Fri, Apr

Sancho optimistic FIFA will lift ban.

THE TT Football Association (TTFA) executive has withdrawn its appeal of FIFA’s suspension of T&T from international football before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland.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

In response to TTFA’s withdrawal, TTFA board member Brent Sancho believes this may be a positive step in the right direction towards having T&T’s suspension lifted before December 18.

On September 25 – one day after T&T was indefinitely banned by the sport’s global governing body – the Concacaf council met and decided that if TT can meet the criteria laid down by FIFA, and if FIFA does in fact life the ban by December 18, the Soca Warriors will be permitted to compete at the 2021 Gold Cup.

Sancho, however, knocked Wallace and his United TTFA slate for sinking T&T football to its lowest point. Although still suspended, the former 2006 World Cup defender remains quietly optimistic.

“They were heading down this path from since March and they’ve taken everyone and everything with them. Thankfully, all the documents have been sent off to the relevant correspondents. I suspect FIFA would have their say which may probably indicate a lift in suspension.

“The work really begins now to try and put things in place to move T&T football forward. The past eight months was a complete waste of time. From the get go, it was just men trying to feed their egos. I think the dead end that was always there, they’ve finally arrived at it. It was inevitable,” he said. All attempts to contact normalization committee chairman Robert Hadad for a response on TTFA’s CAS withdrawal proved futile.