Hart re­futes claims of us­ing in­jured player

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC): HEAD COACH of the Trinidad and Tobago national se­nior team Stephen Hart is re­fut­ing al­le­ga­tions that he used in­jured goal­keeper Jan-Michael Wil­liams dur­ing the re­cent World Cup Qual­i­fier against Hon­duras, against the ad­vice of team doc­tor Ter­rence Bab­wah.

Hart’s de­nial fol­lows the res­ig­na­tion of Dr Bab­wah and team phys­io­ther­a­pist Dave Isaac in the wake of T&T’s 3-1 loss to Hon­duras in San Pe­dro Sula last week.

Their res­ig­na­tions were con­firmed in a re­lease is­sued by the Trinidad and Tobago Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (TTFA).

“[Bab­wah] never told me it was not safe to play Jan. He never ever said that! He told me that Jan had an in­jury [while we were] in Trinidad. He said Jan hurt his shoul­der and he was strug­gling with it,” Hart told Wired868.

“So I said let us see how it works out. We had a light train­ing ses­sion in Trinidad, but then we had two train­ing ses­sions in Panama and Jan trained twice fully. He dived, he did ev­ery­thing.”

Ac­cord­ing to the state­ment is­sued by TTFA, Dr Bab­wah, a mem­ber of the FIFA Med­i­cal Com­mit­tee for over 10 years, said “his pro­fes­sional in­tegrity and that of the team’s med­i­cal staff had been com­pro­mised by de­ci­sions made lead­ing up to the Hon­duras game”.


“Mr Dave Isaac, an­other clin­i­cal per­son who has been with the team for the past four years, also ten­dered his res­ig­na­tion, cit­ing con­cerns about spe­cial­ist ad­vice be­ing ig­nored,” the re­lease also stated.

But Hart has in­sisted that he was not ad­vised against play­ing the T&T cus­to­dian.

“Why would I risk a goal­keeper if he couldn’t raise his arm?” asked Hart.

“That doesn’t make sense. Some­thing is not read­ing right here at all. I have a pic­ture right now with Jan’s arm fully in the air, which is the same arm they said he couldn’t raise, so I don’t know what is go­ing on at all.”

Dur­ing the qual­i­fier against Hon­duras, Jan-Michael was taken off af­ter re­ceiv­ing a knee to his head in a col­li­sion with striker Al­berth Elis in the 10th minute.

Me­dia re­ports say he was knocked un­con­scious for about seven min­utes and had to un­dergo a CT scan that showed no in­ter­nal bleed­ing.

Pres­i­dent David John-Wil­liams has since called a spe­cial meet­ing of the TTFA to ad­dress Bab­wah’s res­ig­na­tion and other is­sues re­gard­ing the se­nior team.

T&T’s goal­keeper, coach Michael Mau­rice, and fit­ness trainer To­bias Ot­t­ley have also strongly de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tions against Hart which ap­peared in the Guardian news­pa­per.


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