Letter to TTFA Membership
On October 25, the membership of football in T&T will decide on the way forward for the sport, coming on the heels of the T&T Football Association’s (TTFA) triumph in the court, and a FIFA suspension that has caused tension among the football fraternity.
Following on a promise by TTFA president William Wallace, a letter was sent out to the membership for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) that will have on the agenda, “The way Forward- FIFA Suspension”.
Keith Look Loy, the outspoken TTFA member who resigned on Friday, said the membership “will be faced with choices: to support the Wallace administration in its other legal battles (in the Appeal Court and in CAS): to call on Wallace to end the legal campaign: to call on him and the officers to resign or seek to remove them; to call on the government to amend Act 10 of 1982 to allow for FIFA intervention in TTFA governance; and to call on FIFA to enter T&T to exert control over TTFA”.
However, Kieron Edwards, president of the Eastern Football Association (EFA) of T&T, in an immediate response, called for there to be additions to the agenda, namely: the removal of the current TTFA executive which includes the presidents and all the vice presidents, and the immediate installation of the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee to be the new executive.
To justify his claim, Edwards, the initiator of a petition that was designed to force the TTFA to drop the court matter against the FIFA a couple of months ago, outlined 11 reasons for his claim, including the fact that under the United TTFA, the country was suspended for the first time in its history.
Following the suspension on Republic Day, the FIFA issued a condition to which the TTFA can regain entry into football’s world membership and it includes - aligning its Statutes with that of the FIFA and totally dropping all court-related matters involving the FIFA.
Upon the suspension, the United TTFA instructed their attorneys to resume the court battle for leadership of TT football, challenge the suspension in the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) and filing an Injunctive Relief in the CAS. Since that on September 25, the TTFA was given a date of December 18 to meet the FIFA criteria if the suspension has to be lifted.
Edwards believes his call for the return of the normalisation committee, which was headed by businessman Robert Hadad, as well as the removal of the Wallace-led executive, will help achieve this.
Among the 11 reasons to justify Edwards’ claim, are:
1. On September 24, 2020 (TTFA) has been suspended with immediate effect and until further notice by FIFA. Consequently, the TTFA loses all its membership right with immediate effect. TTFA representatives and club teams are therefore no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted. This also means that, as of September 24, 2020, neither the TTFA nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programmes, courses or training from FIFA or the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). This suspension was a result of Mr William Wallace instituting legal action against FIFA when the agreed procedure was to take the matter to CAS. This action also contravenes Article 15 part b of the TTFA constitution:
2. The president and his associates known as the United TTFA elected to take this action without seeking the approval of the board of directors or the members of TTFA and the action resulted in the suspension of TTFA and by extension T&T. The TTFA constitution states: “Article1 Name, headquarters, legal form one, the national football federation of the Republic of T&T shall be called the T&T Football Association (TTFA). TTFA is a private organisation of an associative nature in compliance with the relevant legislation of the Republic of T&T and incorporated by Act of Parliament (#17 of 1982). It is formed for an unlimited period. 2 Its headquarters is located in Port-of-Spain:
3. TTFA is a member of FIFA, CONCACAF and CFU. Therefore Mr Wallace and his associates known as the United TTFA has perpetuated the expulsion of the TTFA from FIFA through the violations of FIFA statutes and as such he as president has not upheld the constitution of TTFA and he should be removed:
4. FIFA has stipulated that the suspension of TTFA would only be removed if the current court case is withdrawn, the Normalisation Committed is recognised as the legitimate executive of TTFA and the current TTFA constitution is amended to agree with the FIFA constitution. Therefore, for the suspension to be lifted the current executive must be removed and the Normalisation Committee appointed as the new Executive of TTFA:
5. The TTFA constitution sites the reasons for the expulsion of a TTFA member. Article 15 states: “Expulsion 1 The general meeting may expel a Member if: a) fulfil to fulfill its financial obligations towards TTFA; b) it seriously violates the Statutes, regulations, directives or decisions of FIFA, CONCACAF, CFU and TTFA; c) it brings a dispute to an Ordinary Court, except in cases where the FIFA, CONCACAF or TTFA regulations or binding legal provisions specifically provide for or stipulate recourse to Ordinary Courts; 2 The presence of a majority (more than 50 per cent) of the members eligible to vote is necessary for an expulsion to be valid, and the motion for expulsion must be adopted by a three-quarter majority of the valid votes cast.” Therefore Mr Wallace and his associates known as the United TTFA are clearly in contravention of the TTFA constitution Article 15 parts b and c and can be expelled under these sections. 3:
(6) Mr Wallace has admitted freely in the press that he has signed multimillion-dollar contracts in excess of amounts approved by of the board of directors. He also admitted signing contracts that he specifically hid from the TTFA board Of Directors and this is clearly incompetence on the part of the president and he should be removed accordingly:
(7) Without the funding from FIFA, football in T&T would be greatly retarded with FIFA normally funding T&T national teams in international competitions. In addition, the government of T&T has also stated that if TTFA is suspended they would also withdraw their financial support for TTFA and local football. Therefore, TTFA cannot administer football in T&T without the financial support of FIFA and the government of T&T:
(8.) If the suspension by FIFA is not lifted then T&T would be unable to compete in the Gold Cup, World Cup and all other international football tournaments. In addition, our referees would be unable to officiate in international tournaments:
(9) The president and his associates known as the United TTFA have blatantly ignored the wishes of the members of TTFA as a significant majority of members have communicated informally with him to cease the court action and he has refused to do so:
(10) The Prime Minister and Minister of Sports have also tried to persuade Mr Wallace and his associates known as the United TTFA to cease their court action and to comply with the requests of FIFA but here too they have ignored the highest authority in T&T and so they must be removed in order for football to survive in our twin-island state:
(11) Mr Wallace has also failed to exercise his duties as president. Article 39 of the TTFA constitution states that the duties of the president are as follows: “President 1 - The president represents TTFA legally.