Tue, Jun

Robert Hadad, chairman of the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee, speaks at a media conference at the Courts MegaStore, San Juan on Thursday, March 24th 2022

FIFA will ultimately decide whether the TTFA normalisation committee (NC), first appointed in March 2020, will stay on after its three-year term ends next March 18.

Local businessman Robert Hadad, chairman of the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee, was asked for comment on whether the NC would demit office when its term ends. Initially installed for 24 months, in March 2020, the NC was given a further one-year extension and has just under three months before that extension is set to expire.

Recently, Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) delegates met and voted to hold elections a day after the NC steps down, thereby allowing for the installation of a new Executive to run local football. But Hadad suggested that the NC leaving office may not be an automatic process.

“It is not the decision of the NC how long we go. It is the decision of the FIFA council,” Hadad stated in response to several questions posed by the Express.

“The term of the NC is guided by FIFA and the end of the term is in March 2023. The mandate of the NC is also incomplete at this moment in time and we are continuing to work to finalise it,” he further explained.

Hadad also addressed a rumour circulating that the NC was seeking a two-year extension. “Any adjustments to the term of the NC, or any Member Association’s NC, is a decision of the FIFA Council,” he added.

Hadad cited difficult circumstances for not yet completing the work assigned to them when FIFA took over the running of T&T football–almost three years ago, when dissolving the TTFA executive led by then president William Wallace.

FIFA cited the TTFA’s multi-million-dollar debt and the threat of insolvency when it aggressively deposed the TTFA executive and installed Hadad as caretaker.

“The NC has faced numerous challenges since its appointment; Covid-19 pandemic, court matters, suspension from FIFA, approval of audited financial statements and navigating the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) proposal process,” Hadad reiterated.

Further, Hadad seemed to suggest that the NC had not yet navigated its way through the debt-repayment plan, aimed at repaying creditors and clearing the TTFA multi-million-dollar loan via an interest-free US$3.5 million loan, that the TTFA will have 10 years to repay.

“The BIA process, which is still ongoing, is an extremely sensitive matter. No other member Association has ever found itself in a similar situation of having tens of millions of dollars of debt,” he pointed out.

“It is also important to note, that if the approval of the proposal process failed before Justice Rampersad in September 2022 or fails within the prescribed six-month window thereafter, the TTFA will be forced into dissolution and effectively no longer exist,” Hadad further stated. “That is not something that anyone wants, so the management of this process, which was started in 2021 and has had many legal steps since, must be carefully managed,” he concluded.

SOURCE: T&T Express