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28
Thu, May

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THE EDITOR: I have great respect for Arthur Suite’s views on matters of football as he has been in the trenches and has contributed immensely to the game in T&T, and clearly is someone who is interested primarily in the development of the game here.

Notwithstanding the relevance and validity of the points he has raised in his letter of May 12, headed “Transparency vital from FIFA in TT,” I disagree with his conclusion that all should be realistic and capitulate to the wishes and action taken by FIFA.

I disagree because the installation of the normalisation committee is a plaster on a badly infected sore. The issue is not only finance. It is about having an executive that has been properly elected and respected by the clubs, and allowing them to build the capacity to, once and for all, run the institution in a way that it can change and survive in the long run, and rid itself of a deep-seated culture of corruption and mismanagement.

This brings me to the arrowhead of my disagreement with Suite. Why did FIFA wait till after the duly constituted elections (four months after) to take this course of action? Why did it not do so during the tenure of the predecessors who brought the association to its knees? Or for that matter Raymond Tim Kee (RIP) or many of the others?

The answer is clear, at least to people who have been familiar with the TTFA’s cloned FIFA culture. It is because the winners were not the ones FIFA was backing.

The TTFA has long had in place a culture of facilitating the appointment of those who have supported officials irrespective of their capabilities etc.

This is a FIFA thing well ingrained. This is about having personnel who can guarantee a vote at FIFA’s congress.

To allow this to happen would be retrograde and damaging to the advances made in ensuring proper elections and the installation of capable and willing people. It would be an infusion of the corrupt culture that has the association where it is today. The financial problems are a symptom of this cultural disease.

The proper thing for FIFA to do is to work with the elected executive to achieve the objectives it deems appropriate, assuming its motives are bona fide. The country should rally around the elected officials to achieve this, given the points raised by Suite about FIFA’s intrusive power.

As a footnote, attention should be paid to increasing moves to have the FIFA president investigated.

BRIAN GHENT
Maraval


SOURCE: T&T Newsday