June 29, 2022, 04:45:40 PM

Author Topic: FIFA appoints normalisation committee for Trinidad and Tobago football  (Read 66367 times)

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Offline Flex

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Why not TT asks Look Loy.
By Narissa Fraser (Newsday).


KEITH LOOK Loy, technical committee chairman of the TT Football Association (TTFA) has described as cynical and hypocritical FIFA's agreement to “bail out” the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) of its US$10 million debt.

According to Zimbabwean media, the world governing body of football approved a “package” for ZIFA that is expected to be released in June under the FIFA Forward Programme.

This is in addition to the US$1 million grant FIFA issues to the association annually.

The Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe said, “FIFA have approved two of the eight project applications, which ZIFA tendered, under the FIFA Forward Programme.

“The other project which, was approved and will receive funding from Zurich, is the association’s restructuring.”

The Herald report said the project aims to “professionalise” the association, and that auditors are currently verifying figures with organisations and individuals owed by ZIFA.

Look Loy finds this questionable since FIFA removed the former TTFA executive in March and appointed a normalisation committee owing to “low financial management methods” and “a massive debt.”

The TTFA currently has a debt of approximately $50 million — most of which was accumulated during the tenure of its former president David John-Williams.

Look Loy is now asking why the same privilege is not being extended to TT.

Speaking with Newsday on Saturday evening, he said, “The debt situation is the same. Why is Wallace being punished for someone else's debt while in Zimbabwe their debt is being cleared?

“It is increasingly clear that FIFA's action in the case of TTFA is arbitrary and punitive. It is increasingly clear that, as United TTFA has said, that FIFA is seeking to impose its so-called normalisation committee, not to clear Association debt but to shroud its origin and FIFA's own complicity in (the committee's) creation.”

Represented by attorney Dr Emir Crowne, embattled TTFA president William Wallace and his team appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

But, after indicating that they felt CAS was being unfair, they recently appealed to TT’s High Court.

Look Loy said the Government and the TT Olympic Committee should call on FIFA to “explain its transparently unequal treatment of the Wallace administration in light of this revelation.”

Several staff members have not been able to receive payments for months as neither Wallace nor Hadad – chairman of the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee – have access to the TTFA’s bank accounts.

For Hadad, it is because of the TTFA constitution and for Wallace, it is because of his removal by FIFA.

In addition to Hadad, the committee consists of deputy chairperson Judy Daniel and committee member Nigel Romano.

FIFA had told Newsday, by e-mail, the members were chosen through a “series of interviews” with FIFA and Concacaf representatives.

It said two more members will be soon appointed.

When asked if the members were being paid, FIFA never responded.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Silent FIFA..TTFA lawyer suggests power-sharing as possibility
By Ian Prescott (T&T Express)


FIFA has not responded.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has not yet responded to notice sent on Wednesday, May 19, of a case brought against the international football governing body by ousted executives of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).

“All they have to indicate is that we (FIFA) will file an appearance, and these are our attorneys at law,” stated advocate attorney Dr. Emir Crowne, in an interview on the Jamaica-based Sportsmax Zone programme on Friday.

Barrister Matthew Gayle and Crowne, are acting on behalf of “United TTFA,” comprising embattled TTFA president William Wallace and his vice-presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Sam Phillip. The former executive is fighting its replacement by a FIFA-appointed normalisation committee headed by local businessman Robert Hadad. The New City Chambers legal team served FIFA notice of it’s intention to take it to the Trinidad and Tobago High Court. United TTFA gave the international body eight days to respond.

Apart from an automated response, FIFA has not acknowledged the correspondence.

“If they don’t do that, the case will proceed in divorce (without FIFA),” stated Crowne. “It would be very odd if they didn’t do that.”

Crowne also theorised that apart from a potentially nasty court battle, mediation is a possible solution for both parties.

“Quite frankly I haven’t floated the idea of a mediated course with members of the TTFA,” the attorney said, “but there are some outcomes that I am thinking about...and this is only quite general.”

With such a scenario, Crowne said there may be a power-sharing option between “United TTFA” and FIFA.

“That may involve a combination of the normalisation committee and the appointed executive,”Crowne said, “I don’t know.”

“But there may be a path forward, and at the end of the day, relationships are preserved and Trinidad and Tobago football comes out better, as opposed to those people on the sidelines who are saying they think that because you’re standing up for your rights, Trinidad and Tobago football with inevitably be destroyed.”

Crowne argued:“It can’t be right that FIFA could act this way and when a Federation stands up to them, all of the football pundits say, well it’s FIFA, let them do what they want. That’s can’t to be right.”

Even if United TTFA is victorious in the Port of Spain High Court, how does it reconcile with a world body it has taken legal action against and will still depend on for funding? Crowne expected FIFA to be mature regardless of the outcome of the local court case.

“If FIFA is anything like it purports to be, an organisationally complex entity, it will abide by whatever the decision is in the end.

“I suspect that FIFA has seen enough of these battles. It is not like they are going to hold it over their (TTFA) heads and will respect whatever judgement arises from it.

“If we get down that path,” Crowne stated.
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Offline asylumseeker

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pull stones, in my reading, there isn't vacillation. It must be appreciated that  the matter is a fluid matter. There is no direct line.  As such, approaches will change. That's par for the course.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 11:02:15 AM by asylumseeker »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/BpgNkEpfdws" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/BpgNkEpfdws</a>

Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

Offline pull stones

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pull stones, in my reading, there isn't vacillation. It must be appreciated that  the matter is a fluid matter. There is no direct line.  As such, approaches will change. That's part for the course.
no pun intended big brother but some of those words you’re using are a little to sophisticated and I’m not familiar, so please give me in layman’s terms what you’re actually saying, as this ttfa and FIFA thing is driving me  to the limit, I really don’t know how much of this nonsense I could take.

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FIFA in the dock
« Reply #454 on: May 24, 2020, 08:36:32 AM »
FIFA in the dock
By Philippe Auclair (josimarfootball.com)


New information suggests that FIFA decided to “normalise” the newly elected board at the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association after just two months. If this indeed turns out to be the case, Gianni Infantino could face real trouble.

In other words, this would be proof that FIFA’s decision to ‘normalise’ the TTFA had been taken before the governing body had any elements at its disposal to evaluate the performance of the new administration, and been able to establish its incompetence or worse. To the TTFA’s administration, this would amount to a confirmation that this decision had been politically motivated, both as a punishment for the usurpers of the previous regime and as a means to regain control over a turbulent FA which had made it clear from the word ‘go’ that it intended to investigate how a $2.5m FIFA grant had been – in its eyes – dilapidated, with FIFA turning a blind eye to the misuse of its money. It would make FIFA’s position untenable.

High Court
The email from Trinidadian barrister Matthew Gayle dropped in Alexandre Gros’s and Sofia Malizia’s inboxes mid-afternoon on 19 May. They were advised, as was FIFA’s litigation service, that an order had been served on them in the case that the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association (TTFA) had opened against the governing body at the T&T High Court of Justice.

“Kindly note that the claimant is making a claim against you in the court”, they read.” If you do nothing judgment may be entered against you (in bold type in the original text). That means that the claimant will be entitled to take steps to enforce payment from you of any money he is claiming and you will have no right to be heard except as to the amount of any costs claimed or as to the way in which you can pay the judgment unless you apply to set judgment aside“.

It’s fair to say that Alexandre Gros, the senior governance services manager of FIFA’s Member Associations Committee, and Sofia Malizia, who was recently promoted manager of the same FIFA department, are not used to receiving such messages, be that in terms of tone or content.

Their surprise must have been all the greater since it seemed that FIFA’s ‘normalisation’ of the T&T Football Association would, in the end, not be challenged by the ousted administration at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)*. It was reasonable to think that an end had been brought to the matter, bar for the anger of many in the Caribbean nation. But no. The  ‘normalised’ were fighting against their ‘normalisation’, and aimed to declare FIFA’s decision ‘null, void and of no legal and/or binding effect’ and to place an injunction against FIFA which would – in theory – prevent it from ‘interfering in the day-to-day management [of the TTFA]’.

The TTFA administration had initially intended to bring its case to the Lausanne-based court, but, after doing its sums, had realised that it could not raise the necessary funds to do so, regardless of the validity of its claim that FIFA had acted unlawfully by appointing a normalisation committee headed by a successful local businessman named Robert Hadad, better known until then for being the archipelago’s number one importer of ice-cream than for his role in football governance, something which Mr Hadad, who describes himself as an “avid fan of football” is quite happy to accept.

Getting CAS to rule on an issue does not come cheap, especially when the defendant is FIFA, one of the Court’s main financial backers (to the tune of CHF 1.5m per annum), and when football accounts for about 65% of all cases heard by the tribunal. The TTFA board, which had no longer access to and control over its own accounts at the First Citizen Bank since the normalisation process had been initiated, had asked for a single arbitrator to be put in charge of the dossier; FIFA had insisted on three, as is the defendant’s prerogative, thereby tripling the cost of the proceedings.

What’s more, FIFA had the statutory right to refuse to pay its own share of the expenses incurred in the instruction of the case. On 11 May, Miguel Liétard Fernandéz-Palacios, FIFA’s director of litigation, informed CAS that it would “not pay its share of advance of costs in this specific procedure”. This meant that the TTFA found itself faced with a bill for CHF 40,000, an absolute fortune for the cash-strapped organisation, and had to throw in the towel. CAS no longer was key to a positive resolution for the TTFA. FIFA had priced them out of litigation…or so it seemed.

Home Advantage
The TTFA administration still had a card to play, not in Switzerland, but at home this time. After all, they had always been a ‘body corporate incorporated in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago’, and had the right to turn to the country’s highest jurisdiction, Trinidad and Tobago’s High Court of Justice. This is exactly what they did. A 155-page ‘Statement of Case’, which Josimar has seen, was filed by the TTFA President William Wallace on 18 May at T&T’s Supreme Court of Judicature.

Together with documents which aim to substantiate the legality of the case, this ‘Statement’ was also a potted history of how and why the present situation had arisen, and contained a detailed timeline of what had happened since 24 November 2019, when ‘Big’ William Wallace defeated David John-Williams by 26 votes to 20 in the final round of the TTFA presidential elections.

That result certainly wasn’t what Gianni Infantino had hoped for: six days before the vote, he’d travelled to T&T and endorsed his ‘team-mate’ John-Williams at the grand opening of the ‘Home of Football’, a FIFA-financed complex which had cost millions (a large part of which had been disbursed in cash and was virtually untraceable) and was in fact unfinished and unusable in its present state.

The ‘Home of Football’ was later turned into a ‘step down facility’ for the care of COVID-19 sufferers, but only after a huge effort from the authorities and a number of local companies had made it safe to use. As is clear from an address to the nation made by T&T’s Minister of Social Security Stuart Young on 22 April, the complex which the FIFA president had inaugurated in great fanfare in November 2019 had been lacking basic equipment and amenities such as flooring, fire extinguishers, internet access and even running water; as well as light bulbs, which were donated by Robert Hadad, the head of the Normalisation Committee. Where had all the USD$ 2.5m paid out by FIFA gone?

Whoever had been responsible for the mess the TTFA found itself in, the task facing the new board of directors was a huge one. According to the statement filed by Wallace at the High Court, the TTFA’s debts at the time of the presidential election stood at ‘circa TTD$50,000,000’, that is about USD$7,5m, which, still according to Williams, had been accrued during John-Williams tenure between 2015 and 2019.

