A three-member FIFA normalization committee (NC), headed by chairman Robert Hadad, was appointed on Friday to take over the governance of T&T football with immediate effect.
FIFA, the world governing body for the sport of football, in collaboration with the Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) will appoint two more members over the coming days, a release from the FIFA stated.
The appointments came even as displaced members of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) which included president William Wallace and his three vice presidents were, through their Attorneys Dr. Emir Crowne and Matthew GW Gayle, on the verge of applying to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) to have the decision by the FIFA to appoint a normalisation committee to manage the affairs of local football rescinded.
FIFA, on March 17, took a decision to enforce articles 8.2 of its Statutes, which states: ‘Executive bodies of member associations may under exceptional circumstances be removed from office by the Council in consultation with the relevant confederation and replaced by a normalization committee for a specific period of time."
The committee is not supposed to last more than two years, with a mandate that also includes organising fresh elections of a new administration of the embattled football association.
Hadad, a businessman by profession who is one of three Chief Executive Officers of the HADCO Group of Companies, will bring a wealth of experience from the corporate community in T&T, as attempts are made to turn around an organisation that the FIFA considers being on the verge of insolvency following a claim by the TTFA that it has a crippling debt of TT$50 million.
Apart from Hadad, a member of Queen's Park Cricket Club, the committee also comprises retired international banker Nigel Romano, a Director and Partner at Moore T&T, who is also a former chairman of the JMMB Bank, as well as American-based Attorney and Environmental Law Specialist Judy Daniels, who is well respected in Environmental Law.
Guardian Media Sports was reliably informed that all three were interviewed before being appointed.
Romano told Guardian Media Sports on Friday that: "I agreed to serve and do whatever I can base on my experience and expertise which is banking, accounting and organisational management.”
"I will be bringing proper governance and then hope that we would get football back to where it should be, which is getting the youths involved, getting women involved, and making a difference to football in T&T with a more professional managing association. There is work to be done, and we will be reaching out and working with all the various interested parties to come to the right conclusions and outcomes,” said Romano.
He later admitted being stepping into uncharted waters over the next few months given the poor state of football in T&T in general, saying he has no real idea of what the road ahead will look like.
Daniel is an attorney-at-law of over 30 years experience and has had a broad practice in civil law. She started working in the Attorney General’s Chambers of T&T where she focused on providing advice and litigation on constitutional law, contracts and disputes, tort and liability claims. Daniel worked as Legal Consultant to Environmental Advisors Inc. her own self-starter company in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Daniel is highly regarded as a key advisor by senior managers as having a unique combination of strong legal and technical skills in a broad range of areas and the ability to produce workable solutions.
<Wallace team to make decision on Saturday>
When contacted Wallace on Friday said he will be meeting with his vice president Clynt Taylor, Joseph 'Sam' Phillip and Susan Joseph-Warrick to decide on their next step now that the FIFA has announced the Normalization Committee to manage T&T football for the next 24 months.
He said whatever decision they agree upon will be communicated to their lawyers Matthew GW Gayle and Dr Emir Crowne on Saturday. He said, "What decision we come to will be in the best interest of T&T football."
On March 20, the TTFA through its lawyers sends a pre-action protocol letter to FIFA to have the governing body for the sport rescind the appointment of a normalisation committee via a letter from its Secretary-General Fatima Samoura dated March March 17 and addressed to general secretary Ramesh Ramdhan.
The TTFA lawyer Gayle, also sent a letter to Tyril Patrick, who FIFA appointed as caretake administrator on March 17, until the normalisation committee, warning him that if he complies with FIFA's instructions then the formal proceeding will be initiated through the High Court. He was given until Monday 23 to respond but instead to communicated on March 21 that he indicated to FIFA that he was no longer interested in the appointment.
Meanwhile, following news on Friday that FIFA had announced the name of members of the normalisation committee Michael Awai of T&T Pro League club AC Port-of-Spain, said the debt that has burdened the country for many years will be cleared finally, while other revenue-generating initiatives such as the Home of Football, will finally be put in place. Awai, the founder of FUTGOF, Future Generation of Footballers in T&T Academy, added, the sport has been in dire need of people with a business hand and the team of Hadad, Romano and Daniel and the others two members to be named will turn the sport around.
The mandate of the normalisation committee is:
- to run the TTFA’s daily affairs;
- to establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA;
- to review and amend the TTFA Statutes (and other regulations where necessary) and
- to ensure their compliance with FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress;
- to organise and to conduct elections of a new TTFA executive committee for a four-year mandate.
