Do three international assignments undertaken under the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) during the tenure of the current David John-Williams administration not prove the legitimacy of the management of the Trinidad and Tobago national futsal team and its claim for compensation?
This is the question attorney for the Clayton Morris-coached futsal team is posing to the TTFA president and his general secretary Azaad Khan, who are named in a pre-action protocol letter by five staff members and 22 players on the national team.
Morris and company are represented by legal counsel Melissa Roberts-John, who wrote to the TTFA a second time a few days ago. Coach Morris, his coaching staff and players are making a legal claim of just over half a million dollars amounting to player match fees for Caribbean Football Union and CONCACAF competitions, staff per diem and additional expenses incurred during national team service.
Among the international assignments which the futsal team undertook under the John-Williams regime was participation in the Caribbean Futsal Championship in Cuba from January 22-26; a camp in Costa Rica and a CONCACAF playoff against Honduras from May 5-6 in Panama.
“We undertook three or four assignments, including under the (current) TTFA,” said Morris, who in turn added that they will also have the testimony of former TTFA boss Raymond Tim Kee, that they were properly hired by him and certain promises were made.
Prior to being defeated by John-Williams for the TTFA presidency close to a year ago, Tim Kee acknowledged that several times he made verbal arrangements with national teams and did not give written contracts because the TTFA did not yet have the funds to honour them.
Morris, a former national senior team captain, was in charge of the national futsal team that won the Caribbean Football Union Championships in 2004 and 2008.
After their initial request for compensation, the TTFA replied, requesting a contract or documentation proving the appointment, terms and conditions of the technical staff were approved by the Football Association. Additionally, the Association wanted documentation whereby the appointment, terms and conditions of the players were settled and agreed by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association.
“We told them we had none,” Morris admitted. “But we have had three international assignments under them.”
“We give them the bills, including the personal funds which I and the manager put out to help the team along the way,” Morris added. “We are not sitting and waiting on them.”
If no settlement is reached, court action is the next step.