This dangerously high level of debt seemed to have escaped FIFA’s attention before the November 2019 election, somehow, even though every Member Association which benefits from FIFA grants, as the TTFA did under the presidency of John-Williams and his predecessors, is subjected to a yearly audit by the federation of federations. Less than a week before the TTFA election took place,  Gianni Infantino had praised its soon-to-be-ousted president in those fulsome terms:

“I came to Trinidad and Tobago, and I was not believing to find somebody like [David John-Willams] in Trinidad and Tobago. I have to say the truth. Because Trinidad and Tobago Football Association was more or less in the same state as FIFA at that time. David was saying ‘shambles’, I say shambles was maybe a compliment for the state you found”.

“We found a Federation which was under the earth. TTFA, Trinidad and Tobago Football, very sadly, was in the headlines for other reasons than football, even though linked to football. Today, we are here, and proud to be here, because today, Trinidad and Tobago is the capital of the world of football.”

Within less than four months, FIFA would hold a very different view of T&T football.  So did, from the start, the administration which replaced John-Williams’s regime and set out to conduct an audit of the FA’s financial records as soon as it got in power. A commission was convened for that purpose, and on 11 February 2020, the TTFA Financial Committee Chairman presented its report to Wallace, which was approved by the federation’s board of directors eleven days later.

So far, so good. The TTFA would be able to provide concrete evidence of its efforts to correct its past mistakes to the FIFA/CONCACAF delegation they expected to visit the two islands on a fact-finding mission from 25 to 27 February. That visit took place as planned, just beating the coronavirus lockdown, without anything happening which should have caused alarm within the local football administration.

Yet, less than three weeks later, on 17 March, the TTFA found out that it was the subject of a normalisation order; what’s more, the newly-suspended administration learnt of that decision through social media, as, quite extraordinarily, the FIFA employee who’d been charged to inform them of it had sent her message to the wrong address. Never had FIFA moved so quickly to impeach a new football administration in its whole history.

The haste with which FIFA had acted in TTFA’s case contrasted with its refusal to get involved in the long-standing dispute at the top of Kenyan football, which had caused this country’s own supreme sports arbitration body to call for a normalisation order to be issued, as reported by Josimar; in vain until now. Similarly, the scandal which is rocking Haitian football at the moment – the president of that FA, ‘Dadou’ Jean-Bart, is accused of sexually assaulting female footballers placed under his protection, some of them as young as 14 – has failed to elicit any concrete response from FIFA so far, aside from the setting of an investigating committee.

Critics of the decision to normalise the TTFA will point at what, to them, is a common thread running through these various cases. Trinidad and Tobago, Kenya and Haiti are all placed under the ultimate supervision of the Director of Development for Africa and the Caribbean, Véron Mosengo-Omba, one of Gianni Infantino’s oldest allies; and of the three FAs in question, two are led by supporters of the FIFA president, those of Kenya and Haiti, where FIFA had so far refrained from using the option of normalisation. The exception is Trinidad and Tobago, where the FIFA president’s ‘team-mate’ and political supporter was voted out. As only T&T has been the subject of a normalisation order issued by Mosengo-Omba, there is no need to be particularly imaginative to join those particular dots.

Verdict on Monday 25 May?
Taking the case to T&T’s High Court of Justice is not without risks for the Wallace administration. Not only is there no certainty that the tribunal will find in its favour: it is also very unlikely that a ‘positive’ ruling could be used as a legal means to overturn FIFA’s decision, as article 59.2 of the FIFA statutes states that “recourse to ordinary courts of law is prohibited unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations. Recourse to ordinary courts for all types of provisional measures is also prohibited”. Articles 58.1 and 59.1 also specify that “appeals against final decisions passed by FIFA’s legal bodies […] shall be lodged with CAS within 21 days of receipt of the decision in question” and that “the confederations, member associations and leagues shall agree to recognise CAS as an independent judicial authority […]”

The question then becomes: could a successful lawsuit in Trinidad and Tobago provide the impetus for reviving the TTFA’s action at CAS? After all, there is a mechanism in place at the sports tribunal, a kind of ‘legal aid’ system which allows a claimant who cannot afford lodging an appeal to do it anyway, provided that they can prove the manifest legitimacy of their cause. Should T&T’s High Court of Justice find in favour of Wallace, this could give him the proof he needs.

In any case, no other avenues are open to him and his supporters right now and, to them, the gamble is worth taking, all the more so since the arguments on which their action is based are far from frivolous. Their main claims are that FIFA’s statutes “cannot override the  [the TTFA’s] Constitution, its General Council, Board of Directors nor Duly Elected Executive Officers, whose power is derived from an Act of the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago” (which Josimar was told by an independent source was correct); and that “no power exists, pursuant under [the TTFA’s] Constitution or otherwise, that enables [FIFA] to remove the Board and/or the Duly Elected Executive Officers and/or any other internal body of [the TTFA] except as set out in [the TTFA’s] Constitution”.

This is not going to be a long-drawn Jarndyce v. Jarndyce affair, by the way. The case could be heard at the High Court of Justice as early as Monday 25 May, and, should he win, Wallace could be back in his office on the morning of the 26th. This wouldn’t mean that FIFA had lost; just that it did not rule on the TTFA’s patch, and that the fight would continue elsewhere, a fight that could take an unexpected turn if information which Josimar received shortly before this piece was published is proved founded.

The $2.5m Question:  Was FIFA’s normalisation process initiated in January?
The TTFA didn’t choose its moment to fight back, but, had it been able to do so, it could have picked a worse time to do so. Gianni Infantino’s authority is questioned as it hasn’t been since he was elected for the first time in February 2016, following the impeachment proceedings which have just been launched against Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber, whom he met ‘privately’ on two occasions in 2016 and 2017 and who is suspected of colluding with the FIFA president over (it has been alleged) a federal investigation into a controversial TV contract which had been signed by Infantino when he was the legal affairs director of UEFA. The former Basel police chief Markus Mohler expressed the opinion in a widely-shared interview with the Luzerner Zeitung  that criminal proceedings should be opened against Infantino, a suggestion that would have seemed outlandish only a few months ago – but no longer.

As the gamble Williams and the TTFA board are taking is also one with public opinion, this looks like a propitious time for them to launch their counter-attack on FIFA, especially if this legal offensive allows them to substantiate a very embarrassing allegation against the governing body: namely, that FIFA had already contacted and interviewed (*) prospective members of its normalisation committee before issuing its normalisation order, perhaps as early as January 2020.

January 2020: that would be less than two months after the new administration had been elected, at least a full month before FIFA’s and CONCACAF’s own ‘fact-finding mission’ had taken place, and at least two weeks before the TTFA’s Finance Committee had completed its own audit.

This, when a FIFA spokesperson told Trinidad & Tobago daily Newsday that the decision to appoint a normalisation committee for the TTFA followed “the recent FIFA/Concacaf fact-finding mission to TT to assess, together with an independent auditor, the financial situation of TTFA”. The FIFA statement added: “the mission found that extremely low overall financial management methods, combined with a massive debt, have resulted in the TTFA facing a very real risk of insolvency and illiquidity. Such a situation is putting at risk the organisation and development of football in the country and corrective measures need to be applied urgently.”

Josimar asked William Wallace to confirm on the record if it was correct that the Chair of the Normalisation Committee Robert Hadad had confided to him that he’d been approached by FIFA in January, as we had been told. The TTFA president assured us this was the case.

It should also be noted that Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs Shamfa Cudjoe told the Trinidad Express that FIFA “had briefed the [T&T] government of its impending action prior (our italics) to dissolving the debt-ridden TTFA on March 17″, to quote from a piece written by Ian Prescott and published on 18 April. This would of course constitute in itself a serious infraction to FIFA’s own protocol. Cudjoe later back-tracked and said she had been misquoted. “After the public announcement was made…it was only after I was told by FIFA”.

Josimar asked Mr Hadad for his comments and received the following message: “FIFA first contacted me in mid-March and after considering the state of football I agreed to serve”. Mr Hadad, who did not wish to comment directly on Mr Wallace’s claim or tell whom exactly from FIFA had first got in touch with him, then specified that this approach had come after 17 March – the date FIFA issued its normalisation order – and that, after a few days of reflection, and indeed hesitation, he’d accepted the offer to be part of the normalisation committee, and then head it “to help Trinidad in general, and more specifically to help keep football alive in Trinidad so the youth and the players can benefit from it”.

It may well be that this discrepancy between dates remembered by the various parties turns out to be a key factor in determining the outcome of the battle between the TTFA and FIFA. Whose calendar will the T&T judges decide is the correct one?

(*) The story of how the newly-elected TTFA board, which had defeated one of Gianni Infantino’s main allies in the Caribbean, was de facto disbanded by FIFA less than four months after being democratically put in power has already been told by Josimar here.

(*) A FIFA spokesperson clarified the appointment process to the Newsday newspaper in those terms: “The members of a Normalisation Committee are chosen through a series of interviews with different candidates. In this case, the interviews were conducted by delegates from FIFA and Concacaf. During that process, it is ensured that the members that compose the Normalisation Committee have different profiles, perform their duties with neutrality and gather the necessary competencies to temporarily lead the federation in question. In line with the FIFA governance regulations, all members of the normalisation committee are subject to an eligibility check, and none of its members are eligible for any of the open positions in the elections under any circumstances.”
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Offline Flex

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We’re obliged to ‘disobey unjust laws’! TTFA explains decision to take Fifa to court.
Wired868.com.


“[…] United TTFA states for the public record that the real reason for Fifa’s unwarranted and illegal interference in TTFA’s internal business is its desire to cover up the financial mismanagement and illegal actions of the last administration:

“Including the failure to provide contracts for the expenditure of TT$16 million on the Home of Football, the issuance of dozens of cheques against TTFA accounts that had insufficient funds (‘bounced cheques’), and failure to pay to relevant statutory authorities the sum of TT$4 million deducted from employees’ salaries…”

The following statement on the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s decision to take Fifa to the local High Court was issued today by the United TTFA slate of William Wallace, Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick, Joseph Sam Phillip, Anthony Harford and Keith Look Loy:

In the founding Constitution of the Republic (1 August 1976), the people of Trinidad and Tobago assert ‘their belief in a democratic society in which all persons may, to the extent of their capacity, play some part in the institutions of the national life and thus develop and maintain due respect for lawfully constituted authority’.

The Republican Constitution continues ‘(we) recognise that men and institutions remain free only when freedom is founded upon respect for moral and spiritual values and the rule of law’.

We, the people of Trinidad and Tobago are a free and sovereign people.

Duty of care

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association is an independent body established by the sovereign Parliament of our nation under Act 17 of 1982. In Article 2(d) the TTFA Constitution places a duty of care on the elected officials of the Association to ‘protect the interests of its members’.

TTFA is a free and sovereign institution under the Law of Trinidad and Tobago. On 24 November 2019 a new TTFA executive headed by my good-self was democratically elected by the football community in an election supervised by Fifa and Concacaf.

Less than four months later, on 17 March 2020, Fifa declared its removal of the democratically elected TTFA leadership and its appointment of a so-called normalisation committee. As one of its two rationale for this high handed and illegal move FIFA offered ‘the extremely low or non-existent financial management and governance at the TTFA’ and ‘the real risk of insolvency and illiquidity if corrective measures are not applied’.

Within four months of entering office this very issue was discovered by the new administration and a report generated and handed to Fifa, outlining how we intended to deal with what we identified.

Ironically, our discovery is one of the two reasons Fifa used to remove us from office. Even more ironically Fifa conducts an annual audit at the TTFA and would have done so for the previous four years and never discovered this issue—or, if it was discovered, never demanded that it be fixed.

The democratically elected TTFA officers immediately rejected and continue to reject this move by Fifa.

United TTFA, which comprises the democratically elected TTFA officers (William Wallace, Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick, and Joseph Sam Taylor), plus Anthony Harford and Keith Look Loy, considered the options available to the group to resist Fifa and initially decided to resort to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as allowed under Fifa Statutes.

