The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) and Minister of Sport Darryl Smith both yesterday expressed sorrow at the death of female youth footballer Abiela Adams in Tobago.

Adams, a pupil of Signal Hill Secondary School was last seen at around 7.30 p.m. on Friday. She was found with her throat slit.

She was member of the national Under-15 team and journeyed to the CONCACAF Under-15 Women’s Championship at Disney, Orlando, USA in 2016.

News of her death prompted TTFA president David John-Williams to say yesterday, “we are deeply saddened by the news of young Abiela’s passing. Our deepest sympathies goes out to her family and we pray that God will grant her family and her close ones the much needed comfort and peace during this time.”

John-Williams added: “The TTFA will make every effort to support the family in this difficult time. Her death comes at a time when women’s football in our country is heading in the right direction. We are all shocked at losing a bright prospect like her.”

Minister Smith was also touched by Adams’ death.

“As a father of three daughters, I cannot imagine the grief Abiela’s family must be going through and I pray for their healing and in the long term, for justice,” he said via press release.

“As the Minister responsible for Sport, I will continue to advocate for and create opportunities for the inclusion and full participation of young persons, particularly women and girls in sport, as Abiela was in both football and cricket. Trinidad and Tobago, we all need to protect our women and girls. The current state of affairs cannot continue.”

T&T Under-15 head coach at the time of the CONCACAF championship, Marlon Charles, also expressed dismay and shock on hearing the news of Adams’ death.

“When you hear news like this, it reflects on home because as someone you have coached, these players become part of you. You think about it as a father, as a parent, as a coach; you reflect on how she would have encountered everything she had to go through. This is really a traumatic situation that has hit us really hard in the football fraternity,” Charles told TTFA Media.

He added: “She had great potential to go on to play for other national teams and would have been part of the upcoming screening for the national Under-17 women’s team. She journeyed over from Tobago for the Under-15 screening last year and made the final selection and turned out to be one our better players and I am certain she would have been back for the Under-17s. These are dreams a young lady surely would have had and it has been taken away, ”he ended.