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Thu, Jul

Aanensen: TTFA rife with arrogant, deceitful, power-hungry leadership; true fans must stand up!
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“Dictatorship, poor leadership, arrogance and downright defiance at the top, seem to be the order of the day. Poor selection or appointment of administrators and staff continues unabated, and planning, implementation of policies in accordance with the constitution, transparency, honesty and accountability do not exist at any level of the TTFA…”

The following Letter to the Editor on the current state of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) was submitted to Wired868 by World Cup 2006 manager Bruce Aanensen, who was also a former WICB CEO, Royal Bank HR director and QPCC president:

I had the distinct honour and privilege of being the Manager and Head Of Delegation of the National Football Team of Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 Soccer World Cup in Germany.

When I reflect on the representation, the great team camaraderie, and the positive performances of the players and staff who proudly represented our country on and off the field—in the build up to, and during the tournament—my heart still pounds with pride and joy.

The entire team of players were like a family, proud and happy to represent their country knowing that all administrative matters were responsibly and carefully taken care of by their managerial and technical staff. We all knew our roles and responsibilities, but also knew that if something needed to be done, and we were there, we did it—even if it was not our job. We were all a very happy bunch of ambassadors for our country.

It is against this background that my heart—and those of the 2006 group of ambassadors—aches to see the depths to which our national game and teams have descended in the last five to 10 years.

There seems to be no end to the negative issues within the framework of the TTFA. Nothing seems to function, there is no cohesion among the TTFA Board and corruption appears to be rampant from what one reads. Dictatorship, poor leadership, arrogance and downright defiance at the top, seem to be the order of the day.

Poor selection or appointment of administrators and staff continues unabated, and planning, implementation of policies in accordance with the constitution, transparency, honesty and accountability do not exist at any level of the TTFA.

From what I can see, there is no proper evaluation or matching of income and expenditure streams to ensure that proceeds—particularly grants from the FIFA and the Trinidad and Tobago government (GORTT)—are utilised for the purpose for which they were granted.

Decision-making—critical to the success of the sport—appears to be vested in the hands of one or a few, and the appointed board or senior technical officers are either not privy to or are not part of those discussions, in accordance with the constitution.

All of this has left the sport without public interest or adequate government and corporate financial support, as these parties do not wish to be supporters of a runaway train.

There seems to be only one—or two maybe—appointed board members with the guts to stand up to the leaders and demand proper processes for decision making, transparency and accountability. I say to the others, if you do not have the ability to carry out your duties in accordance with the constitution, please step down in the interest of the game.

All of our young and promising as well as our experienced players and support staff are suffering at the hands of a few power-hungry, objectionable, arrogant, selfish and deceitful leaders. The time has come for football lovers and decent people to do something drastic to rescue the game from these destroyers.

I would seek the assistance of the “serious and respectable media personnel” to join in a crusade to free our sport from these people, who are carefully enjoying the benefits of positions while the players, support staff and sport-loving people in this country continue to suffer because of their selfishness, incompetence, arrogance, deception and power-hungry lifestyle.

In closing, let me say that my time with the National Team—and working with a group of players and staff who were all 100% committed to the cause and to each other—was a healthy, rewarding and wonderful time.

If only we could find our way back to that experience that had the entire country proud to be Trinbago football supporters or contributors.