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HomeSPORTSFootballFIFA SUSPENDS TRINIDAD & TOBAGO FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION

FIFA SUSPENDS TRINIDAD & TOBAGO FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION

FIFA has suspended the TT Football Association (TTFA) and TT will now be excluded from all FIFA-sanctioned tournaments, with immediate effect.

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The length of the suspension was not given, but with the 2022 World Cup qualifiers starting in March and the Concacaf Gold Cup set for July 2021 the national footballers may be denied opportunities to represent TT.

A letter by FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura to the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad, said, “Starting on 24 September 2020, amongst other consequences, neither the TTFA’s national teams nor its clubs will be allowed to participate in any international competitions.”

The letter also said the “TTFA and its members will not benefit from the FIFA or Concacaf financial/development programmes.”

The FIFA website, on Thursday, said, “The Bureau of the FIFA Council today suspended the TTFA with immediate effect due to grave violations of the FIFA Statutes.”

The announcement by FIFA comes just one day after the United TTFA, led by William Wallace, decided to withdraw its court matter against FIFA.

A media release was sent by the United TTFA at 1 pm on Wednesday confirming the decision to withdraw the matter, but the deadline was not met.

United TTFA had until 3 pm on Wednesday to withdraw its case. The affidavit of William Wallace in support of the application for permission to withdraw was sent at 3:02.03 pm.

The FIFA release said the United TTFA had until “16 September to withdraw the case but failed to do so. This deadline was then extended until 23 September, which was not respected either.”

The United TTFA (comprising Wallace, his vice-presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Joseph Sam Phillip, as well as Keith Look Loy and Anthony Harford) was fighting the decision by FIFA to remove the United TTFA’s executive and appoint a normalisation committee (comprising Hadad, Nigel Romano and Judy Daniel) in March to run local football.

The United TTFA was only at the helm for four months. On November 2019, Wallace replaced David John-Williams as TTFA president.

The main reason FIFA made the decision to appoint the normalisation committee was because of the TTFA’s massive debt of TT $50 million.

Giving more details on why the TTFA was suspended, FIFA 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.”

FIFA also said the “former leadership of the TTFA had engaged in various acts of serious mismanagement.”

The world football body also said the United TTFA’s actions “jeopardises” the “future of football in TT.”

FIFA said the suspension can end, but it depends on TTFA’s actions moving forward. “This suspension will only be lifted when the TTFA fully complies with its obligations as a member of FIFA, including recognising the legitimacy of the appointed normalisation committee and bringing its own statutes into line with the FIFA Statutes.”

Hadad, in a media release following FIFA’s decision, said his efforts to prevent the suspension were futile.

“Unfortunately, the TTFA again finds itself in a very negative situation. The normalisation committee made every effort to prevent this suspension.”

He added, “On several occasions, we managed to have deadlines extended and we appealed to the few individuals from the previous regime to drop their legal action and do the right thing.”

The United TTFA members were not thinking of the players during their battle with FIFA, according to Hadad.

“Unfortunately those few individuals have put their own interests before the TTFA’s. They knew very well this approach would have serious consequences for football in our country and yet they still pressed ahead with their own agenda. Their actions have had no regard for the coaches, the players and the fans in our country.”

Hadad said it is now time to allow the normalisation committee to do its job.

“The FIFA appointed normalisation committee is the only way forward. It (is) still the only recognised body by FIFA and the football family needs to work with us so we can put everything into getting this suspension lifted. It is incumbent on us to come together and fix the TTFA for the good of future generations.”

This story was originally published with the title “FIFA suspends TT Football Association” and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.

FIFA has suspended the TT Football Association.

The FIFA website, on September 24, said, “The Bureau of the FIFA Council today suspended the TT Football Association (TTFA) with immediate effect due to grave violations of the FIFA Statutes.”

The announcement by FIFA comes just one day after the United TTFA, led by William Wallace, decided to withdraw its matter against FIFA from the courts.

A media release was sent by the United TTFA at 1 pm on Wednesday, confirming the decision to withdraw the matter.

The FIFA statement said, “The suspension was prompted by the former leadership of the TTFA lodging a claim before a local court in TT 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.”

It continued, “A normalisation committee was installed by the FIFA Council after it was established that the former leadership of the TTFA had engaged in various acts of serious mismanagement. The decision of the former leadership to go to a local court to contest the appointment of the normalisation committee jeopardizes not only the future of football in TT but also endangers the overall global football governance structure, which relies on the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as the exclusive forum for resolving disputes of this nature.”

The FIFA release said the United TTFA had until “16 September to withdraw the case but failed to do so. This deadline was then extended until 23 September, which was not respected either.”

“In the circumstances, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided to suspend the TTFA.”

“This suspension will only be lifted when the TTFA fully complies with its obligations as a member of FIFA, including recognising the legitimacy of the appointed normalisation committee and bringing its own statutes into line with the FIFA Statutes.”

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