Fri | Jun 5, 2020

Ousted TTFA boss determined to fight FIFA takeover

Published:Wednesday | April 1, 2020 | 12:17 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Recently elected president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), William Wallace, says he is extremely disappointed with the state of affairs and is now seeking funding to make an application to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) to overturn a decision by FIFA to replace the country’s football administration with a Normalisation Committee.

FIFA announced on March 17 that the TTFA board would be replaced by a Normalisation Committee, in an effort to restore governance and financial stability to the beleaguered organisation.

The world’s governing body for football, according to their release, took the decision after an assessment carried out in conjunction with Concacaf, the continental regulators, found extremely low overall financial management methods, combined with a massive debt that resulted in the local body facing a very real risk of insolvency and illiquidity.

However, Wallace, who campaigned on greater accountability after the previous administration reportedly racked up debt of over US$7 million, told The Gleaner that they have retained the services of prominent sports lawyers Dr Emir Crowne and Matthew Gayle, and that once they obtain the necessary funds, they will take the matter to the CAS.

“There is a cost attached to taking the matter to the CAS, and at this point, we as individuals involved in this are trying to raise some of the funding to be able to take this matter forward,” said Wallace.

Wallace noted that it is going to cost more than 12,000 Swiss francs (approximately $1.7 million) to complete the application process.

The three-member Normalisation Committee is being headed by Robert Hadad, with Judy Daniel as deputy chairperson and Nigel Romano as a member.

Wallace underlined that he was very disappointed with FIFA’s action, which he considers to be inappropriate and unnecessary.

“I definitely think it was unjust and unethical,” said Wallace. “We are doing all that we can to at least be heard.”

“It is extremely disappointing for me because you would have gone out there and you would have done the work and you would have got the necessary support,” Wallace said. Meanwhile, Dalton Wint, general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation, said he would not be commenting on the matter.