FIFA has lifted its suspension of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association thus clearing the way for the country to participate in international competition and participate in the draw for the  CONCACAF Gold Cup.

In a letter dated November 19, over the signature of FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura and addressed to Robert Hadad, Chairman of the Normalization Committee that was appointed in March, FIFA informed of the decision to lift the suspension that was imposed in September.

“We write to inform you that the situation of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has been referred to the Bureau of the Council on 17 November 2020,” said the letter that went on to rehash the situation that had unfolded over the last eight months and that concluded with the Court of Appeal in Trinidad and Tobago ruling in favour of football’s world governing body.

“In addition, the Court of Appeal stressed that in accordance with art. 57 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes and art. 67 of the TTFA Statutes, CAS was the only recognized path to resolve such dispute. Additionally, the Bureau was informed that on 26 October 2020, the FIFA administration received the minutes of the TTFA members’ meeting.”

At that meeting members of the TTFA voted overwhelmingly to “fully comply with its obligations as a member of FIFA, recognizing the legitimacy of the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee, and; bringing its own statutes in line with the FIFA statutes, and; to fully cooperate with the Normalisation Committee in the fulfilment of its mandate as stated in FIFA’s letter of March 17th, 2020; be it further resolved that all court matters existing between the TTFA and FIFA shall be immediately brought to a stop”.

The move ultimately ended the dispute and cleared the way for a return to normalcy.

“Under these circumstances, the Bureau decided on 19 November 2020 to lift the suspension of the TTFA with immediate effect. This means that all of the TTFA’s membership rights have been reinstated, as defined in art. 13 of the FIFA Statutes, with immediate effect,” the letter said.

“Consequently, TTFA’s representative and club teams are again entitled to take part in international competitions. This also means that the TTFA may benefit from development programmes, courses and training provided by FIFA and/or the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football.

“Moreover, FIFA member associations may again enter into sporting contact with the TTFA and/or its teams.”

In March, the ousted William Wallace administration had taken FIFA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the decision to dissolve the administration that had only been in charge for four months. They subsequently withdrew the dispute from CAS and placed it before the TT High Court of Justice, who ruled that FIFA’s decision was illegal and therefore null and void.

However, the Court of Appeal overturned the ruling.


Delegates of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) voted by an overwhelming majority this morning to inform the Robert Hadad-led Normalization Committee to advise FIFA that they will accept the committee managing the affairs of the association until they can have an Annual General Meeting in the next two to three years.

They also voted to cease all legal actions against FIFA and to reject William Wallace and his executive that had been in dispute with football’s world’s governing body since March and which has led to Trinidad being suspended from international football.

Thirty-three delegates voted in favour of the actions to be taken while two abstained during the virtual extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the fraternity’s 47-member delegation.

FIFA appointed a normalization committee in March after dissolving the William-Wallace-led TTFA's administration that was duly elected in November 2019. 

On Saturday, Wallace and his ousted executive announced their withdrawal from today's EGM after declaring that said EGM was properly constituted.

“Over the last seven months since March, we were fortunate to be allowed rare candid views of the TTFA as it is really seen from several other vantage points—including the international and the regional and, latterly, the judicial and the political,” Wallace said in a statement.

“That combination of different points of view, especially the political, has made it clear to my vice-presidents and me that our views and the views of some fraction of the membership remain at variance at this time.

“We are acutely aware that tomorrow is promised to no one of us and that it is the membership’s right to decide on the tomorrow they desire for the TTFA. We shall not stand in your way.”

 

 

 

The embattled executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has opted against attending a general meeting called for Sunday, in light of the recent legal defeat in court.

On Thursday, the island’s Court of Appeal in Trinidad and Tobago set aside an earlier ruling by High Court Judge Carol Gobin, which found that FIFA’s removal of the duly elected executive was “illegal null and void and of no effect”.  The executive has, however, not resigned as their status following the ruling remains somewhat unclear. If the power of the normalisation committee still stands, then a resignation would not be necessary.

The world football governing body opted to remove the executive earlier this year, after just four months on the job.  The Wallace-led executive, however, contested the decision, first at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), before withdrawing the case and taking it to the Trinidad and Tobago High court.  The decision saw the association run afoul of FIFA statues and it was suspended last month.

In wake of the ruling, the TTFA body is expected to begin the process of fulfilling the requirements set out by FIFA to regain re-admittance to international football.  In a recently released letter, Wallace insists he will not stand in the way of the rest of the body.

