Newly-elected Trinidad and Tobago Football Association president William Wallace says his executive decided to keep the Home of Football temporarily closed because it is not yet fit for operation.
“There are two things. There is no Fire Service approvals and of course if it’s a place for the public you need liability insurance, which you get when the building is completed. The building is not completed, there are still things to be done,” Wallace told Guardian Media yesterday in justifying the temporary closure of the facility because is not yet complete.
This revelation comes just eight days after former president David John-Williams hosted an event to declare the 72-room hotel and other auxiliary facilities at the Balmain, Couva location open.
The tour of the Home of Football was attended by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, FIFA president Gianni Infantino, CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani, Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Shamafa Cudjoe and several other high profile guests.
“It’s a temporary closure and we want to open it as soon as possible. On Thursday (tomorrow), I would do a walk through with the contractor to see what are the things outstanding to be done and discuss this whole issue of completion and certification from fire and so on. In the meantime, you are dealing with liability and if people are there and something should happen then we would have questions to answer.”
Closing the Home of Football was just one of several critical decisions taken by the new TTFA executive on Monday, a day after Wallace and his slate of vice-presidential candidates, Clynt Taylor (1st vice president), Susan Joseph-Warrick (2nd vice president) and Sam Phillip (3rd vice president), successfully ousted then incumbent David John-Williams and his “Team Impactors” slate.
The executive also announced a decision to “stop transactions on all TTFA bank accounts, including online transactions.” But Wallace yesterday told Guardian Media Sports that there are in fact measures in place to maintain normal operations of the association while an official change-over is being completed.
“What we are doing is waiting for our signatories and things to change. The paperwork for that has already started and we would make the necessary adjustment in terms of staff payments and so on for those things to happen. We have some temporary arrangements in place for us to function and operate,” Wallace clarified.
Home of Football shut down, transactions halted.
By Narissa Fraser (Newsday).
ONE week after the opening of the Home of Football in Balmain, Couva, newly-elected TT Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace says the facility is being shut down until further notice.
Wallace dethroned David John-Williams as president at the association’s elections on Sunday. Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Sam Phillip were voted first, second and third vice-presidents, respectively.
Speaking with Newsday on Tuesday morning, the TTFA boss said the decision was made on Monday during approximately eight hours of meetings with his vice-presidents. He said there are pending approvals and no property insurance for the million-dollar facility.
“We found out some of the approvals are not in place. For example, fire approvals. You can’t have people in a building without fire approval.”
According to the official website of the Ministry of Rural Development, applications for over ten lots of land must receive approval from the chief designs engineer of the Ministry of Works and Transport, the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA), the TT Electricity Commission (TTEC) and the chief fire officer.
While this is the main issue with the facility his administration has found thus far, Wallace said, “That was enough for us to say people can’t occupy the building. Information is still coming in on the Home and other things.”
In a press release issued by TTFA’s communications department, decisions made on Monday included the creation of an advisory committee and assigning roles to the vice-presidents. Taylor will focus on membership affairs, Joseph-Warrick will tackle women’s football and Phillip will handle security.
Other decisions included: Stopping transactions on all TTFA bank accounts (including online transactions), initiating a financial audit, issuing a public invitation to TTFA creditors to present their claim, and introducing new security measures for the protection of TTFA property.
He said his team will meet again on Wednesday for further discussions.