport could keep growing in the United States. A victory every now and then would not hurt.


Like the dog that did not bark in the night in the Sherlock Holmes mystery,The Hound of the Baskervilles, one of the most fascinating aspects of the FIFA crisis is that one group has said nothing: the players.

It is astonishing to consider, given all that has been written about the problems of FIFA, that there is very little about what the players think. Their silence has been stunning.

Without the players, there can be no game and the fact that they have had nothing to say about this, the greatest crisis to face the governing body of the world game, shows how sport, for all the talk that it is a business, is not really a business. And why it may prove so difficult to restructure an organisation like FIFA and make sure it is fit for purpose.

One current player is an exception to this: David Beckham. He has confessed how sickened he has been to learn of what is happening in FIFA. But this is a rather special case. He was a prominent part of the England 2018 bid. Just before the bid, by which time FIFA was mired in the current crisis with much talk of bid corruption, he made very many complimentary remarks about FIFA. This included expressing certainty that, despite all that was being said in the media, he felt FIFA would not be affected. He clearly feels let down and, like many in the England bid, he feels FIFA executive members were not upfront when they said they would support England.

And certainly Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has been vocal both about FIFA and Sepp Blatter, the FIFA President. But then Rummenigge is now a football administrator and has an agenda. He runs one of Europe's most prestigious clubs, Bayern Munich, and his agenda is that of the top clubs in Europe who feel they provide the players for world football, but are not given a say in the running of the world game. It is clear he intends to make this crisis into a weapon that could put clubs, the paymasters of the players, at the centre of world football.

But there are many other players we should have heard from. Nobody more than Pelé. For all the considerable claims of Diego Maradona, Pelé will always be the greatest player the game has ever produced. Since his retirement from the game, he has been active in the sport and for a time was even Brazil's Minister of Sport with a mission to reform and renovate his country's football. And it is Pelé who christened football with that wonderful name: the beautiful game. Yet, as this beautiful game has been mired in scandal, Pelé's silence is eloquent.

Pelé had a wonderful chance to present to the world what he makes of the FIFA scandal. Within days of the draw for the 2014 World Cup being held in his own country, there he was in London promoting Cosmos, the New York club that he finished his career with back in the 1970s. The club is to be re-incarnated, a suitably lavish Opus book about the club will be published and there was Pelé on the stage at London's Dorchester hotel to promote it all.

Like all such events, it was carefully marshalled, but those who had hoped that Pelé would share his thoughts on what is wrong with the world game and, in particular, the activities of its beleaguered executive members were to be disappointed.

Pelé was asked about Ricardo Teixeira, President of the Brazilian football confederation, of the 2014 World Cup organising committee and former son-in-law of FIFA president, João Havelange. Teixeira, a member of the FIFA executive, had allegations made about him by Lord Triesman during the England bid. During the World Cup draw in Brazil there were protests against Teixeira.

But Pelé could not be more diplomatic. "Everybody has their enemies; sometimes you don't even know who they are. It's the same with Teixeira." He even insisted that despite reports in the media, he never had any problems with him: "A lot of papers say I have a fight with Teixeira, it's not true – I am OK with him." And as far as Pelé was concerned, the problems of Blatter and FIFA was, like that of Teixeira, all cooked up in the media. "I think we can't worry about Teixeira and his problems with the media, after all, it's the same with Mr Sepp Blatter in FIFA."

What makes all this surprising is that back in 1998, when Lennart Johansson stood for the Presidency of FIFA against Sepp Blatter, Pelé was for Johansson. The Swede made much of the fact that he saw Pelé as an ally in pointing FIFA in a new direction away from the Havelange years of commercialism and not enough transparency and accountability.

Pelé's problems with the then FIFA President João Havelange had been well advertised. They dated back to the 1994 US World Cup Draws. Pelé could not do enough to support Johansson and nailed his colours to the mast when FIFA held the elections at its congress in Paris days before the 1998 tournament began. Then, as Havelange looked on, Pelé spoke in words that could only have been a rebuke for the FIFA that Havelange had built.

This is what Pelé said, "I have met Kings and Queens, Presidents and stars in my travel around the world. But I have never met anyone who cares more for the honesty and transparency of the sport of football as my friend Johansson. I hope deeply in my heart that he becomes the next President of FIFA." He did not mention Havelange or Blatter, but in his speech Pelé went on to talk about transparency, democracy and accountability, code words meant to convey that Blatter as Havelange's successor could not bring them about. World football needed Johansson if it wanted a transparent FIFA.

In the 13 years since Blatter beat Johansson, the need for transparency and democracy within FIFA has become all the greater, as the current crisis so obviously demonstrates. So why is Pelé silent? The cynic in me thinks that Pelé feels creating waves will do no good. Brazil's problems in organising the 2014 World Cup have been well documented and the country's President, Mrs Dilma Rousseff (pictured below with Blatter), has now asked the great man to be on the committee and help make it, as Pelé puts it, "a nice World Cup." So why spoil it by taking a stand on the nastiness in FIFA?

altBut Pelé's refusal also points to the dysfunctional nature of sport. During their career, players perform on the field of play, but off it they are told they must keep away from what the men in suits are doing.

Consider English rugby. That is also going through a crisis, although not one of corruption. But it has been dreadfully mismanaged. Indeed, some would say the administration at Twickenham is in melt down. This has seen John Steele, the chief executive, sacked; Martyn Thomas, the chairman, forced to step down; and a confidential report saying "trust has broken down within the RFU". But Martin Johnson, the England manager, is sure that it will make no difference to England's chances in the World Cup, which starts in New Zealand in September.

His preparations are complete and he is certain his players have not given a moment's thought to what the men in suits are doing. "It is really far removed from the players. It's not going on at their club to whom they're contracted. They come and play for England and want to get in the World Cup squad. Their concerns are: what am I doing today? What's the training? What's for dinner?"

Johnson, who led England to rugby glory as captain back in 2003, is sure that was the case even when he was a player.

Yet a crisis like this requires those who have played at the game at the highest level, or are even now playing, to tell us what they think is wrong with their game, what they feel should be done about it and how they think it can be reformed. In the case of FIFA this is particularly important.

The situation is not dissimilar to a factory which is not productive. Had FIFA been an industrial unit, the shop floor workers would not require much encouragement to tell us what is wrong. Players are football's shop floor workers. What is more, some of the higher-profile players are like pop stars in a band. A factory worker may fear for his job, sporting pop stars are not that exposed. By refusing to tell us what they feel what is wrong with the game, we are missing a very important voice.

If they do not know what is wrong, then something is badly awry. But if they do know what is wrong, as I suspect they do, but do not want to tell us, then those of us who are outsiders can only guess at the defects that need remedying.

Their silence cannot help the real reform of FIFA, which we all want.


Trinidad and Tobago's Under-17 male water polo team have qualified for the Junior World Water Polo Championships, to be held in Perth, Australia in 2012, after earning themselves the distinction of being among the top four junior squads in the Western Hemisphere.

In their final round-robin match in the ongoing UANA Pan American U-17 Water Polo Championships in Puerto Rico on Wednesday evening, T&T went under 7-5 to the USA. However, their victories over 2010 Pan Am champions Canada, 2011 CONSANAT semi-finalists Peru and 2011 CCCAN champs Puerto Rico pushed them into the top four. None of the three teams beaten by Trinidad and Tobago progressed to the semi-finals.

