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By ESPN Staff
Dec 15, 2005

Trinidad & Tobago rue loss of Brazil friendly

LONDON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Trinidad and Tobago will play at least four friendly internationals, all away, before next year's World Cup but have lost their prestigious home friendly against Brazil, the country's soccer federation said on Thursday.

Trinidad, looking forward to their first appearance in the finals, will visit Wales on March 1 and also play Norway, Hungary and the Czech Republic -- the only other finalists of the four.

The Wales match will take place in London, either at the home of Queens Park Rangers or Tottenham Hotspur, the federation's website said.

However, a home match against Brazil scheduled for March 29 has been cancelled, costing the would-be hosts around 4 million Trinidad and Tobago dollars ($636,600), the federation calculated.

Under pressure from leading European clubs, FIFA has reduced its international calendar for next year's friendlies and, because of the subsequent unavailability of players, Brazil withdrew.

'We had already received the commitment from Brazil that all their players would have been available,' Jack Warner, special advisor to the Trinidad and Tobago federation and head of CONCACAF told the federation's website.

'However, because it is not a FIFA-stipulated date for friendlies, the clubs will not be compelled to release their players.

'We are the only team who qualified for the World Cup who will not see their players in a home match before the World Cup begins, ' Warner said, adding that 17 of Trinidad and Tobago's players are based abroad.

The squad will spend May 6-22 in a training camp in Austria, during which time they will play Norway, Hungary and the Czechs.