A NUMBER of respected former T&T footballers, including World Cup goalkeepers Kelvin Jack and Shaka Hislop, as well as former women’s team captain Maylee Attin-Johnson, have joined in the resounding chorus of appeals for TT Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams to resign.
All three issued public addresses, which were relayed during a media conference called by presidents of regional football associations, ordinary TTFA members and various other stakeholders in the local game, at the Hotel Normandie, St Ann’s, yesterday.
They all alluded to authoritative leadership from John-Williams, who was elected president in 2015. Also a noteworthy presence was that of former Strike Squad captain and T&T Futsal coach Clayton Morris, who led a successful lawsuit against the TTFA on behalf of the futsal team last year for unpaid salaries, match fees, per diems and other expenses.
Hislop said in a video, which was aired at the media conference: “I’d like to add to the voices of disapproval (at) the way in which football has been progressing of late. There seems to be a dictatorial approach to all things concerning decisions made; total disregard for voices and opinions of those who were elected and appointed into positions within our TTFA board and supporting administration.”
Hislop, currently a football analyst for US sports broadcaster ESPN, has typically avoided public comments on the state of football and especially the TTFA’s administration. However, in the video, he spoke solemnly as he criticised the football body.
“I also take this opportunity to say (that) ‘We are building a home of football’ is not a long-term plan. ‘We are building a home of football’ is not an excuse for a lack of transparency. ‘We are building a home of football’ does not disguise our poor performances on the pitch or, quite frankly, off the pitch.” Hislop was a member of a commission, which amended and ratified the TTFA’s constitution in 2015. Unlike Hislop, Jack has been among the more vocal prominent ex-national team players, where criticism of the TTFA leadership is concerned. Yesterday he issued a brief but stinging statement, in which he called TTFA’s football programme “a laughing stock among our rivals.”
“There are moments when change must be pursued and that time is now. David John-Williams’ continued ineptitude is having a negative effect that has debilitated football in T&T,” Jack wrote.
“Our young players need the correct environment to improve and to grow. The current TTFA leadership is incapable of providing such.”
Like Jack, Attin-Johnson has often been critical of John-Williams, and in her statement, blamed him and the administration for depriving the next generation of players “their dreams and opportunities...because of the incompetence and dictatorship of this administration”. “It is extremely imperative that the person/persons given the responsibility to run football in our country has the ability, aptitude, experience, knowledge and humility to properly execute this responsibility to improve the inefficiencies plaguing our football.
“In the past, football in our country has experienced difficult times, but never as woeful and disastrous as the present. This current administration has taken our football beyond the depths of despair. Its members have acted in ways that have undermined and destroyed the bedrock of the sport in our country.
“If any of these men and women have any pride and patriotism, they will do the honourable thing and step down, and allow for the rebuilding process to begin.”
We can save T&T football! Group promises ‘roadmap’ to revive local game after removal of DJW.
On Thursday morning, a group of football stakeholders vowed to present a united front and a new vision to challenge incumbent Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams at the upcoming elections, which is tentatively scheduled for November 2019.
The media launch was chaired by Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) president Keith Look Loy who made it clear that, although he fully supported the initiative, he would not run for election in any capacity this November.
The other stakeholders identified as part of the movement are Anthony Harford (Northern FA president), Shymdeo Gosine (Central FA president), Susan Joseph-Warrick (Women’s League of Football president), William Wallace (SSFL president), Joseph Taylor (Football Referees Association president), Clynt Taylor (Central FA general secretary) and Raymond Tim Kee (immediate TTFA past president).
Look Loy explained that the group will agree on a single slate to challenge John-Williams in November. And, come September, they will present a ‘roadmap’ for the game, which will be open for consultation with the football fraternity and the wider public.
Look Loy: “If you follow football in Trinidad and Tobago, you know we’re in the grip of a […] existential crisis. This group has united to create a united front to save our football.
“[…] The TTFA is not our property; and it is not the property of the president or any official of the TTFA.
Wallace: “There are people who are saying we have an agenda and, yes, I want the media to know we have an agenda ;and I want the people of Trinidad and Tobago to know we have an agenda.
“And the agenda is to bring back some sanity to Trinidad and Tobago football. That is the agenda… We cannot continue down this road.”
Harford: “We are convinced that good leadership of football has completely evaporated in Trinidad and Tobago. We also feel that there is very little chance of the current leadership recovering from the present position.
“We believe that they lack the skill; we believe that they lack the imaginative ideas to take us into the 21st century. In fact I’d go as far to saying that have fossilised on the job…”
Gosein: “We are not going anywhere. We have fallen so low down, I don’t think the line on the road can keep us up anymore. [We] might even break the paint.”
Joseph-Warrick: “It is simply not logical for there to be disconnect between stakeholders responsible for developing players for the national programme and the people making the sole decisions for that programme…”
Tim Kee: “If you look at the organisational chart that was put in place, you have the general membership first, the board second and the president third. So the president is the servant of the board and the organisation. It is not his private property and that’s what I see… We have seen some people posing as board members who are imps…”