Questions linger about Home of Football but…
PRESIDENT OF the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) David John-Williams says he has local football’s best interest at heart, following the passing of the 2016 financial statements at a five-hour long Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Wednesday at the National Cycling Centre, Couva.
John-Williams was under pressure to pass the 2016 financial statements after several TTFA meetings were held but members were not satisfied with information received.
John-Williams stressed, “I remain steadfast in what I do, I remain honest in what I do, I know what I want to do for Trinidad and Tobago football, I know what I am doing for Trinidad and Tobago football, and my heart is very pure. And the members have realised that.”
Selby Browne, president of the Veterans Football Federation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFOTT), said yesterday there is still much to be clarified regarding the TTFA’s finances.
“The concerns were still what was the financial health or condition of the TTFA,” Browne said.
“The cost of professional and legal fees, and wages, were 43 per cent of the administrative cost, which is absurd. The fact that a debt was inherited in 2015, out of the (Raymond) Tim Kee regime, which was (approximately) $28 million, and of the revenue received, payments were made towards debt reduction. The figure of the total outstanding debt did not reflect what was the true amount. The meeting agreed and was put to a vote, and (it) was approved,” Browne said.
John-Williams, after Wednesday’s meeting, told Newsday that he suffered his injury, which has seen him miss the last EGM, at the Home of Football project on April 29.
“It happened right here,” said the TTFA president. “I mis-stepped, I slid and I fell...I am back to 95 per cent of what I am supposed to be.”
He refuted claims that he missed this week’s FIFA Congress in Moscow, Russia due to pressure he faced regarding Wednesday’s meeting.
“Since the 14th of May I wrote to FIFA that I can’t travel,” John-Williams said. “The doctor has to re-assess me next week to see if I can travel for the final. I have been invited for the final, my ticket has been paid already but, if I can’t go I can’t go.”
Browne said yesterday members are present to assist John-Williams but he must get his act together and follow the rules of its constitution. He said there is still a lot of information unknown about the Home of Football project in Couva.
A motion was moved by Osmond Downer, TT Football Referees Association vice-president, seconded by Central Football Association general secretary Clynt Taylor and voted by the members present for John-Williams to be censured for his role in the Home for Football.
Browne said, “The (issue) of the Home for Football, where a motion was moved, directing that the work be stopped (and) an emergency meeting of the Board be called to identify and present the following documents back to the general meeting – the minutes with approval for the Board meeting for the project; the Board minutes that approved tenders, quantities surveyors and a host of different things that, since last year, we were unable to receive.”
Browne continued, “It took the form of on-screen (display), with a host of documents purporting to be the approvals, and letters of approvals from FIFA for the different aspects of release of funding for the project.”
But Browne insisted that John-Williams was accountable to the TTFA, “who writes the cheques for these payments” instead of FIFA “(who) provides the loans or the grants.”