Thu, Dec

Look Loy lawyers block removal.

T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (TTFA) di­rec­tor Kei­th Look Loy has ob­tained an in­junc­tion block­ing a pro­posed move by his fel­low board mem­bers to chal­lenge the va­lid­i­ty of his ap­point­ment to the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

De­liv­er­ing an oral rul­ing at the Hall of Jus­tice in Port-of-Spain, yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, High Court Judge Robin Mo­hammed grant­ed the in­junc­tion, which ef­fec­tive­ly pre­vent­ed the is­sue of Look Loy's ap­point­ment from be­ing dis­cussed dur­ing a TTFA board meet­ing sched­uled for yes­ter­day evening.

As part of his de­ci­sion, Mo­hammed grant­ed Look Loy leave to pur­sue a ju­di­cial re­view claim over the move to oust him. The in­junc­tion will stay in place un­til the sub­stan­tive law­suit is de­ter­mined.

Ac­cord­ing to Look Loy's court fil­ings, which were ob­tained by Guardian Me­dia, the move to re­move him stemmed from his firm stance on the dis­clo­sure of in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ed to the con­struc­tion of the TTFA's US$2.5 mil­lion "Home for Foot­ball" in Cou­va.

Af­ter mul­ti­ple failed at­tempts to get the in­for­ma­tion from em­bat­tled TTFA Pres­i­dent David John-Williams and for­mer gen­er­al sec­re­tary Justin Lat­apy-George, Look Loy, the pres­i­dent of the T&T Su­per League, filed a law­suit over that is­sue.

On March 20, High Court Judge Ron­nie Boodoos­ingh ruled in Look Loy's favour and stat­ed that both John-Williams and Lat­apy-George act­ed ir­ra­tional­ly and un­rea­son­ably when they turned down the re­quests. Boodoos­ingh al­so or­dered the dis­clo­sure.

Look Loy then made a fur­ther re­quest for the or­gan­i­sa­tion's bank records af­ter he and his foren­sic ac­coun­tant al­leged­ly found dis­crep­an­cies in the gen­er­al ac­count­ing ledger pro­vid­ed to him.

"I al­so note from the doc­u­ments I have re­ceived that the cu­mu­la­tive val­ue of the con­tracts which have been dis­closed to me ap­pears to be ap­prox­i­mate­ly $3 mil­lion. The val­ue of the stat­ed FI­FA in­vest­ment is ap­prox­i­mate­ly $19.25 mil­lion; mean­ing that there is an ap­par­ent dis­crep­an­cy of ap­prox­i­mate­ly $16 mil­lion," Look Loy said in his af­fi­davits in sup­port of the in­junc­tion.

Look Loy's col­leagues again re­fused to re­lease the records and he was in­formed by cur­rent TTFA gen­er­al sec­re­tary Ca­ma­ra David that his ap­point­ment to the TTFA board was in­valid.

Guardian Me­dia Sports un­der­stands that David al­leged­ly claimed that when Look Loy was con­firmed in the board po­si­tion in 2017, he was "rec­om­mend­ed" and not elect­ed by the T&T Su­per League.

In his af­fi­davit, Look Loy sought to de­fend his po­si­tion as he point­ed out that David, who for­mer­ly served as league sec­re­tary of the T&T Su­per League, iron­i­cal­ly wrote the let­ter which was sent to the TTFA to con­firm Look Loy as its can­di­date for the di­rec­tor post.

"While I am of the firm view that this lat­est de­vel­op­ment on the part of the TTFA is no more than a base­less and un­law­ful at­tempt to pre­vent my hav­ing ac­cess to the doc­u­ments as re­quest­ed, I am fear­ful that if this Ho­n­ourable Court does not re­strain the TTFA from tak­ing ac­tion forth­with, I will be un­law­ful­ly re­moved as di­rec­tor and my dri­ve for trans­paren­cy in the TTFA stalled," Look Loy said.

Look Loy al­so sug­gest­ed that le­gal ad­vice on his ap­point­ment, which was ex­pect­ed to be used in yes­ter­day's meet­ing if the in­junc­tion was not grant­ed, was flawed. Look Loy claimed that it was based on a false premise that the al­so board did not have a quo­rum when it con­firmed him in the po­si­tion. He claimed that is­sue was clar­i­fied by Lat­apy-George and a mem­ber of the or­gan­i­sa­tion's con­sti­tu­tion­al re­view com­mit­tee.

While there were me­dia re­ports of Look Loy seek­ing to chal­lenge the ap­point­ments John-Williams and two TTFA vice-pres­i­dents af­ter his ap­point­ment was ques­tioned, the is­sue was not raised in the law­suit in its pre­lim­i­nary form.

In the law­suit, Look Loy is al­so seek­ing an or­der from the court or­der­ing the dis­clo­sure of the bank state­ments.

Look Loy was rep­re­sent­ed by Matthew Gayle, Dr Emir Crowne and Crys­tal Paul. TTFA at­tor­neys were no­ti­fied of the in­junc­tion hear­ing but did not at­tend. The doc­u­ments were filed yes­ter­day and the mat­ter heard hours lat­er.

About the Project

The "Home for Foot­ball" project is ex­pect­ed to in­clude a 72-room ho­tel, train­ing pitch­es, an en­ter­tain­ment cen­tre and ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices for the as­so­ci­a­tion.

The sod was turned in Sep­tem­ber 2017, with con­struc­tion start­ing in Feb­ru­ary, last year. The project was spon­sored by Fi­fa and is be­ing con­struct­ed on a lit­tle over sev­en hectares of land do­nat­ed by the Gov­ern­ment.

The project was al­ready at an ad­vanced stage when Fi­fa rep­re­sen­ta­tive Veron Mosen­go-Om­ba and Sports Min­is­ter Sham­fa Cud­joe con­duct­ed a tour in Au­gust, last year.

The project is still in­com­plete but the fa­cil­i­ty is sched­uled to be opened, lat­er this year.