Latapy seeks over US$4m from TTFF.
By Jada Loutoo (Newsday).
FILED witness statements in dismissed Soca Warriors coach Russell Latapy’s claim against the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF), for more than $4 million in salaries owed, will stand as evidence in chief when the matter goes to trial.
Latapy filed a civil suit against the TTFF for salaries owed to him after he was stripped of his post in April, last year.
Yesterday, the matter was called in the Port-of-Spain High Court before Justice Maureen Rajnauth-Lee who also ordered that the witnesses in the matter are to be present at the trial for cross examination.
She also gave directions for the filing of documents and witness statements in the matter which will come up again before her on September 19.
Latapy’s claim covers outstanding salary in the sum of US$424,278 and damages for wrongful dismissal in the sum of US$402,852.
He also wants the TTFF to pay interest on both sums. He was fired as national coach following the Soca Warriors dismal showing at the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup in Martinique.
Latapy’s claim also alleges that during his term of employment with the TTFF, he was only paid part of his salary for some months and no salary for others.
His claim was filed by attorney Anthony Bullock with senior advocate being Douglas Mendes, SC.
The former national team captain, dubbed the “Little Magician” for his skills on the field, was hired by the TTFF as coach of the 2010 World Cup football team.
His contract, signed on April 15, 2009, covered the period April 15, 2009 to November 30, 2009.
It was agreed that Latapy would be paid a base salary of US$33,571 per month.
The national team’s 2010 World Cup campaign came to an end in November 2009 but the TTFF agreed for him to continue on as coach at the same salary (of US$33,571) until another formal agreement was arrived with the TTFF.
According to Latapy’s claim, in March 2010, TTFF special adviser Jack Warner and the federation’s general secretary Richard Groden entered into an oral agreement with him that he would serve as national coach of the Soca Warriors for two years.
The sacked coach said term of the oral agreement was that he would continue to be paid the same salary and there was no provision for termination of the agreement, by either party, by the provision of notice or otherwise.
Latapy said he performed the duties of coach, according to the agreement with the TTFF, until he was terminated on April 8, 2011, before the end of the two-year contract.
He claimed he was wrongfully dismissed and suffered damages for 12 months. Derek Ali is representing the TTFF.