With "Worlds" on their mind, the T&T Under-17s went into the USA match with confidence and determination. They were always competitive, with Russell Ferreira top-scoring with two goals, with teammates Daniel Tardieu, Jonathan Gillette and Shaquille Mitchell accounting for the other three goals. But, USA got the better of them with their seven goals.

In the semis, Trinidad and Tobago faced Brazil after press time last night, while Colombia played USA.

The winners and losers of the respective matches will compete for medals tonight.

The national boya and girls Under-17 teams return on Saturday via Liat at 7.15 p.m.

T&T U-17s march to the 'Worlds':

Lost to Brazil            5-17

Lost to Colombia         6-10

Beat Peru              10-6

Beat Canada            8-6

Beat Puerto Rico         5-4

Lost to USA             5-7

T&T Boys U-17 team: Russell Ferreira, Christian Chee Foon, Adrian Hinds, Daniel Tardieu, Shaquille Mitchell, Kieron Emmanuel, Andrew Chin Lee, Marc Stauble, Jonathan Gillette, Sebastian Van Reeken, Justin Bodden, Johann Callender

Head coach: Adam Foley; assistant coach: Alan-Too-Foo: head delegate/manager: Peter Gillette


By Kern De Freitas

Trinidad and Tobago cyclist Quincy Alexander will compete at the World Junior Cycling Championships next week in Russia.

The 17-year-old sprinter left Trinidad on Wednesday for the Moscow Championships.

With Alexander is his uncle and coach/trainer Robert Farrier, who will help the young rider get acclimatised and prepare for his first ride in the men's match sprint on Wednesday.

Alexander will also compete in the keirin and kilometre time trial.

The lanky Team Beacon rider earned his invitation after some top-notch performances in the Pan American Championships, where he turned around a poor start to grab match sprint gold.

He is now the world number one junior in the match sprint and is also ranked third and fifth in the kilometre and keirin, respectively.

Alexander has been fine-tuning his start technique and intensified his training ahead of the event. He recently competed at the ALBA Games in Venezuela and has been training at the Arima Velodrome.

Before leaving for the Championships, Alexander told the Express his preparation went well and he wants to peak at the right time.

When asked his aims at the World Juniors, Alexander said he is keen to establish himself as a top sprinter.

"My goal is to finish at least in the top five," he said, although he admitted his main target is match sprint gold.

Beacon Insurance is Alexander's main sponsor and also assisted with his ticket to Russia.

Other sponsors that supported his trip to Russia include: First Citizens, Exustar Company, Ultra Pharma Limited, NLCB, Atlantic LNG and Perfection Services Limited.

FINE-TUNING: Richard Source:

By Kwame Laurence

Richard "Torpedo" Thompson did not expect to be in Trinidad and Tobago this weekend.

The double Olympic silver medallist and his agent, American Emanuel Hudson, wrote a letter to the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA), seeking permission to skip the Sagicor National Senior/Open Track and Field Championships. The request was denied, forcing Thompson to return home to compete for a place on the T&T team for the August 27-September 4 World Championships, in Daegu, Korea.

Thompson will be on show at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, in Port of Spain, tomorrow, opening day of the National Championships, bidding for a hat-trick of men's 100 metres titles.

"I'm ready for the weekend," Thompson told the Express, yesterday. "I'm not focusing on a time too much...just to get in there and qualify for the team. Sub-10 would be nice, but I'm not focusing on it."

Thompson said that following a conversation his father, Ruthven Thompson, had with NAAA president Ephraim Serrette, he was hopeful of being granted an exemption from the Championships.

Serrette, though, told the Express he gave no commitment and advised that a written request be forwarded to his organisation. The letter was submitted, but the executive committee of the NAAA turned down the request.

Six weeks ago, Thompson slammed the decision to stage the National Championships in mid-August, just two weeks ahead of Worlds. Nationals were originally scheduled for June 25 and 26, but had to be pushed back to August 13 and 14 because the laying of the new track at the Crawford Stadium had not been completed.

Thompson said the new local dates would put T&T athletes at a disadvantage at the global meet.

Hopeful that his consistency this season would have earned him an exemption, Thompson proceeded with his regular training schedule.

"When you look at my performance all year, I haven't run below ten, but I'm consistent at 10.0. Based on that, I felt I should have been exempted."

Thompson has bettered the 10.18 seconds World Championship "A" qualifying standard nine times in 2011. Five of those clockings were faster than 10.10: a season's best 10.01 at the Prefontaine Classic, in Oregon, USA; 10.09 and 10.05 at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham, England; 10.06 in Lignano, Italy; and 10.09 at the Aviva London Grand Prix, last Friday.

Keston Bledman has also bettered 10.10 seconds five times this season: 10.09 in Ponce, Puerto Rico; a personal best 9.93 in Florida, USA; 10.09 in Reims, France; 10.09 at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham, England; and 10.05 in winning gold at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Senior Championships, in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

"They (NAAA) replied with a letter," Thompson explained, "saying that it's very difficult to select the team based on performances during the year.

"No disrespect to the other athletes, but apart from Keston and me, no one else has been consistent with the "A" standard. Darrel has not achieved the "A" standard. (Rondel) Sorrillo has the "A" which he ran a couple months ago (May 14), but his last race was 10.37. And Aaron (Armstrong) has run 10.13.

"We have always had a Championship," the 26-year-old track star continued, "not trials, so to say it was mandatory to run is strange to me. Obviously, they don't care about athletes. They care about having a Senior Champs loaded with the best athletes. I think it's very inconsiderate to hold the Championships this weekend.

"It's not that I think I'm better than anyone and feel I don't have to come home. I was very prepared to come back home in June. That was in our plans...we set our schedule and tailored our programme. But we have to miss days of training to be here now. Everybody's getting thrown off. But I know God does everything for a reason. I'm still focused on the goal, which is two weeks away."


FIFA asked its ethics committee to investigate 16 Caribbean football leaders yesterday over a widening bribery scandal involving former presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam. The officials are suspected in connection with being offered or taking $40,000 in cash to back Bin Hammam against FIFA President Sepp Blatter, then denying the corruption attempt to investigators led by former FBI director Louis Freeh. 

The suspects from 11 Caribbean countries include Colin Klass of Guyana, a long-standing ally of former Caribbean football strongman Jack Warner. FIFA said that Klass, a member of the governing body’s Futsal and Beach Soccer Committee, has been provisionally suspended “after consideration of the specific information received on this matter.” FIFA says the 16 will be invited for fresh interviews by Freeh’s team as part of an investigation led by Robert Torres, a supreme court judge from Guam. “It is important to note that the investigations are still ongoing, and that it is therefore possible that further proceedings could be opened in the future,” FIFA said in a statement. 

The list also includes Mark Bob Forde from Barbados, who was a FIFA-approved international referee for almost 20 years. Haiti federation president Yves Jean-Bart is also under investigation. He made a speech at the FIFA Congress on June 1 criticising English officials who wanted Blatter’s election delayed while corruption allegations were fully investigated. 

