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Morace and staff hit the exit

Published: 
Monday, July 17, 2017
Non-payment of salaries by TTFA...
President of the T&TFA David John-Wiliams embraces his new recruits, new coach Carolina Morace, second from left, Nicola Williams, left, and Betty Bavagnoli, right, during yesterday's Press Coneference at the Ato Boldon Stadium, in Couva.

T&T’s Italian head coach of women’s football Carolina Morace is abandoning the once-promising local women’s programme, reportedly over three and a half month’s unpaid wages.

Reports are that Morace’s contract and those of her entire staff were “terminated by just cause,” and a letter with indication of that was sent to the T&T Football Association (TTFA) some time late last week. Morace broke the news to her players and local staff on Friday.

When contacted yesterday, TTFA communications manager Shaun Fuentes told Guardian Media Sports that the association’s president David John Williams has declined comment on the matter until he has been properly advised and met with the FA’s board of directors. Fuentes said an official statement would be made within the coming week.

The highly-qualified Morace was brought into the position with much fanfare along with a cadre of her own hand-picked coaches on December 7, 2016, including fellow Italians Manuela Tessa who has also since walked away from the job as head coach of the under 17 team and Elisabetta Bavagnoli. Morace also employed Englishwoman Nicola Williams as her senior team assistant and under 20 head coach. The quartet of coaches officially started duties in February of this year.

Williams (N) told Guardian Media Sports yesterday: “It was not something that we wanted to do, but rather something that we had to do.”

“We kept on giving them notice of the non-payment of salaries until we decided to give the TTFA a period of 15 days to pay, but they still did not respond, so we did what we had to do. It is sad.” Williams explained.

She made it clear however that their decision will now be followed by legal actions to recover the monies owed to them.

John Williams, when asked in March, told the media that monies to pay for the Women’s programme would come from the CONCACAF subvention and boasted of his administration’s prudent management of funds received from the world governing body for football—FIFA.

One source close to the women’s programme, speaking to Guardian Media Sports under the condition of strict anonimity hoped that there is an alternative resolution, saying: “At this time it is (beyond reconciliation) and I don’t know if the authorities could or if they want to reconcile.

“ I think Carolina is very open because it is not something that they want to do but because of circumstances, they are forced to.”

The departure of the overseas-based coaches has thrown the women’s programme into disarray with the T&T U-17s due to kick off their campaign in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Qualifiers at the end of August and the country to host the U-20 CONCACAF Qualifiers in January.

The Guardian Media Sports source added: “When they told the team, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room including them. That is to tell you how hard it was to make the decision. She does not want to leave.”

Morace is a former Italy international player and coached Canada’s senior women’s team at the 2011 World Cup and also holds a law degree.

Her previous job before coming to T&T was as Technical Director Men’s National Premier League Club Floreat Athena FC in Western Australia.