Wallace defeats Williams to become new TTFA president

By Sports Desk November 24, 2019
Former TTFA president David John-Williams (left) and newly elected president Williams Wallace. Former TTFA president David John-Williams (left) and newly elected president Williams Wallace.

William Wallace, president of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), defeated incumbent David John-Williams to become new Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) boss, at the Home of Football in Couva, on Sunday.

It took two rounds of voting, but in the end, Wallace received 26 votes to John-William’s 20.  The first round of voting ended with no candidate able to get enough of the votes from the 46 delegates allowed to take part in the process.  The number needed to win the election was 24.  Wallace led with 20 votes, John-Williams had 16 and Richard Ferguson had 10.  Ferguson was as a result eliminated from the contest.  In the second round, it seems six of Ferguson’s supporters voted for Wallace and the remaining four selected John-Williams.

The election result marked the end of a stormy tenure for John-Williams, who was often accused by his detractors of leading an authoritarian administration that lacked transparency.  The venue for the elections, the Home of Football, had long been held up as the crowning achievement of the John-Williams association and one of the main reasons it should have been handed a second term.  The argument, it seems, did not resonate well enough with the voters.

In the vice-presidential contest, Clynt Taylor defeated Selby Browne 27-17 to claim the position of first vice-president.  Taylor is the Central FA general secretary while Browne, a member of John-Williams’ Team Impactors slate, is the interim president of the Veteran Footballers Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFOTT).

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  • BFA treasurer Donovan expects FIFA suspension for TTFA BFA treasurer Donovan expects FIFA suspension for TTFA

    Barbados Football Association (BFA) treasurer Adrian Donovan believes the Trinidad and Tobago FA are on their way to being suspended, considering recent retaliation against the implementation of a FIFA normalisation committee.

    The football world governing body made the decision to disband the TTFA and implement a normalization committee, following what it claims was a fact-finding mission to the twin-island republic.  According to FIFA the TTFA had “extremely low overall financial management methods” and extreme debt.  In doing so FIFA quoted article 8:2 of FIFA’s statutes, which states, "Executive bodies of member associations may under exceptional circumstances be removed from office by the council in consultation with the relevant confederation and replaced by a normalisation committee for a specific period of time."

    The William Wallace-led association has, however, since threatened to take the matter to the Courts of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) a move that Donovan considers a mistake.

    “I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever, that the TTFA will be suspended,” Donovan told the Barbados Advocate.

    “In all of this FIFA is absolutely correct if they have to suspend this national federation because all those who signed off on the FIFA Statutes are expected to follow their rules and regulations,” he added.

    “When you sign under FIFA rules and regulation and you have no legitimate evidence as to how you have spent their money, it is only a matter of time before the weight of FIFA would be felt.”

    Since coming to office the William Wallace-led association pointed to mismanagement in the implementation of the Home of Football project, put in place by the previous administration.  The new executive seemed set to put into place another ambitious project at the Arima Stadium.

     

  • Opinion: FIFA article 8.2 promotes bullying Opinion: FIFA article 8.2 promotes bullying

    The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is the most powerful sporting body in the world and it should be.

    FIFA is in control of 211 football associations throughout the world, in a sport that is the most popular and profitable on the globe.

    However, the association hasn’t always used that power in the most judicious ways and recently went through a harrowing couple of years with evidence of widespread corruption beating down on its reputation.

    Many bans and jail sentences later, FIFA has tried to change its image with new, progressive bosses with a more inclusive management style.

    But, in truth, FIFA is a fiefdom and that was made very clear in the events in Trinidad and Tobago over the last week.

    The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s (TTFA) board does not exist anymore and its president, scratch that, former president, looks set for a lengthy legal battle to change that.

    I do not want to get into the who is right and who is wrong, even though there are questions FIFA should answer.

    Here are the facts as we know them.

    An arm of FIFA called the Bureau of the FIFA Council investigated the financial affairs of the TTFA, which had just gone through the process of electing a new president in William Wallace just over three months before.

    According to the council’s findings, the TTFA was in bad shape financially, so bad, that it risked the possibility of insolvency if the situation were not arrested.

    Further, the council says it found that there was no plan to assuage the situation, leading it to replace the TTFA’s board with a normalization committee that would be in place for a maximum of two years after which it would hold elections to create a new board with its own mandate.

    On an interim basis, FIFA installed former TTFA Finance Manager Tyril Patrick to oversee the day-to-day activities of the organization before the normalization committee could be properly vetted, organized and begin to work.

