After months of seeking approval from parent body, the T&T Football Association (TTFA), to stage two international football matches on October 15, the T&T Super League has been told that its request is still to be granted by the world governing body for football—FIFA.
TTFA president David John-Williams said on Friday that the ball is not in their court as the TTSL is still to provide key bits of information to the FIFA, such as the names of players that will represent a TTSL All Star team to take on a Jamaica All Star team on that day.
The other match will feature a World XI, comprising football mega-star Ronaldinho of Brazil meeting the T&T Oilers - a team being used to promote a Regional Island Cup tournament next year by key sponsors Caribbean Football Trust Ltd.
Keith Look Loy, the TTSL president who was recently appointed as its representative on the Board of the TTFA, said he had been reliably informed that the players they were bringing would require no approval from the FIFA and hinted at a sinister ploy to prevent the matches being held.
Look Loy said: “They are players who have retired from the game but are still active and have the ability to draw a crowd when they walk on to a field.”
Among these players are Cafu who visited T&T recently to demonstrate the possibilities of achieving through sport, former French international Florent Malouda who represented Chelsea in the English Premiership and ex-Italian striker Luca Toni, among others.
The Super League boss lamented the lack of information from the TTFA, in spite of numerous reminders but gave the assurance that his league would supply the association with the list of names by Wednesday August 30.
He however called on the TTFA to say why matches in the coming National FA Cup competition had been scheduled to be played on October 15, the same date for the international games.
“We indicated to the TTFA that we (TTSL) had to change the date of the matches from September 15 to the same date in October to facilitate Ronaldinho.
“We have been sending them reminders of the game regularly, but to my surprise we were greeted with National FA Cup fixtures which showed matches being played on October 15. Now this tells me that the TTFA has no intention of ensuring that our matches will come off” Look Loy explained.
He said he believed the treatment being meted out now was reminiscent of the hardship they faced to receive approval from the football association to be recognised as a TTFA competition. According to Look Loy: “If the TTFA were genuine and really wanted to ensure that the TTSL matches come off, they would not have scheduled FA Cup matches on that date, but rather would have used October 22 as an alternative date.”
The TTSL’s predicament now is that they have already communicated to all participating players that the date for the match will be October 15. Look Loy said his league had contingency plans in place as the matches were international ones but he called on the TTFA to work with them.