Sun, Oct


“There could be no change without consequences. Some people want to support our stance but are unwilling to accept the consequences,” said William Wallace, former president of the ousted T&T Football Association, who is leading a daring battle against the world governing body for football- FIFA for the right to be the managers of local football told Guardian Media Sports on Thursday.

The team of Wallace, Clynt Taylor, Joseph Sam Phillip and Susan Joseph-Warrick was replaced by a Normalisation Committee appointed by the FIFA because the football association faced a real risk of insolvency.

T&T football is now being managed by a normalization committee comprises of businessman Robert Hadad, the chairman, alongside retired banker Nigel Romano and Attorney Judy Daniel after Wallace and his executive team was removed from office on March 17 by FIFA according to article 8.2 of the FIFA statutes.

Wallace who on Monday led his team to take their battle with the FIFA to the High Court in Port-of-Spain, took a swipe at their detractors, saying the notion of taking a stand without risk is contradictory. “They are basing this on what might happen, assuming that we will be banned for our stance. We are taking a calculated risk, taking into consideration what is happening with FIFA president Gianni Infantino right now internationally, and we are getting the support of the international media but our local media has done otherwise,” Wallace said.

According to Wallace: “Right now our football needs to reset. For the past four years, our football had been going backwards, yet no one stood up and said anything but us (the United TTFA). Now they are telling me about where we are going wrong. This is not a decision that was made just so, we considered several factors before we arrived at this. The big mighty FIFA was brought to its knees before, and while I am not saying that is what I intend to do, we must take a stance against injustice.”

Meanwhile, Stern John, an assistant coach of the country's under-20 football team, is calling for Wallace and his team to do the right thing.

“This is taking TT football back to the stone age and I cannot support that. At the end of the day, football must be the winner. It must not be destroyed at the expense of someone proving a personal point,” John told Guardian Media Sports yesterday afternoon. He believes with the stance being taken that several young TT footballers will suffer.

“I have a son who wants to represent this country, but if we are banned, he may never get the chance, just as many other young players. I think Wallace has gotten it wrong here,” John, the country's all-time top goalscorer explained.

Wallace's team decided to take the FIFA to the local court is a blatant violation of the FIFA Statutes for Member Associations, an action that leads to a ban. However, it is uncertain which ban FIFA could hand down, as one official said “The country, on the whole, could be banned, or there could be a ban on individuals. This decision will be made at the FIFA Congress and that is if the FIFA decides to ban us for the stand we took.”



TTFA gives Fifa eight days to respond.
By Jelani Beckles (Newsday).

LAWYERS representing the former TT Football Association (TTFA) executive are giving Fifa eight days to respond to claim documents.

On Monday, the former TTFA executive decided to take the matter against Fifa to the T&T High Court instead, as they felt they would not get a fair hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The former T&T executive, led by president William Wallace, is fighting Fifa on its decision to disband the group, claiming Fifa has no right to interfere with a democratically elected local body.

The Wallace-led executive was removed from office by Fifa on March 17 after less than four months in the job.

The former executive was replaced by a normalisation committee led by local businessman Robert Hadad. The committee will run the affairs of local football, including getting rid of the $50 million debt facing the local football body.

Gayle said Fifa has acknowledged receipt of TTFA’s email and the former TTFA executive is giving Fifa eight days to enter an appearance.

“They have to file what’s called a notice of intention to defend,” Gayle said. “They have to let the court know are they going to defend the case, are they going to concede the case, are they going to be part of the case and so on. They have to indicate that within eight days.”

The eight-day period started on May 19, the day Fifa received the documents from the TTFA lawyers Gayle and Dr Emir Crowne. Gayle said they will count eight full days from May 20, therefore the TTFA is hoping to get a response from Fifa by next Friday.