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Dwight Yorke
Dwight Yorke has chosen club ahead of country

Credit: ALLSPORT

T&T begins long journey
by Andy McKenzie


Trinidad and Tobago kick-off the long and winding road to qualifying for the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan on March 4, with hardly the best preparations.

  • T&T coach Bertille St. Clair was dismissed on February 28, following their CONCACAF Gold Cup exit at the hands of Canada in the semi-finals.

  • The Caribbean side received a further blow when star striker Dwight Yorke announced he would not be lining up for his side in the Caribbean qualifiers.

  • The Manchester United forward has opted to make himself available for the English Premiership champions for their clash with Liverpool on the same date, rather than return for his country’s qualifier.

  • With three of their players also dropped for the game against the Netherlands Antilles at the Havelange Centre of Excellence, in Port of Spain, T&T are facing something of crisis ahead of the crunch qualifier.

  • Former skipper David Nakhid, Jerren Nixon and reserve goalkeeper Michael McComie have all paid the price for the high expectations at the Gold Cup, and will miss out on a chance to make amends against the Netherlands Antilles.

  • Despite enjoying some of their best years under St. Clair, T&T were expected to go further in the tournament and the blow of losing to Canada was not offset by the fact that the Canadians went on to become eventual winners of the tournament.

  • Former Chelsea and Zimbabwe manager Ian Porterfield, who recently joined Trinidad's Joe Public football club, has been touted as a likely successor to St. Clair as T&T manager.

  • Honduras and Nicaragua also begin their campaign for World Cup Finals qualification when the two sides meet on March 4 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

  • The 10 Confederation of South American Football (CONMEBOL) associations will be the next to begin their qualification campaigns on March 28.

  • In all, 195 teams will be battling for 29 final places, with between 700 and 800 likely to be played around the world.
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© 2000 Worldsport Networks Ltd Written by Andy McKenzie

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