In short order, it became clear that CAS was prepared to ignore its own regulations to facilitate Fifa in its handling of TTFA vs Fifa. Specifically, CAS directed the democratically elected TTFA officers to pay 40,000 Swiss francs (TT$278,000) to cover the entire cost of the proceedings, when its regulations require the two parties to a matter to pay half each.

It was only in response to the TTFA’s officers’ objection to this glaring denial of its own regulations that CAS called on Fifa to pay its half (20,000 Swiss francs or TT$139,000), which Fifa has since refused to do.

As a consequence of Fifa’s refusal and based on some other institutional behaviour of CAS, we along with our legal team have serious doubts that we would be afforded a fair hearing at CAS—even if we decided to pay Fifa’s part of the cost.

It was based on this that the United TTFA after long and hard deliberations decided to lodge a brief with the sovereign High court of Trinidad and Tobago, requesting:

1. A declaration that the purported decision of the Defendant (Fifa) dated the 17th March 2020, purporting to remove the Claimant’s (TTFA’s) duly elected executive is null, void and of no legal and/or binding effect;

2. A permanent injunction preventing [Fifa] from interfering in, and/or seeking to override the fair and transparent democratic processes of the [TTFA] and/or from attempting removing the [TTFA’s] duly elected executive from office;

3. A permanent injunction preventing [Fifa] and/or its agents and/or assigns and/or servants from interfering in the day-to-day management of the [TTFA], including the [TTFA’s] bank accounts and real property.

It was Martin Luther King who said that one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.

Real reason for FIFA intervention

United TTFA states for the public record that the real reason for Fifa’s unwarranted and illegal interference in TTFA’s internal business is its desire to cover up the financial mismanagement and illegal actions of the last administration, including the failure to provide contracts for the expenditure of TT$16 million on the Home of Football, the issuance of dozens of cheques against TTFA accounts that had insufficient funds (‘bounced cheques’), and failure to pay to relevant statutory authorities the sum of TT$4 million deducted from employees’ salaries.

The fact is that Fifa (in the person of Veron Mosengo-Omba, Chief of Member Associations) repeatedly ignored efforts by TTFA Board members to bring said financial issues to its attention.

The fact is that Fifa conducts an annual audit of TTFA finances and ignored these issues. The fact is that Fifa turned a blind eye and ear to all evidence of mismanagement and wrongdoing and is complicit in the creation of the financial quagmire that today plagues the Association.

The fact is since 2004/05 FIFA has placed 33 member associations under a Normalisation Committee—of those 33 T&T is the only national association where the removed executive was not culpable for the infractions that led to normalisation.

The truth is that over the years, and certainly the David John-Williams years (2015-2019), Fifa showed no interest in good governance and proper financial management for the Association, nor in its ballooning debt.

Fifa rights vs Fifa dependency

United TTFA rejects the arguments of some that ‘Fifa has the right to intervene because they fund TTFA’. Let us be clear. The annual funding provided by Fifa to each of its 211 members is the right of each member as decided by the Fifa Congress. It is not a favour handed down to members by any Fifa president. That funding is generated mainly by the sale of broadcast rights for the Fifa (Men’s) World Cup.

All members of Fifa, including TTFA, participate in the World Cup and enjoy an annual dividend as shareholders of Fifa.

What is also clear is that there are high Fifa officials who are prepared to use the Fifa dependency of small member associations—members with little if any alternative income streams—to manipulate them to their political agenda and to use them for their vote, in return for which Fifa turns a blind eye and ear to internal shenanigans.

The democratically elected TTFA officers reject this Fifa game and reject the concept of Fifa dependency. Indeed, it has come to our attention that Fifa has instructed its so-called normalisation committee to abandon the deals already signed by TTFA and those that are imminent. It’s almost as if the dependency on funding from FIFA must be maintained at all cost.

Upon return to office the work of recruiting sponsors, equipment and finance, which was successfully underway and which Fifa has interrupted, will continue.

Historic struggle

United TTFA assures the football community and the people of Trinidad and Tobago that we have carefully considered the options, the potential risks and the beneficial outcomes of this struggle to defend the sovereignty of our country and our football.

We are guided by the principles of Freedom and Democracy enshrined in the supreme and governing law of Trinidad and Tobago—the Constitution—under which TTFA is established.

We shall prevail.

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A bully and a crook? TTFA launches High Court action against Fifa and Normalisation Committee.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace and his United TTFA slate launched a remarkable attack on Fifa today, as they changed their proposed battlefield with the world governing body from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to the local High Court.

This morning, Wallace, supported by TTFA vice-presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Joseph Sam Phillip and United TTFA members Anthony Harford and Keith Look Loy, instructed attorneys Matthew Gayle and Dr Emir Crowne to file an injunction in the High Court.

The legal action asks the court to declare Fifa’s decision to implement a normalisation committee in the twin island republic as ‘null, void and of no legal and/or binding effect’ and to place a permanent injunction against Fifa and its normalisation committee from ‘attempting removing (sic) the [TTFA’s] duly elected executive from office’ and ‘interfering in the day-to-day management of the [TTFA], including the [TTFA’s] bank accounts and real property’.

On 17 March, the Bureau of the Fifa Council, which is headed by Fifa president Gianni Infantino, declared that the TTFA’s officials—elected on 24 November 2019—were removed with immediate effect due to ‘extremely low overall financial management methods, combined with a massive debt, [which] have resulted in the TTFA facing a very real risk of insolvency and illiquidity’.

Ten days later, Fifa secretary general Fatma Samoura installed Robert Hadad as head of its normalisation committee with authority to manage the TTFA. Hadad is aided in that task by deputy chairperson Judy Daniel and ordinary member Nigel Romano.

Wallace immediately rejected Fifa’s decisions and, in a statement today, he accused the governing body of attempting to ‘cover up the financial mismanagement and illegal actions of the last administration’.

“United TTFA states for the public record that the real reason for Fifa’s unwarranted and illegal interference in TTFA’s internal business is its desire to cover up the financial mismanagement and illegal actions of the last administration,” stated Wallace, “including the failure to provide contracts for the expenditure of TT$16 million on the Home of Football, the issuance of dozens of cheques against TTFA accounts that had insufficient funds (‘bounced cheques’), and failure to pay to relevant statutory authorities the sum of TT$4 million deducted from employees’ salaries.

“The fact is that Fifa—in the person of Veron Mosengo-Omba, Chief of Member Associations—repeatedly ignored efforts by TTFA Board members to bring said financial issues to its attention.

“The fact is that Fifa conducts an annual audit of TTFA finances and ignored these issues. The fact is that Fifa turned a blind eye and ear to all evidence of mismanagement and wrongdoing and is complicit in the creation of the financial quagmire that today plagues the association.”

The TTFA’s legal move today will almost certainly be seen as a violation of article 59.2 of the Fifa Statutes, which states:

“Recourse to ordinary courts of law is prohibited unless specifically provided for in the Fifa regulations. Recourse to ordinary courts of law for all types of provisional measures is also prohibited.”
Fifa recognises only one judicial body, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Fifa itself is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.

Article 4 of the Fifa Statutes states:

“The association’s legally valid statutes shall be enclosed with the application for membership and shall contain the following mandatory provisions:

a) always to comply with the Statutes, regulations and decisions of FIFA and of the relevant confederation;

b) to comply with the Laws of the Game in force;

c) to recognise the Court of Arbitration for Sport, as specified in these Statutes.”

Fifa article 58.1: “Appeals against final decisions passed by Fifa’s legal bodies and against decisions passed by confederations, member associations or leagues shall be lodged with CAS within 21 days of receipt of the decision in question.”

Fifa article 59.1: “The confederations, member associations and leagues shall agree to recognise CAS as an independent judicial authority and to ensure that their members, affiliated players and officials comply with the decisions passed by CAS.”

The TTFA formally withdraw its matter from CAS this evening. In a statement today, Wallace reiterated his distrust of the Swiss arbitration body.

“In short order, it became clear that CAS was prepared to ignore its own regulations to facilitate Fifa in its handling of TTFA vs Fifa,” stated Wallace. “Specifically, CAS directed the democratically elected TTFA officers to pay 40,000 Swiss francs (TT$278,000) to cover the entire cost of the proceedings, when its regulations require the two parties to a matter to pay half each.

“It was only in response to the TTFA’s officers’ objection to this glaring denial of its own regulations that CAS called on Fifa to pay its half (20,000 Swiss francs or TT$139,000), which Fifa has since refused to do.

“As a consequence of Fifa’s refusal and based on some other institutional behaviour of CAS, we along with our legal team have serious doubts that we would be afforded a fair hearing at CAS—even if we decided to pay Fifa’s part of the cost.”

Thus far, Wallace has based his defiance on article 38 of the TTFA constitution, which states that ‘the general meeting may dismiss a person or a member of a body’ and ‘the board of directors may place the dismissal of a person or a member of a body on the agenda for the general meeting’.

The person proposed for removal ‘has the right to defend him or herself’ and ‘the motion for dismissal shall be decided by means of secret ballot [with] a majority of three quarters of the valid votes’.

Article 1.1 of the TTFA Constitution defines the local football body as ‘a private organisation of an associative nature in compliance with the relevant legislation of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and incorporated by Act of Parliament (#17 of 1982)’.

However, article 60.1 of the Fifa Statutes states:

“The confederations, member associations and leagues shall agree to comply fully with any decisions passed by the relevant Fifa bodies which, according to these Statutes, are final and not subject to appeal.”

Fifa Statutes, as already shown, leave provision for an appeal to CAS.

Article 2.1 of the TTFA Constitution also suggests some defence to Fifa when it gives the objectives of the local football body as:

“… To respect and prevent any infringement of the Statutes, regulations, directives and decisions of Fifa, Concacaf, CFU and TTFA as well as the Laws of the Game, and to ensure that these are also respected by its members…”

Trinidad and Tobago’s High Court must now decide which constitution supersedes the other.

In the meantime, the Congress of the world governing body—which comprises of all 211 member associations—can suspend or expel the TTFA for violating Fifa’s Statutes.

Article 10 of Fifa’s Statutes states:

“The Congress shall decide whether to admit, suspend or expel a member association solely upon the recommendation of the Council.”

The Council is headed by Infantino and includes Fifa’s eight vice-presidents and 28 members from its six confederations. Concacaf’s five members on the Council are president Victor Montagliani (Canada), female member Sonia Fulford (Turks and Caicos), Central America member Pedro Chaluja (Panama), North America member Sunil Gulati (USA) and Caribbean member Luis Hernandez (Cuba).

Although the Caribbean accounts for 25 of Concacaf’s 35 Fifa-recognised member associations (71 percent), it has just two of the confederation’s five representatives (40 percent) on the Fifa Council.

More likely than not, the decision on the TTFA’s immediate fate will be made by the seven member Bureau of the Fifa Council, which is also headed by Infantino and includes one representative from each confederation. Any declaration by the Bureau must be ratified at the next Council meeting.

If the TTFA is suspended, no member association within Fifa will be allowed to ‘exercise any sporting contact’ with the local football body.

Article 16 of the Fifa Statutes states:

“The Congress may suspend a member association solely at the request of the Council. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Council may, without a vote of the Congress, temporarily suspend with immediate effect a member association that seriously violates its obligations.

“[…] A suspension of a member association by the Congress requires a three-quarter (3/4) majority of the member associations present and eligible to vote. A suspension of a member association by the Congress or the Council shall be confirmed at the next Congress by a three-quarter majority of the member associations present and eligible to vote.

“If it is not confirmed, such suspension shall be automatically lifted.”

It is a risk that Wallace appears to be ready to take, and the retired Carapichaima East Secondary school vice-president reiterated his view that the TTFA holds the moral high ground.

