The Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) applied to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) almost two months ago for permission to host a match as part of the Islands Cup Caravan with some international super-stars being delayed once again.
The TTSL president Keith Look Loy finds himself in another wrangle affair with the TTFA's delay-tactic.
The TTSL wants to bring Brazilians super-stars Ronaldinho and Rivaldo. Italy's Luca Toni, former France internationals Florent Malouda and Djibril Cissé to Trinidad in October for a gala football match against a local TTSL All-Star team.
But there is one hurdle standing in their way, the TTFA. The TTSL needs permission from the governing body to host such event and there are no other alternative route because the TTFA must sanction the venture.
Planning to bring these big name players is something that needs to be organised early to make sure the players are booked, In addition, it will allow local organisers the opportunity to arrange tickets and venue simultaneously. Now with the TTFA slow approach to approve the gala local football, fans hope of seeing these super-stars in action could be crestfallen.
“They have scheduled FA Cup for that [15 October] date,” Look Loy told Wired868, “which shows that they have no interest in granting our application because we applied for that date a long time ago, way before they did up the fixtures.”
Look Loy stated that the TTSL are set to receive TT$100,000 from CFTL for the planned gala showdown. Of this, he said, TT$50,000 will go towards players and staff chosen for the ‘All-Star’ game while the remaining TT$50,000 will go straight into the TTSL’s coffers.
The new TTSL were formed in December 2016 when 13 clubs decided to take fate into their own hands. Things propelled at a swift rate and by January 2017 the TTSL had submitted every documentation requested by TTFA to launch the new Super League. It took 46 days for the governing body to acknowledge receipt of the application, which occurred on February 23.
After months of back and forth entreats from Keith Look Loy they finally got the go-ahead in May. A month before the league kicked-off which left clubs scrambling to get things in order for their opening games.
Thank goodness Look Loy had planned ahead and behind the scenes as he had expected a delay from the TTFA and the transition were successful for the start of the new season.
While the current Professional League struggles financially, the TTSL seems to be heading in a upward position, at least for now. Caribbean Football Trust has already injected TT$550,000 into TTSL. A two years sponsorship deal with global sporting company, Umbro at a tune of $100,000-plus equipment deal and a US$25,000 donation from TTFA.
Guaya United, has a support base which dwarfs that of most Pro League teams while Siparia United, Petrotrin Palo Seco, Matura United, Bethel United and champions FC Santa Rosa also boasted of getting hundreds of fans out for important match-ups.
The TTSL is one of the bigger leagues in the country after the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) with 19 Clubs including 2 teams from Tobago. While the Pro-League only has 10 teams and none from the sister-isle.
The TTFA normally does things secretly and without rumination to what anyone thinks or feel. They have hosted many international stars as well and seems like nothing else should function without them. Anything football related in the country they must have some control and power over it, not to mention staff members and coaches are just given position without proper plebiscite.
In April 2017, the TTFA hosted FIFA President Gianni Infantino to make it's historic event of the opening of a National Technical Development Centre in Couva. Former Argentina international Pablo Caesar Aimar and former Colombia national team forward Juan Pablo Angel appeared in the goodwill football match at the Ato Boldon Stadium between a TTFA/FIFA team and a Government/SPoRTT outfit.
In July 2017 through an initiative led by Tony Lee and I95.5FM in conjunction with the TTFA hosted exhibition match in Laventille.
The match included former Brazilian World Cup winning captain Cafu alongside former Portugal international Maniche. Teaming up with former Jamaican internationals Ian Goodison, Gregory Messam, Ricardo Gardner and ex-Grenada player Jason Roberts among other local heroes like Dennis Lawrence, Stern John, Russell Latapy and Carlos Edwards.
On August 9th the TTSL hosted its inaugural election at the Ato Boldon Stadium and Keith Look Loy defeated Ryan Ottley in the race for the TTSL presidency. Look Loy is now set to take his seat on the TTFA Board of Directors when the umbrella body holds its next EGM and will surely have this work cut out for him under the current TTFA administration.
