Sports commentator Selwyn Melville may soon be smiling all the way to the bank after the board of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) agreed he was the one who coined the phrase “Soca Warriors.”
It will also bring an end to years of battle between the parties, dating back to 2005, during the qualifiers for the 2006 FIFA World Cup that was held in Germany.
Melville, when contacted yesterday, confirmed he met with board members—second vice president Joanne Salazar, first vice president Ewing Davis, Tobago Football Association (TFA) president Anthony Moore and assistant general secretary Michelle Lynch among others, on May 2, at the office of the TTFA, Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, where an agreement was reached on the matter.
The meeting concluded with both parties agreeing that the football association, which is being led by David John-Williams, will contact Melville at another date.
Melville refused to comment on how much he would like to receive for the “Soca Warriors” name, but it is understood the association has since been considering two options of settlement.
The first includes going through the route of Intellectual Property Right (IPR), which among others, would enable it to create a partnership with Melville for the use of the “Soca Warriors” name in the future. The other, according to the board member, could see the embattled football association paying out Melville for his work.
The sports commentator said he has had to endure a period of hardship from former special adviser to the then T&T Football Federation (TTFF) Jack Warner, who refused to acknowledge him as the one who coined the phrase. Later, he was also pulled off a radio station and banned from commentary as the station management also did not accept him as the one who came up with the phrase, although it had been registered.
He praised the current football administration, saying: “After dealing with the Jack Warner administration and seeing how the Raymond Tim Kee-led administration failed to honour its promises, I felt that the best chance of this reaching a resolution had to be from the present administration. To be honest, the mere fact that they have met with me is a positive sign,” Melville said yesterday.
A few years ago Melville brought down 2,000 Soca Warriors brand watches, which he explained was to send a message that the “Soca Warriors” brand had belonged to him and will soon be in his sports store. They were given out, free of charge, to students who sat the Common Entrance then, but this stopped to allow the matter to be resolved.
“I didn’t want to be bringing in items and the matter was still unsure,” Melville said.
He added: “Before I can bring in anything it would depend on the decision of the TTFA. If they decide to create a partnership with me then both parties will have to sit down and agree on what percentage both will get and what the brand will look like. On the other hand, if they decide to pay me off, then it will be all theirs, or they can decide not to accept the ‘Soca Warriors’ brand and do some rebranding of their own,” he pointed out.
He ended by saying: “Whichever way it goes I will still be a happy man, in the context of the matter finally coming to an end after so long.”