“Within four months of entering office, this very issue [of the TTFA’s inadequate financial structure and rising debt] was discovered by the new administration and a report generated and handed to Fifa, outlining how we intended to deal with what we identified,” said Wallace. “Ironically, our discovery is one of the two reasons Fifa used to remove us from office. Even more ironically Fifa conducts an annual audit at the TTFA and would have done so for the previous four years and never discovered this issue—or, if it was discovered, never demanded that it be fixed.

“The democratically elected TTFA officers immediately rejected and continue to reject this move by Fifa… It was Martin Luther King who said that one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

Wallace further accused the Infantino-led body of bullying small associations for his own political objectives and using its annual subvention—which United TTFA described as ‘dividends’ due to all its stakeholders or member associations from the sale of World Cup television rights—to force compliance.

Infantino was an unabashed supporter of controversial former TTFA president David John-Williams—under whose tenure the local body’s debt skyrocketed from TT$18 million (US$2.6) to over TT$50 million (US$7 million) in just four years, despite the fact that the TTFA’s subvention from Fifa tripled since 2017.

“The truth is that over the years, and certainly the David John-Williams years (2015-2019), Fifa showed no interest in good governance and proper financial management for the Association, nor in its ballooning debt,” said Wallace. “What is also clear is that there are high Fifa officials who are prepared to use the Fifa dependency of small member associations—members with little if any alternative income streams—to manipulate them to their political agenda and to use them for their vote, in return for which Fifa turns a blind eye and ear to internal shenanigans.

“The democratically elected TTFA officers reject this Fifa game and reject the concept of Fifa dependency. Indeed, it has come to our attention that Fifa has instructed its so-called normalisation committee to abandon the deals already signed by TTFA and those that are imminent.

“It’s almost as if the dependency on funding from Fifa must be maintained at all cost.”

Even before Fifa implemented a normalisation committee in March, the governing body stalled on releasing its annual subvention to the TTFA since January and never provided any funding to the Wallace-led body.

Hadad did not respond to the TTFA’s injunction up until the time of publication. In truth, the operations of the local football body were already at a virtual standstill.

In two months as Fifa’s supposed man of business on the island, Hadad is yet to meet his unpaid office staff—whether virtually or otherwise—or discuss contracts with coaches, owed match fees to players or debts to creditors.

Wired868 was informed that requests for meetings with the normalisation committee chairman from the aforementioned parties were invariably met with promises of a get-together at an unspecified date.

At present, technical director Dion La Foucade seems to be the only person capable of regularly getting Hadad at the other end of the phone.

The TTFA’s website and email addresses were taken offline last month after the relevant UK tech firm complained that Hadad routinely snubbed its messages.

Things are likely to get far worse for the TTFA before they get better.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 09:47:27 AM by Flex »
The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline asylumseeker

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pull stones, in my reading, there isn't vacillation. It must be appreciated that  the matter is a fluid matter. There is no direct line.  As such, approaches will change. That's part for the course.
no pun intended big brother but some of those words you’re using are a little to sophisticated and I’m not familiar, so please give me in layman’s terms what you’re actually saying, as this ttfa and FIFA thing is driving me  to the limit, I really don’t know how much of this nonsense I could take.

Strap on the seat belt, bredrin. There's a lot more distance to ride on this rollercoaster. Many thought  it was destined to be a 110 m hurdle run. Zurich thought it would be an immediately done deal and it hasn't been.

vac·il·la·tion
/ˌvasəˈlāSH(ə)n/
 
noun

the inability to decide between different opinions or actions; indecision
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/BpgNkEpfdws" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/BpgNkEpfdws</a>

Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

Offline vb

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pull stones, in my reading, there isn't vacillation. It must be appreciated that  the matter is a fluid matter. There is no direct line.  As such, approaches will change. That's part for the course.
no pun intended big brother but some of those words you’re using are a little to sophisticated and I’m not familiar, so please give me in layman’s terms what you’re actually saying, as this ttfa and FIFA thing is driving me  to the limit, I really don’t know how much of this nonsense I could take.

Strap on the seat belt, bredrin. There's a lot more distance to ride on this rollercoaster. Many thought  it was destined to be a 110 m hurdle run. Zurich thought it would be an immediately done deal and it hasn't been.

vac·il·la·tion
/ˌvasəˈlāSH(ə)n/
 
noun

the inability to decide between different opinions or actions; indecision

Eh Eh ...ah learn big word today.  ;D

A more layman's approach here. ;-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9jAmUB7uYs&lc=Ugz-cQldQK0aL8K0Ql14AaABAg
VITAMIN V...KEEPS THE LADIES HEALTHY...:-)

Offline maxg

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Yuh almost make it thru , vb. Yuh was on the Representative offence team , then yuh get emotional. :yellowcard:
 :D
Good breakdown all the same, we can edit a few things. :-[

Offline vb

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Yuh almost make it thru , vb. Yuh was on the Representative offence team , then yuh get emotional. :yellowcard:
 :D
Good breakdown all the same, we can edit a few things. :-[

I was very proud of myself for most of it but the adrenaline got the better of me at the end.  :)
VITAMIN V...KEEPS THE LADIES HEALTHY...:-)

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Haiti football federation head temporarily suspended
BBC Sports.


The president of the Haitian Football Federation, Yves Jean-Bart, has been suspended from his post for 90 days.

The governing body of world football, Fifa, took the step after allegations emerged that he coerced teenage female players into having sex with him.

He allegedly threatened the girls with losing their spot at the national training centre if they did not comply.

Mr Jean-Bart categorically denies the claims.

Police are investigating the allegations.

Fifa said the suspension would come into force immediately and apply to "all football-related activities at both national and international level".

Mr Jean-Bart, 73, has been in charge of Haiti's football federation for the past two decades.

The incidents under investigation are alleged to have taken place in the past five years.

They were first reported by The Guardian newspaper last month. Since then, several employees at the Haitian football federation have been summoned by a judge to answer questions.

It is not the first time a high-ranking Fifa official has ben embroiled in a sexual abuse scandal.

In June 2019, the former president of the Afghanistan Football Federation, Keramuudin Karim, was given a lifetime ban following allegations that he had sexually abused players in the women's team.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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WATCH: Wired868’s Lasana Liburd discusses the Fifa normalisation committee with TV6 Morning Edition host Fazeer Mohammed.

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The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.


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Downer: Sancho used local courts—so why not Wallace? And Look Loy was not removed
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association (TTFRA) vice-president Osmond Downer, one of the framers of the TTFA’s constitution, has defended president William Wallace’s decision to legally challenge Fifa’s attempt to remove him, based on his perception of natural justice and the governing body’s own statutes.

The TTFA Constitution—article 38.2-2—and FIFA’s standard statutes reflect each other verbatim on the procedure necessary to remove a member:

“The motion for dismissal must be justified. It will be sent to the members of the Board of Directors and/or to the members along with the agenda. The person or body in question has the right to defend him or herself…”

Downer, a former Fifa match referee, said Wallace has a moral right to defend his position.

“The decision to remove him without allowing him to state his case, violates natural justice in all courts of law,” Downer told Wired868. “For somebody to be punished—and the removal via a normalisation committee is a punishment—they should be given a chance to state their case. And the same thing is in Fifa statutes regarding the dismissal of a member association.”

Thus far, the Fifa Bureau of the Council, which is headed by president Gianni Infantino, has not only declined the opportunity to give Wallace his say but also refused to justify its decision.

The Bureau claimed its decision to remove the board of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) was based on a ‘recent FIFA/Concacaf fact-finding mission to Trinidad and Tobago’; but did not publish the report or share it with the local body.

And Wallace and his officers—as well as finance committee chair Kendall Tull—said members of the mission, which comprised of Fifa finance coordinator Mehmet Dirlik, Concacaf finance manager Alejandro Kesende, Concacaf finance department member Dally Fuentes and independent auditor Valeria Yepes, gave the opposite impression to local administrators.

Downer suggested that the Bureau’s actions not only violated the principle of natural justice but also seemed at odds with several articles of Fifa’s own statutes, including article 45:

‘The Member Associations Committee shall deal with relations between FIFA and its member associations as well as the member associations’ compliance with the FIFA Statutes and draw up proposals for optimum cooperation. The committee shall also monitor the evolution of the Statutes and regulations of Fifa, the confederations and member associations.’

Downer felt the Bureau’s stated concerns regarding the TTFA, sounded tailor-made for Fifa’s Members Association Committee.

“I would just wonder why Fifa would not use this article,” said Downer. “There must be good reason for having this article there to settle things as now befalls the TTFA, instead of having recourse to normalisation committees with all its implications. It is in their statutes.

“Why did they set up this committee, just to be disregarded? It states clearly the Members Associations Committee shall deal with relations between Fifa and its member associations…

“Fifa could easily have sent their members of this committee to Trinidad to sit down with the elected officers to see how best the matters could be resolved, instead of resorting to this heavy-handed normalisation committee approach.”

Downer scoffed at arguments put forward by Pro League interim chairman Brent Sancho and former technical director Anton Corneal that Wallace’s decision to take up the matter in the High Court was putting the local game in harm’s way.

Article 59.1-2 of the Fifa Statutes states:

“The confederations, member associations and leagues shall agree to recognise CAS as an independent judicial authority and to ensure that their members, affiliated players and officials comply with the decisions passed by CAS. The same obligation shall apply to intermediaries and licensed match agents.

“Recourse to ordinary courts of law is prohibited unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations. Recourse to ordinary courts of law for all types of provisional measures is also prohibited.”

Yet, Sancho himself took the local football body to court for 2006 World Cup bonus fees, despite warnings of a Fifa ban by then Fifa vice-president Jack Warner. Corneal also prevailed against the TTFA in the High Court.

So too have past and present employees like Kendall Walkes, Stephen Hart, Ramesh Ramdhan and Sheldon Phillips. Look Loy also used the High Court, two years ago, to have former TTFA president David John-Williams provide transparency for the controversial Fifa-funded Home of Football project.

“In my wide experience, I don’t know that a body has ever being expelled solely for going to court—there is usually more to the debate than that,” said Downer. “There have been cases of persons using the court, including locally. The same Sancho went to the High court. The TTFA could have expelled him, because the TTFA has the same thing in its constitution as Fifa.

“How can you be thrown out merely for going to a local court for justice?”

Downer insisted that, morality aside, the current impasse hinges on a fine legal point. So the current forum for the debate was inevitable.

“Every member’s constitution is approved by Fifa and one of the main things is they must not be anything in the member’s constitution that conflicts with any of Fifa’s statutes,” said Downer. “The TTFA constitution gives the right to suspend or dismiss officers only to the general meeting of the TTFA. And that is not only in the TTFA constitution—it is also in the Fifa standard statutes, verbatim.

“I am sorry it didn’t go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport but perhaps the local court will make a determination because it is a legal point. Fifa approved the TTFA’s constitution in 2015 and the very TTFA constitution is very clear in article 38.

“[…] In other words the move made by Fifa abridges the constitution of the TTFA itself; and this requires legal interpretation. I would have been glad to see CAS settle that point but if not, I will be glad to see a legal mind settle it in the local court.”

Downer confirmed that normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad has not contacted the referees’ association as yet and said he was unimpressed with the work of the Fifa-appointed body so far.

“At this moment, football is at a dead-still—not even a standstill,” he said. “We know there is Covid but why can’t you be planning still? The referees association had a council meeting just [yesterday] online.”

He scoffed at suggestions that Hadad, with Fifa’s permission, would single-handedly bend local football and its constitution to the will of the governing body.

