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COMMISSIONER of Police (CoP) Gary Griffith says if the United T&T Football Association (TTFA), led by William Wallace, continues to fight world governing body Fifa in court, the development of football in T&T will be affected. He is asking for the matter to be resolved through mediation.

"I have the world of respect for Mr Wallace and his slate, and I do believe that they have a major role to play in the development of our football in the near future. In fact, this was endorsed by them being appointed to do just that in the last election," Griffith said in a media release.

Griffith believes T&T football will come out on the losing end.

"The end cannot justify the means by the present course of action, because as with any mission, one cannot just look at the short-term result, but instead look towards the domino effect, as it relates to what would trigger another reaction by Fifa. This is what any good leader, manager, administrator, player, supporter or patriot of football would do in this situation."

The United TTFA is currently in a court battle against Fifa.

On March 17, Fifa removed former TTFA president Wallace and his executive from office (deputies Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Joseph Sam Phillip). They had been elected in November 2019.

Fifa appointed a normalisation committee led by local businessman Robert Hadad to run local football for two years, saying the decision was made because of the association’s financial woes and “massive debt.”

In April, the ousted executive made an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland, saying the decision was a breach of the TTFA’s constitution. Wallace and his team then felt they would not get a "fair hearing" from CAS and appealed to the local High Court on May 18.

On August 13, Justice Carol Gobin said that the matter must be resolved in T&T, but days later, Fifa insisted it must be resolved by CAS.

T&T footballers will not get the opportunity to represent their country if the battle continues, according to the CoP.

"Any club or zone supporting the present stance to take Fifa to court is virtually agreeing that we are prepared to have all of our national teams shut down, and banned from participating in all competitive and friendly international tournaments and matches, inclusive of the upcoming World Cup and Concacaf Gold Cup."

Giving more details on how he thinks the current fight against Fifa will affect local football, Griffith said, "This would also mean massive loss of revenue from several quarters, inclusive of the same Fifa, as well as sponsorship, and support from the private and public sector, which we cannot swallow at this time, especially with the massive debt that the normalisation committee is presently trying to pay off...the present direction would just add fuel to the fire and sink us further."

Griffith said players in their late 20s and early 30s are "looking forward to what may be their possible final chance to represent their country" in top-level international football.

He added that "several young players in that squad (are) now looking to establish their professional and international careers...we must not be dream killers for young people in our country."

Griffith said the football fans in T&T want to see T&T football rise to the pinnacle of the sport again.

"You do not do all it takes to win a battle, just to lose a war. Nobody wins if we go down the road via the local court, especially for our country, for our football development, and for the dreams of many, not just players, but the hundreds of thousands of supporters who would lose the opportunity to dream of one day seeing a repeat of what we achieved in 2006."

The 2006 World Cup in Germany is the only time T&T qualified for the Fifa World Cup.

In early July, Fifa considered resolving the situation with United TTFA through mediation, but that option fell through. Griffith is hoping the parties will consider that option again.

"Let us rectify our differences via mediation and respect for each other, which can then become a win-win for all. I am confident that Mr Wallace and United TTFA, Mr Hadad and the normalisation committee, Fifa, Concacaf and every football-loving citizen in this country would prefer (that)."


ABOVE SOURCE: T&T Newsday

RELATED NEWS

Griffith: We must not be ‘dream killers’, United TTFA should end court action against Fifa.
Wired868.com.


“[…] Nobody wins if we go down the road of the local court, especially for our country, for our football development, and for the dreams of many—not just players, but the hundreds of thousands of supporters who would lose the opportunity to dream of one day seeing a repeat of what we achieved in 2006.

“Now is a time for us to make a decision to find a way to rectify this situation via dialogue, compromise and mutual respect between all relevant parties…”

The following is a letter to the editor from Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith on the legal impasse between the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s (TTFA) elected officers and the Fifa-appointed normalisation committee:

The future for our nation’s football is at a crossroad, and very soon some would be compelled to make a decision towards which direction it goes.

Being heavily involved in the sport for years, I have observed that our biggest internal obstacle has been the continued reluctance for everyone to agree to the common goal of putting the sport development first instead of the slate that they support. Whereby, election after election, if those who are appointed as president, executive, or head coach, are not in their favour, the mantra has been to destroy, discredit, and undermine—instead of all just circling the wagon and supporting those duly elected.

This however is now an external issue and far bigger than the usual internal bickering that we have seen with our football for decades. The United TTFA has decided to take on the might of Fifa on a stance of principle by going to court over their decision to remove a duly elected executive.

Being a previous manager of several Defence Force sport teams, and now police commissioner, I am aware that both services try to avoid the internal football politics. Both teams simply have their silent vote and say little.

Unfortunately, this is not a time to remain silent, as it is the future of our football that can be affected, and it may take years to recover if we go a certain direction.

I have the world of respect for Mr William Wallace and his slate, and I do believe that they have a major role to play in the development of our football in the near future. In fact, this was endorsed by them being appointed to do just that in the last election.

However, the end cannot justify the means by the present course of action. Because as with any mission, one cannot just look at the short-term result, but instead  must look towards the domino effect, as it relates to what would trigger another reaction by Fifa.

This is what any good leader, manager, administrator, player, supporter or patriot of football would do in this situation.

Any club or zone supporting the present stance to take Fifa to court is virtually agreeing that we are prepared to have all of our national teams shut down and banned from participating in all competitive and friendly international tournaments and matches, inclusive of the upcoming World Cup and Concacaf Gold Cup.

