TTFA lawyers demand retraction of FIFA letter appointing normalization committee

By March 23, 2020

Lawyers representing the ousted executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) are demanding that FIFA withdraw their letter appointing the normalisation committee following their failure to respond to correspondence challenging the legality of said committee and the appointment of an interim manager.

They also declared that Tyril Patrick’s decision to remove himself as interim manager of the TTFA further strengthens their position.

On March 21, 2020, Patrick, who was the accountant employed by the previous TTFA administration, responded to the attorneys’ assertion that his appointment was invalid, stating that he was no longer accepting the appointment and that he had informed FIFA of his decision.

The lawyers, Matthew Gayle and Dr Emir Crowne, in a series of letters to Member Association Services Manager Sofia Malizia, questioned the motives behind FIFA’s installation of the normalization committee that replaced the executive that was constitutionally elected in November 2019.

“The political backdrop of this matter is not lost on those we represent,” Gayle wrote. “The ‘existing debt of at least USD 5.5’ was wholly accumulated under, or as a consequence of actions taken during the previous TTFA administration.

“That notwithstanding, FIFA stood idly by and took no punitive steps whatsoever. Now, in the face of a new administration with less than three months substantive tenure, which now threatens to uncover the rank impropriety of the previous administration by installing a regime of financial probity, the FIFA steps in an attempt to prevent this.

“It is passing strange that you purport to have installed Tyril Patrick, the accountant who oversaw at least in part the amassing of the very debt that the FIFA now complains of.”

Gayle and Dr Crowne also questioned the veracity of FIFA’s decision.

“The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association is a sovereign body established by an Act of Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago by way of Act 17 of 1982, The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (Incorporation) Act, 1982.

“The duly elected executive or any individual member may only demit office by operation of the constitution of the TTFA, which makes no allowance for the appointment of yourself or any other person to ‘oversee’ the day to day affairs of the TTFA as the FIFA letter purports to do or in any other capacity in place of the duly elected executive.

“It is, therefore, our client’s respectful view that the FIFA letter is null, void and no legal effect. It is not in any way binding on them.”

FIFA had until 8:00 am Monday, March 23, to respond to the lawyers but did not, which prompted the lawyers to draft another letter stating their position.

“As you will no doubt we aware by this point, Mr. Patrick has declined to accede to your unlawful and/or void and/or improper and/or unconstitutional attempts to interfere in the day-to-day running of the TTFA by the duly elected executive, led by President Mr. William Wallace,” Mr Gayle wrote.

“Our client’s respectful view is that your failure to respond by the stipulated deadline, coupled with Mr. Patrick’s clear indication that for his part he recognises the sovereignty of the TTFA, is a clear indication that FIFA itself has acknowledged the sovereign nature of the TTFA, ought rightly to put this matter to an end.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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