“The TTFA Constitution was approved by Fifa and is almost word for the word the same as the Fifa standard statutes,” said Downer. “But in any case, anything Hadad proposes must be decided upon by the TTFA Congress. It must be remembered that the normalisation committee has a very narrow mandate—only the executive [of the TTFA] has been replaced.

“I was asked the question about the general secretary, which is not part of the executive but an employee of the Association. Similarly, all the committees appointed by the Congress are in place. If that was not the case, football would stop completely; and football has to go on.”

The TTFA technical committee is headed by Keith Look Loy, who is also a member of Wallace’s United TTFA slate. At present, technical director Dion La Foucade appears to be operating outside of his remit as he appears to have been operating as a one-man technical committee.

But Downer stressed that Fifa’s decision only removed Wallace and his vice-presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Sam Phillip.

Look Loy apart, other committees that should not be affected by the implementation of a normalisation committee are: finance (headed by Tull), club licensing (headed by Jamilya Muhammad), sports medicine (headed by Roger Evelyn), the competitions committee (headed by Sam Phillip) and the players status committee.

The TTFA Congress also made the following appointments prior to the normalisation committee: Richard Piper (national teams director), Jinelle James (women’s football director), Norris Ferguson (club licensing and compliance director) and Kelvin Jack (head of goalkeeping).

“The technical committee has to function,” said Downer. “They have not been disbanded and that is not within the remit of the normalisation committee—the functions of those committees is not one of their mandates.”

The mandate of the normalisation committee is:

to run the TTFA’s daily affairs;

to establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA;

to review and amend the TTFA Statutes (and other regulations where necessary) and to ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress;

to organise and to conduct elections of a new TTFA Executive Committee for a four-year mandate.

He urged football stakeholders to stand on the side of justice and let the law take its course.

“This is basically a constitutional matter and my big point is that Fifa approved the TTFA constitution and was very instrumental in devising the present TTFA constitution, which is almost a carbon copy of the Fifa standard statutes,” said Downer. “Only a court of law can settle this—not only for us but for any other world association. I don’t see why anybody should be punished for challenging the legality of that.

“The principle of natural justice is paramount in law that somebody must be given an opportunity to defend him or herself. Even children get a chance to say something in their defence. Is Fifa going against a constitution that they themselves have approved?

“This is a matter of principle—not a matter of getting banned or not getting banned. Everybody in the world has a right to seek justice. If that is not the case, then something is wrong somewhere.”

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TTOC president: Fifa and CAS failed ‘duty of care’ to TTFA; that’s why case is in High Court
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


Besieged Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace and his vice-presidents, according to Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis, are not the only ones responsible for their case against Fifa ending up in the local High Court.

On Monday, Wallace moved an action against his supposedly illegal and unjust removal by the Fifa Bureau of the Council from the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to the local courts, after claiming that his hope for fair treatment from CAS had been shattered.

Wallace, guided by attorneys Matthew Gayle and Dr Emir Crowne, claimed Fifa appeared to be creating and adjusting its own deadlines for procedural filings while the world governing body refused CAS’ request to pay half the cost of arbitration upfront—which left the TTFA saddled with the full figure of 40,000 Swiss francs.

Fifa statutes forbid members from challenging its decisions in any legal forum other than CAS, at the risk of sanctions. However, the TTOC president believes that stipulation makes it even more important for the CAS forum to be above reproach.

And he suggested that Fifa and CAS might have undermined the TTFA’s faith in the arbitration body and thus forced them to seek justice elsewhere.

“Fifa statutes prohibit members from pursuing matters in civil court,” Lewis told Wired868. “And given such a prohibition, Fifa has a duty of care to ensure that there is equitable treatment and due process in dealing with matters [at CAS]. According to Lord Chief Justice Hewart, ‘justice must not only be done it must be seen it should be manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done’.

“[…] I consider this an important landmark case in the history of lex sportiva (sport law). And CAS ought to have considered it important to hear the case.”

Lewis felt CAS did not do enough to facilitate Wallace and the TTFA, in a case that has already sparked interest in several corners of the globe.

Can Fifa essentially override the constitution of one of its member associations and force a regime change after just four months, without even the attempt of mediation?

The local official said it is a case that sport lawyers would salivate over and CAS, as ‘the privy council of sport’, had a duty to ensure they heard it.

“The founding purpose of CAS was to take international sport disputes out of national courts and to create a specialised forum where these disputes could be heard and decided quickly and inexpensively,” he said. “The principle of the autonomy of sport doesn’t mean any organisation is above the rule of law and should not be expected to adhere to principles of good governance.

“[…] CAS’ purpose is to guarantee independence and impartiality and there is a discretion to provide legal aid to facilitate access to justice for natural persons who may not have the financial means.

“This is a case that even Fifa and all international sport federations and sport lawyers should have wanted CAS to adjudicate and decide on, quickly and inexpensively. This is an important case for global sports law.”

Lewis, who helped frame the current TTFA constitution which was accepted by Fifa in 2015, disagreed that the ongoing impasse is a constitutional one.

“I will not categorise it as a constitutional crisis—it’s not,” said Lewis. “The Independent Review Constitution Commission, which was Fifa approved, created a constitution that allowed football to hold its elected officers to account. It fostered democratic elections. There have been two changes of administrations [since it was ratified].

“It has facilitated transparency and accountability. That’s not to suggest by any means that the constitution, like all constitutions, doesn’t require review and amendments from time to time—due to a changing and evolving operational environment.”

For the TTOC president, it is neither the TTFA constitution nor the leadership of Wallace that needs to be defended. Rather, he said, it is Fifa’s behaviour that should be under scrutiny.

“Fifa has the power, by virtue of their statues, to appoint a normalisation committee,” said Lewis. “The exercise of that right can’t be unfettered. It’s not a right to act in an arbitrary, illogical manner devoid of equitable treatment, rule of law and principles, without due process and natural justice; or to act unreasonably.

“Did Fifa reach its decision by transparent and objective criteria? On the facts of this particular case did Fifa act reasonably? Was there proportionality?

“Was the legitimate expectation of the democratically elected TTFA Executive breached? It’s a legitimate legal and sport law question that CAS would have had to consider and decide.”

Wallace and his general secretary, Ramesh Ramdhan, insisted on executing and publishing a forensic audit of the local football body—including the controversial TTFA Home of Football project. Lewis described the disruption of that exercise by Fifa’s normalisation committee as a ‘travesty’.

Notably, a full two months later, the decision by the Bureau, which is headed by Fifa president Gianni Infantino, is yet to be ratified by the Fifa Council.

Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association (TTFRA) vice-president Osmond Downer explained that the Bureau was previously referred to in the Fifa statutes as an ‘emergency committee’ but underwent a name change under Infantino in 2016.

Downer is skeptical about the wisdom in granting that body such far-reaching powers.

“The powers of an emergency committee must be—and usually is—limited to matters that are considered urgent and pressing which happen between Council meetings,” said Downer. “But this is a far-reaching decision for any emergency committee to make, which up to now has not been ratified by the Council [since their May meeting was postponed].

“What is the justification for making a decision that can affect a whole association like that—and against the constitution of that very association? At this moment, football [in Trinidad and Tobago] is at a dead-still; not even a standstill.”

Lewis, who is nearing the end of his second and final term as TTOC president, suggested that sport will not reach its full potential once international sporting bodies are motivated by self-interest and not the benefit of its members.

“If the world of Olympic sport wants to continue the veneer of the principle of the autonomy of sport, there must be best practice, legal processes and standards,” said Lewis. “Sport organisations aren’t, in my view, immune from legal intervention and legal principles. There must be safeguards that ensure fair treatment and so that organisations cannot make irrational and arbitrary decisions or act in bad faith.

“The global sports movement is Euro-centric, incremental, conservative and bureaucratic; that has been the biggest impediment to change and transformation and modernisation. The playing field isn’t level; it’s a daily battle.

“The entire ecosystem is wired—no pun intended—to protect the status quo. The ongoing abuse of their dominant position is real.”

The TTFA’s elected officers asked the High Court, on Monday, to declare Fifa’s decision to implement a normalisation committee in the twin island republic as ‘null, void and of no legal and/or binding effect’ and to place a permanent injunction against Fifa and its normalisation committee from ‘attempting removing the [TTFA’s] duly elected executive from office’ and ‘interfering in the day-to-day management of the [TTFA], including the [TTFA’s] bank accounts and real property’.

No date has been set for the hearing.

Fifa has been served court documents but is yet to respond to the impending matter.

Video - Wired868's Lasana Liburd on Fifa normalisation committee

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Deeks

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“The global sports movement is Euro-centric, incremental, conservative and bureaucratic; that has been the biggest impediment to change and transformation and modernisation. The playing field isn’t level; it’s a daily battle.

“The entire ecosystem is wired—no pun intended—to protect the status quo. The ongoing abuse of their dominant position is real.”


Quite true. Could not have said it any better.

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FIFA appoints law firm of Denbow SC in case against TTFA
« Reply #465 on: May 27, 2020, 11:32:52 AM »
FIFA appoints law firm of Denbow SC in case against TTFA
By Ian Prescott (T&T Express)


WORLD football’s governing body, FIFA, will defend itself against claims made by the ousted former executives of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).

Yesterday, the Oxford Street, Port of Spain law firm of Dr Claude Denbow SC, filed an ‘Entry Of Appearance’ on behalf of defendant FIFA to the registrar of the High Court of Justice, located at the Hall of Justice, Knox Street, Port of Spain. Filing on behalf of FIFA was instructing attorney Donna Denbow, with Jerome Rajcoomar slated as junior counsel.

FIFA and former executives of the TTFA are headed for legal battle in the local High Court. TTFA president William Wallace and his vice-presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Sam Phillip are challenging FIFA’s decision to replace them and institute a FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee, headed by Robert Hadad.

Through local attorneys Dr Emir Crowne and Matthew Gale, the ex-TTFA executives got local court permission to stake a claim against FIFA, which was emailed to the Switzerland-based organisation last week. Through the local courts, the former TTFA executives are seeking a declaration that FIFA’s decision to remove them from office on March 17, is null and void. The TTFA are also seeking an injunction preventing FIFA and/or its agents from interfering in the day-to-day management of its operations -- including its bank accounts and property.

Yesterday’s action provided the court registrar with a basic requisition of the claim. FIFA’s representative simply had to fill out an ‘Appearance to Claim’ form advising of certain particulars, including whether FIFA will defend the claim. With a simple ‘yes’, FIFA admitted receipt of the TTFA’s claim, dated May 19, 2020.

Point 6 of the ‘Appearance to Claim Form’, filed yesterday by Denbow, asked, ‘Do you intend to defend the claim?’ To that, through its legal representative, FIFA responded ‘yes’. To the question, ‘Do you admit the whole claim?’, FIFA’s response was ‘no’.

FIFA must now file a defence within 28 days of the May 19 date when the claim was served upon them. By defending its position, FIFA also garners irrefutable proof of having been taken to a local court by the TTFA. FIFA rules generally prohibit member Associations from taking it to local courts and put forward suspension(s) as a consequence of such action.

Article 64 of the FIFA statutes require members not to take court action, except through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

‘The Associations shall insert a clause in their statutes or regulations, stipulating that it is prohibited to take disputes in the Association or disputes affecting Leagues, members of Leagues, clubs, members of clubs, players, officials and other Association Officials to ordinary courts of law,’ the FIFA statute states.

Article 64 further states, ‘Instead of recourse to ordinary courts of law, provision shall be made for arbitration. Such disputes shall be taken to an independent and duly constituted arbitration tribunal recognised under the rules of the Association or Confederation or to CAS.’

Further, point two of Article 13, relating to FIFA members’ obligations, states, ‘Violation of the above-mentioned obligations by any member may lead to sanctions provided for in these statutes’.

