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Sun, Jun

Football stakeholders to deliver petition on Monday.
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A petition which required the signatures of the membership with more than 50 per cent support of the 49 delegates, will be presented to the FIFA-appointed T&T Football Association (TTFA) Normalisation Committee (NC) headed by businessman Robert Hadad on Monday morning.

This was stated by Kieron Edwards, president of Eastern Football Association (EFA) as local football bodies that fall under the umbrella of the embattled T&TFA make a last-ditch attempt to get members of the William Wallace-led United T&T Football Association (TTFA) to drop its legal battle against football’s world governing body FIFA.

Hadad and the Normalisation Committee was appointed to govern the affairs of local football on March 27, after Wallace who won last November's T&TFA's election over the incumbent, David John-Williams was removed from office by FIFA on March 17, due to what FIFA said was the new executive poor planning and financial handling of the local body affairs.

Edwards told Guardian Media Sports on Saturday that, "So far we have already gathered more than half of the 49 signatures needed to make a presentation on behalf of the concerned local clubs to the normalisation Committee. We have received the backing of 30 clubs so far, as well as the support of the Central Football Association, and Eastern Counties Football Union."

Asked if there was confirmed support for the signing of the petition coming from the other zones, Edwards said, "We are awaiting replies from the Northern Football Association (NFA), Southern Football Association (SFA), Tobago Football Association (TFA) and the T&T Pro League, which has the given its full support minus Club Sando.

Concerning support coming from the Secondary Schools Football League’s (SSFL), its interim president Philip Fraser said he first has to request his membership before he can sign for or against.

Earlier this week, both Brent Sancho, chairman of the T&T Pro League and Mike Awai, a Business Development Officer at Pro League campaigners AC Port-of-Spain, said that with 51 per cent support of the membership, a request can be made to the chairman of the Normalisation Committee, Hadad to call an emergency general meeting, from which a decision can be made to seek the court’s approval to stop the action of the ousted TTFA executive members - inclusive of William Wallace and his three vice presidents - Clynt Taylor, Joseph-Warrick and Joseph Sam Phillip, which has put the country in a position to be sanctioned by FIFA.

Sancho said also that with 75 per cent of the support of the football membership, the United TTFA group can be stopped outrightly, as they would not be representing the wishes of the majority of the members.

Edwards said that with the signatures acquired they also intend on requesting an extraordinary meeting with the NC to have the United TTFA withdraw their matter at the courts and save T&T football from falling apart.

Only on Wednesday, a letter from FIFA’s secretary-general Fatma Samoura warned the United TTFA that if they did not comply with the FIFA Statutes, and accept the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) based in Zurich, Switzerland, as the jurisdiction for settling the dispute between the parties, then the country faces sanctions.

Samoura also gave the United TTFA executive a deadline date of September 16, to take its matter out of the T&T High Court in Port-of-Spain.

Meanwhile, CFA president Shymdeo Gosine said the three delegates who have represented the association have been instructed to support the petition.

"FIFA has rules and regulations and as a member of FIFA our association agreed to abide by those rules, and I really don't understand what they are trying to do at this point with us being on the brink of being ban.

"Those guys need to kill their ego-tripping because we will suffer a great deal in terms of our football if they don't withdraw the ban and FIFA then imposes sanctions on us," said Gosine.

He added, "Their actions to me have no real benefit as the United T&TFA does not have the resources to manage local football and they should end their battle, allow FIFA to step in and help put our football back on track," ended Gosine.

NFA president, Anthony Harford said he has taken the decision along with his executive to have the clubs of the association decide for themselves on the matter.

He stated, "The truth is as president of the NFA, I have taken the position that the clubs will have to make their own choice on whether to throw their support behind the petition or not.

"This is because their is this big perception that I am a William Wallace supporter and because of that I have not been in contact or been privy to any documentations with regards to the petition, but clubs of the NFA have informed me that they have been contacted and my response to them has been to make their own choice."