This would also mean massive loss of revenue from several quarters, inclusive of the same Fifa, as well as sponsorship and support from the private and public sector, which we cannot swallow at this time—especially with the massive debt that the normalisation committee is presently trying to pay off of over 100 million TT.

The present direction would just add fuel to the fire and sink us further.

With the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and Concacaf Gold Cup drawing near, there are dozens of players in their late 20s and early 30s who were looking forward to what may be their final chance to represent their country at such a level. There are also several young players in that squad now looking to establish their professional and international careers.

Additionally, this could also cause the suspension of our national youth teams from international matches and tournaments, hence affecting hundreds of other young players.

We must not be dream killers for young people in our country.

I, more than most, am always prepared to fight for what I believe in, against the odds. But when I fight, it is for a purpose. You do not do all it takes to win a battle, just to lose a war.

Nobody wins if we go down the road of the local court, especially for our country, for our football development, and for the dreams of many—not just players, but the hundreds of thousands of supporters who would lose the opportunity to dream of one day seeing a repeat of what we achieved in 2006.

Now is a time for us to make a decision to find a way to rectify this situation via dialogue, compromise and mutual respect between all relevant parties. Because the present agenda to fight a war with Fifa in  a local court may not be the best way, as everyone would lose, which no-one wants—inclusive of Fifa, United TTFA and the many football players and supporters in this country.

After all the flexed muscles and shots fired across the bow from all sides, I speak on behalf of the TTPS football team by asking that we all agree continuing this war via the courts would not help anyone.

Let us rectify our differences via mediation and respect for each other, which can then become a win-win for all.

I am confident that Mr Wallace and United TTFA, Mr Robert Hadad and the normalisation Committee, Fifa, Concacaf and every football loving citizen in this country would prefer this.

A mediator that all parties can agree to and obviously trust, would be the first step to have us move in the right direction.

Editor’s Note: The United TTFA slate has approached Fifa for mediation on multiple occasions. Each time, the global football body has refused.

Griffith calls on Wallace to re-think his stance.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).


Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith has come out against United T&T Football Association with their fight against FIFA to overturn a decision to appoint a Normalisation Committee to manage local football.

Griffith, who was a former manager at the T&T Defence Force football team, in a release on Monday said while he has the world of respect for United TTFA president William Wallace and his team, which was endorsed generally by them being voted in as administrators after last year's TTFA elections, he noted that the end cannot justify the means, by their present course of action, as with any mission one cannot just look at the short-term result, but instead look towards the domino effect, as it relates to what would trigger another reaction by FIFA, saying “This is what any good leader, manager, administrator, player, supporter or patriot of football would do in this situation.”

According to Griffith, a former hockey player, wrote, “Any club or Zone supporting the present stance to take FIFA to court, is virtually agreeing that we are prepared to have all of our National teams shut down, and banned from participating in all competitive and friendly International Tournaments and matches, inclusive of the upcoming World Cup and CONCACAF Gold Cup.”

He added, “This would also mean a massive loss of revenue from several quarters, inclusive of the same FIFA, as well as sponsorship, and support from the private and public sector, which we cannot swallow at this time, especially with the massive debt that the Normalization Committee is presently trying to pay off of over 100 million TT. The present direction would just add fuel to the fire and sink us further.”

He continued, “Additionally, with the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers and CONCACAF Gold Cup drawing near, there are dozens of players in their late 20s/ early 30s, who were looking forward to what may be their possible final chance to represent their country at such a level, as well as several young players in that squad now looking to establish their professional and international careers. Additionally, this could also cause the suspension of our National Youth Teams from International matches and Tournaments, hence affecting hundreds of other young players.”

Football's world governing body FIFA and the TTFA have clashed over the removal of the TTFA executive- Wallace and vice presidents Clynt Taylor, Susa Joseph-Warrick and Joseph Sam Phillip from office after just three months, and replaced them with a normalization committee which comprises chairman Robert Hadad, Judy Daniel and Nigel Romano.

Wallace and his team took their concern to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne Switzerland before later going to the High Court in Port-of-Spain, citing lack of support at the CAS. And two weeks ago they celebrated an early-round victory when Justice Carol Gobin ruled in their favour to have the High Court as the jurisdiction to settle the dispute, although the FIFA Statutes state that Member Associations were not to take the federation to their local court, or else face sanctions.

FIFA in an almost immediate response said the country (TT) will face sanction.

Griffith made it clear we must not be dream-killers for the young people in our country, saying “Nobody wins if we go down the road via the local court, especially for our country, for our football development, and for the dreams of many, not just players, but the hundreds of thousands of supporters who would lose the opportunity to dream of one day seeing a repeat of what we achieved in 2006.”

He said now is the time for us to make a decision to find a way to rectify this situation via dialogue, compromise and mutual respect between all relevant parties because the present agenda to fight a war with the FIFA in a local court, may not be the best way as everyone will lose.”

Griffith release triggered an immediate response from Keith Look Loy, the driving force behind the formation of the United TTFA, who in an effort to clear the air, said the truth is that his team has written to the FIFA about six times, from the time the normalization committee was decided up to the ruling of Justice Gobin and noted that Griffith idea is not a new one.

He explained that in spite of all their attempts at mediation, the FIFA has consistently refused to respond to them. “We are not the bad guys here. We went the CAS route and FIFA refused to pay its share of the CAS fee. We came to Trinidad and they say they will not recognize the court, they lost the case. Now they're saying they're going to a second court, though they say they will never recognize a T&T court. We have been attempting to get mediation since March, we are not the bad guys here, we are playing by the rules.”