RELATED NEWS

Denbow: We will be defending FIFA stoutly.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).


FIFA, the world governing body for football, is set to be defended at all cost for its position to appoint a Normalisation Committee to take charge of local football and thereby ousting the legitimately elected team of president William Wallace, Clynt Taylor, Joseph Sam Phillip and Susan Joseph-Warrick when the case comes up on June 16. FIFA was given 28 days to file its defence which was served on it on May 19.

When contacted yesterday, Donna Denbow, the instructing Attorney on the three-member team of Dr Claude Denbow SC, Jerome Rajcoomar (junior counsel) and herself, told Guardian Media Sports on Wednesday that she believes they have a very strong case against the ousted T&T Football Association (TTFA) executives, which is being represented by the pair of Dr Emir Crowne and Matthew Gayle.

On Tuesday, the Law firm which is situated on Oxford Street in Port-of-Spain filed an Entry of Appearance to the registrar of the High Court at the Hall of Justice on Knox Street.

FIFA on March 17 appointed a normalisation committee to govern T&T football, saying the association faced a very high risk of insolvency and illiquidity. However, Wallace and his team have been attempting to defend itself, by first going through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, however, their attorneys two weeks ago submitted a complaint of unfair treatment and bias toward the FIFA before the matter started and decided to withdraw they challenge opting to take their fight to the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago.

Denbow (Donna) said her team is currently in the process of putting together its defence, saying they are going to be defending the FIFA stoutly.

"We feel we have a very strong position and we will be coming out punching, we are not buckling down."

Denbow promised they will also be addressing concerns on why and how the FIFA ended up in the High Court when its Statutes clearly state that Member Associations, such as the TTFA, could not take it to the local courts in their respective country. She also believes Gayle, one of two TTFA attorneys, should also explain how the parties ended up in the high court.

Meanwhile, Denbow also took offence to an online report which labelled her firm as the 'Rolls Royce' of the legal profession, describing the report as defamatory. In explaining how her firm was chosen to represent the sport's supreme body, she said FIFA reached out to them.

"We just received a call and asked if we could handle the matter. How these things work is that normally people refer you, they check on you, they google you to see if you are competent and if you are their person, but more often we send our CV up and they would ask a few people, and we came on board. I don't know how they heard of us, we don't know." 

« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 06:48:02 PM by Flex »
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Offline asylumseeker

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De capo willing to spend 💰 on Trini soil but not on Swiss soil. :idea: :thinking: :thinking:

Can you think of foreign deep pocket who would be motivated to throw the bank against de capo? I bet allyuh know who would know who would know who would be down. 
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/BpgNkEpfdws" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/BpgNkEpfdws</a>

Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

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WATCH: Wired868’s Lasana Liburd discusses the Fifa normalisation committee with TV6 Morning Edition host Fazeer Mohammed.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/qZlmlibAVpg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/qZlmlibAVpg</a>

Member associations are not incentivized to poke their heads out on this impasse.  And,  there are also obstacles that would preclude them from understanding the particulars of the matter. However,  even if they have some awareness of the TTFA's position,  they would still need to be sensitized to a degree that would be difficult without comprehensive effort.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 02:48:05 PM by asylumseeker »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/BpgNkEpfdws" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/BpgNkEpfdws</a>

Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

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FIFA's dirty hypocrisy - Bailout Zimbabwe but 'normalise' T&T?
« Reply #468 on: May 27, 2020, 03:43:00 PM »
FIFA's dirty hypocrisy - Bailout Zimbabwe but 'normalise' T&T?
By Colin Murray (T&T Guardian)


Since my last article a few weeks ago relating to this TTFA/FIFA saga, I genuinely thought things would have gotten better. How silly was I? Every day, a different headline appears in the media and I have been following the battle intensely.

This, as I have from day one, felt and still believe that FIFA is wrong and the stance taken by Wallace and company is a principled one which I completely endorse - although one or two of my colleagues have tried to persuade me otherwise.

I am certain that many of us have found ourselves going down a similar road that the deposed TTFA (T&T Football Association) executive is travelling on. But, it is natural and good practice to stand up for what you believe in. What does not affect us personally, we have a lethargic tendency to sit back and watch on.

Interesting and encouraging is the fact that persons like T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis, who does not question FIFA statutes to appoint a normalisation committee, are questioning their “illogical manner” and unreasonable behaviour without any due process for its heavy-handed imposition on the TTFA.

Then, 'Mr Constitution' himself, Osmond Downer spoke out about FIFA's lack of principles concerning natural justice. These learned gentlemen could have easily sat in their corner and not gotten involved. But, they clearly know wrongdoing when they see it and have spoken out. Ultimately, no one can accuse either of them of favouring the deposed TTFA.

Unfortunately, upon my investigation, the same can't be said for other persons who have positions in various regional associations. So when a headline yells out, “Regional associations: Ban Wallace and Friends, not TTFA”, my initial thought was that Wallace had lost his support within the football fraternity. I would also expect the normal man in the street, following this impasse, would be thinking the same.

But, on checking the four regional associations - Southern FA (SFA) Eastern FA (EFA) Central FA (CFA) and the Eastern Counties Football Union, it was brought to my attention that they never supported the democratic election of Wallace and company in the first place. They were all openly in favour of other candidates. Moreover, when you examine each of these associations, they represent a sorry state of affairs for regional association football.

The SFA has five registered football teams to participate in their league and that represents the whole of the south zone - much unlike cricket which is broken down into south, south-east and south-west. Then, the EFA has seven teams. To lend some perspective, years ago when I coached Carib FC, there were two divisions and the first division had 12 teams alone. CFA has 10 teams of which seven are opposed to the president of the CFA, one of his supporters works for him so I don't know if one can count him in.

Undoubtedly, the biggest scandal of all is Eastern Counties - they have not had football there for two years but somehow they still have voting rights. What a disaster! I understand they were to have an AGM (annual general meeting) but it hasn't happened. I suppose COVID-19 would be a good excuse for them to use.

Imagine, these are the regional associations calling for Wallace to be banned. Shameless. These footballing outcasts (or are they misfits?) suddenly found a voice once again, seeing as nobody has heard from them since the elections apart from now to oppose the deposed TTFA. Quite frankly, I wish they will all just go back in their regional associations and try and improve their leagues whenever football gets going again because they have been failing miserably.

The Eastern Counties, on the other hand, should perhaps beg the imposed normalisation committee to come and help them so they can identify what a football looks like.

I remain confident that there are some in this country who can email or pick up the phone and call FIFA and say that what they are doing is damaging the image of T&T football. And if you are true to your word and really love the beautiful game, let's all sit around a table and see how we can solve this ugly mess. The crux of the problem is that I don't think FIFA wants to break this deadlock. We all know what they want and who they want. But, what they did not expect was this fight and resistance from the deposed TTFA. Credit to Wallace and his team because who in their right frame of mind would take on the mighty FIFA - often perceived as one of the world's most corrupt organisations.

Now, why would FIFA want to solve this dispute when they very well have orchestrated the heavy-handed imposition of this normalisation committee to suit their own purpose? This is the same FIFA that has recently agreed to bailout the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) of its US$10 Million debt which equates to about TT$67.5 Million. This bailout is in addition to the US$1 Million grant that FIFA issues the association annually. The TTFA's debt is roughly TT$17 Million less than the ZIFA but they send a normalisation committee here in T&T. Somebody, please help me with the maths here but I suppose it has nothing to do with maths, does it? You see, justice must not only be done but seen to be done. There is no justice here.

It will hurt if we get banned by FIFA and the youngsters will suffer - I have heard this ad nauseam and it is indeed indisputable. But, we have an obligation to those same youngsters to talk to them and teach them right from wrong; to stand up against injustice in a correct, law-abiding manner; to know that injustices should never be allowed to occur.

When we coach youngsters, it is not only to improve their football but to make them better human beings and this is one lesson, as tough as it may be, that they need to learn from and understand. No matter the outcome, little T&T stood up to FIFA to fight against injustice, hypocrisy and dirty underhand dealings.
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Denbow: We will be defending FIFA stoutly
« Reply #469 on: May 27, 2020, 07:01:11 PM »
Denbow: We will be defending FIFA stoutly
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian)


FIFA, the world governing body for football, is set to be defended at all cost for its position to appoint a Normalisation Committee to take charge of local football and thereby ousting the legitimately elected team of president William Wallace, Clynt Taylor, Joseph Sam Phillip and Susan Joseph-Warrick when the case comes up on June 16. FIFA was given 28 days to file its defence which was served on it on May 19.

When contacted yesterday, Donna Denbow, the instructing Attorney on the three-member team of Dr Claude Denbow SC, Jerome Rajcoomar (junior counsel) and herself, told Guardian Media Sports on Wednesday that she believes they have a very strong case against the ousted T&T Football Association (TTFA) executives, which is being represented by the pair of Dr Emir Crowne and Matthew Gayle.

On Tuesday, the Law firm which is situated on Oxford Street in Port-of-Spain filed an Entry of Appearance to the registrar of the High Court at the Hall of Justice on Knox Street.

FIFA on March 17 appointed a normalisation committee to govern T&T football, saying the association faced a very high risk of insolvency and illiquidity. However, Wallace and his team have been attempting to defend itself, by first going through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, however, their attorneys two weeks ago submitted a complaint of unfair treatment and bias toward the FIFA before the matter started and decided to withdraw they challenge opting to take their fight to the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago.

Denbow (Donna) said her team is currently in the process of putting together its defence, saying they are going to be defending the FIFA stoutly.

"We feel we have a very strong position and we will be coming out punching, we are not buckling down."

Denbow promised they will also be addressing concerns on why and how the FIFA ended up in the High Court when its Statutes clearly state that Member Associations, such as the TTFA, could not take it to the local courts in their respective country. She also believes Gayle, one of two TTFA attorneys, should also explain how the parties ended up in the high court.

Meanwhile, Denbow also took offence to an online report which labelled her firm as the 'Rolls Royce' of the legal profession, describing the report as defamatory. In explaining how her firm was chosen to represent the sport's supreme body, she said FIFA reached out to them.

"We just received a call and asked if we could handle the matter. How these things work is that normally people refer you, they check on you, they google you to see if you are competent and if you are their person, but more often we send our CV up and they would ask a few people, and we came on board. I don't know how they heard of us, we don't know." 
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Offline asylumseeker

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Defamatory? Please relax.
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Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

Offline maxg

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Defamatory? Please relax.
Ent. Maybe they consider themselves ‘Lamborghini‘., thru the FIFA / Concacaf Italian connects nah.

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Look Loy explains TTFA defiance: why teach the youth ‘hypocrisy, cowardice and self-interest’?.
Wired868.com


“[…] Some opposed to our resistance to Fifa talk about our supposed endangerment of ‘the youth’. But, in effect, their moaning merely teaches youth, by example, the abandonment of democracy, principle, justice, and fair play, for the prevalent values of our national intellectual and spiritual life: hypocrisy, cowardice, self interest, and convenience. It sickens me to my stomach.

“[…] It is a rich irony that the powers that be in Zurich—those who pretend to preach to us of ‘good governance’—are today embroiled in another tragicomedy of their own making, regarding illegal meetings with the Swiss attorney general and the perversion of the course of Swiss justice in cases involving Fifa. The world is not as blind as some of us here are…”

The following letter to the editor on United TTFA’s defiance of a Fifa order to implement a normalisation committee in Trinidad and Tobago, was submitted by TTFA Technical Committee chairman and Board member, Keith Look Loy:

“This is a matter of principle—not a matter of getting banned or not getting banned. Everybody in the world has a right to seek justice. If that is not the case, then something is wrong somewhere.”

These words from Mr Osmond Downer crystallise the central idea that has propelled United TTFA’s rejection of FIFA’s illegal attempt to remove the democratically elected leadership of the Association.