 “Over the last seven months since March, we were fortunate to be allowed rare candid views of the TTFA as it is really seen from several other vantage points—including the international and the regional and, latterly, the judicial and the political,” the letter read.

“That combination of different points of view, especially the political, has made it clear to my vice-presidents, Clynt Taylor and Joseph Sam Phillip, and me that our views and the views of some fraction of the membership remain at variance at this time. We are acutely aware that tomorrow is promised to no one of us and that it is the membership’s right to decide on the tomorrow they desire for the TTFA.  We shall not stand in your way,” he added.

Wallace reiterated the fact that he remained surprised that the executive had not received broader support for their actions.

 “I am still quite unable to comprehend how anybody can think that what Fifa did in March 2020 is acceptable. Maybe it was desirable that those who elected us should be consulted.

Frankly, however, it never occurred to us that anyone would view Fifa’s decision to send in a normalisation committee after a mere four months of our tenure in any way different from the way we viewed it. In addition, the action directly affected the executive and to some extent brought our names into disrepute,” it continued.

“We remain convinced that the right to make our case, to let our voices be heard, is a basic human right. It is a right which, in our view, FIFA denied us when they abrogated their responsibility at the Court of Arbitration. We are well aware of what that action led to.”

Wallace added, however, that the executive respected the decision of the appeals court.  Last week technical committee chairman Keith Look Loy announced his retirement from football administration.

 

A Court of Appeal in Trinidad and Tobago today set aside a ruling by High Court Judge Carol Gobin that FIFA’s removal of the duly elected executive was “illegal null and void and of no effect”. According to reports out of the twin-island republic, United TTFA that is led by William Wallace, was also ordered to pay legal costs.

FIFA had dissolved the executive of the TTFA in March and installed a normalization committee to oversee the affairs of the association. The ousted executive then took the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but eventually withdrew the case citing institutional bias.

They put the matter before the TT High Court of Justice where High Court Justice Carol Gobin ruled twice in favour of the TTFA – on August 13 and October 13 – in the first instance to say that the TTFA were entitled to justice from the local courts and then to declare FIFA’s actions illegal and null and void.

However, on Friday, the Court of Appeal, ruled in favour of the football’s governing body.

“The filing of these proceedings was a breach of Article 67 of the TTFA’s Constitution of which the TTFA is bound,” Chief Justice Ivor Archie ruled, according to 868Wired. “We are of the view that section 67 is unambiguous… The filings of these proceedings was therefore ultra vires, null and void and of no effect and will be struck out.

‘In accordance with the relevant provisions of the FIFA Statutes, any appeal against a final and binding decision passed by FIFA, CONCACAF or the leagues shall be heard by the CAS, unless another arbitration tribunal has jurisdiction in accordance with Article 69.

Prior to Friday's decision, William Wallace had said that if the ruling went against him, he would end all legal challenges against FIFA.

"If we lose this matter, that's it for me. There is no more appealing,” Wallace said in an interview on WESN Content Capital TV. “I [would] say 'Thank you very much' and I walk away. I have no intention of going beyond our court.”

The TTFA was represented by Dr Emir Crowne, Matthew Gayle, Jason Jones and Crystal Paul. Christopher Hamel-Smith SC, Jonathan Walker and Cherie Gopie represented FIFA.

In light of the devastating impact the recent Trinidad and Tobago High Court ruling could have on the country’s national program, it’s hard to not agree with Prime Minister Keith Rowley's assessment of the victory being a pyrrhic one.

The term itself comes from the example of Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose triumph against the Romans in the Battle of Asculum destroyed much of his forces, but while it was a famous tactical win, it eventually forced the end of his campaign.  If that metaphorical allusion is too complex, one could consider a tree with 211 branches; William Wallace and his executive have climbed to the edge of one of the highest ones, cut it off and celebrated while falling to the floor.

The ruling was declared as a victory of significant proportions for global football, but it really strains credulity to see how.  Last month, the majority of the TTFA members had voted to withdraw the case.  Rowley’s post might not signal the official position of the government, FIFA’s usual opposition in such matters, but it clearly seems that they do not support the action either.  Neither, does it seem, did a vast majority of fans of the sport across the country.  Perhaps the victory, framed as many things these often are these days, in disingenuous displays of fervent nationality, was only for a few disgruntled executives and their egos.

