Sat, Jul

Colin Wharfe, CEO of the TTFA's Senior Men's League competitions

Dear Editor,

The TTFA election approaches and individuals have declared their intention to challenge for the presidency, including Colin Wharfe (CEO of the FIFA-financed T&T Premier League) among them. No slates have been officially nominated under the association’s newly minted constitution at this point, but an issue has arisen around a perceived need (in some quarters) for Wharfe to resign his TTPL post before the election.

Of course, there is no legal requirement for Wharfe to resign. The TTFA constitution does not mandate any such thing. The question does arise, however, whether Wharfe’s publicly declared intention to challenge for the presidency of the FIFA-financed TTFA and his occupation of the top position in the FIFA-financed Premier League, don’t present an ethical conundrum. Why so?

Because the new TTFA constitution, which radically alters the traditional electoral division of power within the football body, has been re-engineered by FIFA to ensure the domination and control of the FIFA-financed Premier League and its member clubs. To be specific, where before the combined voting power of 30-odd Pro League and Super League clubs amounted to 18 votes out of 49—much less than half of all votes—the new TTFA constitution grants 28 votes out of a total of 57 votes to 17 TTPL clubs—a comfortable majority.

TTFA is today FIFA-occupied territory. FIFA finances and controls everything. And the new constitution is part of the legal infrastructure that ensures FIFA’s control over local football. Thus, Wharfe, who has reportedly stated his intention to carry on the work of FIFA’s Normalisation Committee, is a solid bet to win the election. Wharfe is FIFA’s man. And beggars can’t be choosers.

The Premier League clubs will fall in line and do the needful to maintain the flow of FIFA finance into the Premier League and their clubs. Or will they? Will the other serious candidate Kieron Edwards and company fail? We shall see.

There is no legal issue with Wharfe’s actions to date. Ethics is another matter. But ethics don’t enter into any discussion of local politics, in any sphere. Wharfe cannot be required to resign until he is declared TTFA president by the election committee hastily assembled by FIFA’s Normalisation Committee. But, the ethics of campaigning while controlling the financial lifeblood of the league and the clubs that hold the vast majority of votes are appalling. As we see in today’s global geopolitics, occupiers do as they please, and this is the FIFA “rules-based order”.

Keith Look Loy


SOURCE: T&T Guardian