Sun, Jun

FIFA's crude and ruthless attack on TTFA.

Dear Editor,

The familiar crude and ruthless attempt by FIFA to install a 'Normalisation Committee' should be seen by all as, ironically, an attempt to normalise FIFA's corrupt culture in the TTFA. There is nothing benevolent about this move. Certainly, if this were the case, FIFA would have done that even before the Williams regime. This is nothing short of FIFA saying and demonstrating, in its normal autocratic and iron-fisted way, that it must be their man of business running the show. This is the way FIFA has controlled and corrupted football internationally for years, and we should not believe that recent charges, arrests and convictions have changed this 'Corona' culture.

What else can explain the illogical move? After years of doing the tango with the only person to have become wealthy off football in this country. and another who has brought the Association to its knees over four years, the democratically elected officials are being removed after a measly four months, ostensibly to install proper financial management. Every Association internationally, particularly in the Caribbean, every Trinidad and Tobago National, every club, every footballer must wise up that this is FIFA saying 'you voted for the wrong man' In this connection, what then is the purpose of the TTFA's constitution? How do we build a properly run and managed institution, comprising of officials who have campaigned and won the confidence of those whom they represent, that would get us out of this tiresome situation of the association being run by FIFA party hacks and self-seekers? Those being appointed on the Normalisation Committee should become aware, that with the best of intentions, they are being used by FIFA to ensure that its tentacles remain securely lodged within the TTFA, to attempt to proliferate its corrupt culture. What better example do we have than in this very situation?

This is FIFA's Modus Operandi. It has been well ingrained and prevalent in the TTFA as it has been at international level. Get your own in at all costs. Successful efforts to remove this practice are now being challenged by FIFA, which is now virtually saying, 'if you were not smart enough to elect the right people we shall do it for you'

Let me make it clear, that I am not saying that the previous incumbent was corrupt; neither did he inherit a healthy situation. And I dare say that he used his best efforts to improve the Association and football on the whole in this country, having given personally by his substantial contributions to club football. Also, it appears, and may well be, that the Home of Football was part of his grand plan, with FIFA's help, to bring the TTFA out of the financial and cultural morass that his predecessors left it in. It is in this regard that it should be clear to the casual onlooker that his and FIFA's grand plan may well have been frustrated by the election of the new executive; also, that Mr Williams had made headway into the FIFA hierarchy and was favoured to be their man on the ground.

None of this, however, can justify FIFA's highhandedness, having not acted for years in this manner with the TTFA reeling, to come and in so short a space of time remove those ultimately democratically elected by the clubs they represent and who are and will always be the lifeblood of the association.

Many persons of high rank in this country have bowed to FIFA under the notion that you just cannot beat them. It is either you in or you out, if you want your country to play international football. It is, therefore, necessary to 'work with them” for the sake of football. That things like these are small issues. Small issue, maybe, but a much bigger principle. That of how we run our institutions and encourage those who altruistically wish to contribute to participate. It is the failure to recognise this that resulted in an Association after so many years being bankrupt of solid administrative and financial capability driven by collaborative professionalism and a vision for football in the long term. So, we now really have two Homes of Football.

Brian Ghent
Mandarin Drive
Haleland Park, Maraval