Thu, Sep


No FIFA ban for the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, at least for the time being.

When the 70th FIFA Congress convened at nine o'clock Friday morning, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said there was nothing to address under the agenda of expulsion and suspensions and moved on. This announcement came at approximately 9.17 am.

It put to rest concerns for many months that Trinidad and Tobago would be banned by FIFA following the court action taken by the ousted United TTFA executive led by William Wallace earlier this year - after they were given the boot and a FIFA Normalisation Committee implemented in March, headed by Robert Hadad, to oversee a restructuring of the association.

Well placed football insiders told Guardian Media earlier this morning that FIFA may only contemplate their next move after the October 9 court matter in Trinidad and Tobago

Wallace’s team refused to drop the local court action challenging the FIFA decision to send in the Normalisation Team by the deadline of Wednesday of this week given to them by the world governing body for the sport. This had prompted concerns that the TTFA could face a ban.

Addressing FIFA’s non-action during Friday’s congress, however, Wallace said the matter was far from over.

”We knew that Trinidad and Tobago was not on the agenda, but of course persons with their various agendas made public statements to the contrary. The matter is far from over and the ball is still in FIFA's court to act as they deem fit after the congress.” - With reporting by Gyasi Merrique



Look Loy, Downer don’t see FIFA action today
By Ian Prescott (Express).

Ban or not?

Will Trinidad and Tobago be suspended from world football today? United TTFA spokesman Keith Look Loy has his doubts, and so does a local football constitution expert.

Today the 70th Congress of world governing body FIFA will be held, where in theory, two-thirds of the 214 delegates can agree to a ban or suspension of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association because of the current High Court action being undertaken by sidelined president William Wallace and his three vice-presidents, going under the United TTFA banner.

However, Keith Look Loy, chairman of the TTFA’s technical committee before FIFA instituted a Normalisation Committee on March 17, and part of the United TTFA group, does not believe that a ban will come today.

“I personally do not expect anything to happen at the Congress,” he said on TV6’s Morning Edition programme yesterday.

Giving weight to Look Loy’s contention is the absence of the matter of the TTFA’s suspension on the agenda of the FIFA Congress or the FIFA Council, which met yesterday.

Vice-president of the Trinidad and Tobago Referees Association and one of the framers of the TTFA’s revised constitution in 2015, Osmond Downer, told the Express yesterday that delegates going to the Congress must be informed beforehand of any matter to be discussed. He said while the matter of suspensions is a mandatory item on the agenda, the TTFA matter is not specifically there.

In addition, Downer said the TTFA issue was also not discussed at the meeting of the FIFA Council, which met yesterday. Explaining that the Council can put to the Congress any motion for expulsion or suspension, he said: “I saw the agenda for the Council meeting and it has on it ratification of matters coming from the Bureau. But there is no item ­regarding suspension for Trinidad and Tobago.”

The Bureau comprises president Gianni Infantino and the presidents of FIFA’s six confederations, which met within the last week.

Downer added: “Following ­normal procedure it (a suspension for the TTFA) would not be a matter to be discussed by the Congress because such a matter would have to be brought to the Congress by the Council. So unless some irregular way is found to bring it to the Congress for discussion, it will not be discussed, because the Council is not discussing it today (yesterday).”

Wallace and his United TTFA had been given until Wednesday by FIFA to withdraw its legal action in the High Court or face the possibility of a suspension or ban.

United TTFA has not withdrawn its case and on Monday was granted an injunction by Justice Carol Gobin which prevented the Normalisation Committee from sanctioning an Emergency General Meeting (EGM) that could have seen the TTFA dele­gates instructing the group to stop its action. And yesterday, Look Loy remained steadfast despite the ban threat.

Look Loy reasoned that even in the event of a ban: “In the real world of Covid, there is no football to be played until the second quarter of next year... There is no domestic football for the rest of this year... Concacaf has already put off all qualifying and international play until March of 2021. There is no football for the next six months. No boy or girl is going to get a scholarship to the United States until August of next year, that’s ­almost a year from now, so I’m saying if we are sanctioned, in the real world, what are we going to miss?”

He added: “This case is going to be settled within that period or long before... the end of that period. If the matter goes the way of FIFA, we have said publicly, then we walk away. I personally have no interest in pursuing this to the Privy Council and Appeal Court and all of that. If Justice Gobin decides in favour of FIFA, we walk away.

“If she decides that the Wallace administration is the legitimate administration then we address it, bring the membership together and we begin to deal with the solution together... I repeat, Trinidad and Tobago football is going to be missing nothing under a suspension until April of next year.”