Believe it or not, the rest of global football has continued on as usual, in many cases oblivious to the ruling of the court or even suspension of the TTFA.  Qualifiers have continue as planned, and those of us who compete in the region will have the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifiers to look forward to in short order. 

There is a simple reason for the overall lack of interest.  While the case has been framed by many of those involved as a once in a lifetime battle of David vs Goliath, the real fact of the matter is surprise, surprise Trinidad and Tobago is not the only country to take FIFA to court, or even to secure a positive court ruling.  Perhaps many sold themselves the same stories at the start of the chapter, but the tale has always ended in much the same manner in a variety of disputes with FIFA.  If there was a case that was going to turn out differently, forgive the incredulity for not believing it would be an association that has racked up debts of almost $US10m and dogged by years of scandals and mismanagement, that breaks that trend.

Now don’t get me wrong, FIFA as an institution has gotten a lot wrong, on more than one occasion it has proven to be riddled with corruption and can often come off high handed and dictatorial.  However, for many FIFA members, all sovereign states, the deal is a Faustian bargain.  Like it or not, a lot of the organisation’s massive success has to do with its ability to set aside and solve petty grievances and rivalries that often consume international politics and ensure that, for the most part, whatever the stakes there is a game played on the pitch.  A part of that success then means that for many associations FIFA is able to successfully fund a huge part of the development of the game locally.

For many in the twin-island republic, it is the latter that would cause significant trepidation regarding the ruling.  In the case of the already cash strapped United TTFA, it surely comes down to things like funding needed to secure the livelihood of thousands of workers that serve the sport across the island.  It could mean blighting potentially bright youth prospects, who will not only lack competitions to showcase their talent, but funding to help develop it.  Depending on how long this impasse lasts an inactive national team could not only miss the upcoming World Cup qualifier, but fall behind in preparations for 2026, which will be held in the CONCACAF region and surely be a massive blow for fans if T&T cannot secure one of four extra places.  All in all, steep prices most are not willing to pay for a declaration of sovereignty. 

In recent interview with my colleges on the SportsMax Zone, which got quite heated at times, well-respected leading sports attorney Dr. Emir Crowne, who was one of the representatives for the TTFA, struggled to put what was achieved by the body for the overall good of the country’s football in any meaningful context.  Understandably, it was a tough job, I suspect outside of mere theoretical platitudes for those in charge, there is no real concrete benefit for the sport be found.  

As part of her ruling, the High Court judge found the section Article 8(2) of the FIFA Statutes, which speaks to the establishment of normalisation committees, was incongruous with the country’s municipal laws and was hence invalid.  A win, perhaps, but what is the endgame.  In the end, in all likelihood, the TTFA will have to amend the statues of its own association to completely enable its parent association to govern as set out in the statues.  A move previously taken by all other David’s in this battle, no matter how long it takes.

The Trinidad and Tobago High Court of Justice has ruled that FIFA’s removal of the executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) is illegal, null and void and of no effect. The High Court also ruled that the decision was made in bad faith and was for an improper and illegal motive.

In the decision that High Court Justice Carol Gobin handed the decision down on Tuesday night, the judge also ruled that the appointment of a normalization committee to interfere in the affairs of the TTFA is null and void and of no effect and that FIFA statute 8(2) is inconsistent with the provisions of the TTFA Act no. 17 of 1982.

The decision is a blow to the football world’s governing body, who has suspended the TTFA indefinitely, a move that has put Trinidad and Tobago’s chances of participating in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in jeopardy.

In March, FIFA effectively dissolved the executive of the TTFA that was elected to office in November 2019 and appointed a normalization committee to oversee the affairs of the association. Since then, the ousted executive led by William Wallace has been at loggerheads with FIFA as the two parties strive for a mutually agreeable outcome.

Sportsmax.tv will have more on this story on Wednesday.

 

 

Former Trinidad and Tobago international Kelvin Jack has called for an end to the ‘toxicity’ currently surrounding the nation’s football, beginning with a decision to withdraw the case against FIFA and a return to the international football fold.

The twin-island republic was suspended from international football last month, after disputing FIFA’s right to dissolve the country’s football federation and implement a normalisation committee.  Deposed Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) President William Wallace and his executive took the issue to the country’s High Court, which is expressly forbidden by FIFA’s statues.

In a strange twist of events, the United TTFA executive had agreed to withdraw the case as per the wishes of the wider membership but missed filing the application by the FIFA deadline.  The decision was subsequently taken to revive the case before the court.