The second wave of cases follows bin Hammam’s life ban last month. FIFA’s ethics panel also suspended two Caribbean Football Union staffers for one year for their part in distributing the cash-stuffed brown envelopes in a Trinidad hotel. FIFA then invited officials from CFU member countries for “truthful and complete reporting” of what happened during the Qatari candidate’s May 10 campaign visit to Trinidad. FIFA’s legal process typically sees accused officials called before the ethics panel, which decides if the evidence demands further investigation and a full hearing some weeks later. Those under suspicion face being provisionally suspended from any football duty, including contacting other officials and attending national team games. The scandal threatens to remove some of the Caribbean’s most influential football leaders during a busy period of 2014 World Cup qualification matches. Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana — who each have officials on the FIFA list — have been drawn in a four-team, second-round group which is played from September to November. Their group is completed by Bermuda, whose officials were among the original whistleblowers exposing the scandal. 

Barbados also saw FIFA suspend its most senior official, Lisle Austin, for one year on Wednesday. Austin, a member of FIFA’s referees committee, broke football rules by going to an ordinary civil court with a legal grievance against the CONCACAF continental body in the aftermath of the bribery scandal. Warner resigned all his football duties and privileges in June rather than face FIFA justice. A leaked report revealed that the five-man ethics panel believed it had “compelling” evidence of a bribery conspiracy between Warner and his longtime FIFA colleague bin Hammam. Warner had been an executive committee member for 28 years and was president of CONCACAF and the CFU, representing 25 of the 208 FIFA members.

altThe Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) selection committee will meet with National Sport Organisations( NSOs) on Saturday from 9am at Olympic House. TTOC president Micheal Romany will chair the meeting which will receive team selection nominations  from the respective NSOs  for the upcoming Pan Am Games in Mexico. The TTOC will also hear representation from the Trinidad and Tobago Rugby Football Union on its proposed under 18 rugby 7s  team for the Commonwealth Youth Games in Isle of Man scheduled for September.
According to Romany the TTOC have had regular meetings with team managers since the beginning of the year .
" We should have no issues . The qualifying standards were communicated to all NSOs and team managers. Following Saturday's meeting of the selection committee. The Executive committee will  take the recommendations to the General Council for consideration and ratification." said Romany


The Harvard Club buoyed by their emphatic victory over Police Rugby Section, 74 points to nil weekend before last, hosted the 2011 Ruggerama Champions and Farfan Cup holders - Caribs Rugby Football Club last weekend on their home ground inn a Toyota Championship division round three match. Harvard’s unbeaten run was brought to an abrupt halt whilst Caribs’ continued as the white and reds dominated every facet of the game, possession and territory to emerge victorious 50 points to 8.
The first half saw Caribs camp out in their host’s defensive third launching raid after raid on the opposition try line. Andre Cabera and Samuel Roberts both scored early in the half with Don Rojas Jr. making no mistake with either conversion ensuring maximum points for the visitors. Brendan O’Farrell’s successor at flyhalf, young Zane Campbell was very cheeky with a well taken drop kick between the sticks after multiple phase rugby set up the vantage for the opportunity to carry the score to 17 points to nil. Just before the whistle, ex-Northerner and Guyanese International, Richard Staglon picked from the back of the scrum to score. Rojas again converted to see Caribs leading at the interval 24 points to nil.
At the resumption, Caribs picked up from where they left off with a score from Abdeel Giles again successfully converted by Rojas who seemed on song with his place kicks on the day. Harvard however, had some key players notably absent in the electrifying Joseph Quashie and solid prop Cloyd London. Their main threat to Caribs came via the flankers Rowell Gordon and Wayne Kelly who both made some excellent breaks and linked well with outhalf Aasan Lewis but the moves rarely progressed anywhere near the try line due to solid defending in the Caribs backline, ably marshaled by the veteran Ronald Silverthorne.
Fullback Ryan Hinckson did manage to reduce the deficit when he scored a penalty from in front the posts to make the score 31 points to 3 only for it to be widened again by lock Jamal Clark in a pushover try which was also converted by Rojas.
The best kept secret of the match however was Guyanese and West Indies skipper Claudius Butts, known for his quick step and swerving runs, was silent for most of the game until Antonio Jardine came on at No. 9. There appeared to be more ball being fed quickly to the Harvard backs who show good, quick hands in the counterattack mode but this supply came too late in the game. Meanwhile, Jamal Clark and Staglon combined nicely finding themselves in the three quarters for Staglon to score the second of his brace after sustained pressure.
Consolation for Harvard came when young David Gokool smelled food with big lock Jason Clark finding himself on the wing as his opposite number, Gokool decided to take him on and swerved nicely to the outside from 30m out and scored in the corner. Hinckson had a difficult angle to contend with and dropped his conversion attempt short. Caribs rounded off proceedings with Andre Cabera scoring his brace which was not converted taking the final score tally to Caribs 50 to Harvard’s 8.
Caribs RFC are away to the newly promoted Royalians RFC this weekend. They shall be seeking to maintain their current form while the Royalians will be mounting their challenge with a youthful squad.


T&T’ Under 17 boys won their third consecutive match last night at the 2011 UANA Junior Pan American Water Polo Championships in Puerto Rico, when they defeated the home team 5-4. The hosts, who had the backing of vibrant spectators, did not capitalise on their overwhelming home crowd advantage and were upstaged by the T&T team. Just a month ago, T&T returned winless from the CCCAN Championships and were defeated by hosts Puerto Rico. T&T returned the favour last night with Daniel Tardieu again leading the scoring with two goals, and Kierron Emmanuel, Shaquille Mitchell and Jonathan Gillette scoring one goal each.

T&T faced USA yesterday evening. Should T&T have won they would automatically advance to the semifinals, and to the World Championships in Australia. A loss would mean waiting on the outcomes of other matches to determine if they progress. This T&T team continues to remove itself from underdog status as they were probably designated as the tournament whipping boys. The team, while having a rocky start with losses to Brazil and Colombia, have opened the eyes of many onlookers especially after beating CONSANAT Semifinalists Peru, last year's tournament winners Canada, and CCCAN champions Puerto Rico. The team is expected to return home on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, T&T’s girls finished at the bottom of the table after losing each of their four matches in the group stage. After going down 14-8 to Puerto Rico in their opening game on Saturday, they suffered heavy defeats to the US (22-0) on Sunday, Canada (27-0) on Monday and Brazil (22-4) on Tuesday.


By Clayton Clarke

Reigning World Championships 400m bronze medallist Renny Quow will compete in this weekend’s Sagicor Open National Track and Field Championships set for the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo this weekend. Quow’s manager Wayne Lewis confirmed that Quow will return from his Florida base to run in the men’s 400m. He said he has written to the NAAA asking for an exemption after Quow won the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Track and Field Championships in Puerto Rico on July 15 and automatically qualified for the World Championships set for Daegu, South Korea later this month. “I met NAAA Secretary Allan Baboolal during the Pan American Junior Championships in Florida and I asked him about Renny skipping the trials. Baboolal told me to send the request in writing which I did.”

