Susan Joseph-Warrick, the second vice president of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) and president of the Women's Football League (Wolf), has announced her resignation from all football in T&T and has become the first casualty of the legal battle between the TTFA and FIFA on Friday. Joseph-Warrick's announcement to her executive comes less than 24 hours after FIFA officially suspended the T&TFA as a member of the world governing body FIFA with immediate effect and until further notice.
The ruling means that T&T cannot participate in any FIFA tournaments, events or programme anywhere in the world until the suspension is lifted.
T&T was looking forward to participating in next year's Gold Cup tournament in the United States and the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in March 2021.
The ruling follows a decision by the former TTFA executive to challenge in court, FIFA’s right to appoint a Normalisation Committee to manage the affairs of football in T&T.
Joseph-Warrick, who was elected as WoLF president in April 2019 on a two-year term, was the lone woman on the United TTFA slate that contested the TTFA November 24, 2019 elections to form the executive and serve alongside former president William Wallace and vice presidents — Clynt Taylor and Joseph Sam Phillips.
Joseph-Warrick's resignation letter reads:
"I wish to advise of my Resignation from The United TTFA, Trinidad and Tobago Women's League Football(TT WoLF) and my Elected post of 2nd Vice President of the TTFA.
Today I look back to almost two(2) years ago, when I became a TTFA Board member and decided to fight for Accountability, Honesty and Good Governance, to fight for our young women who were always a footnote, to fight for the development of football.
That was against the previous administration that had sunk our football into depths of Despair.
We Won that fight.
Six months ago, a New Bigger battle emerged.
This time against FIFA, the rulers of World Football.
This was a fight for Principle, and Justice and I felt we were Well supported in our actions by the football lovers in Trinidad and Tobago.
Within recent times it has become clear to me, that we are also fighting against those that we represent; The Associations, The Clubs, The Teams, Supporters and Sadly....the Players.
In my Heart, I felt hurt by the actions of FIFA.....there was so much to do, but So little time given.
We were making Huge strides, and Yes we made some mistakes.
I believe that the end must justify the means and that our present course of actions against FIFA would not redound to the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago and to the dreams and aspirations of our present and future generations of footballers.
Having consulted with our membership, we took the decision to give up our principled struggle for the future of Trinidad and Tobago Football and moved for the withdrawal of court proceedings against FIFA.
How and why these papers were filed after the 3 pm deadline is beyond me, and I am saddened and disappointed at the turn of events.
Hopefully, this suspension will be short-lived as the membership, executive and Normalization Committee do what is beneficial for our future generations of players, clubs, coach and administrators.
As for me, I am Done."
Yours in Sport,
2nd Vice President TTFA
President TT WoLF.
Vice President United TTFA.
The quartet was removed from office by FIFA on March 17 and FIFA -appointed a Normalisation Committee on March 27 to manage the sport which led them to mount a legal challenge of FIFA's decision at the Court for Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland in April, withdraw it in May as they could not pay the 40,000 Swiss francs (TT$276,000) in associated costs claiming institutional bias in favour of FIFA. The matter was then lodged in the T&T High Court and FIFA objected claiming the TTFA has breached its statutes.
FIFA had called on the TTFA to withdraw the matter from the High Court but although a decision was taken to do so late Tuesday night, the withdrawal did not come in time to meet FIFA’s ultimatum of September 23 and by the 3:0 pm (TT Time) set.
In Thursday’s letter of suspension signed by FIFA’s general secretary Fatma Samoura read in part:
“We inform you that, based on the decision taken by the Bureau of the FIFA Council on 24 September 2020, the T&T Football Association (TTFA) has been suspended with immediate effect and until further notice, in accordance with article 16 of the FIFA statutes.
The decision was as a result after the TTFA failed to meet Wednesday’s 3 pm deadline which set by FIFA on September 18, for the United TTFA team to withdraw their legal matter from the T&T High court.
However, the embattled Wallace and team withdrawal application was made and stamped at 15:23.57 (3:23 pm) on Wednesday which was after the deadline of 15:00 AST (21:00 CET) time as outlined in the FIFA letter.
Guardian Media Sports understands that while the group’s legal team filed an eight-page notice of the application to withdraw the case, in an attempt to beat FIFA’s revised ultimatum, the matter will not be actually be withdrawn until the application is dealt with by Justice Carol Gobin, who is presiding over the case. The matter is still awaiting a hearing date.
Following FIFA's decision Hadad wrote:
"Following today’s (Thursday) decision by FIFA to suspend the TTFA I want to reach out to the football family in Trinidad and Tobago;
These are extremely challenging times for everyone with the current pandemic, and my thoughts are with those impacted in our communities.
Unfortunately, the TTFA again finds itself in a very negative situation. The Normalisation Committee made every effort to prevent this suspension.
On several occasions, we managed to have deadlines extended, and we appealed to the few individuals from the previous regime to drop their legal action and do the right thing. Unfortunately, those few individuals have put their own interests before the TTFA’s. They knew very well this approach would have serious consequences for football in our country and yet they still pressed ahead with their own agenda. Their actions have had no regard for the coaches, the players and the fans in our country. Like the vast majority of stakeholders in our game, I am tired of the legal wrangling, the disputes and the constant focus on off-field problems in our football. The FIFA appointed Normalization Committee is the only way forward; it still the only recognized body by FIFA and the football family needs to work with us so we can put everything into getting this suspension lifted.it is incumbent on us to come together and fix the TTFA for the good of future generations."
SOURCE: T&T Guardian