Incumbent David John-Williams will have his four-year reign as president of the T&T Football Association challenged on Sunday when the local body holds its highly-anticipated annual general meeting (AGM) and election at the Home of Football in Balmain, Couva.
Contesting the positions which have been under John-Williams’ hold for the past four years are Terminix La Horquetta Rangers managing director Richard Ferguson and United TTFA’s William Wallace.
Less than 24 hours after he officially opened the Home of Football on Monday, embattled John-Williams announced his candidacy for re-election, with a supporting slate of vice-presidents Colin Partap, Anthony Moore and Selby Browne, who is the president of the Veterans Football Foundation of T&T.
Wallace’s United TTFA slate includes Sam Phillip, a Super League board member, Central Football Association secretary Clynt Taylor and Women’s Football League (Wolf) president Susan Joseph-Warrick.
Ferguson’s slate has put up Pro League club executive Raymond Thom and Central Football Association (CFA) president Shymdeo Gosine. Eddison Dean, who was initially on Ferguson’s slate for the first vice-president position, withdrew to support the United TTFA’s push for power.
John-Williams’ term has been marred in controversy aligned to several legal battles, including the courts ordering the freezing of the TTFA bank account.
He has also been criticised for the poor performances of national teams, a lack of transparency during the building of the Home of Football and has even been labelled a dictator.
However, John-Williams has insisted he was still able to get the things his team prioritised during the period.
“Quick fixes are not always possible or a realistic expectation. While some may disagree with the order of priorities addressed by the current administration, and some of the decisions made, we placed focus on many achievements since assuming office in 2015,” John-Williams said of his tenure.
While all three candidates are confident of victory, six potential votes from the Tobago Football Association (TFA) and Central Football Association (CFA) appear to be hanging in the balance after Guardian Media Sports learned that member clubs from both associations challenged an alleged unconstitutional election of the delegates who will be voting for either the United TTFA or John-Williams and his team today.
The constitution of the associations, which is aligned to the TTFA constitution, does not give a clear directive of how delegates are to be chosen.
However, CFA general secretary Clynt Taylor believes the general membership of his association should decide on the delegates, as had been done in the past.
Taylor, who contested the last TTFA election and fell just short of John-Williams in the presidency race in 2015, made it clear current CFA president Shymdeo Gosine is guilty of a breach of the constitution by engaging in the election of Central Zone delegates.
Taylor referred to Article 37(3) of the constitution, which states: “Any Member of the Board of Directors must withdraw from the debate and deciding if there is any risk or possibility of a conflict of interests.”
Taylor and a member of a TFA club believe the only was forward today is for the votes of the two associations to be considered null and void, or the process used by the CFA/TFA members in the past is accepted. Some 47 delegates will be eligible to vote today if the CFA and TFA delegates also get a chance to vote.
TFA president Anthony Moore has been accused of breaching the same Article 37(3) of the constitution to secure votes for the John-Williams team. However, Moore made it clear that clubs do not have any power to elect delegates, noting “if they want to, there must be a change in the constitution for it to happen.” He pointed to Article 79 of the TTFA constitution which gives ultimate power to the board. The TFA board comprises the president, three vice presidents, and as many ordinary members.
TTFA members elect new executive.
By Joel Bailey (Newsday).
A SHOWDOWN is expected at the Home of Football in Balmain, Couva as the eagerly-anticipated Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Annual General Meeting and executive elections take place from 10 am today.
David John-Williams, the incumbent TTFA president, is facing a stiff challenge from Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) president William Wallace, with Terminix La Horquetta Rangers owner Richard Ferguson also in the mix.
This election is the most publicised and hard-fought in recent memory, with John-Williams’ campaign revolving around the Home of Football project, which was opened by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley last Monday.
John-Williams, who is also the owner of local football club W Connection, has also been highlighting his administration’s efforts in resolving the debt he incurred when he replaced Raymond Tim Kee in November 2015.
However, John-Williams, who is leading Team Impactors, had three major hurdles to overcome last week, as he was on the losing end of court matters (either personally or relating to the TTFA).
On Monday, the Venture Credit Union was awarded a $23 million judgment against John-Williams. And on Tuesday, at the Port of Spain High Court, the TTFA was ordered to pay $5 million to ex-TT men’s team coach Stephen Hart for a breach of contract.
Former TTFA technical director Anton Corneal, represented by attorney Richard Sirjoo, was awarded $3,488,375, in an oral ruling by Port of Spain High Court judge Vasheist Kokaram on Wednesday for unpaid salaries.
Wallace, leading United TTFA, has had to face two suggestions from John-Williams that proposed sponsorship deals with the Junior Sammy Group of Companies, and Nike, were false. Wallace has refused to be drawn in a tit-for-tat with the TTFA president.
But both parties have been very combative on Facebook, with Team Impactors using videos and United TTFA relying on daily media releases to indicate why the other party should not be trusted to lead the local governing body for the next four years.
Ferguson, who has kept a low profile during the past few weeks, has been stressing the need for the TTFA to be more financially sound. He has repeatedly used his work at Terminix La Horquetta Rangers – how he helped revamp the team which was formerly St Ann’s Rangers and build a sporting complex in La Horquetta – as his calling card