Lewis told the T&T Guardian that it was only Monday he got a response that the request was denied.
“I felt that since he was the lone athlete making the A qualifier that he did not have to compete. I asked why but no reasons were given. He was training with the belief that he would have been granted the bye.” The Florida based manager said he was called by the NAAA requesting flight details for Renny which led him to conclude that the former junior champion did not have to run. “They called and asked where Renny would be leaving to Daegu and when. I told them Fort Lauderdale on Sunday. We continued to prepare after that believing that he would not have to run at the trials.”

However, Lewis added that he advised his charge to come home and compete. “I spoke with him and he is coming home. He will compete on the first day and leave on Sunday to return to Florida.” The IAAF listed manager revealed that another of his runner, Rondel Sorillo, will also compete. Meanwhile there is no decision yet on Jehue Gordon’s participation. His manager Emmanuel Hudson could not say yesterday what the decision was. “Jehue and his coach have to make that decision.” Gordon’s coach is NAAA second vice-president Dr Ian Hypolite. Hudson also said that Pilar Mc Shine is expected to face the starter in the women’s 1500m. Mc Shine grabbed bronze in the women’s 1500m at the CAC Championships in Puerto Rico. Contacted NAAA Games chairman Allan Baboolal said the start lists for the Championships would have been posted on the NAAA Web site late yesterday.


ZURICH — FIFA suspended Caribbean football official Lisle Austin for a year  yesterday in the ongoing fallout from the presidential election bribery scandal, and banned six Hungarian and Bosnian match officials for life for helping fix international friendlies. FIFA’s disciplinary committee suspended Austin, an ally of former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, for breaking rules by taking his dispute with the CONCACAF confederation to a civil court in the Bahamas. Austin can appeal. The Barbados official became acting CONCACAF president in May after FIFA provisionally suspended Warner for allegedly helping former presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam bribe Caribbean voters. CONCACAF suspended Austin days later when he tried to fire Chuck Blazer, the American general secretary who had alerted FIFA to alleged bribery.

Austin then obtained an injunction from a Bahamas court allowing him to resume his duties — even though FIFA and CONCACAF statutes prohibit the use of “ordinary courts” to settle disputes. In a separate ruling, the six match officials were banned for helping fix two international friendlies for a betting scam that became a turning point in the FIFA’s fight against match-fixing. All seven goals were scored from penalty kicks when Latvia played Bolivia and Bulgaria faced Estonia in a February 9 double-header organised by a Singaporean fixer at Antalya, Turkey. Crime syndicates are believed to have made millions of euros (dollars) betting on the fixed matches, including wagers that at least three goals would be scored in each match. Latvia beat Bolivia 2-1 and Estonia and Bulgaria played out a 2-2 draw. FIFA identified the officials as Kolos Lengyel, Janos Csak and Krisztian Selmeczi from Hungary, and Bosnians Sinisa Zrnic, Kenan Bajramovic, Rizah Ridalovic.

The officials were found guilty of “passive corruption” and “unlawfully influencing match results” by FIFA’s disciplinary committee, football’s world governing body said. All six “have all been banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level for life,” FIFA said. The Hungarian and Bosnian national federations had previously banned the low-ranking officials. The Antalya case prompted FIFA to crack down on how international friendlies are organised.
FIFA gave itself new powers to regulate matches, including veto powers over referee appointments, at its congress in June. The rules took effect on Aug 1 in time for around 50 international friendly matches scheduled to be played Wednesday. FIFA hopes it has now curbed a lucrative type of match-fixing that was revealed in Antalya and exposed loopholes in its rules. The games were organised, and the match officials chosen, by a Thailand-based agency called Footy Sport International which used a FIFA-licensed agent from Russia to arrange the doubleheader.  (AP)


By Paul A Reid

TWO-AND-A-HALF weeks before the 13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea and a week before the Jamaica team is set to gather at the pre-Championships camp in Gyeonasan, the Jamaican track and field fraternity has been rocked by news of another failed drug test.

News emerged yesterday that a male athlete who was expected to be named in the Jamaican team next week for the nine-day meet tested positive for a banned substance.

Reports reaching the Observer are that the athlete returned the test during the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships in late June but was only this past Monday notified of the results of the 'A' sample.

When contacted last night, a senior executive of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) was hearing the news for the first time and told the Observer they were hurrying to get to a meeting of the executive council to continue planning for the World Championships.

Executive Director of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCo), Dr Patrece Charles-Freeman, in the meantime, said she could not speak to the issue.

"I have no comment on the matter. There is no way JADCo can comment at this time," Freeman said.

If the incident were confirmed it would be the third straight global track and field championships that the cloud of failed drug tests would be hanging over the Jamaican team.

In 2008 just before the Beijing Olympics, sprinter Julien Dunkley tested positive and was pulled from the team and two years ago, five athletes returned positive tests after consuming a sport drink during Trials.

The five -- Yohan Blake, Allodin Fothergill, Sheri-Ann Brooks, Marvin Anderson and Lanceford Spence — were all banned for three months.

Also in 2009, 200m specialist and 2001 World Championships silver medallist Christopher Williams returned a positive finding at a meet in Europe and was banned for two years.


The IAAF will collect blood samples from ALL athletes taking part in the IAAF World Championships in Daegu in an unprecedented anti-doping programme.

This programme will be conducted in close co-operation with the Lausanne WADA-accredited Anti-Doping Laboratory (LAD) and with the support of the World Anti-Doping Agency and a number of local partners including the Daegu Local Organising Committee, the Korean Anti-Doping Agency and the Doping Center of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology.

The blood testing programme in Daegu is being organized in addition to the regular doping controls that are collected at a World Championships (in Daegu, approximately 500 urine samples shall be collected in and out-of-competition combined).

What is the blood testing programme?

Blood samples will be collected from all athletes participating in the World Championships.

The samples will mainly be collected at a purpose-built doping control station located in the Athlete’s village starting from 18 August 2011.

The samples will be analysed by the LAD on-site in Daegu for a first haematological screening analysis and after the end of the Championships in Lausanne for further analyses.

The analyses by the LAD will focus on measuring relevant parameters (biomarkers) for individual profiling purposes within the framework of the Athlete Biological Passport.

The fundamental principle of the Athlete Biological Passport is based on the monitoring of an athlete’s biomarkers over time.  The focus is not on the detection of prohibited substances or methods themselves, as for traditional doping tests, but on proving the use and effect of these substances and methods by way of abnormal variations in an athlete’s biomarkers that would otherwise be stable.

As one of the leading International Sport Federations in the fight against doping, the IAAF has fully engaged in the implementation of the Athlete Biological Passport at an early stage since it believes it to be a key tool in the modern fight against doping.

Why is this programme unprecedented?

It will be the first time that a heterogeneous population of nearly 2000 elite athletes competing in a major sports event will be blood tested under the same optimal conditions, within the same time period.

The blood testing will cover all disciplines in Athletics and a wide range of relevant biomarkers.  Notably, the analyses will not only screen markers indicating the use of EPO or blood manipulation in endurance events (as has been the IAAF’s practice to date) but also markers potentially indicating steroid or growth hormone doping more relevant to the power disciplines.

The data collected will therefore constitute a unique database of reference ranges for various biomarkers in elite male and female athletes competing in different disciplines and from different ethnical backgrounds. The IAAF considers this to constitute a major step forwards in the development of the Athlete Biological Passport in the sport of Athletics and indeed the Athlete Biological Passport generally.

