Friday 12th May, 2006

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Touting for talent

In the build-up to Wednesday’s football game Port-of-Spain was literally painted in red. On her way to the Hasely Crawford National Stadium fan Narla Sampson purchases a national flag.

National football coach Leo Beenhakker wasn’t the only unhappy customer on Wednesday when T&T played Peru to a 1-1 draw at the Hasely Crawford National Stadium. In the post match press conference, a dour looking Beenhakker expressed dissatisfaction with the first half performance of his Soca Warriors team, while scores of fans were overheard grumbling about being cheated after forking out $300 and $500 for tickets.

Chilling outside the stadium prior to the game, taking in the colourful scenes, Pulse was dumbfounded to overhear at least one tout, his hand filled with the specially customized electronic tickets, loudly hawking $300 tickets for $30, and $500 for $100. Legit ticket-holders within ear shot, and a couple uniformed soldiers, approached the man with some concern, one of the soldiers saying: “But how you could do that man? Allyuh spoiling the thing. After people spend they money to buy a $500 ticket, how you could come now and be selling them for $100.”

From a free kick Soca Warrior Kenwyne Jones scores against Peru and Soca Warrior fans at the Woodbrook Youth Centre explode in celebration.

The pain and anguish of the November 19, 1989 ticket fiasco still vivid in my mind, and despite holding a $500 ticket I seriously weighed my options to see the game on big screens at alternative nearby venues like Crobar, Trotters, 51 Lounge, Sweet Lime, Next Door and Woodbrook Youth Centre (WYC). I chose the latter and didn’t regret it.

The all-inclusive lime at WYC, organised by the very youthful crew, was real good, complete with premium drinks, corn soup, doubles and other snacks; DJ music and Riddem Rama 2006 champion Hands of Riddum.

Perhaps the only happy person after Wednesday’s game was whoever was responsible for supplying the touts with legit tickets, creating a deluge of easily accessible cheap tickets. Not many people were smiling after Wednesday’s game; not Beenhakker, neither Peru or T&T, and certainly not the touts.

Pan in sport

ONE of my best loved steelband events comes off on Indian Arrival Day (May 30) at WASA Grounds, St Joseph. Staged by ComPANions, a committee of pannists from a number of steelbands, have annually organised this event which showcases the skills of pannists as footballers and cricketers, singers and actors.

This year, in an effort to make the sixth annual ComPANions Sports & Family Day flow smoothly, organisers decided to have the play-offs for football and

cricket every weekend leading to the sports at the panyards of Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars and Clico Sforzata.

ComPANions chief cook and bottle-washer Julie Williams of Sagicor Exodus told Pulse that for the football 5-a-side and 6-a-side cricket tourneys each team must field at least one female. In the six-over cricket games, each member is required to bowl an over.

TODAY (7.30 pm): Small goal competition - Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars pan yard

1. Clico Sforzata vs Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille

2. ECU Pamberi vs Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars (Defending football champion)

3. BWIA Invaders vs National Steel Orchestra

4. HCL Valley Harps vs Sagicor Exodus

TOMORROW (4 pm): Cricket competition - Clico Sforzata pan yard

1. BWIA Invaders vs ECU Pamberi

2. Clico Sforzata vs Sagicor Exocubs

3. Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille vs Solo Pan Knights

4. Longdenville Claytones vs National Steel Orchestra

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