    According to FIFA, that normalization committee would be given a mandate to:

    • Run the TTFA’s daily affairs;
    • Establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA;
    • 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;
    • Organise and conduct elections of a new TTFA executive committee for a four-year mandate.

     

    But today, the TTFA has no direction as interim boss, Patrick, declined the position after lawyers for Wallace wrote to him, calling his appointment illegal, or at the very least unconstitutional.

    In fact, the former TTFA boss has not taken his ousting lying down and is contemplating taking his grouses to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, pointing out that FIFA has ignored his plans to get the TTFA out of debt and is claiming prejudice against his administration, pointing first up to the timing of the ‘coup d’etat’ and the implications of a friendship with the TTFA’s previous boss, as well as inconsistencies regarding a FIFA-TTFA joint project dubbed ‘The Home of Football’.   

    I won’t look at any of that, however. I am more interested in the entrenched laws that allow FIFA to make a decision of this nature.

    Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president, Randy Harris sympathises with the ousted TTFA administration but believes FIFA well within their rights to install a normalization committee.

    Harris is right because of article 8.2 of the FIFA statute.

    Article 8.2 states: ‘Executive bodies of member associations may under exceptional circumstances be removed from office by the Council in consultation with the relevant confederation and replaced by a normalisation committee for a specific period of time’.

    It is here that I have a problem though.

    I suppose, FIFA, as arbiters of the sport, must have in its bylaws, appropriate actions to ensure the continued growth of the sport throughout the world, but I find this article distasteful.

    The article admits that the council is removing an ‘Executive’ body which has been duly elected by administrators of the sport within a country. This means, FIFA is saying it reserves the right to ignore the democracy of an entity when it has a mind to do so.

    I say ‘has a mind’, because it is the council who decides what is an ‘exceptional circumstance’ and in this instance, it very well might be. But the fact that it is FIFA making this judgement, is problematic.

    Each Member Association has elections and it is there that they decide if the fate of their organization can be managed by its leaders. It should certainly not be as easy as it was for FIFA to overturn that decision.

    It means, in essence, if a Member Association does not operate its own affairs just the way FIFA says it should, and each country has a different set of circumstances to deal with that could mean varying ways of operating such affairs, then you could find that you have no say.

    Harris pointed to this fact in a radio interview with Trinidad and Tobago’s i955 FM’s ISports radio, saying “The Trinidad and Tobago FA has found itself in a sad situation which all of us in the Caribbean could be in tomorrow.”

    Therein lies my problem. This particular ‘takeover’ may very well be warranted with the TTFA in debt to the tune of TT$50 million, the question is, who decides this, and how can it be that ‘little’ Member Associations have no say in deciding whether or not they need outside help?

  • 'I don't know Jack like that' - Wallace insists FIFA told Warner relationship does not exist 'I don't know Jack like that' - Wallace insists FIFA told Warner relationship does not exist

     Deposed Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace has distanced from any link between himself and former T&T football top man Jack Warner.

    Warner, who received a ban from football for life in 2015 and is still facing extradition to the United States on corruption charges, was a known supporter of Wallace ahead of his successful bid to oust former president David John-Williams three months ago.

    Speculation has since been rife that an association between Wallace and the former disgraced FIFA officials was one of the reasons the world football governing body disbanded the newly elected TTFA administration.  Wallace was quick to insist, however, that he did not have a close relationship with Warner and indicated as much to FIFA.

     “That is a perceived relationship and one that I don’t have that when it came to the fore, I wrote FIFA, I wrote CONCACAF indicating to CONCACAF that there is no such relationship with Mr. Jack Warner and I guess that if at the end of the day that letter meant nothing then so be it,” Wallace said in an interview with the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show.

    Wallace, who was relieved of his duties by FIFA last week, went on to point out that he received solid support from a lot of individuals who wanted change during the election and that he could not control who Warner chose to support.

    “We had a host of people supporting us and actually, we won the election 26 votes to 20 votes so it meant that 26 of the delegates supported me along with many other Trinidadians who felt at that point in time that something was definitely wrong with the organisation at that point and they needed a change so as a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, even though Jack Warner expressed his opinion in terms of there should be change at the association then he has a right to do that, I really can’t stop him from doing that,” he added.

    FIFA sent word of its decision to replace the TTFA executive with a normalisation committee two weeks ago in the face of what it described as extremely low overall financial management methods, combined with massive debt.  A surprised Wallace, who pointed to positive meeting with FIFA only a few weeks prior has vowed to fight the decision.

     

     

     

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