What will the IAAF do with the results?

The results will be used:

(i) as a first “fingerprint” for athletes with no previous records at the IAAF;

(ii) to build upon already existing athlete profiles recorded and followed at the IAAF;

(iii) to establish the reference ranges of relevant biomarkers in a heterogeneous population of elite male and female athletes.

How will the IAAF follow-up on the results?

Suspicious results from the screening analyses performed on-site could, where appropriate, trigger follow-up target tests in Daegu in urine (notably for EPO) and/or further analyses for prohibited substances or prohibited methods in blood in Lausanne.

All results can ultimately be used in support of an anti-doping rule violation if an athlete’s overall biological profile is found to be consistent with the use of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method, in accordance with IAAF Anti-Doping Rules and Regulations.


By Stanford Conway

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – FOLLOWING Jack Warner’s resignation as CONCACAF President and the life ban of President of the Asian Football Confederation Mohamed bin Hammam from all football-related activities, FIFA had given Caribbean football associations 48 hours to explain their part in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) conference held at the Hyatt Hotel in Trinidad on May 9 and 10, 2011.

FIFA, the football’s world governing body, is investigating the alleged offering of some US$1M in cash bribes to 25 Caribbean football officials by Warner and bin Hammam during the CFU conference.

Forty-eight hours to information

In a BBC Sport article dated Tuesday, July 26, 2011, it was reported that FIFA, in a statement, said, “Fifa has sent a letter on 25 July to all CFU associations, asking the associations, their presidents, and any of their members with knowledge of anything that transpired during the meetings held on 10 and 11 May in Trinidad and Tobago, to provide and report all relevant information in their possession within 48 hours.

“Truthful and complete reporting will be considered in mitigation by the ethics committee when deciding on potential sanctions. Any person who has relevant information but does not come forward during this 48-hour period will be subject to the full range of sanctions.
“Following this 48-hour period, the ethics committee will be asked to open the necessary ethics proceedings.”

The article stated that Cuba was the only one of the 25 CFU associations which did not attend the meeting on 10 and 11 May, where Bin Hammam was speaking about his campaign to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA’s President.

It also stated that officials from nine associations told investigators last month that they were given or offered cash gifts, while the other 15 associations denied receiving any cash gifts or refused to meet the investigators.

BBC reported that associations from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and Montserrat did not respond to invitations to meet the investigators, while officials from Barbados, Guyana, British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and United States Virgin Islands met with the investigators but they denied receiving cash gifts.

SKNFA not involved in bribery

SKNVibes contacted the President of the St. Kitts-Nevis Football Association (SKNFA), Anthony Johnson, who said that his organisation has cooperated with FIFA’s Ethics Committee and would continue to do so.

“We have in the past cooperated with the FIFA Ethics Committee in their investigation and we will remain committed to doing so in the future. That really is the gist of our position and I don’t really wish to add anything further to that,” Johnson said.

When the bribery scandal broke in May, like many other CFU members, the SKNFA distanced itself from it and subsequently issued a press release on June 6 acknowledging FIFA’s investigation but noted none of its officials was named in the scandal.

“The investigation is centered around four (4) individuals none of whom are SKNFA officials. The SKNFA has not been advised of any investigation against the organisation or any of its officials in relation to the said allegations.

“Further, the SKNFA wishes to place on record that our organisation was not at any time offered nor did we receive any bribe or other such inducement in connection with the FIFA Presidential Elections.

“However, we do appreciate that as a member of CFU, the SKNFA will be indirectly impacted by the investigation, but at the same time it does not involve or affect us directly,” the release read.

Mohamed bin Hammam to contest life ban

The 62-year-old bin Hammam was found guilty of trying to buy votes from CFU members in a bid to be FIFA’s President and was banned for life on Saturday (July 23). And on the following day, he reportedly told BBC: “Let me make this clear...I have never paid money for votes in all my life.”
He admitted to paying travel and accommodation expenses for the attendees, as well as costs for the Trinidad conference, but denied the bribery allegations.

He denied doing anything wrong and had pledged to appeal the ban by taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

In addition to bin Hammam, FIFA has placed a one-year ban on CFU staff members – Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester – for their part in the distribution of cash payments to the officials who attended the Trinidad conference.

Who will face sanctions?

The football's governing body however stated that “any person who has information” but does not comply with its corruption investigation will face sanctions.

And it is believed in some quarters that some officials of the CFU could face the same or lesser ban given to bin Hammam should they not comply with FIFA’s directive.

The big question now being asked is: “To what degree would Caribbean football be affected should one or more associations or their officials face sanctions?”

Time for Burrell and Klass to step up

Speaking with James Buchanan, past General-Secretary of SKNFA, he told SKNVibes that the waves of the scandal have not yet diminished and this is partly due to the failure of some CFU members not coming clean from the onset.

He noted that the outcome would have significant implications for the region’s associations.
Asked for his recommendations, Buchanan said, “It is time for members to let go of Jack Warner’s coattail, for he has served his purpose but is now finished as far as football in FIFA.”

He claimed that CONCACAF’s Deputy President Lisle Austin’s mistake was to attempt to protect Jack Warner and not the region as a whole, adding that “his move against Chuck Blazer was premature and tactically bad. He could have achieved his objective through an extraordinary congress of CONCACAF. He may not get that opportunity again”.

Buchanan asserted that the remaining members of the CFU executive must understand, as of now, that they have a responsibility to bring healing and unity to the region.

“They cannot ostracise the CFU members who reported receiving cash. It is time for Captain Burrell and Colin Klass to step up and step off on their own and bring new direction to the CFU. The problem is that they will first have to come clean on the CFU scandal and avoid any FIFA sanctions,” he added.

He advised that the remaining CFU members who have not been truthful about the scandal must understand that Warner is finished and there is no need to protect him.

“Any CFU member who comes out of this matter tainted will have a difficult time becoming head of CONCACAF. CFU members control 25 of 35 votes at CONCACAF and, if they play their cards well and operate above board, the work started by Jack Warner can continue with renewed credibility,” the past General Secretary posited.

CCU officials given gifts not bribes

Bin Hammam had vehemently denied giving money as bribe for votes, and Warner had told Bloomberg on June 20, 2011 that “it’s not unusual for such things to happen and gifts have been around throughout the history of Fifa. What’s happening now for me is hypocrisy”.

BBC Sport however claims to have a document in its possession which alleges that Warner had given CFU General-Secretary Angenie Kanhai a locked case containing envelopes with cash for distribution to members of the CFU who had attended the Trinidad conference.

The media house stated that the allegation is contained in a two-page document written by Kanhai on a CFU-headed paper dated 15 July 2011 and was prepared for FIFA General-Secretary Jerome Valcke, but was to be sent via the CFU’s Executive Committee.

BBC further stated that the document was submitted to the Ethics Committee and that Kanhai had since travelled to Zurich to give evidence.

Kanhai, the media house noted, signed a series of bullet points that gave a detailed account of what transpired at the Trinidad conference.

The document states: “I was directed to coordinate the special meeting of the CFU by Mr. Jack Warner, who was at that time, president of the CFU. Mr Warner initially requested the meeting be held by April 18, 2011, but the May date was ultimately agreed.

