Sat, Nov


I saw in the Express yesterday (back page) that William Wallace is open to Government input on the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s (TTFA) issue with FIFA. I agree with the Prime Minister that the Government’s concern is the future welfare of the game of football and the resounding benefits it confers on the development of our youth, to mention one critical aspect of it. But taking that exact premise into consideration who would want to consider as an option second guessing the experience, success and strategic might of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

FIFA’s work on the development of football is unparalleled in any other sport, and for a long time now. The growth and propagation of football on continents like North America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe are unprecedented. What does TTFA bring to the development table that they can contend as their currency for forging a stronger value proposition against FIFA?

Football has flourished in the hands of FIFA, so much so, that the apparent scourge of financial inappropriateness and corruption FIFA is occasionally accused of, has itself, arising from their abundance of strategic success and tremendous growth. In other words, too much growth, revenue and returns are the major temptations that thwart their progress, not inadequate strategy, goals and development planning.

Government need not intervene, to assist wha;, TTFA in continuing to mismanage football so T&T can continuously escape from achieving the successes at football management that FIFA itself has attained and demonstrated to the world for the last 100-odd years?

Do not be deceived, this issue of FIFA with TTFA is one of football management capacity, contractual integrity and operating standards and rules-based governance. The issue with FIFA and some developed countries, as we read in the newspapers, is about who gets to milk the international fat cow and how it should be done. These are two issues, while co -related is a smaller measure, can still be looked at through different lens and adjudicated upon with separate ideals and common sense.

TTFA has run the gamut on self-actualisation and now needs to hand the management of football over to the governors with the experience, history and tenacity to recreate football infrastructure. One for which we citizens/countrymen can adopt and follow to gain an international best-practice status.

While the assistance from Government can be viewed as an attractive campaign-strategy intention, the PM needs to guard against appearing to offer patronage on what is not really an issue for judicious national consideration.

It is more an aberration to the rational evolution of a key-enabler (football management), one that is needed so this country may continue on its journey to success at the game of football. Such a journey surely will benefit from the support of the organisation most capable of securing our long-term sustenance of and involvement in the game.

FIFA is well within its depth to recreate, develop and sustain a football system that meets international standards. But they will need the latitude to seek and find the individuals who can in their own estimation be groomed and nurtured to do it. If we, for whatever cultural, managerial or, internal defect reasons, are unable to do this, then we need to embrace the assistance that will certainly not let us litigate or defy our way to ruin.

I believe that Government should consider assisting, by facilitating the overhaul/recreation of governance and football infrastructure development, not reach for another can of worms.

SOURCE: T&T Express