While admitting that he felt a huge amount of sympathy for the deposed board, Jack insisted that the current actions taken by the United TTFA are detrimental to the sport.

“When Fifa appointed the normalisation committee, my first reaction was one of genuine surprise. I made that known to the president William Wallace and to [United TTFA member and technical committee chairman] Keith Look Loy.  I was empathetic towards the situation they were put in. I was particularly irked because I felt they only just assumed office but were then being forced out,” Jack said in a release first published in its entirety on Wired868.

The former goalkeeper, who was appointed men’s National Senior Team goalkeeping coach by the United TTFA, made it clear, however, that he did not see the need for the current course of action to continue.

“…this impasse that has crippled football. In my opinion, the ongoing court action is nonsensical and has a debilitating effect on Trinidad and Tobago football. The court action should be discontinued immediately,” he added.

Jack also took issue with some of the arguments he claims are used to support the continuance of the TTFA’s legal action.

“I have analysed the various arguments for the continued progression of this court action. From the supposed invasion of Trinidad and Tobago sovereignty to no football is being played right now because of the global pandemic, to the view by some that Trinidad and Tobago wouldn’t qualify for the 2022 World Cup anyway,” he said.

“These reasons are weak and incredibly disrespectful to the players, fans, potential sponsors, coaches, and referees.”

The player, who pointed out that he himself used the failed 2002 qualification bid to prepare for the success of 2006, admitted that he could not fathom a workable long-term plan being put forward by the TTFA, under the current circumstances.

“Maybe there is a plan? How will development programs be funded? How will salaries be paid? How will the players gain valuable international experience? How will our women’s team close the gap on our international rivals? How will our aspiring international referees develop?

Committed die-hard fans will be starved of watching their beloved national teams play in tournaments,” Jack went on.

“There are 211 countries that adhere to Fifa statutes; we are one. If we are truly honest we must realise we cannot, on one hand, utilise all the provisions of Fifa—for example, receive funding and playing in international tournaments—but then frown when one of the very statutes which we agreed to, the implementation of a normalisation committee, is used by Fifa.

If we detest the role of a normalisation committee in the Fifa statutes so vociferously, why did we join Fifa in the first place? Shouldn’t we have objected to the statutes all those years ago, or at the very least inform Fifa that we do not agree with the role of a normalisation committee—as we believe our sovereignty as an independent country supersedes their statutes?”

The embattled Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) William Wallace-led executive has sought permission to reverse the withdrawal of proceedings, in the case brought against FIFA, currently before the T&T High Court.

Earlier this week, a TTFA membership meeting that was held saw its membership unofficially vote to cease the TTFA action against FIFA in the court.  Wallace and his executive reluctantly agreed, and action was taken to withdraw the suit before the court on Wednesday.  The body, however, missed the deadline to withdraw the lawsuit by two minutes and were as a result suspended by FIFA.

Originally, the TFFA had been given until September 16 to withdraw the action, but FIFA had given a further extension until the 23rd

In explaining its reasons for choosing to suspend the TTFA, FIFA on Thursday said “The suspension was prompted by the former leadership of the TTFA lodging a claim before (the TT High Court) in order to contest the decision of the FIFA Council to appoint a normalisation committee for the TTFA. This course of action was in direct breach of article 59 of the FIFA Statutes, which expressly prohibits recourse to ordinary courts unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations.”

According to Keith Look Loy, a former member of Wallaces' TTFA executive, the reason for returning the case to the court is in order to challenge the FIFA suspension at the CAS.

 “We filed an injunction at the CAS against the suspension. But to ensure we had legal standing to do so, we had to have a legal matter before the local courts. Had the case been withdrawn from the court, there would be no legal standing in the local high court,” Look Loy told the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

“There would be no legal standing because they have no case before the court, which means they have accepted FIFA’s imposition of the normalisation committee. We do not accept this and thus had to withdraw the withdrawal application to file such an injunction against FIFA.”

Lawyers representing United TTFA have applied to the Trinidad and Tobago High Court of Justice seeking permission to withdraw the claims currently before the court regarding their six-month dispute with FIFA.

The move brings to an end William Wallace's case against FIFA in a bid to avoid being suspended from world football by the sports governing body.

