FIFA suspends TTFA indefinitely - letter warns federation's actions are threat to global football stability

By Sports Desk September 24, 2020

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has been suspended indefinitely by FIFA, after its failure to comply with a request to withdraw a legal case against the global football body currently before the courts of Trinidad and Tobago.

The case was brought before the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago by former TTFA president William Wallace and other deposed executives.  The members had taken umbrage with FIFA’s disbanding of the then four-month-old administration and its installation of a normalisation committee to take over the country’s football affairs.

According to a letter issued by FIFA on Thursday, however, the actions were in direct violation of article 59 of the FIFA Statutes and that the issue had been recommended by the Bureau of the Council, who took action.

“The Bureau took note that this course of action breached art. 59 of the FIFA Statutes, which expressly stipulates the prohibition on recourse to ordinary courts of law unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations,” the letter read.

“Additionally, the Bureau was informed that the institution and maintenance of those proceedings by these individuals, purporting to act in the name of the TTFA, in complete disregard for the FIFA Statutes threatens the stability of the structure of football governance, both in Trinidad and Tobago and globally.”

The letter also pointed out that FIFA had given the TTFA until September 16, to withdraw the case before the court and subsequently given a final deadline of September 23 at 3:00 pm, which was also not met.

As a result of the suspension, the TTFA will be deprived of its rights as a member, which means that neither its clubs nor national teams will be allowed to compete in any international competitions.  Funding for development programs will also immediately be cut.

The letter gave three conditions under which the renegade body would be re-admitted to global football.

  1. The TTFA complies with the terms and conditions of its membership of FIFA as set out under the FIFA Statutes, including in particular Article 59 of the FIFA Statutes;
  2. The TTFA acknowledges and confirms FIFA’s power and authority to appoint a Normalisation Committee subject only to the right of the TTFA to appeal such a decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport;
  3. The TTFA Statutes are amended to ensure that all type of disputes may only be submitted to the established dispute resolution forum at CAS.

The suspension will immediately impact the country’s participation in the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

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