What should William Wallace be doing now that he is new TTFA boss?

By November 25, 2019

William Wallace is the new president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) after he unseated controversial former boss, David John-Williams in an election at the weekend. The question is, what next?

 

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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    Venice “Pappy” Richards is statistically the greatest jockey in Southern Caribbean thoroughbred racing history and the story of his death this week in Trinidad and Tobago is heartbreaking.

    Barbadian Richards, after enduring months of fading health and failing eyesight, sadly passed away Monday evening destitute and alone in a room at the Hummingbird Stud Farm Stables near Santa Rosa Park in Arima. He was 76 years old.

    How could such an icon, a legend of almost 60 years of tremendous contribution to Caribbean horse racing, suffer such an unbefitting departure from this life?

    He was quiet but proud and his self-esteem, it seems, prevented him from advertising how tough things got for him.

    But his health and physical struggles became highly visible in recent months and surely more should have been done to assist him.

    Close associates over his decades of involvement in the Sport of Kings, including iconic Trinidad and Tobago trainer and owner Joe Hadeed and Barbadian champion jockey and trainer Challenor Jones expressed immense sorrow and surprise over the manner of his passing.

    The ravages of diabetes and hypertension had left him thin, frail and partially blind and meeting medical expenses had become even more challenging after his employment contract with the Arima Race Club (ARC) was not renewed in January. He had been hired in an ARC consultancy role in T&T in the past decade after losing his gig with the Barbados Turf Club (BTC) at his native Garrison Savannah racetrack.

    Richards scored over 1,400 career wins but in reality that figure could well be over 1600 if you add scores of undocumented victories over several years as visiting rider to Martinique and Guyana. Only Jamaican legend Winston Griffiths (1,664 wins) has as many wins as Richards at English-speaking Caribbean racetracks.

    He was never interested in becoming a racehorse trainer as many successful retired jockeys had done. Richards was committed to giving back to the art of race-riding and he tutored aspiring riders at Jockeys’ schools in his native Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

    En route to jockeys’ championship titles nine times in Barbados and T&T including 1982 when he was champion in both those countries, Pappy Richards was a multiple winner of all big races in Barbados.

    In 1989, he completed the Triple Crown – the Guineas, Midsummer Classic and Derby -- with Bill Marshall’s Coo Bird. Richards scored six Derby wins in his career, four in Barbados and two in T&T. Add to that five Barbados Guineas wins, four victories in the Midsummer Classic and four triumphs in the Cockspur Gold Cup, now called the Sandy Lane Gold Cup.

    His first Gold Cup win came in 1986 aboard Bentom before steering Sir David Seale’s Sandford Prince to victories in 1989, 1991 and 1992 when the seven-year-old champion posted a record time of one minute 49.20 seconds for the rich nine-furlong event.

    Richards also won 85 races in a stint in the United States in the early 1970s making appearances at New England’s Rockingham Park and Suffolk Downs also Lincoln Downs and Finger Lakes.

    The Caribbean’s all-time most successful jockey, Patrick Husbands, with 3,370 North American wins and a bundle of accolades in Canadian racing, cites staying close to Pappy Richards, learning from him throughout his growing years, played a big part in making him who he is today.

    Husbands admits he “looked up to Venice” when he was developing as a rider.

    “Up to this day I still think he is the best rider in the Caribbean,” says Husbands, a record eight-time winner of the Sovereign Award as Canada’s most outstanding jockey and seven-time champion rider at Woodbine. Richards’s great rival Chally Jones described him as a “fine gentlemen, dedicated” and being the “epitome” of what a jockey represents.

    At approximately 5’ 4” tall, Richards maintained a consistent riding weight of between 110 and 112 pounds throughout his career, a demonstration of commitment and discipline.

    For his sweeping successes and service to sport, Richards earned from the Barbados Government a National Award in 1991, the Silver Crown of Merit (SCM). He was also inducted into Barbados Racing Hall of Fame and also the racing Hall of Fame for Trinidad and Tobago.

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    The despair over his sad passing extends even to the funeral plans since closure of the T&T Ports due to the COVID-19 pandemic will bar family, friends and well-wishers attending from his native Barbados.

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    FIFA's COVID-19 working group has recommended the postponement of all international matches due to be played in the June window.

    The working group, which the world game's governing body recently established to address the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, met for the first time via conference call on Friday.

    They made a series of recommendations to the Bureau of the FIFA Council including the postponement of all men's and women's international fixtures for June.

    All measures received unanimous agreement from the panel, including setting up "bilateral discussions with confederations concerning 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers" with the aim of finalising "a revised match schedule pending health and safety developments".

    "FIFA would like to thank the positive contributions and cooperation of all Confederations' representatives and highlight the spirit of unity, solidarity and mutual understanding which culminated in the adoption of these decisions," read the organisation's statement.

    "FIFA also reiterates that health must always be the first priority and the main criteria in any decision-making process, especially in these challenging times."

    Friendlies scheduled for June include Spain taking on Portugal, Germany travelling to Switzerland and England hosting Romania.

    Copa America and Euro 2020, both due to start later that month, have already been postponed for one year.

  • Coronavirus: FFF delays call on leagues until after containment measures Coronavirus: FFF delays call on leagues until after containment measures

    The French Football Federation (FFF) will delay any decision over the outcome of its leagues until containment measures in the country have been lifted.

    With the coronavirus pandemic having put sport on lockdown across the globe, football in France is on an indefinite hiatus.

    The FFF ruled out voiding the campaign, insisting that a season without promotion or relegation would defy "sporting logic".

    In a statement released on Friday, the FFF identified several criteria that would factor into its decision over how and when to conclude the 2019-20 season.

    "A resumption of competitions would not mean playing all the days that remain to be played to go to the end of the championships," it read.

    "It is out of the question to impose an unrealistic pace of recovery, depending on the level of the championships, to make them go to completion.

    "Partial completion of the season will be considered.

    "The end date of the championships will logically depend on the level of competition."

    The FFF confirmed that regional competitions must end by June 30, and added that the €86million budget allocated to amateur football will be maintained.

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