There are sacrosanct principles involved here—not the least of which are national sovereignty and democracy.

Some opposed to our resistance to Fifa talk about our supposed endangerment of ‘the youth’. But, in effect, their moaning merely teaches youth, by example, the abandonment of democracy, principle, justice, and fair play, for the prevalent values of our national intellectual and spiritual life: hypocrisy, cowardice, self interest, and convenience. It sickens me to my stomach.

The president of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, Brian Lewis, has given immaculate focus to the other critical point in all of this—Fifa’s brutal abandonment of all norms of civilised judicial process and justice. And I quote him:

“Fifa has the power, by virtue of their statues, to appoint a normalisation committee. The exercise of that right can’t be unfettered. It’s not a right to act in an arbitrary, illogical manner devoid of equitable treatment, rule of law and principles, without due process and natural justice; or to act unreasonably.”

Lewis is a highly experienced international sport administrator, and he has no dog in the fight. For him to publicly issue such a ringing condemnation of Fifa’s behaviour is remarkable, and is an indictment of Zurich’s barbaric handling of the TTFA.

There is no rational explanation of this behaviour to be found in Fifa’s regulations. There is no explanation other than that advanced by United TTFA—that is, Fifa is seeking the overthrow of a legitimate TTFA administration in order to protect its guilt by complicity for consistently turning a blind eye and ear to the malpractice of former president David John-Williams and his cohorts.

I refer explicitly to the continued issuance of ‘bounced’ cheques, to the failure to pay millions in statutory deductions from employee salaries to state authorities, and to the financial imbroglio that is the Home of Football, which is two million in debt (as exposed by Mark Bassant of the Guardian Media), and on which almost TT$16 million was spent without contracts, purportedly in cash. Fifa has to cover this up.

It is a rich irony that the powers that be in Zurich—those who pretend to preach to us of ‘good governance’—are today embroiled in another tragicomedy of their own making, regarding illegal meetings with the Swiss attorney general and the perversion of the course of Swiss justice in cases involving Fifa.

The world is not as blind as some of us here are.

Mr Downer makes the valid point that Fifa’s so-called normalisation committee order seeks to remove only the democratically elected officers and not the TTFA Board and committee officials. I have known this all along but elected to await the judicial disposition of the case before making a decision on how I, personally, will proceed.
That is to say, if the democratically elected officers, the William Wallace-led administration, are triumphant, I will surely re-engage.

If they are not and Fifa prevails, I do not see myself working with the so-called normalisation committee as a committee chairman, quite frankly. I will not collaborate with usurpers of legitimate authority. I would also have to make a decision on my board membership, in which I would involve the Super League clubs I represent.

In the interim, team staff with whom I worked closely as technical committee chairman are reporting to me the fact that Dion La Foucade is approaching them with demands that way exceed his contracted portfolio as technical director.

Both nature and arbitrary arrangements like Fifa’s so-called normalisation committee abhor a vacuum, I suppose. So the good gentleman is filling the gap. My big regret though, is that Fifa’s mad cap scheme has arrested the significant and successful initiatives we had undertaken, in less than four months, to structure TTFA’s technical work in both development and competitions.

Now we hear of job cuts and salary reductions among staff appointed by the Wallace-led board, as the so called normalisation committee looks to apply its ‘business model’—despite the fact that the 2020 Fifa funding due by right to the TTFA will easily cover the cost of staff.

“Football should never be the accomplice of dictators.”

These words of Eric Cantona, from his television series ‘Football Rebels’, ring true, always, and should guide all of us.

What Fifa, and its local accomplices and supporters high and low, are attempting to do, is to kill democracy and to replace it with a cynical caricature of itself, which it will proclaim to be democratic and progressive. We would inhabit a poorer football world and a poorer nation if that goes unchallenged and succeeds.

We are a free and sovereign nation, and we are, each of us, born under a Godly injunction to resist injustice. And this little Trinidad and Tobago will stand against the Fifa Goliath in front of the entire world.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Wallace’s team proposes bilateral discussion with FIFA
« Reply #473 on: May 29, 2020, 06:08:09 AM »
Let’s talk: Wallace’s team proposes bilateral discussion with FIFA
By Ian Prescott (T&T Express)


The “United TTFA” group yesterday sent correspondence to FIFA’S local representative attorney, Donna Denbow, seeking bilateral talks as a solution to its impending legal battle with football’s world governing body in the Trinidad and Tobago High Court.

Under the “United TTFA” banner, Trinidad and Tobago Football Association president William Wallace and his three vice-presidents have made a claim against FIFA, challenging the decision of the world body to replace them on March 17, when imposing its own normalisation committee to run local football.

With preliminary court action having already begun, United TTFA is arguing that the best solution to the TTFA-FIFA impasse is to be found in direct bilateral talks between the parties, thus avoiding a lengthy and costly legal proceeding. Representing United TTFA is the New City Chambers law firm, while the firm of Dr Claude Denbow SC is representing FIFA.

Yesterday, New City Chambers attorney Jason Jones wrote Denbow offering a mediated solution.

“While our client maintains its position in respect of the merits of its case, there is no escaping the fact that a working relationship between our respective clients is essential for the good of football in Trinidad and Tobago,” Jones said in his correspondence.

“I trust that good sense will prevail, and your client will now agree to meet our client at the negotiating table in the interest of and for the good of the sport.”

If FIFA fails to again respond to yesterday’s offer, United TTFA says it will vigorously pursue its T&T High Court claim.

“Given the urgent nature of the matter at hand, I would be grateful if you would be kind enough to indicate your client’s position on mediation by or before 2 pm on Friday 29th May 2020,” Jones wrote.

Yesterday’s letter to Denbow represents the third time United TTFA has formally approached FIFA proposing dialogue.

Attorney Jones wrote: “Our client’s president, Mr William Wallace, has repeatedly called upon your client to discuss the way forward with himself and his executive; but calls have thus gone unanswered.”

Wallace first wrote to FIFA president Gianni Infantino on March 24, a week after the world body announced its takeover of local football. Pleading his case that the TTFA’s $50m debt was historic and not of his three-month old executive’s making, Wallace asked two questions:“If specialist persons have to be sent, why can’t they work with the elected executive? Why is there a need for new elections if the elections held in November was free and fair?” he asked.

Replying three days later on March 27, FIFA’s Senegal-born general secretary Fatma Samoura dismissed the suggestion of mediation.

“While we understand that as the newly elected president you disagree with the FIFA Council Bureau’s decision to appoint a normalisation committee in the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, let me highlight that FIFA is competent to replace executive bodies of member associations by a normalisation committee for a specific period under exceptional circumstances (Art. 8 2 FIFA Statutes),” Samoura noted.

Samoura said based on its own assessment and in collaboration with Concacaf, FIFA considered the situation as exceptional enough to justify an application of the provisions of article. 8.2 of the FIFA statutes.

“FIFA will therefore not enter into any kind of unofficial correspondence of negotiation with you on the specific reasons for its decisions and reserves its arguments and evidences for any possible official legal action related to this matter,” Samoura said.
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Offline ABTrini

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Samoura said based on its own assessment and in collaboration with Concacaf, FIFA considered the situation as exceptional enough to justify an application of the provisions of article. 8.2 of the FIFA statutes.

“FIFA will therefore not enter into any kind of unofficial correspondence of negotiation with you on the specific reasons for its decisions and reserves its arguments and evidences for any possible official legal action related to this matter,” Samoura said.


This sounds like  grasping for straws- If you have a strong case, why pursue  any type of agreement?  What puzzles me is " FIFA 's  assessment and  collaboration with CONCACAF" !!  What assessment?  When was the assessment done? What was the assessment based on?  Who in Concacsf was consulted and collaborated with  for this decision?


This proves raises some doubts for me on both sides- and it also shows the heavy handed governance of FIFA governing with " just cause"

Could countries break away form another global body and play football - and say fck FIFA

Offline pull stones

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Wallace has a very thick skull, this is the third time he’s reaching out to fifa and I’m guessing that fifa will not respond.....again. come on wallace it’s either you’re in or you’re out, what’s with all the procrastination?

Offline asylumseeker

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Wallace has a very thick skull, this is the third time he’s reaching out to fifa and I’m guessing that fifa will not respond.....again. come on wallace it’s either you’re in or you’re out, what’s with all the procrastination?

Although I understand the rationale and objective, I agree with you on this. It's a bit much. It's somewhat akin to President Obama attempting to reach across the aisle despite appreciating the influence of a block of intransigent Republicans. If asked to revisit those decisions,  his approach would be different.
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Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

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I can see both sides of the issue. He is making plain for everyone to see that he has made attempts to negotiate with FiFa(who I think are the thick-skulled ones). If FiFa refuse this time go to the TT High court. F--K fifa!!!!! Someone asked what we should with fifa, I responded "blow them up". I stand by what I said.

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TTFA wants to settle FIFA dispute by mediation.
By Jelani Beckles (Newsday).


THE former TT Football Association (TTFA) executive, led by ousted president William Wallace, is hoping to settle their dispute with FIFA out of court, suggesting the matter be resolved through mediation.

TTFA attorney Matthew Gayle, in a letter on Monday addressed to head of litigation at FIFA Miguel Lietard Fernandez Palacios, wrote, “Since your having been served, it was brought to my client’s attention from a report in the public press that FIFA may be willing to consider the possibility of a mediated settlement in the matter. This would appear to be in response to the suggestion by my co-counsel to the effect that as a matter of principle a mediated response is always to (be) encouraged in such disputes, so as to best preserve the long-term relationship of the parties.”

The former T&T executive is fighting FIFA on its decision to disband the group, claiming FIFA has no right to interfere with a democratically-elected local body. The TTFA is being represented by Gayle, Dr Emir Crowne, Jason Jones and Crystal Paul.

On May 18, the former TTFA executive decided to take the matter against FIFA to the T&T High Court instead of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The TTFA felt they would not get a fair hearing at CAS.

Wallace and his team served claim documents to FIFA to indicate whether they want to defend themselves. The TTFA gave FIFA eight days, starting May 19, to respond.

FIFA responded saying they intended to defend it. Dr Claude Denbow SC and junior counsel Jerome Rajcoomar will be representing FIFA after filing their entry of appearance in the High Court on Tuesday.

The Wallace-led executive was removed from office by FIFA on March 17 after less than four months in the job.

The former executive was replaced by a normalisation committee led by local businessman Robert Hadad. The committee was formed to run the affairs of local football, including getting rid of the $50 million debt facing the local football body.

In his letter, Gayle also referred to the situation where FIFA agreed to help the Zimbabwean Football Association (ZIFA) clear its hefty debt. Gayle is hopeful that FIFA may be more willing to find an amicable resolution with the TTFA like what FIFA did with Zimbabwe.

“The ongoing dispute between the TTFA and FIFA will only have a deleterious effect on the sport which serves no proper purpose. That being said, the approach recently adopted by FIFA in respect of the Zimbabwean governing body of football does seem to suggest a more sensitive approach to FIFA’s duties towards national bodies.”

The Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe, on Saturday, reported that FIFA would “bail out” ZIFA of its US$10 million debt.

Gayle said they can take their request of mediation to the court.

“Furthermore, in default, of the parties having made considerable progress in these without prejudice discussions by the date for filing your defence, my client will be seeking an expedited trial of the matter.”

Jones, in a follow-up, sent a letter on Thursday to Donna Denbow of the Law Offices of Dr Claude Denbow SC, reiterating what was said by Gayle to FIFA.

The TTFA lawyers are hoping for a response to their request for mediation by 2 pm, on Friday.

