Now that Trinidad & Tobago’s Soca Warriors has taken the soccer world by storm with their first appearance in this year’s World Cup Finals, several organizations are showing their support financially.
According to the Soca Warriors News Room, Minister of Sport Roger Boynes, on behalf of the Government of Trinidad & Tobago, presented a check valued at $14.4 million in Trinidad currency to T&T Football Federation President Oliver Camps on May 1. This payment was the first out of the $45 million, which was announced last month by Boynes, to go towards the “Soca Warriors” as help for their preparations for the 2006 World Cup in Germany starting in June.
According to Trinidad and Tobago Express, this money will cover expenses up until June including the cost of training camps in England and Austria and bonuses for the players and technical staff.
Several other organizations have committed financially to help support the Warriors, one being Atlantic LNG, a successful natural gas plant in the Caribbean. Atlantic LNG made a contribution of 3 million to the Soca Warriors in support of their first appearance to the World Cup.
The Soca Warriors’ defeated Bahrain 2-1 in the CONCACF (the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) playoffs last November to secure a spot in the Finals.
According to the Times Online of Britain, within minutes of the final whistle of their play-off against Bahrain, thousands of people streamed on to the streets to celebrate. Drivers stopped to embrace one another, flags were waved, steel bands paraded and shopkeepers handed out fabric in the national colors, making the roads rivers of red, white and black.
“A lot of Trinidadians have come together in the spirit of the sport,” said Rhonda Crichlow, a Howard University freshman majoring in Psychology. As a result of this win, the Warriors are scheduled to play against Sweden in the opening round of the Finals, which begins June 9. If they win the Warriors will move on to play England and then Paraguay.
The bid into the World Finals has been quickly welcomed during a time when Trinidad & Tobago are facing a sharp increase in violent crime that has spread all across the country. The government of Trinidad is also in talks of establishing a national holiday in honor of the team.