The development comes, sources indicate, after there was majority vote against proceeding with the matter before the court, during an informal meeting of the TTFA on Tuesday night. Twenty-one members voted against pursuing the proceedings against FIFA, sources said. Eight voted in favour.

On May 18, lawyers for the William-Wallace executive had filed an application in the Trinidad and Tobago High Court seeking a permanent injunction to prevent FIFA from interfering or seeking to override the “fair and transparent democratic processes of the TTFA and/or preventing them from removing the executive of duly elected officers from office.”

FIFA filed an appeal that was thrown out by Madame Justice Carol Gobin.

In response, FIFA sent letters to the Normalisation Committee currently in charge of the affairs of the TTFA strongly suggesting that the claims be withdrawn.

Failure to do so by September 23, FIFA said, would result in them initiating proceedings to have the TTFA suspended from international football.

 On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT

 The NBA’S MVP criteria need to be re-visited.

 Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player for the second successive season after garnering 25 of the 101 first-place votes and 962 points in the voting. Although the award is based on the regular season, the fact that it is awarded during the playoffs makes it potentially contentious. In this case, although Giannis gets the award, his team, the Milwaukee Bucks, have gone home after the Miami Heat eliminated them in the second round of the playoffs.

The decision has raised eyebrows including that of that Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James with some even suggesting that LeBron was robbed of the award based on his overall contribution to his team.

James, who is still in contention to win his fourth NBA title, also alluded to the inconsistencies, “Sometimes it's the best player on the best team. Sometimes it is the person with the best season statistically. Giannis had a hell of a season; I can definitely say that."

The fact that the Lakers are in the Western Conference Finals while Milwaukee barely made it through the playoffs triggered the negative criticisms. Once the criteria for winning the award is consistent and the timing that the award is presented is altered, this will help in ensuring that there is little negative perception. There is a need to change and there needs to be consistency!

Glad to see both the Windies and England women supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

Taking a knee and wearing the Black Lives Matter logo are more than mere gestures. They are constant reminders and a subtle form of education.

Both the West Indies and England women will wear the Black Lives Matter logo on their playing shirts during the Vitality T20 International (T20I) series that begins on Monday, September 21. The decision was a mutual one taken by players and management based on current situation globally.

 West Indies Women’s captain Stafanie Taylor has been vocal about the cause, accepting that as athletes they have an important role to play in raising awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement. I commend the women, as their actions can be a driving force for education and giving a voice to the voiceless.

 All matches will be played behind closed doors at Derby, where West Indies have been based for the past three weeks.  Monday's series opener will be the first Women's international match since Australia defeated India in the T20 World Cup final in March of this year.

Trinidad and Tobago Football have been reduced to a game of wait and see. 

FIFA has given the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) an extended deadline’ of September 23 to withdraw its claims against it currently before the Trinidad and Tobago High Court of Justice.

Ousted TTFA president William Wallace, who says he has the support of roughly half of the local body’s delegates, has refused to back down.

 On August 26, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura firmly requested’ that the ‘TTFA former leadership’ withdraw its claim from the local High Court ‘by 16 September 2020 at the latest’. She said then that ‘failure to comply with this directive would result in the commencement of suspension proceedings.

With an extra five days, one can only hope that those involved in the ongoing dispute will act in a manner that will ensure that football wins. Meanwhile, the football-loving public is left sitting on the edge of their seats awaiting the fate of the sport they love. Let us hope good sense prevails!

FIFA has extended its deadline for the TTFA to withdraw all claims against them currently before the Trinidad and Tobago Supreme Court.

FIFA has agreed to settle their dispute with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) through mediation.

The elegant twin towers that decorate the POS horizon are both the same height.  If one is looking at them from the west one looks taller than the other; to the observer from the east one also looks taller than the other except that if both persons compare notes there will be an argument as to which tower is taller. It is a matter of perspective.

The issue arises when perspectives are being peddled as facts and more so when there is an attempt to use these “FACTS” to reshape an individual’s character.

Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response that counts.

Leadership is about being humble enough to admit your mistake.

When a story broke on Sportsmax that the salary signed off on Terry Fenwick’s contract is not what we agreed on.  My initial thoughts were that Terry unilaterally changed the terms of his contract.  In an attempt to get clarity on the situation, an easy solution was put forward; throw Terry under the bus.

Mistakes can be made, but to throw someone under the bus is deliberate and does not come naturally to me.