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Wallace reaches out to Fifa for mediation for the third time, letter sent to Denbow
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


Besieged Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace made his third approach to Fifa today requesting mediation, via the world governing body’s local firm the Law Offices of Dr Claude Denbow SC, as the elected officers try to stave off their attempted removal.

The Fifa Bureau of the Council, headed by Fifa president Gianni Infantino, declared that Wallace and vice-presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Sam Phillip were removed immediately on 17 March after just four months in office, due to serious financial issues at the local football body.

Wallace subsequently wrote to Infantino on 24 March and Fifa’s head of litigation, Miguel Palacios, on 25 May requesting dialogue and stressing that TTFA officials are happy to work with Fifa and Concacaf to address the relevant concerns. Neither letter bore fruit.

At present, the two bodies are set to fight in the High Court where the TTFA filed an injunction to block Fifa and its normalisation committee from interfering in its operations. Fifa, through the Law Offices of Dr Claude Denbow SC, are expected to counter that the case should be fought at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) due to an arbitration clause in the constitution of both parties.

Attorney Jerome Rajcoomar, who is representing Fifa in the High Court alongside Dr Claude Denbow and Donna Denbow, declined comment on the matter.

Wallace, who is represented legally by Matthew Gayle, Dr Emir Crowne and Crystal Paul, made it clear that they would prefer an amicable settlement out of court.

“While our client maintains its position in respect of the merits of its case, there is no escaping the fact that a working relationship between our respective clients is essential for the good of football in Trinidad and Tobago,” stated Gayle, in an email to Mrs Denbow this morning. “Mr Wallace has repeatedly called upon [Fifa] to discuss the way forward with himself and his executive; but these calls have thus far gone unanswered.

“I trust that good sense will prevail and your client will now agree to meet our client at the negotiating table in the interest of and for the good of the sport. This approach, as I understand it, is in keeping with the spirit of Part 1.1, ‘The Overriding Objective of the Civil Proceedings Rule’.

“To this end, our client is optimistic that progress may be made towards a resolution of the issues promptly and without the need for further costs to be incurred by either of the parties to the instant matter.”

Wallace and his vice-presidents gave Fifa a deadline of 2pm on Friday to respond. Thus far, Infantino and Fifa secretary general Fatma Samoura have been unwilling to engage.

On 24 March, Wallace wrote to Infantino and, after enquiring about his health and the wellbeing of his family, ‘humbly’ sought dialogue of the Fifa Bureau decision that he described as: ‘a bit premature and unjustifiable’.

Again, the TTFA president hinted at the controversial real estate deal involving the Arima Velodrome as its ace to address the local body’s debt.

“Discussions commenced with the stakeholders which include arms of the government,” stated Wallace, “and even though this arrangement has prematurely [been put] in the media domain our foreign partners are still behind us. There were plans by our partners to visit Trinidad and Tobago in mid April to formally continue the conversation, of course based on Covid-19 this is not possible.

“They are however, preparing the necessary documents to send to us over the next couple days so that the conversation can continue. We humbly think this should have been given a chance to materialise because regardless of who is responsible for football in Trinidad and Tobago, progress would be impeded once this debt exists.”

More to the point, Wallace stressed that if Infantino wants to improve the governance structure at the TTFA, he would be pushing against an open door.

“If specialist persons have to be sent, why can’t they work with the elected executive?” asked Wallace. “Why is there a need for new elections if the elections held in November was free and fair? To the above questions I have no answers and because of the lack of clarity speculation is rife.

“My executive is willing to work with Fifa and Concacaf and hope that together we can have some dialogue on these issues and others and move forward for the good of the game in Trinidad and Tobago and the region.

“Many theories are been put forward as expected but once we can arrive at an amicable solution those would soon be relegated to the dustbin of history… We prefer that dialogue can commence and thus replace our legal action.”

Infantino never responded although, three days later, Samoura did on his behalf.

“While we understand that as the newly elected president, you disagree with the Fifa Council Bureau’s decision to appoint a normalisation committee in the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association,” stated Samoura, “let me highlight that Fifa is competent to replace executive bodies of member associations by a normalisation committee for a specific period under exceptional circumstances.

“Furthermore Fifa can, based on its own assessment and in collaboration with the relevant confederation, consider the situation as exceptional enough to justify an application of this provision.

“Fifa will therefore not enter into any kind of unofficial correspondence of negotiation with you on the specific reasons for its decision and reserves its arguments and evidences for any possible official legal action related to this matter.”

On 25 May, Gayle reached out to Fifa’s head of litigation on Wallace’s behalf and pointed to media reports that suggested the world governing body was set to help address the Zimbabwe FA’s US$10 million debt.

“The ongoing dispute between the TTFA and Fifa will only have a deleterious effect on the sport which serves no proper purpose,” stated Gayle. “That being said, the approach recently adopted by Fifa in respect of the Zimbabwean governing body of football does seem to suggest a more sensitive approach to Fifa’s duties towards national bodies.

“To be clear, the board of the [TTFA] have readily admitted that the claimant is in dire financial straits. This in large part, if not entirely, was due to the actions for the immediate past executive.

“[…] My client has instructed that I write to you to respectfully request you agree to an all parties conference to discuss on a without prejudice basis the matters between the parties, in a hope for amicable resolution…”

Fifa never responded.

Today, Wallace and his vice-presidents tried again through Fifa’s latest counsel.

The United TTFA, which includes the TTFA’s elected officers as well as North Zone president Anthony Harford and Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) president Keith Look Loy, said it prefers ‘direct bilateral talks between the parties’ and stressed that it views the courtroom as only a last resort.

“United TTFA states clearly that its three proposals for talks are intended to amicably resolve the issue at hand,” stated a release from the group today. “These [approaches] are made without prejudice to its High Court claim, which it will vigorously pursue if Fifa fails to respond, yet again, to today’s offer.”

Don’t write us! Fifa snubs mediation request, Wallace still hopeful but makes fighting case.
Wired868.com.


On Monday, attorney Matthew Gayle wrote to Fifa and requested mediation on behalf of his clients, Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace and vice-presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Sam Phillip, as an alternative to a High Court battle.

The TTFA’s request, which had a deadline of 2pm today, was despatched to Fifa before the Law Office of Dr Claude Denbow announced that it was representing the world governing body in the matter; and Gayle subsequently repeated the offer to the local firm.

Today, Emily Devlin, senior legal counsel for Fifa’s Legal and Compliance department, responded. And the message was, essentially, the time for talk has passed:

“I refer to your letter of 25 May 2020. Fifa has instructed Dr Claude H Denbow SC to act for it in relation to the above claim. All correspondence should be sent to Dr Denbow.”

Thus far, the Denbow firm has said even less. Up until this evening, four hours after the TTFA’s deadline, the legal team of Dr Claude Denbow SC, Donna Denbow and Jerome Rajcoomar had not even acknowledged the request—according to the local football body—let alone replied to it.

Rajcoomar told Wired868 that he had no comment on the matter.

Two months after Fifa’s attempt to remove the TTFA’s elected officers—just four months into their four year term—neither the world governing body’s president Gianni Infantino nor secretary general Fatma Samoura have shared the report from the ‘fact-finding mission’ that supposedly provoked their actions, or explained why they did not try to work with Wallace before pointing him to the door.

Wallace said Fifa officials have been nothing but consistent since the Fifa Bureau of the Council appointed a normalisation committee to run its affairs in Trinidad and Tobago on 17 March.

“Well, we await Denbow’s response now,” Wallace told Wired868. “It is unfortunate and probably consistent with how we were treated from day one. I, as president, am a member of Fifa and [think of it] like we are in a family; I would think if there was an issue there must be some sort of dialogue.

“Instead, they just sent in a normalisation committee. Something is not right there and it goes against everything that natural justice represents. We never got a chance to discuss anything, including our suggestions for dealing with the debt—nothing!”

Wallace, who is also the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) president, said he is aware that some local stakeholders are concerned about the potential ramifications of the TTFA’s fight with Fifa. And he suggested there are also persons who are trying to capitalise on this unease for their own political agendas.

“Everybody will have different perspectives but what is important is my vice presidents and myself are looking through the same lens,” he said, “and we are fighting something that we think is totally unjust—it is almost disrespectful. For me, this is a fight that is necessary and if at the end of the day we lose in the courts, then I will respect that and move on with my life.

“For all the people who say we are affecting the youths, for the last four years we were going backwards and teams were being disbanded or not being treated as they should and nobody said anything. [A Fifa suspension] is something that might happen; but the last four years actually happened and yet no one was talking out.

“We are prepared to live or die by our decision.”

Once more, Wallace suggested that the TTFA’s elected officials have the moral high ground and tried to frame the battle as such.

“We are fighting for justice and fair play and the future of our football,” said the besieged administrator. “The game is supposed to teach our young men and women lessons on and off the field of play, and definitely this is a lesson off the field of play that I think is extremely important for them to learn.”

Despite the consistency of Fifa’s cold message to local football officials, Wallace said he still has not given up hope for an amicable settlement.

“I am still optimistic that, even in their last correspondence, they said to contact their lawyer and perhaps that avenue might give us an opportunity to be heard,” he said. “Although I am disappointed with their response, I am still optimistic that we can get a positive response out of the Fifa.”

« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 06:46:20 PM by Flex »
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Nothing doing: FIFA does not acknowledge United TTFA’s mediation offer
« Reply #479 on: May 30, 2020, 08:36:52 AM »
Nothing doing: FIFA does not acknowledge United TTFA’s mediation offer
By Ian Prescott (T&T Express)


Football’s governing body FIFA turned down another offer by former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association executives to have mediated discussions as a solution to an impasse between the two bodies, which is headed to the local courts.

Under the “United TTFA” banner, TTFA president William Wallace and his three vice presidents have made a claim against FIFA in the T&T high court, challenging the decision of the world body to replace them on March 17, when imposing its own normalisation committee to run local football.

On Thursday, one of Wallace’s representatives, attorney Jason Jones, wrote FIFA’S local representative Donna Denbow on behalf of United TTFA, offering a mediated solution.

The “United TTFA” group had requested that Denbow give an indication by 2 p.m. yesterday as to whether FIFA was favourable to their request. Denbow has not responded.

“No, no, no response whatsoever,” stated attorney Matthew Gayle, advocate attorney for United TTFA.

“Not even an acknowledgement,” Gayle added. Previous to Jones’ correspondence to Denbow, his colleague Gayle had also written FIFA seeking bilateral talks. “The response to my letter, basically, was, ‘we have retained attorneys, contact them’,” said Gayle.

Jones’ letter to Denbow represents the fourth time United TTFA has formally approached FIFA, proposing dialogue. Gayle said United TTFA will now vigorously pursue its T&T High Court claim.

“In the interest of football, we were hoping we could reach out and have some discussions,” said Gayle. “Our client would be obviously disappointed that the end of the day has come and we have not even had an acknowledgement.

“My perspective is that it never hurts to talk. But to talk, you must have two willing parties,” Gayle declared.

“Our instructions are to progress with the claim in the normal way. That’s where we are. We are pushing forward with the claim.”

Denbow’s lack of response is the latest in a series of slights to the former TTFA executives from the world body, FIFA.

On Thursday, attorney Jones wrote: “Our client’s president, Mr William Wallace, has repeatedly called upon your client to discuss the way forward with himself and his executive; but calls have thus gone unanswered.”

Wallace first wrote to FIFA president Gianni Infantino on March 24, a week after the world body announced its takeover of local football. Pleading his case that the TTFA’s $50m debt was historic and not of his three-month old executive’s making, Wallace asked two important questions: “If specialist persons have to be sent, why can’t they work with the elected executive? Why is there a need for new elections if the elections held in November was free and fair?” he asked.

The response from FIFA through general secretary Fatma Samoura was that there would be no negotiations.
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