The Central Football Association (CFA), being led by Shymdeo Gosine is rejecting Samuel Saunders as the zone’s representative on the Board of Directors of the T&T Football Association.
The CFA in a strongly worded letter to the TTFA on January 3, made it clear that Saunders has breached the association’s constitution (TTFA) by not attending four consecutive meetings. Yesterday, the CFA’s General Secretary Clynt Taylor said his association intends to propose major amendments to the constitution of the TTFA which will allow Regional Associations the right to select its own representative to the football association’s board.
Their proposal will also enable the six regional associations-Northern Football Association (NFA), Southern Football Association (SFA), Central Football Association (CFA), Eastern Football Association (EFA), Tobago Football Association (TFA) and the Eastern Counties Football Union (ECFU) to have their representative immediately accepted as a TTFA member, in the event of a change.
In the constitution, if there is a change in the representative by the regional association, that person will be considered an observer until an AGM is held to approve their membership. Their proposal will again be raised at the next TTFA Congress next year.
Taylor, who was a candidate for the hotly contested race for presidency of the TTFA in 2015, told the Sunday Guardian that Saunders has not represented his association in anyway. “He has done absolutely nothing for the CFA. He does not attend meetings although we have been invited on many occasions and he has not responded to their messages to chart a way forward for the CFA” Taylor explained yesterday.
According to Taylor, Saunders who is an Attorney by profession, only met with the CFA when his executives made it public they wanted to remove him. The CFA has already chosen James Toussaint as the replacement for Saunders but Taylor said this is being blocked by the TTFA.
In its letter to the TTFA, Taylor pointed to the TTFA Congress on November 26, 2016 at Naparima Boys College, San Fernando, in which it was re-iterated that TTFA Board members who were absent for three or more consecutive meetings were automatically removed as Board members as stated by the constitution of the TTFA. This call was also reinforced by ex referee Osmond Downer.
Saunders who has failed to attend meetings on May 18, June 15, July 20 and August 17, 2016 automatically disqualifies himself from board membership, a call that was also made by the CFA at that congress.
Contacted, Joanne Salazar, the TTFA’s 3rd vice president said the CFA has been incorrect in their assumption that Saunders missed four meetings consecutively. She noted the meeting that was scheduled for June 15 was not held.
“No member to date, has missed four meetings” Salazar said and directed the CFA to its own constitution, which she said should be equipped with the necessary steps to discipline or take actions against its members.
The Guardian also learnt that the NFA, under new president Anthony Harford, has been experiencing similar problems with its representative.
CFA wants Saunders out
By Ian Prescott (Express).
THE Central Football Association (CFA) has written to the governing Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, seeking to have its current representative Samuel Saunders removed from the TTFA’s board of directors.
The TTFA board of directors comprises: David John-Williams (president), Joanne Salazar, Ewing Davis and Allan Warner (vice-presidents), Samuel Saunders (Central FA), Sherwyn Dyer (Eastern Counties Football Union), Karanjabari Williams (Northern FA), Richard Quan Chan (Southern FA), Anthony Moore (Tobago FA), Joseph Taylor (Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association), Sharon O’Brien (Women’s League Football), Wayne Cunningham (Eastern FA) and Dexter Skeene (CEO of the TT Pro League).
Businessman Shymdeo Gosine was elected unopposed as president of the CFA for the next four years in November 2016, replacing Bryan Layne, who led Central football for over 20 years. Saunders has been portrayed as an absentee representative and through its general secretary and former presidential candidate and Referees Association president Clynth Taylor, the CFA is seeking his removal.
A December 2016 board meeting of the CFA voted to provisionally remove Saunders as the CFA’s rep on the Board of the TTFA. Previously, the TTFA Board at a meeting in Naparima last year, voted to suspend CFA representation on the Board due to Saunders’ absence.
In a release, the CFA said: “Please be advised that the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) was advised in a letter dated September 8, 2016, that Mr Samuel Saunders, board member, no longer represents the Central Football Association (CFA) as a representative to the Board of the TTFA.“
The CFA further said: “The CFA board of management met on December 29, 2016 and nominated a new member as the CFA representative to the board of management of the TTFA, subject to final confirmation by its members; and until such time, the CFA continues to advise that Mr Samuel Saunders, who has begun contacting the CFA for the first time in over a year, does not and no longer represents the CFA in any capacity.”
Central Football is arguing that Saunders should be automatically disqualified under a TTFA statute which suspends a representative who misses four consecutive Board meetings. However, in reply to the CFA, TTFA president John-Williams said that while it is the CFA’s decision to name their own representative, Saunders in fact only missed three consecutive meetings.
“I am aware that you requested and received from Mr Azad Khan the attendance summary of board members to the TTFA board meetings. I take the opportunity to advise that Mr Saunders did not miss four consecutive board meetings as you are claiming,” John-Williams replied.
“The TTFA’s board meeting of June 15, 2016 did take place because of the lack of a quorum and as such, cannot be constituted as and considered as a board meeting,” John-Williams said.
Likewise, former referee Osmond Downer has shed light on the issue. Downer thinks that in light of the June 15 TTFA board meeting being aborted, Saunders remains the CFA representative on a technicality.
“If the CFA can provide proof that Mr Saunders’ removal and replacement is done in accordance with the Constitutions of the CFA and the TTFA, the CFA will be able to have representation on the TTFA board until such representation is approved at the next AGM of the TTFA (Constitution Article 34 Section 9, paragraph 2),” Downer said.
Downer added: “The main reason for the decision of the AGM at Naparima College concerning Mr Saunders was the information that Mr Saunders had missed four consecutive meetings of the TTFA Board and so, according to the TTFA Constitution (Article 34, section 8.), Mr Saunders’ place on the board would automatically be forfeited.”