“Leave the proposed New Elite Football League (NEFL) alone and focus on the mandate given to you,” says Selby Browne, president of the Veterans Football Foundation of T&T to the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee, which is being led by chairman Robert Hadad on Sunday.
Browne, disappointed over the lengthy delay by Hadad and his members to complete their mandate of: running the TTFA’s daily affairs; establishing a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA; reviewing and amending the TTFA Statutes (and other regulations where necessary) and ensuring their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress; as well as to organise and to conduct elections of a new TTFA Executive Committee for a four-year mandate, said he believes there are people who are bent on cashing in on monies from the FIFA and the government.
“It is embarrassing that administrators are being paid in football when the footballers are not,” Browne said.
Only on Friday, Browne in his capacity as a member of the T&T Football Association, received a letter that was sent from FIFA to the normalisation committee warning that it should complete the tasks given to them, before they can study a request for an EGM by the members. Browne said the FIFA was only exercising its power and rightfully so, because the normalisation committee has not achieved not even one of the four mandates given to them as yet, despite being given an extension.
“What business does the normalisation committee has with compliance of clubs, of starting a new football league when they have not even paid the creditors?. The normalisation committee received approval from the courts since last September, yet their complaint is that a meeting of the members on December 10 last year prevented the creditors from being paid...now does that make any sense?”
“If the normalisation committee had been doing its job of looking after the operation’s of football, then it would not have been totally dependant on funding from the FIFA or the government. The normalisation committee has fallen woefully short of attracting investors to the sport, it has not brought any sponsors. Yet footballers are not paid when they are. This is a disgrace,” Browne said.
The new elite football league was scheduled to kick off this month with a seasonal competition. On Thursday the T&TFA appointed administrator Colin Wharfe as the Chief Executive Officer of the new T&T Football Association (TTFA) senior men’s football competition, expected to be called the Elite League, expected to kick off after Carnival 2023 season.
A release from the TTFA said: “The T&TFA Normalization Committee in conjunction with a FIFA League Development Programme representative determined the type of profile and characteristics that would be expected of the individual chosen to spearhead this League, previously referred to as the ‘Elite League’.”
According to Browne: “Any formation of the Elite League as proposed, means that you have to come to the TTFA members to ask for approval to seek approval of the constitution. Why are you amending a constitution when you are on your way out the door?.
The mandate for a possible change to the constitution stated clearly that it can be amended only if required, and the only persons to determine if changes are required or not are the TTFA members, nobody else. And the only persons to approve it are the TTFA members, nobody else.
And I say right now as a matter of priority as a TTFA member is to pay the creditors, having football active from youth to national levels, and calling the election. Finish your business and pack up. Any amendment to the constitution and proposal for a new league must be with the new executive,” Browne said.