“The purpose of the special meeting was to provide Mr. Bin Hammam with the opportunity to address the delegates from the CFU.

“On May 10, 2011, Mr. Warner advised me that he had gifts, which were to be distributed to the delegates. Mr. Warner did not tell me what the gifts were, but advised that they were to be distributed from the Hotel (sic) that afternoon. After consulting with my staff, Jason Sylvester and Debbie Minguell, I suggested to Mr Warner that the gifts be distributed between 3PM and 5PM that day.

“During the morning session on May 10, Mr Warner made an announcement to the attendees about picking up the abovementioned (sic) gift. I was told that I should come to his office to collect the gifts that were to be distributed.

“I arrived at Mr. Warner’s office at approximately 2.30PM on May 10 and collected a locked bag with the key in the front pocket.

“The bag contained 26 envelopes, these envelopes were unmarked and were folded and sealed. I did not see any envelopes opened and left Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester to distribute the envelopes.

“The next day I met Debbie and Jason for breakfast at the hotel and they advised me that the envelopes had contained cash.

“In speaking with the representative from The Bahamas I was advised that he had returned the envelope. The representative from the Turks and Caicos returned the envelope to Ms. Minguell on the morning of May 11 2011.”

Power struggle in CONCACAF

CONCACAF is the continental governing body for football associations in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, as well as for Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana in South America.

The football body was founded on September 18, 1961 in Mexico City, Mexico and its primary administrative functions are to organise competitions for national teams and clubs as well as to conduct World Cup qualifying tournaments.

Warner was made President of CONCACAF in 1990, and since then there has been significant improvement in the region’s level of play, competitiveness and financial disposition as well as world recognition.

However, despite the progress made during his tenure, the alleged bribery scandal has forced him to tender his resignation, thus removing himself from all participation in football.

As a result of his resignation, Lisle Austin was named acting President of CONCACAF, but his appointment was short-lived and he was replaced by the organisation’s Vice-President Alfredo Hawit.

His replacement resulted from a letter he sent to CONCACAF General-Secretary Chuck Blazer saying that the American was “terminated as General-Secretary with immediate effect.”

Blazer is said to be the person who had levelled the bribery accusations against Warner and bin Hammam, and Austin described his actions as “inexcusable and a gross misconduct of duty and judgment”, adding that the American was no longer fit to hold the office.

Consequently, CONCACAF’s Executive Committee issued a statement noting that Austin did not have the authority to fire Blazer and that the decision to do so was unauthorised.

It is said in some quarters that football in the Caribbean region would suffer if the Americans are in control of CONCACAF.

On the condition of anonymity, one football pundit said, “In spite of Jack Warner’s alleged shortcomings, we have seen a remarkable transformation of football in the Caribbean under his leadership. However, we can’t sacrifice honesty and integrity for success.

“But I’m very much afraid for the continued progress of the region’s football and footballers should CONCACAF be controlled and headed by Chuck Blazer. There however still seems to be some hope as the region has the majority votes in the 35 CONCACAF membership.

Where is the money?

If it were a fact that the money offered by bin Hammam to the CFU officials was gifts for the enhancement of their respective organisations and not as bribes, then why did the officials from The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos return theirs?

If it were a fact that the envelopes containing money were given to all officials present at the Trinidad conference, why did 15 of them denied receiving any? And if they had indeed accepted cash gifts for their associations’ development, was it recorded in their accounts ledgers? What was it used for? Where is the tangible evidence of its disbursement and why was it not publicised?

It there were no infringements to FIFA’s rules and regulations concerning the illegal transfer of cash, why then were Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester placed on a one-year ban by the Ethics Committee?

This incident seemingly reeks of corruption and dishonesty, and for the Caribbean region to regain its status in the football world, those who accepted the gifts should come clean or resign.


The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) has backed adidas over the All Blacks' replica jersey, saying the sporting goods giant should not reduce its wholesale price.

Major sports stores yesterday slashed the price of two replica jerseys, after failing to persuade adidas to drop its wholesale price in the face of widespread criticism from sports fans, former All Blacks and politicians.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew today said adidas were right not to drop the wholesale price.

"Not once they put it in the market, they've got a pricing strategy, it's very comprehensive ... anything they decide in New Zealand has to stick with their strategy in other markets and it's not as simple as looking at one pocket problem and dealing with it in isolation," he told Radio Sport.

"They've got to consider at wider range of issues and in the end we've said to them 'we don't expect you to tell us how to play test matches, we'll keep an eye on how things are going with our brand but ultimately the distribution and sale of our product in New Zealand is your expertise and we'll let you do it'."

Adidas was "in a very difficult position" as it could not openly criticise its retailers or release commercially sensitive information, Mr Tew said.

Meanwhile, sales of the replica jerseys have leapt following the price cut.

Rebel Sport owner Rod Duke today said there had been a noticeable increase in sales.

"They've gone particularly well, we announced it (the price drop) at 11 o'clock yesterday and through all Rebel Sport stores trading is very brisk."

The retailer knocked $50 off the price of the rugby World Cup replica All Blacks jersey, taking it to $170, while the standard All Blacks replica jersey was $30 cheaper at $149.50.

The row was sparked after the two shirts were listed on the website at US$89.99 ($110) and US$79.99 ($97.85) respectively, plus shipping.

Stirling Sports and Champions of the World matched the price cut, but Champions of the World managing director Gary Marshall said they would not be making a profit on the jerseys.

Mr Duke yesterday said he was upset adidas had refused to reduce its price.

"We happen to believe that this jersey belongs to the New Zealand public," he said.

"They don't own it. We all do. We cannot have a situation where New Zealanders would pay more for All Black jerseys than almost any other country in the world."



By: Stephon Nicholas

WEST INDIES batsman Darren Bravo has signed for English county club Nottinghamshire for the Clydesdale Bank (CB) 40-overs competition currently underway in England.

The stylish left-hander will leave Trinidad today and is expected to make his debut on Friday against Glamorgan at Trent Bridge.

Bravo will be replacing Australian Adam Voges as the county team’s overseas player.

Nottinghamshire are currently languishing in fourth place in Group ‘C’ with five wins from nine matches and will be hoping the 22-year-old Trinidadian can spark their revival to gain a coveted place in the semi-finals. Only the top teams in Group ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ and the next best team will advance to the last four.

Bravo has played just eight Test matches for the West Indies but has already scored six half-centuries and is averaging a shade under 40 at 39.84.

His One-Day International record is also promising with five fifties from 28 matches at an average of 33.45.

Bravo does have the experience of playing in England, having competed in a tri-nation series involving the host country and India last year for the West Indies ‘A’.

His impressive form for the regional ‘A’ team saw him make his Test debut against Sri Lanka where he scored 58. He was included in the West Indies team for the World Cup where he stroked 73 from 82 balls but failed to replicate that form for the remainder of the competition.

Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Dwayne Bravo, Darren’s older brother, believes it is a fantastic opportunity for his sibling and backed him to excel. “It’s a great opportunity. I’m happy for him. He’s been playing international cricket for just about two years so for him to get recognised like this is a great achievement,” he said.

Dwayne, one of the region’s most electric all-rounders, noted the similarity in his career path and his brother’s.