Further discussions revealed, for the first time to me at least, the details of the negotiations in finalizing the contract.  My understanding then and still is that the terms in the contract that came under scrutiny were indeed part of the final settlement but the MISTAKE was that they should not have been reflected in the final TTFA contract.  I admitted then that a mistake was made and that it would be corrected.

  Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response that counts.

 Leadership is about being humble enough to admit your mistake.

Even with this explanation, the matter refused to die and the narrative changed to one that said, the President unilaterally changed the terms of the contract and this narrative was given more life when a member of my own team endorsed it.

The facts are as follows:

  • I played absolutely no role in the negotiation of Fenwick’s contract. This negotiation was left entirely in the hands of the Technical Committee
  • Two emails were sent to me by the GS on Tuesday, December 17th, while I was in Qatar. The Subject: Adjusted terms and conditions.

 In one email the GS indicated that there was agreement on the final terms of the contract.   The attachment in the email indicated a salary of USD 20,000.

 

The second email forwarded was from Peter Miller to Keith Lookloy.  Details of the second email are as follows;

 

Dear Keith,

After much discussions, a revised position has been arrived at which is attached for your information prior to our discussions on Thursday. Please feel free to give feedback in order to arrive at a firm position given the urgency of the matter.

Kind regards.  

The attachment in this email indicated a salary of USD 20,000.

 

  • I assumed that the final terms would have been sent by the negotiating team to the attorney to prepare the contract.
  • When the contract came back to me and was handed over by my General secretary for signing there were no red flags.
  • I signed the contract believing that the terms therein were agreed on with my negotiating team.

Questions:

 Were the terms agreed on at the end of the negotiations and sent to the attorney for the preparation of the contract altered?  If the answer is yes then the action could not be ascribed to me, since I played absolutely no part in the process but just signed off on the product.

If the answer is no; Is it that clear directions were not given to the attorney as to what should have been put into the contract?

How could it then be concluded and supported by persons who are aware of the facts that the President changed the terms of Terry Fenwick’s contract?

General Secretary

I move to the other issue and that is the Ramesh Ramdhan’s contract.  As one Senior Counsel puts it; “from reviewing the TTFA constitution it seems as though the General Secretary is the sole responsibility of the President.  The discussion with the Board is merely a courtesy”

Even without this interpretation, I acted based on my own interpretation of the constitution, along with common sense and logic.  My condemnation in this matter was based merely on the persons who were speaking the loudest and fuelled by their own agenda.

Nowhere in the constitution speaks to the Board drawing up the terms and conditions of the GS.  The Board role is to appoint or dismiss the GS on the proposal of the President.  Ramdhan was proposed to the Board and the Board agreed to his appointment.  A suggestion was made by a Board member that the length of the contract be one year, and I say a suggestion because the Board is not empowered to draw up the terms of the GS contract.  If this power is ascribed to the Board it means that all the other terms of the contract should have been drawn up by the Board and not just the length of the contract.

Just to draw on a bit of logic, if in my discussions with Mr Ramdhan, he refused a one-year contract, is it that I had to search until I find someone who agreed with the proposed one year.  

 Even with that said, the reason for giving the General Secretary a two-year contract was not shrouded in any conspiracy and is in fact more than reasonable. Factors such as the two years contract agreed on for the National Senior team staff; the role the GS had to play in the role out of the activities of the FA, and average term given to previous secretaries were all taken into consideration. 

As one of the framers of the constitution said in a recent article, once the decision was made and taken back to the Board, the Board had to accept. This position is consistent with the Senior Counsel who indicated it’s a matter of courtesy. Unfortunately, the courtesy to the Board was curtailed by the Covid19 shutdown.  Just to note the GS has never been paid. 

Did the President preparation of General Secretary’s contract, based on the interpretation of the constitution unilaterally change the terms of the General Secretary contract?

Unfortunately, the two acts above were responsible for my team making a statement that they have lost confidence in me. Even more unfortunate this position was made public before I was given the chance to be heard. The team has since met and recommitted to moving forward.

  Peter Miller

As part of the United TTFA, I was initially asked to consider leading the group but refused to commit. The major reason given for my noncommittal was the financial state of the TTFA.  I reasoned that the only way that I am committing is if there is a plan to deal with the debt.  During this period, my deceased friend, Raymond Timkee shared with me a very impressive commercial package designed for the TTFA, that was negotiated on his behalf, and which would be implemented if he was elected president. In that package was a plan to deal with the historic debt of the FA, and of course, that piqued my interest.  I was also introduced to the name, Peter Miller.

