Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) board member Keith Look Loy has claimed there will be questions for the association to answer after an audit of the finances of the Home of Football project has revealed a shortfall of US$2.3m (TT$16m).

According to reports, the discrepancy stems from the number of contracts currently at the association’s headquarters and the budget for the controversial project.

Look Loy had turned to the High Court after failing to get the requested information from the association.  The court ruled in his favour and order the TTFA to furnish Look Loy with the TTFA ledger for the period of November 2015 to present and contributions of FIFA, TTFA and the government for the Home of Football.  The TTFA was also ordered to hand over the overall budget for the names of all bidding companies or parties in connection with the project, the TTFA personnel who selected contractors and sub-contractors for the project and the name of the project manager; the names of contractors and sub-contractors engaged; the quantum, duration and terms of all contractors associated with the project and the current financial and construction status of the project.

According to Look Loy, the results were surprising.

“When I added up the quantum of what was stated in the contracts, the grand total was TT$3.189 million; but the grand total of the FIFA contribution for the Home of Football was US$2.75 million or TT$19.25 million,” Look Loy told Wired868.com.

“So I don’t know how they plan to explain that shortfall, but the gap is over $16 million!”

According to the online publication, TTFA president David John Williams or any other members of the organization is yet to respond to queries surrounding the allegations.

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John Williams claims the organization has taken steps to clear outstanding match fee amounts due to members of the country’s national team.

According to reports, members of the country’s national squad have considered taking strike action ahead of upcoming friendlies to protest months of non-payment of fees. 

Several players claim they had been owed match fees since the October 2017 World Cup qualifier against the United States.  In addition, they also claimed John Williams and members of the association proved elusive in addressing the issue.

With the twin-island republic expected to play Wales next month in their next friendly, however, John Williams has insisted the organization is making significant steps to resolve the dispute.

“TTFA has begun to pay the players.  We have around three games outstanding for them now.  Over the past week we have paid them for three games,” Williams said.

“There is no secret that the TTFA has serious cash flow problems and that is due to the fact that we have been paying debt accrued by previous administrations,” he added.

The president explained that the issue had arisen after the organization failed to claim expected funds.

“We were expecting some inflows by 15 December, unfortunately, that did not happen but we expect the inflows in the next 10 to 15 days and we will deal with the matter.”

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John Williams has staunchly defended the controversial Home of Football project at Couva as a necessity for the sport in the twin-island republic.

The multi-million-dollar project, which officially began in September of last year.  The facility was built on 7.64 hectors of land leased to the TTFA.  The project has, however, drawn criticism for both its overall cost and implementation.  Some have argued that the funds could be better spent with the association already heavily in debt.  In an exclusive interview with the SportsMax Zone, John-Williams, however, defended the project.

“The most important investment you can make is a roof over your head,” John Williams told the SportsMax Zone.

“The house is very important for a family,” he added.

“What this administration is achieving is a necessity.  Before we never owned a parrot on a stick.  If it’s this association that achieves it then so be it.”

A US$2.5 million (TT$16.85 million) grant was given to the TT Football Association to build the facility, which will include a hotel, an entertainment centre and training grounds.

Trinidad and Tobago international Sheldon Bateau has accused TTFA president David John Williams of playing games with the country’s national representatives in relation to outstanding sums still owed to several players.

According to the defender, the team has not been paid match fees since the October 2017 World Cup qualifier against the United States.  Since that match, where T&T secured a famous 2-1 win that knocked their CONCACAF counterparts out of the World Cup qualifiers, the team has gone on to play eight friendly matches.

With the TFFA finding itself facing a mountain of debtors, Bateau has claimed that the organisation’s boss has proved elusive to pin down for discussions regarding the issue.

“We (men players) know for sure that they have financial problems,” Bateau told the T&T Newsday.

“One of the main problems is that we’re playing friendly games and (the TTFA) is collecting monies for these games. The money is going elsewhere besides dealing with the players who are playing in these games… you can’t have players playing for (US) $300 and waiting a year to get it. For me that’s wrong,” he added.

“We, as players, always want to find the best solution,” he said. “(We) are willing to sit and talk. But when you try to reach out to him, sometimes he’s not willing to talk, he would send a response with someone else. Once in a blue moon we’ll get him to come face-to-face and talk.

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