“I remember at 22-years-old, I got to play for Kent. It was a great achievement for me so I hope he continues to show form. It is a challenge for him with new conditions (to play in). It’s not easy but I think he will do well,” he declared.

The 27-year-old revealed he will be passing on whatever knowledge or advice he can to help his brother adapt to the new environment. “He will be leaving tomorrow (today) so I hope to get a word with him tonight (yesterday) before he flies out,” he said.

Dwayne remarked on Darren’s rise to fame and success and noted only injury or poor form can curtail his career. He pointed out, however, that his brother trains hard and enjoys batting and believes nothing can stop him if he continues these traits.

He explained that in the West Indies heyday, several of the region’s players also plied their trade in England in county cricket and believes if Darren can excel then it will open the door for more Caribbean players to get the chance to play there as well.


JUNIOR archer, Nihkil Kanhai smashed all existing Trinidad and Tobago records at the recent Costa Rica Cup.

Kanhai crushed this country’s International Archery Federation records when he shot at four distances and achieved an all-time high overall total in Costa Rica.

The new junior records (with the previous in brackets) are: 90 metres - 268 (231); 70 metres - 315 (274); 50 metres - 275 (273); 30 metres - 314 (307).

The local archer’s precise shooting also saw him destroy long standing records in the senior division as well.

He achieved an impressive overall total of 1,172, surpassing the previous score of 1,085.

Kanhai also dissected the Senior records with his 70 metres and 90 metres shots which stood from 2004/ 2005.

This competition was also a qualifier for the forthcoming World Ranking Tournament.

The records achieved have proven to be a firm foundation for Kanhai since he is part of the five-member team which the Trinidad and Tobago Target Archery Federation (TTTAF) will be sending to San Jose, Costa Rica, from August 11-19 to contest the Costa Rica Cup.

The local contingent also includes Nazimine Roopnarine who will contest the Female Recurve Division.

Roopnarine will join George Vire, Hasmath Ali and Rakesh Sookoo to make up the Compound team which participated in last year’s CAC and Commonwealth Games.

Ali will also be serving as team manager.

The TTTAF congratulated all archers selected on the national team, and acknowledged the athletes’ determination and preparation for the tournament and wished them success in San Jose.


By: Andre Bagoo

STAFF at the Trinidad and Tobago (TT) High Commission in London yesterday afternoon fled the building amidst police warnings over looting and another day of street violence in the beleaguered United Kingdom capital.

The developments came as TT nationals suffered losses in the ongoing riots, and many watched nervously as the UK Government moved to stem the tide of rising incidents of arson, thuggery and property damage. One woman described the scenes unfolding at London as “anarchy” and “like a war zone”.

Sources at the High Commission yesterday told Newsday that the more than 30-strong staff employed at the Commission, which is located at 42 Belgrave Square, closed the Commission’s offices hours before the normal closing time of 5 pm, UK time, and took a decision to leave the building amidst reports that surrounding businesses in the Victoria area had been warned over the possibility of looting.

“The police advised people to leave,” a source said yesterday afternoon, at about 3.30 pm UK time. “They told the shops to close-up and our staff has left. We are expecting this thing to get serious. Some staff members have a long commute and so we have decided to leave. Everyone has left.”

Questioned further, the source said, “I’m sorry, I have to leave right now.”

Repeated attempts to contact High Commissioner to London Garvin Nicholas yesterday failed as he did not answer calls to his mobile phone. Nicholas, who recently returned to London from a trip to Wales, was not at the High Commission yesterday afternoon, according to checks conducted by Newsday.

British Prime Minister David Cameron recalled the UK Parliament from its recess and announced that all police leave was cancelled, with 16,000 police officers to be deployed to man the streets of London overnight. A man was reported dead after succumbing to injuries sustained after being shot in his car at Croydon on Monday night.

There were also reports that 450 detectives being assigned to crack cases of looting using CCTV footage in what the UK Guardian described as “the biggest criminal investigation ever mounted by the Metropolitan police.” The Met reported that it had run out of free cells as arrests placed strains on the system of criminal justice.

One TT national, who had her flat in London completely destroyed after a jewelry shop in the building she resides in was looted and set on fire, described the shock of the developments.

“The worst thing about the situation is the fact that this is happening in London and to see what the city now looks like. It looks like a war zone. I am just thinking of the anarchy and it is really scary I am glad I am not there in that chaos. Nobody is really safe and the police are afraid to get involved,” Sherry Murray said. “Everybody is stunned. Everything is a mess.”

Murray, who arrived in Trinidad from the UK last Saturday for a visit, recalled the shock of seeing her flat completely burnt down on television footage.

“We were renting a flat. I could not believe the footage I saw on television. The building was completely gutted. It is now a shell. I am here and thank God.” Murray said she and her neighbours have lost all of their belongings.

“Whatever I have in my suitcase is what I am left with. We lost all of our belongings, worth maybe GBP 30,000; all my papers; certificates, a computer, clothes, televisions. I spend a lot of time at that flat whenever I visit the UK,” she said.

Murray said she has been in contact with many of her Trinidadian friends in the UK who are anxious over the developments.

“They are waiting nervously. Many live in places that could be affected. It is very surreal this is happening in broad daylight and nothing is really stopping it,” she said.

The scenes, for many, recalled the London riots of the 1980s.

As of yesterday, affected areas included: Tottenham; Enfield; Chingford Mount; Brixton (scene of riots in 1981); Oxford Circus; Walthamstow; Waltham Forest; Ponder’s End; Chelsea; Islington; Hackney; Peckam; Lewisham; Camberwell; Deptford; Birmingham; Croydon; East Ham; Ilford; Tooting; Streatham; Clapham Junction; Walworth, Colliers Wood, Notting Hill, Dalston; Camden; Ealing Broadway; Camden Town; Harringay; Fulham Broadway; East Bulwich; and more.

TT nationals in London yesterday afternoon reported dead quiet in several areas, including Walthamstow, Belgrave Square and Notting Hill and environs. Some, in areas outside London where violence has mushroomed, also reported a lull, as many stayed indoors. By yesterday evening, though, there were early reports of conflagration outside of London.

As the violence intensified, the Guardian reported last evening that a police station had been firebombed by a group of 30 to 40 men at Nottingham. Violence also flared at Manchester and Bristol.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Suruj Rambachan, said as of yesterday evening he had no reports of any TT nationals being hurt in the riots but said the TT High Commission “was monitoring it”.

Opposition Leader, Dr Keith Rowley, yesterday afternoon returned to Trinidad safely after completing a three-day visit to London where he spoke at a Carnival event. He did not respond to calls and a text message from . Residents and businesses across London were last night bracing for a further wave of looting and violence. Most violence yesterday occurred in the early hours of the morning.

Yet some remained skeptical over the riots, noting that many areas of London were as yet untouched by the events.

“I am okay. I shall be going out and about and have an appointment,” one Trinidadian living in Walthamstow told Newsday. Another reported “dead silence” at Notting Hill. Some Londoners, in an effort to fight back at the lawlessness, organised a clean-up “broom rally” holding brooms and cleaning the streets at Clapham Junction.

