“It should be noted that at least three TTFA members communicated to the TTFA in writing, of changes to member delegates, prior to the TTFA Normalisation Committee receiving the request by the member delegates to convene the EGM.” This is according to Robert Hadad, chairman of FIFA-instituted Normalisation Committee.
Further, Hadad has concluded that these three members have legal standing and that the upcoming September 15 Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Extraordinary Meeting (EGM) is legal. However, Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association (TTFRA) vice-president Osmond Downer had stated otherwise in a correspondence a few days ago.
Hadad’s written communication came in response to correspondences from Defence Force Football Club (Super League) manager Ryan Ottley and Downer, dated September 5 and 6, 2020. Downer had raised concerns about the legal standing of three delegates and their eligibility to vote at the EGM.
In addressing Ottley and Downer’s correspondences, Hadad also announced that eight Trinidad and Tobago Super League delegates eligible to vote next Tuesday, remain unchanged. Among those seeking the EGM were three members of the Super League.
“The eight member delegates of the Trinidad and Tobago Super League are elected on an annual basis and remain unchanged unless changes are officially communicated by the member. Member clubs of any particular member, who are not delegates, may observe the EGM, at the discretion of the General Meeting but will have no rights to debate or vote (Article 21 (3)).”
Earlier this week, Downer had concluded that without suspended TTFA General Secretary Ramesh Ramdhan’s signature, the EGM notice is invalid. However, Hadad also countered that as chairman of the Normalisation Committee, he had the authority to sanction the meeting, in the absence of Ramdhan. FIFA appointed Hadad as chairman of its Normalisation Committee after dissolving the TTFA executive, led by president William Wallace on March 17.
“We note that in accordance with the TTFA Constitution, the chairman of the TTFA Normalisation Committee, which now acts as the executive body of the TTFA, is vested with the authority to issue correspondence,” Hadad stated via correspondence. “The TTFA general secretary, Mr Ramesh Ramdhan, has been suspended pending an enquiry into the entry of several contracts by the TTFA. We wish to make it clear that we are not imputing any dishonest motive against the general secretary.”
“The general secretary has made a request that the matter be referred to mediation for a resolution to which request we have agreed. We do not wish to comment further on this matter at this time to preserve the integrity of the process and the reputations of all concerned.”
In requesting the EGM, TTFA members were reacting to an ultimatum from FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura, who has given the former TTFA executive a September 16 deadline to withdraw a court action it brought against FIFA—in contravention of the world body’s statutes which prohibit member associations from settling disputes in local courts.
Wallace and his three vice-presidents—known as United TTFA—have challenged the decision of FIFA to dissolve the four-month-old executive and install its own management committee.
Hadad claimed that he was acting in accordance with the TTFA constitution, after the majority of voting TTFA delegates requested to have an EGM to address concerns arising out of concern that T&T face an international football ban.
“In accordance with Article 29 (2) of the TTFA Constitution, a request to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) was received from more than 50 per cent of the accredited TTFA Member Delegates. In reply, the TTFA Normalisation Committee issued convocation for an EGM to be held on Tuesday 15th September, 2020.”