T&T Olympian Hasely Crawford bemoans poor treatment at facility named in his honour

By Sports Desk December 12, 2023
Hasely Crawford Hasely Crawford

Hasely Crawford is very upset over a series of snubs at the facility named in his honour.

In an interview with the T&T Daily Express, the 1976 Olympic Games men’s 100 metres champion explained that there are six seats assigned to him at the Hasely Crawford Stadium for any event at the venue, as well as six parking passes. Additionally, two permanent parking spots have been set aside.

Unfortunately, those entitlements have led to numerous embarrassing incidents, the first of which was in 2001, when Trinidad and Tobago hosted the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

“They wouldn’t give me a ticket for the final. There were instructions, ‘Don’t give Hasely Crawford any ticket’. But I got in,” Crawford shared.

T&T’s first-ever Olympic champion said he also had major issues in August this year at the Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG).

“The opening of Commonwealth was bad. For two days I had problems getting in until Ephraim Serrette brought me an accreditation. On the day of the opening ceremony, a Minister was parked in one of my spots … did move eventually but stayed for a while.”

In another recent incident, Crawford was alarmed by the disrespectful response he got from a group of students at the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) opening when he spoke to them about standing in the aisles. He said he alerted a police officer and the SSFL president, and also went to the students’ school to report the incident.

Crawford explained too that he had been offered tickets to attend SSFL games during the 2023 season.

“One time, the SSFL president gave me a ticket. I told him ‘You’re not doing me no favours, I’m entitled to six tickets.’ Another time, he gave me two tickets. I didn’t take them. The promoters are the ones who are responsible for giving me the six tickets for their events," he argued.

“The TTFA (Trinidad and Tobago Football Association) would give me tickets for their games, but I would often get them on the day, and that would create problems for my guests. One day I had a guest coming. I spoke to the guard to tell him my guest was coming in a brown car. They put someone else in the parking spot and told me a TTFA man said to put him there," Crawford added.

Crawford’s family has also faced embarrassment at the stadium.

“One year they had Soca Monarch. My wife and Kent Bernard’s wife went. They told them ‘No, no, no, this is VVIP, for the Prime Minister and a guest’. But that is where I’m supposed to go. My wife can’t take embarrassment, so she took off," he recalled. 

In order to avoid any further indignities, Crawford has opted to stay away from the Port of Spain facility, as he brought his concerns to the attention of the authorities, but to no avail.

“I decided I’m not going anything in the stadium," Crawford said, adding that there have been times when he felt he should ask for his name to be removed from the stadium, but knows this is not the way to go.

“I cannot do it because I cannot spit in the face of Trinidad and Tobago. They gave me that. Allyuh gave me that. But I hate going through this embarrassment,” Crawford told the Express.

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