Damage to property at London has already been estimated at GBP100 million (TT$1 billion), with police authorities assuring that they will meet any obligations for damages under the UK’s Riots (Damages) Act 1886.

The riots and looting began on Saturday in the wake of the police killing of Mark Duggan, 29, last Thursday in Tottenham, north London, after armed officers stopped the mini-cab he was travelling in. After examining ballistics tests, the UK’s Independent Police Complaints Commission yesterday rejected initial police claims that Duggan had fired at police.

Broadcaster and columnist Darcus Howe, a nephew of CLR James, yesterday told the BBC that the riots were linked to a “serious” defect in British society.

“The police have been stopping and searching blacks for no reason,” Howe said in a video posted on You Tube. He argued that the problem lies with feelings of disconnection among “young blacks and whites”.

Others also reported a possible role on the part of the UK anarchist movement, as well as movements of random, opportunistic looters. Some have linked apparently slow action on the part of the Met in the initial hours of the riots on Saturday to a recent announcement by Cameron of spending cuts for the police.

Amidst reports that the violence has been organised using tools such as Blackberry Messenger and Twitter, China criticised the West for allowing free speech via internet sites. The developments also caused some to question London’s ability to handle disruptive activity ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

The highly-anticipated England vs Netherlands football match, planned for today at Wembley, was cancelled due to concerns over the violence. Three Premiere League games on Saturday may also have to be axed


By: Nigel Simon

Wayne Legerton and Triston Grant were each on target as Petrotrin retained hold of the T&T Hockey Board Men’s Championship Division title with a 2-0 shut-out of Defence Force at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua on Sunday night. Going into the clash, the Oilmen needed only a point to seal a second straight title with one match left to play while Defence Force needed a victory to keep its faint hopes alive. At the end of the first-half it was anybody’s guess as to the outcome of the contest as both teams were locked at 0-0. However, Legerton eased the nerves of his team-mates when he fired Petrotrin into a 56th minute lead and two minutes before full-time Grant sealed the deal for the Oilmen to send the small gathering of travelling supporters from the south-land in a frenzy.

With the win, Petrotrin carried its points tally to 34 from 13 matches, four ahead of Defence Force which completed its 14-match campaign while Paragon is third with 28 points, and Queen’s Park, fourth with 23. On Saturday, Paragon stayed in contention for a top-two finish after a comfortable 5-2 victory over Notre Dame led by a double from national forward Akim Toussaint while the Parkites made certain of fourth spot via an 8-1 clobbering of  Malvern thanks to a hat-trick from Raphael Govia on Sunday.
Malvernites beaten, but still women’s champ

Malvern suffered its first loss of the season in the Women’s Championship Division after it was edged out by last year’s winner Shandy Carib Magnolias, 1-0 with Gayle-Ann Nieves the scorer in the sixth minute. However, the win for Magnolias came in vain as the Malvernites were still crowned champions after it was awarded a 3-0 win by default over Notre Dame for a scheduled match  that did not come off last month. The win by Magnolias had briefly put them ahead of Malvern on goal-difference with both teams on 28 points, but the Tournament’s Appeals Committee decided to award three points to Malvern for a match it had originally won by default from the Dames. The default win improved Malvern to 31 points, three more than Magnolias which has completed its campaign. Today, the Trinity Men’s Division semifinal will flick off with Queen’s Park facing Shape from 8 pm while tomorrow, Paragon meets Notre Dame also from 8 pm.


Championship Men
Petrotrin 2 (Wayne Legerton 56th, Triston Grant 68th) vs D/Force 0.
QPCC 8 (Raphael Govia 16th, 25th, Jerry Bell 34th, Shawn Lee Quay 43rd, Dominic Young 45th, Kadeem Fortune 55th, Nicholas Camacho 60th, Jamarj Assanah 68th) vs Malvern 1 (Anthony Marcano 17th).

Championship Women
Magnolias 1 (Gayle-Ann Nieves 6th) vs Malvern 0.

Men’s Championship
Paragon 5 (Akim Toussaint 21st, 45th, Kiel Murray 42nd, Chester Sealey 50th, Syl Sinnette 68th) vs Notre Dame 2 (Nigel Providence 44th, Aidan De Gannes 62nd).
Championship Women
Paragon 5 (Kristin Thompson 10th, 12th, 42nd, Alanna Lewis 27th, Falina Jack 35th) vs Ventures 0.


Women’s Championship
Teams    P    W    D    L    F    A    Pts
Malvern    12    10    1    1    35    8    31
Magnolias    12    9    1    2    54    14    28
Paragon    11    5    3    3    23    21    18
Checkers    12    4    4    4    14    18    16
N/Dame    12    3    4    5    28    28    13
Ventures    12    3    1    8    19    38    10
Petrotrin    11    0    0    11    3    50    0

Men’s Championship
Petrotrin    13    11    1    1    45    15    34
D/Force    14    9    2    3    33    23    29
Paragon    13    9    1    3    49    31    28
QPCC    13    7    2    4    52    25    23
N/Dame    13    5    1    7    32    32    16
Malvern    14    4    0    10    25    41    12
Fatima    12    2    2    8    19    42    6
Paradise    14    1    2    11    16    62    5

Girls’ Under-19
Magnolias    8    7    1    0    64    3    22
Notre Dame    9    6    1    2    33    14    19
Paragon    9    6    0    3    25    8    18
Ventures    7    4    0    3    16    7    12
Paradise    10    1    0    9    4    55    3
Shape    9    1    0    8    4    59    3


By: Duncan Mackay

August 8 - Simon Hollingsworth has been appointed the new executive director of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), the Sports Minister Mark Arbib announced today.

Hollingsworth, 39, is a former 400 metres hurdler who represented Australia at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics in Barcelona and Atlanta respectively.

The Oxford University graduate, who has a degree in Commerce, Law, and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, replaces Peter Fricker, who had been the acting chief executive but has now quit to take up a new role overseas.

Hollingsworth is currently working as Executive Director in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.

"Simon has a unique combination of experience as both a former Olympian and Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) scholarship holder and as a respected and accomplished senior official in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet," said Arbib.

"I look forward to working with Simon and the team at the ASC."

Arbib wants Hollngsworth to streamline the ASC, which currently has more than 700 civil servants working for it at its Canberra headquarters, and refocus on its original charter, which was to ensure the AIS and Olympic sportsmen and women were the best in the world.

"I am extremely pleased that we have secured the services of a leader of the calibre of Mr Hollingsworth for this critical position in Australian sport," said Warwick Smith, the chairman of the ASC.

"Mr Hollingsworth brings significant high performance experience with firsthand knowledge as an athlete at the elite level, having represented Australia at two Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

"However, it is Simon's strong track record in public administration both here in Australia and in the United Kingdom, backed by his skills developed as a Rhodes Scholar [at Oxford] , that will enable him to lead and support Australian sport into the future."

Among Hollingsworth's first tasks will be to appoint a new director to head the AIS.

"I am excited about the opportunity to lead the ASC and continue to build on the existing priorities for Australian sport," he said.

"As someone who has experienced all that sport has to offer, I am committed to ensuring the ASC and the AIS deliver the most effective support and development initiatives for our greatest athletes and that we also increase the opportunities for Australians to participate in sport at the level of their choice."