FIFA appoints businessman to head normalisation committee.
By Stephon Nicholas (Newsday).
EXPERIENCED businessman Robert Hadad believes he can help “clean up” the TT Football Association’s (TTFA) financial woes, making it clear that he is not aligned to any past administrators.
Hadad, who started the HADCO Group almost 30 years ago with his brothers Joseph and John, has been hired by FIFA as the chairperson of the normalisation committee to help bring some financial stability back to the TTFA.
On March 17, FIFA made the decision to disband the TTFA executive led by president William Wallace.
FIFA and CONCACAF found that TTFA was not in a position to run football effectively in a fact-finding mission and decided to break up the TTFA hierarchy and form a normalisation committee to take over. On the reasons to disband TTFA, FIFA said, “The mission found that extremely low overall financial management methods, combined with a massive debt, have resulted in the TTFA facing a very real risk of insolvency and illiquidity. Such a situation is putting at risk the organisation and development of football in the country and corrective measures need to be applied urgently.”
Wallace was only voted into office in November, 2019 and said he inherited a debt of $50 million.
Days later, it was revealed that former finance manager of the TTFA Tyril Patrick was appointed to lead the normalisation committee, but he declined the position. Patrick was an employee of the TTFA administration under former president David John-Williams, who led the local football body for four years until November, 2019.
Hadad will be joined by deputy chairperson Judy Daniel and committee member Nigel Romano on the normalisation committee. According to a media release, “FIFA administration, in consultation with CONCACAF, will appoint two more members in the coming days.
“The mandate of the normalisation committee will include the following: to run the TTFA’s daily affairs; to establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA; to review and amend the TTFA Statutes (and other regulations where necessary) and to ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress; to organise and to conduct elections of a new TTFA executive committee for a four-year mandate.”
The normalisation committee’s job will end when the assigned tasks are complete, but it would not last more than 24 months.
Hadad, speaking with Newsday, said he understands the new committee’s role. “Of course everybody knows the reason why FIFA is putting in a normalisation committee, because the finances of TTFA are all over the place and they are not sure who to believe…as far as I understand my job today and the team I am with is to perform a fact-finding mission on exactly what the payables are and to rectify it in terms of a payment plan.
“How do we pay off all these debts? How do we put the TTFA back on solid foundation?”
One of the financial issues facing the TTFA recently is lack of documentation concerning the Home of Football in Couva. TTFA members continuously asked former president John-Williams to make information available.
Hadad does not have experience in football administration, but is confident he can get the job done with his experience and his lack of allegiance.
“I guess they were looking for somebody who is in business…maybe they were also looking for somebody who is not aligned to any of those parties that fought (in the elections) against David John-Williams (in) William Wallace and (Richard) Ferguson. I am not aligned to any of them.”
Concerning his fellow committee members Daniel and Romano, Hadad said they are respectable, responsible, hard working people and is excited to work with them. Hadad, who worked with Romano in the past, said he planned to talk with his fellow committee members on Friday.
When Hadad accepted the job he told FIFA he would be accessible to the media.
“I am going to be very transparent, I am extremely transparent and I told FIFA that.” Hadad said the impact of coronavirus was also a factor in him accepting the offer from FIFA.
“What made me take the job I’ll be very honest with you. In light of what has happened in the last couple of weeks I have been really moved to say corporate Trinidad cannot just sit down on the outside and not be involved in the running of key institutions in our country.”
Hadad, who is satisfied that the country has come together during the coronavirus pandemic, said he was inspired to do more.
“Is this a sign that maybe I should be doing something more? When FIFA asked me if I would do this job I said ‘yes’ because life is so short, life is too short and I said ‘let me try, at least try.’ I believe in myself and I think I have the ability to bring people together.”
This story was originally published with the title "Hadad leads TTFA normalisation committee" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.
Businessman Robert Hadad has been appointed chairperson of the FIFA normalisation committee that will take over control of local football. FIFA also appointed Judy Daniel (deputy chairperson) and Nigel L Romano (member) to the committee. FIFA made the announcement via e-mail on Friday and said it will appoint two more members in the coming days.
The FIFA press reelase said the mandate of the normalisation committee includes: to run the TTFA's daily affairs; to establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA; to review and amend the TTFA statutes (and other regulations where necessary) and to ensure their compliance with the FIFA statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress; to organise and to conduct elections of a new TTFA Executive Committee for a four-year mandate.
The normalisation committee has 24 months maximum to fulfil its duties. No member of the normalisation committee will be permitted to vie for a post in the next TTFA elections.