Mon, Feb

President of the TT Super League Keith Look Loy, third from right, addresses the media at The Hotel Normandie in St Ann’s, yesterday. Supporting Look Loy were (left-right) president of the Central Football Association Shymdeo Gosine, president of the Northern Football Association Anthony Harford, president of the Secondary Schools Football League William Wallace, president of the TT Women’s League Football Susan Joseph-Warrick and former TT Football Association president Raymond Tim Kee.

A unit­ed group of foot­ball en­thu­si­asts is aim­ing to res­cue lo­cal foot­ball from what they claim are the ills of the cur­rent T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The group com­pris­es stake­hold­ers such as T&T Su­per League pres­i­dent Kei­th Look Loy, Women's Foot­ball League (WoLF) pres­i­dent Su­san Joseph-War­rick, North­ern Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (NFA) pres­i­dent An­tho­ny Har­ford, Cen­tral Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (CFA) pres­i­dent Shymdeo Go­sine, Sec­ondary Schools Foot­ball League (SS­FL) pres­i­dent William Wal­lace, for­mer TTFA pres­i­dent Ray­mond Tim Kee, CFA gen­er­al sec­re­tary Clynt Tay­lor, for­mer T&T Pro League CEO Sam Phillips and NFA sec­re­tary Rashawn Mars.

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence at the Ho­tel Nor­mandie, St Ann’s, yes­ter­day, Look Loy said the group's main agen­da is to rid the sport of TTFA pres­i­dent John-Williams, un­der whose man­age­ment the sport has sunk to its low­est ever in lo­cal, re­gion­al and in­ter­na­tion­al foot­ball. He told the me­dia he will be the group's om­buds­man and said any­one fol­low­ing foot­ball to­day knows T&T is in cri­sis.

He point­ed to the lack of trans­paren­cy and ac­count­abil­i­ty, the many mat­ters the TTFA has be­fore the courts, the col­lapse of the na­tion­al teams' pro­grammes, the TTFA debt, fail­ure of the tech­ni­cal de­part­ment and the fail­ure of the grass­roots pro­gramme among many oth­ers as ev­i­dence of their need to form the group. Look Loy said by Sep­tem­ber, they will es­tab­lish a com­mon, col­lec­tive de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme for the coun­try's foot­ball, de­scrib­ing it as a road map of how they will save the TTFA and foot­ball. The pro­gramme is to be put be­fore the mem­bers of the foot­ball fra­ter­ni­ty and the wider pub­lic as a whole for con­sul­ta­tion, as the TTFA is not the prop­er­ty of the pres­i­dent, he said. He said the group will al­so form a unit­ed slate that will pro­vide strong can­di­dates to con­test the TTFA elec­tion in No­vem­ber.

Har­ford, who was the pre­vi­ous or­ga­niz­er of the T&T Su­per League, said he and his as­so­ci­a­tion de­cid­ed to join the cause be­cause they are con­vinced good lead­er­ship of foot­ball in T&T has to­tal­ly evap­o­rat­ed.

"The 2019 prof­it and loss state­ment of the TTFA speaks to a pro­ject­ed loss of $42 mil­lion dol­lars, not in­clud­ing the Home of Foot­ball. This is print­ed and cir­cu­lat­ed to mem­bers of the TTFA. We ful­ly ex­pect that when you add the sur­pris­es of the Home of Foot­ball, that it will reach $60 mil­lion by the time we get to the elec­tions," he said.

"That is not fright­en­ing to us. What is fright­en­ing to us is the way the TTFA has treat­ed with its foun­da­tion project, the zones. There are six zones in T&T, of which NFA is one. We man­age 24 ac­tive clubs, 11 acad­e­mies and there are al­ways six to sev­en clubs that are reg­is­tered but not ac­tive in a giv­en year and thou­sands of youth foot­ballers.

"In four years, since 2015, based on the lim­it­ed in­for­ma­tion we get from the TTFA, the FI­FA has giv­en in grants and fund­ing to foot­ball in T&T, $60 mil­lion in to­tal. North­ern foot­ball, in those four years, re­ceives a to­tal of $25,000 out of $60 mil­lion. Fur­ther, we are man­dat­ed by the TTFA to pay an an­nu­al reg­is­tra­tion fee of $5,000, if we do not pay it, we are deemed to be non-com­pli­ant, in­ac­tive and will not be recog­nised as a mem­ber of the TTFA. So we have re­ceived $25,000 and have paid TTFA $20,000 over the last four years. North­ern foot­ball was run on $5,000 out of all the FI­FA fund­ing."

Ear­li­er, Wal­lace high­light­ed the fall of youth, women and se­nior foot­ball in the CON­CA­CAF re­gion un­der John-Williams.

Look Loy lat­er read out writ­ten sup­port state­ments from for­mer na­tion­al goal­keep­er Kelvin Jack and for­mer na­tion­al mid­field­er Maylee At­tin-John­son. Sha­ka His­lop, an­oth­er ex-na­tion­al goalie, al­so sent a video show­ing his sup­port to the group, say­ing build­ing a home of foot­ball is not an ex­cuse for the lack of trans­paren­cy and poor on-field per­for­mances among oth­er things.