Sat, Jun

Normalisation Committee Chairman Robert Hadad

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) stakeholders are eager to see local football removed from the hands of the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad and put back under the control of Association members in the soonest time possible.

Now that a plan has been accepted to clear the TTFA’s major burden, a multi-million dollar debt to creditors, the stakeholders are adamant that other items on the normalisation committee’s mandate be completed within a short time.

“No more dilly-dallying and delaying,” stated Referees Association president Osmond Downer yesterday. “It is time that the business of the TTFA be put back in the hands of the representatives of the membership, so long as proper amendments are put in the constitution to avoid past mistakes.”

Likewise, Veterans Foundation president Selby Browne has similar views and has written to acting TTFA general secretary Amiel Mohammed requesting that a meeting of stakeholders be held. Browne also thinks it time for the normalisation committee to fulfil its mandate and leave.

Having removed the former TTFA executive led by president William Wallace, on March 17, 2020, FIFA announced its appointment of a normalisation committee headed by local businessman Hadad, and gave it the mandate to resolve the estimated TT$100m TTFA debt; run the Association’s daily affairs; amend the TTFA constitution and call a fresh elections of officers.

“It is expected that these three items of the FIFA mandate can certainly be expeditiously completed by the normalisation committee with the continued guidance and support of the CONCACAF and FIFA, most certainly well before March 17, 2023, the date of the appointment of the normalisation committee,” stated Browne.

Following Thursday’s meeting, Downer was appointed one of three creditor-representatives and assigned the task of working along with the trustee’s committee, with a view to overseeing the fair distribution of money owed to the TTFA’s creditors.

Also appointed was former national footballer Leonson Lewis. The meeting comprised creditors, their legal representatives, representatives from the Office of the Supervisor of Insolvency and members of the normalisation committee, including Hadad. An Ernst & Young chartered accountant team comprising TTFA trustee Maria Daniel, Gerren Lovell, Chariffa Rahaman and Wanda Andre presented a debt resolution proposal which was accepted by the majority of creditors.

The proposal will see creditors paid all or part of the money owed to them via a US$3.5 million loan. The interest-free loan gives the TTFA ten years to repay. Creditors owed up to TT$200,000 will be paid in full, with the rest getting as much as 63 per cent of the outstanding amount.

Stephan De Four, the United States-based former senior women’s national coach, is much happier with the latest offer than what was previously announced by trustee Daniel. De Four indicated that he had kept in touch with those at the meeting held at the Home of Football, Couva, two days ago.

“I think with the new proposal they came with at the meeting, I agree with it,” De Four stated, “not with what they were offering before.”

Creditors were given the choice to accept their payment in American or Trinidad and Tobago dollars and Downer believes that it should take no more than two to three months to get money into the bank accounts of those owed.

Downer also believes that the normalisation committee can fulfil its mandate to amend the TTFA constitution and call fresh elections long before March 17, 2023, when its term in office officially ends.

“The remaining things can be dispatched within a matter of weeks: the amendment of the constitution is no big thing,” stated constitutional expert Downer, “and then there is the election of officers.”

“Amendment to the current constitution will not take that long because it was based on the FIFA’s standard statutes for members Associations,” Downer added.

Meanwhile, Browne is adamant that TTFA members must also meet soon.

“I wish to bring to your attention the urgent need to have a meeting of the TTFA membership convened soonest, to receive a formal report on the meeting of the TTFA creditors with the trustee, chaired by the Supervisor of Insolvency held at the Home of Football on May 5 2022,” Browne wrote to Mohammed.

“Based on media reports, I wish to extend congratulations to the trustee Ms Maria Daniel and her team, for bringing the massive debt of the TTFA to successful conclusion,” he stated.

“Now that the main item of the FIFA mandate to the normalisation committee has been successfully resolved by the trustee, it is important that a membership meeting be called to formally be advised about this new development that involves the payment of monies by the TTFA, which is the eventual responsibility of the membership of the TTFA.”

SOURCE: T&T Express