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Chairman of the Normalization Committee Robert Hadad (right) and TTFA General Secretary Amiel Mohammed (left) at the TTFA Elections at the Home of Football, Couva on Saturday, April 13th 2024.

ROBERT HADAD gives the impression that he cannot wait to hand over office to Kieron Edwards, who was elected the new Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president on Saturday, when the Association held its elections and Extraordinary Congress at the Home of Football, Couva.

Citing financial concerns, on March 17, 2020, FIFA took over control of the TTFA and appointed Robert Hadad (Chairperson), the late Judy Daniel (Deputy Chairperson), Nigel L Romano (Member) and Trevor Gomez (Member) to serve as members of the Normalisation Committee (NC), which would manage the sport locally.

And having been in charge of T&T football for the past four years, Hadad does not expect to return to the sport.

“I have no intention of doing anything more,” the local businessman declared. “I am quite happy to move on with my personal life. I love fishing, I love the outdoors, and I’m going to continue in my quest for some personal, private time, without anything hanging over my head--like football.”

Hadad also indicated he would like to begin the transfer of power immediately. “I look forward to handing over to them on Monday morning,” Hadad stated at the end of the TTFA Congress, while also congratulating Edwards and his Team Progressive slate for winning the elections by a 38-19 margin.

He also lauded the large turnout of TTFA delegates on Saturday. “I’d like to congratulate the TTFA members. I think they were very professional coming out in their numbers, 100% attendance,” Hadad said.

Present at Saturday’s elections was Marco Leal, CONCACAF’s Head of Member Associations and Legal Affairs, who also serves as CONCACAF’s Acting General Secretary. Leal spoke glowingly about the work Hadad and members of his Normalisation Committee had done, before handing out tokens of appreciation to them.

“There are no words I can (use to) describe the appreciation we have for the work of the Normalisation Committee,” Leal said. “They really sacrificed their time, their efforts, their families, in the benefit of Trinidad football.”

Also sending kudos to Hadad and his team was new TTFA president Edwards. “The Normalisation Committee played a crucial role in Trinidad and Tobago football,” said Edwards. “We need to understand that, and we need to acknowledge the service they would have given to Trinidad and Tobago football.”

Meanwhile, Hadad hoped that the local game will now move forward. He noted the impact that football can have on decreasing crime, and believed that the men’s national team had the capacity to return to the top-50 in the FIFA World Rankings.

The major achievement in Hadad’s four years in charge was to oversee the liquidation of a multi-million TTFA debt that stood for decades. And Hadad stated: “The normalisation process is completed.” He further explained that debtors had been paid, with the exception of disputed matters involving Englishmen Terry Fenwick and Peter Miller, which are before the local courts.

“There are two matters before the court and those matters have to be resolved. The trustee Maria Daniel will continue working to bring those matters to a close,” noted Hadad.

Of his tenure, Hadad felt he had done reasonably well in four years and had completed the mandate given to him by FIFA. “I was very satisfied with what we were able to achieve,” said Hadad, adding. “I think that the last four years have brought us (to) a better place and I’m content with that. I don’t think I can please everybody, and I don’t think I will ever please everybody.

“The Association, I would think, they are in a pretty good place. The Association is debt free, save an except for the financial arrangement with FIFA which will be paid off over the next ten years. The rest of it is up to Mr Edwards now and the membership, to take football forward,” Hadad concluded.

SOURCE: T&T Express