Thu, Mar


The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) should be suspended with immediate effect, says veteran football administrator Adrian Donovan.

FIFA in the last couple of days has instituted a normalisation committee to oversee the TTFA footballing affairs for the next 24 months.

Donovan has thrown his support behind the decision of the FIFA/Concacaf mission that recently visited the shores of Trinidad and Tobago to examine the books and operations of the TTFA.

Donovan noted that the mission’s findings included a lack of financial management and a financial governance which they said was non-existent, with no formal internal policies and
internal controls in place.

“I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever,” said the veteran football administrator who has been involved with football for over 35 years, “that the TTFA will be suspended.”
This would mean they will receive no funding and will have to undergo a forensic audit.

If or when they are suspended, they will join a list that includes Guinea, Antigua and Barbuda, Guatemala, Macau, Kenya, and more recently the oversight of St. Vincent and Guyana.

According to the media reports coming out of Trinidad and Tobago, the TTFA is in debt to a tune of TT$50 000 000 which has been accumulated over a period of time, and with no formal and proper plan in place to reduce this deficit, FIFA has stepped in.

This comes just after the TTFA unveiled a grand plan for the development for the Arima Velodrome Stadium, which is expected to cost in the region of US$47 million. This project was to help reduce the large deficit.

However, there is no cabinet approval as regards the land and the Arima borough has not signed off on the project.

This controversial home of football, Arima Stadium, which was perceived to be the saviour in the reduction of this outstanding debt, is part funded by FIFA and the equipment that was purchased came from the FIFA Forward Project.

The TTFA has also been accused of not paying NIS for its staff for a number of years, and just a couple days ago an investigation was ordered by the police commissioner of T&T Police Service into the disappearance of equipment valued at approximately TT$120 400.

Donovan stated, “In all of this FIFA is absolutely correct if they have to suspend this national federation because all those who signed off on the FIFA Statutes are expected to follow their rules and regulations.

“The particular statute which FIFA has invoked simply states that in accordance with Article 8 paragraph 2 of the FIFA Statutes, …executive bodies of member associations may under exceptional circumstances be removed from office by the FIFA council, in consultation with the relevant Federation, and replaced by a normalisation committee for specific period of time.”

Since this particular statute was invoked, two former FIFA employees have come out to address the ongoing matter, one being Austin Jack Warner, who stated in a recent interview that the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) was non-existent. A couple days ago his fellow Trinidadian, Keith Look Loy, came to the defence of the present TTFA board.

Under Warner, who headed the CFU for over two decades, a number of the Federation leaders were banned in the Bin Hammam corruption scandal.

Donovan said that the Keith Look Loy is unjustified in his unfounded statement that the CFU is not representing their case against FIFA.

“This matter has gone past CFU and into the courts of law, and therefore CFU and any other regional Federations simply have no say in the matter.

“It would be wise for the present TTFA board to withdraw their case that is headed to the court of arbitration because if not they will feel the wrath of the FIFA.”

Donovan added, “When you sign under FIFA rules and regulation and you have no legitimate evidence as to how you have spent their money, it is only a matter of time before the weight of FIFA would be felt.”

ABOVE SOURCE: Barbados Advocate