Tue, Nov

TTFA withdraws appeal before Court of Arbitration for Sport

THE TT Football Association (TTFA) executive has withdrawn its appeal of FIFA’s suspension of T&T from international football before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland.

On Wednesday, deputy president of the CAS appeals arbitration division Dr Elisabeth Steiner ruled that the appeal between the TTFA and FIFA was terminated and removed from the court’s roll.

Wednesday’s order was given without costs, except for the court office fee already paid by the TTFA.

On Monday, the TTFA withdrew its appeal, which was filed on September 25.

This withdrawal follows Sunday’s extraordinary general meeting, at which the majority of the TTFA membership voted to accept the normalisation committee appointed by FIFA in March.

Since then, TTFA’s president William Wallace and his executive have been in a battle against FIFA, first over the appointment of the committee and then the world governing body’s suspension of T&T from international football.

On Friday, the Court of Appeal overturned Justice Carol Gobin’s decision that FIFA acted illegally in removing Wallace’s executive.

Wallace also confirmed his battle against FIFA has ended, and that he will not be taking the matter to the Privy Council as speculated. He denied allegations he was considering appealing the Appeal Court’s decision.

Wallace confirmed to the Sunday Express that his fight is over and that he will take no further action in either local or international courts or at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

“Definitely not. The Privy Council is out of the question,” Wallace confirmed. “I am not taking any more action. This is the end, as far as I am concerned.”


Wallace pulls final matter out of Swiss court.
By Ian Prescott (T&T Express).


WILLIAM WALLACE followed up on his promise, officially withdrawing from court yesterday the final matter in the seven-month battle between his ousted Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) executive and FIFA, the governing body for world football.

Yesterday, Dr Elisabeth Steiner, deputy-president of the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) appeals arbitration division confirmed via an e-mailed letter that the TTFA’s matter before CAS had been terminated.

Wallace’s second appeal to CAS for 2020 began on September 25, when his attorneys filed an urgent application for a stay of the decision rendered by the Bureau of the FIFA Council, which a day earlier suspended the TTFA, for breach of its statutes regarding domestic court litigation. The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, were represented by Dr Emir Crowne, Matthew Gayle, Crystal Paul and Jason Jones, while Dr Emilio Garcia and Miguel Lietard represented the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

In terminating Wallace’s action, CAS said: ‘The Deputy President of the Appeals Arbitration Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, ruling in camera, pronounces: The procedure CAS 2020/A/7411 Trinidad & Tobago Football Association v. FIFA is terminated and removed from the CAS roll. The present Order is rendered without costs, except for the Comi Office fee of CHF 1,000 (Swiss francs) which was paid by Trinidad & Tobago Football Association and which is retained by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.’

Wallace’s latest step follows Friday’s T&T Appeal Court decision in which Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Justice Nolan Bereaux, ruled in favour of FIFA. The Court overturned an October 13 decision of lower court Justice Carol Gobin, which had briefly re-instated Wallace as TTFA president and deemed FIFA’s decision to appoint a normalisation committee as null and void. The Appeal Court’s decision confirmed that both the TTFA constitution and FIFA statutes gave FIFA the right to appoint a normalisation committee.

Wallace has been further stripped of all power by TTFA delegates, who on Sunday voted unanimously to accept FIFA’s normalisation committee, as replacement for Wallace’s executive. Wallace had promised to resign following the T&T Appeals Court verdict. His last position was that his resignation was “moot’, now that he is no longer TTFA president and FIFA’s normalisation committee is in charge.

Trinidad and Tobago remain under international suspension by FIFA due to Wallace’s decision to pursue local High Court action against the world governing body (FIFA), when challenging FIFA’s March 17 decision to replace his four-month-old executive with its own normalisation committee.

The CAS appeal began on September 25, when the CAS court office initiated an appeals arbitration procedure under the reference CAS at Wallace’s request. On October 5 FIFA responded to the appellant’s (TTFA) application for a stay if FIFA suspension and on October 15 the TTFA followed up when filing a statement of appeal with respect to the decision rendered by the Bureau of the FIFA Council to suspend the TTFA. In its final action, Wallace withdrew the matter from CAS on October 26 and confirmation was received from Steiner two days later on October 28.

The Swiss court further said it is able to render a termination order due to the case not having commenced. An appeal brief had not yet been filed by the appellant (TTFA) and no panel of judges had been constituted by CAS. Therefore, the matter cost the TTFA nothing, except the 1,000 swiss franc filing fee, which has been retained by the Court of Arbitration.