Eye on the Caribbean

Soccer: Caribbean team makes it to Germany in 2006

Posted on Thursday 17 November 2005

- Trinidad and Tobago beat Bahrain to qualify for World Cup Finals for first

The government of Trinidad and Tobago has declared a national holiday, after
the national team beat Bahrain 1-0 to qualify for the finals of the World Cup
for the first time ever. Instead of going to work, the government called on
citizens to go to the airport to welcome the triumphant team home

There was dancing in the streets of Trinidad and Tobago after the team
qualified for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. In the capital, Port of Spain, people
waved national flags and danced alongside steel-band and percussion sections to
celebrate the historic victory.

Dennis Lawrence, the 6ft 7in defender who plays for Wrexham in the English
league, headed in Dwight Yorke’s corner 49 minutes into the second leg of a
play-off against Bahrain in Manama to secure a 2-1 aggregate victory for the Soca

- The Caribbean nation will be the smallest competitior in Germany with a
population of around 1.3 million

After the game, Dwight Yorke, the 34-year-old former Manchester United
striker, who now plays for Sydney in Australia, said, "I don’t know how to describe
my feelings and I don’t know what to say. I must phone my mother first because
she is back in Tobago and she will be going crazy about this. After that, I
will have to enjoy a party." (sources: BBC and the UK Independent)

Manno Sanon, the star player from the Haitian national team that contested
the 1974 World Cup Finals in what was then West Germany, spoke of his delight at
Trinidad and Tobago’s qualification. Sanon said, "I watched the game live on
television with a group that included someone from Trinidad, and all of us
were rooting for Trinidad to win."

Sanon, who scored in Haiti’s first game against Italy in the 1974 tournament,
says that the 2006 finals will be a stiff test for the Trinidad and Tobago
team. "It’s going to be hard for them there in Germany. We going to have to wait
and see in what
group they will be drawn."

He hopes that the Trinidad and Tobago’s success in qualifying may have a
positive spin-off for the game in Haiti, "I hope that the people who are in charge
in our country will take it as an example for a new vision of sport in Haiti."