Wed, Jun


With T&T still trying to digest FIFA's decision to suspend the T&T Football Association (TTFA) for all tournaments, events or programme anywhere in the world and until further notice on Thursday, followed by Friday's announced resignation of the TTFA second vice-president Susan Joseph-Warrick, the breaking news is that the remaining five members of the United Team have decided to continue with their legal battle against FIFA in the T&T High court.

At 7:38.08 am on Friday, the United TTFA served a "Notice of Withdrawal" on the T&T high court that it was withdrawing the application it made on Wednesday to withdraw its court matter against FIFA in an attempt to meet FIFA's ulitmatum. This recent decision means that the matter will proceed as stated on October 9 before justice Carol Gobin.

The United TTFA team also filed an application with the Court for Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland seeking a stay of FIFA's decision to suspend the TTFA on Thursday. The case CAS#7411/A Trinidad and Tobago Football Association v FIFA, is expected to be heard sometime within the next two days.

The application is an attempt by the United TTFA to secure T&T's place in the Concacaf Gold Cup tournament.

Guardian Media Sports has seen CAS response to the United TTFA legal team confirming that the matter will be heard.

However, Robert Hadad, the chairman of the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee when contacted revealed to Guardian Media Sports that T&T will be part of the Gold Tournament but with a stiuplation.

He said on Friday said: "After recent events, I hope all football stakeholders in our country will work together with the Normalization Committee for the benefit of football. We have a very difficult task ahead but we owe it to the coaches, the players, the fans and to future generations to create a well-governed and well managed TTFA. There is possible light at the end of the tunnel. I have learned last night, the Concacaf Council decided that if we meet the requirements laid down by FIFA, and if FIFA lifts the suspension by December 18th, we will be permitted to compete in next summer’s Gold Cup. However, if the suspension remains in place on that date, we will be automatically replaced. This presents us with an opportunity but only if we urgently address FIFA’s issues. I urge the membership of the TTFA and all football stakeholders in our country to get behind the Normalization Committee. Please work with us; it is the only way we can get the TTFA back on track."

Meanwhile, 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. 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.

In her resignation letter, she stated that: "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."

She added: "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."

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.

SOURCE: T&T Guardian