Thursday, June 07, 2007

Avery John Banned From Gold Cup

I was a little surprised when I didn't see Avery John's name on Trinidad and Tobago's Gold Cup roster. It would have been nice to see him play in more international matches after the Soca Warriors' brave display at last year's World Cup. I just figured that their national team program was going to break in some younger players and Avery John's time had past. He is 32 years old, after all.

However, that isn't exactly the case. According to Frank Dell'Apa in today's Boston Globe, several T&T players have been blacklisted because they want the money that had been promised to them from last summer.

After doing some digging, I came across this article in the LA Daily News explaining the situation in greater detail. There are some shenanigans going on down there:

"The dispute stems over a three-tiered agreement between the players and the T&TFF that was signed before the team qualified for the World Cup, according to Townley.

It called for a 50-50 split of the FIFA participation award of $7 million Swiss francs (about $5.5 million in U.S. dollars), a 50-50 split of profits from warm-up matches leading up to the World Cup, and, most lucratively, a 50 percent cut for the players of licensing and endorsement deals the federation would receive.

The T&TFF has told the players it was necessary to deduct expenses and set aside funds for 2010 World Cup qualifying, and they've distributed all that's left - about $5,000 apiece.

A big problem, says Townley, is that nobody's really sure what the players should be getting. He said an adidas press release touted an $11 million agreement with the T&TFF, but the federation produced paperwork showing less than $300,000 income from the deal."

The least surprising part about this ordeal is that veteran soccer bureaucrat Jack Warner is behind this whole mess. Whenever there's a financial scam involving CONCACAF, he's usually there. Whether it's vastly overselling games in his native Trinidad or scalping World Cup tickets which should have gone directly to supporters, Jack Warner has greatly abused his authority while climbing the ladder of soccer's governing bodies. He's currently a vice president with Fifa as well as president of CONCACAF.

It's good for the Revs to have the services of Avery John during the month of June. Although he hasn't seen a lot of action as of late, he should be starting at left back when James Riley moves to central defense in Micheal Parkhurst's absence. However, seeing him miss out on one of his last chances to represent his country in a meaningful competition is quite a shame.