Look Loy: TTFA misinterpreting own constitution to frustrate TTSL gala All-Star affair.
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) and Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) have adopted adversarial positions, thus far, on the latter’s staging of an All-Star match on 15 October 2017, which should involve celebrated retired football stars like Brazil’s Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Cafu.
The following are releases from both football bodies over the past 24 hours:
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association wishes to state that contrary to information being relayed to the public by the Trinidad and Tobago Super League, the FA does not have the authority to sanction the All Star Game to be staged by the League in October 2017.
The FA wishes to further confirm that it has in fact made a request to FIFA to have the Match sanctioned and is currently awaiting their approval. The FA will also like to place on record that it was only on the 29th of August 2017 it received from the TTSL information requested since early August by the FA to support the TTSL’s application to send to FIFA.
The TTFA will in no way attempt to stall an event of this magnitude which is intended to aid the promotion of the sport in Trinidad and Tobago and the region. The FA will continue to support the development of the TTSL.
The relevant articles of the TTFA’s Constitution are listed below for your information:
Article 78: International Matches and Competitions
The Authority for organising international matches and competitions between representative teams and between Leagues, Club teams and/or scratch teams lies solely with FIFA, the Confederation (s) and/or the Association (s) concerned. No such match or competition shall take place without the prior permission of FIFA, the Confederation (s), and/or the Association (s) concerned in accordance with the FIFA Regulations Governing International Matches.
The TTFA is bound to comply with the International Match calendar compiled by FIFA.
Article 79: Contacts
TTFA, its Members, Players, Officials and match and players’ agents shall not play matches or make sporting contact with Associations that are not Members of FIFA or with Provisional Members of a Confederation without the approval of FIFA.
The TTFA issued a media release yesterday in the matter of the request by the Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) for permission to host an international match. In said media release, TTFA quotes Article 78 and Article 79 of its constitution.
Regarding Article 78 above, TTSL is of the view that it is patently clear that the language of the statute—“… and/OR the Association…”—enables TTFA to sanction, if it so wishes, the event for which TTSL has requested permission to host.
Regarding Article 79 above, TTSL does not understand why TTFA is resorting to this statute. The event in question is being promoted by Caribbean Football Trust Limited (CFTL), which is a recognised entity in Caribbean football, and involves two matches:
1) a match between TTSL All Stars and Jamaica Premier League All Stars, i.e. a match involving players from two FIFA-affiliated leagues;
and 2) a promotional match between Trinbago Oilers and a World XI, which involves only retired international stars.
In its media release, TTFA also claims to have received information from TTSL only on 29 August. For clarity, I provide a timeline of the unfolding of developments in this matter:
TTSL’s request for permission to host an international match on 16 September was tendered to TTFA on 13 June—almost three months ago.
After several requests by TTSL for an update, on 9 August, TTFA requested a list of the foreign players to participate in the proposed event, which list was provided by TTSL on 15 August.
On 15 August, TTSL also advised TTFA of a change of date from 16 September to 15 October—which CFTL advised TTSL was necessitated by the delay in the grant of permission by TTFA and the consequent need for CFTL to renegotiate the availability of certain foreign players, all of which affected the marketing of the event.
Since 15 August, TTFA has issued fixtures for the 2017 FA Cup, which include matches scheduled for 15 October, the very date requested by TTSL for its proposed international event.
In conclusion, TTSL is of the firm view that TTFA has immediate and constitutional authority to sanction the proposed event.
Further, the continuing delay by TTFA in sanctioning the event, and the Association’s decision to schedule a conflicting event on that date, are a threat to an international event proposed by TTSL for the benefit of local players, clubs and football.
TTSL awaits further developments and remains hopeful that TTFA will do the right thing and assist TTSL in the promotion of our great sport.