 Based on Mr Timkee’s failing health he eventually asked me to go forward with the plan. The package was presented to the other members United TTFA and they were all impressed.

I gave my word to Peter Miller that if I was elected president, I will honour the agreement that he had with Timkee. The truth is Peter Miller’s package/presentation was responsible for us winning the elections, our campaign was based on its content and we were heavily dependent on its successful rolling out after November 24th.

Post-November 24th, Peter Miller indicated that he needed an agreement before he moves forward to firm up the pre-election letters of intent. This was not an unreasonable request; however, it presented a dilemma for me to find a way to transition the un-official arrangement with the United TTFA to the TTFA.  Settling this quickly was made even more urgent since by then, we realised that the situation that we met in the FA was even more dire than we expected and that we had to depend on Miller to deliver.

The GS and I tried to find a way to navigate the situation, but the options were few.  The only workable decision open to us at that time was the one I took and that is a decision to sign an agreement with Miller.

I took this decision as leader of the team and decided not to burden anyone else with it.

Was there an inherent risk? Yes, but there are times when you have little choice.

Agreement

  • Miller position was that no changes be made to the original agreement with Raymond Timkee, however, my suggestion to Miller was that the flat rates quoted as a monthly salary would have to be reflected as a percentage of what was delivered and that there were no issues if instead of lumpsum payments the disbursement was done monthly.

It did not matter to me what the percentage was because the numbers were already agreed on with Raymond and I gave my word before the elections that I will honour the agreement.  In addition, my own philosophy is that we had nothing so whatever came in would be more than we had.

  • Via email, Miller asked if any part of FIFA funding could be used for marketing. The GS responded via mail that FIFA Forward funding cannot be used for in any way. (emails available)

The Plan

  • To sign a letter of intent since any binding contract of this nature has to be approved by the Board. The intent, of course, was to make sure that Miller remained on board and what we campaigned and depended on could still be delivered.
  • Payment to Miller would come from what he brings to the table so there is no direct risk to the TTFA
  • We get the Board to agree in principle that we have to outsource marketing. The Board did agree.
  • The roll-out of the sponsorship was carded for June. Once the successful roll-out commenced, a recommendation would have been taken to the Board to officially contract Miller as the marketing person.

Conclusion

  • Since entering office, no action taken by me brought any personal benefits to me, my intentions were that TTFA would always be the beneficiary.
  • A major part of our relationship with Miller was the proposed project to finally eliminate the historic debt of the FA. Everyone would agree that this has to be addressed.
  • A headline in Wired868 that said I lied, was unfortunate. When asked if Peter Miller had a contract with the TTFA, in an attempt to manage an ongoing situation, I answered no. Well, technically the answer was correct, but I do not want to hide behind any technicality and in retrospect, the answer could have been… I would respond to the question at a later date.

 

  Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response that counts.

 Leadership is about being humble enough to admit your mistake

Of major importance is that even though these matters may have originated inhouse, there is a very important reason why they are playing out like this in the public domain. In the coming weeks, the picture would be made much clearer.

Thank you.

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has reached out to lawyers representing FIFA requesting mediation in their dispute over the appointment of a normalization committee in March, Sportsmax.TV sources indicate.

They now await a response from FIFA’s lawyers, Messrs M.Hamel-Smith and Co. indicating whether they will agree to the request.

The William Wallace-led executive was dissolved by FIFA in March and a normalization committee appointed just four months after the TTFA Annual General Meeting in November 2019. FIFA cited poor financial management and the FA’s massive debt as reasons for the appointment of the committee to oversee the association’s affairs.

William Wallace retained the services of Dr Emir Crowne and Matthew Gayle instructing them to take the matter to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). However, in late May the New City Chambers attorneys were instructed to withdraw the appeal before CAS fearing ‘institutional bias’.

Subsequently, the matter was taken to the Trinidad and Tobago High Court of Justice.

Since then, Wallace has come under increased pressure from his board following revelations relating to three contracts signed with Avec Sports, national coach Terry Fenwick and Ramesh Ramdhan. All three contracts were reportedly signed without the required agreement from board members.

These revelations, first publicized on the the Sportsmax Zone, have turned the board members against the beleaguered president.-S

Power is the ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events. Transparency in governance focuses on honesty and openness. Question; is it that when one gets power it clouds their ability to be transparent? 

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