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.