FIFA retains Trinidadian law firm for high-court showdown with ousted TTFA executive

By May 26, 2020

FIFA has retained the services of the renowned Law Offices of Dr Claude H. Denbow S.C. in their dispute with the ousted executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) that is now before the Trinidad and Tobago High Court of Justice.

The William Wallace executive, guided by Dr Emir Crowne and Matthew Gayle of New City Chambers, is seeking a permanent injunction to prevent FIFA from interfering or seeking to override the “fair and transparent democratic processes of the TTFA and/or preventing them from removing the executive of duly elected officers from office.”

They are also seeking a permanent injunction against FIFA preventing FIFA and/or its agents from interfering with the day-to-day management of the association, including its bank accounts, website and real property.

They are also seeking damages and costs.

FIFA’s attorneys filed their entry of the appearance in the courts on Tuesday stating their intent to defend their decision to dissolve the TTFA board and appoint a normalisation committee to oversee the running of the TTFA, mere months after the board was voted into office in November 2019.

“We will be responding to the claimant’s case in early court and I am not allowed to discuss our client’s business,” said instructing attorney Donna Denbow,

“It is not our practice to discuss our client’s business in public. We will be putting our case on paper before the judge in early court.”

The matter stems from FIFA’s decision to dissolve the William-Wallace-led board four months after the November-24 elections in which the David John-Williams executive was swept from power.

FIFA, in a letter dated March 17, 2020, notified the TTFA that it was appointing a normalization committee citing the association’s extremely low or non-existent financial management and financial governance.

William Wallace said the decision was befuddling since the bulk of the TTFA’s TT$50 million debt was accrued under the previous administration.

Lawyers representing the ousted executive mentioned this concern in a letter to FIFA on March 20.

“The political backdrop of this matter is not lost on those we represent. The ‘existing debt of at least US$5.5m was wholly accumulated under or as a consequence of actions taken during the previous TTFA administration.

“That notwithstanding, FIFA stood idly by and took no punitive steps whatsoever. Now, in the face of a new administration with less than three months substantive tenure, which now threatens to uncover the rank impropriety of the previous administration by installing a regime of financial probity, the FIFA steps in an attempt to prevent this,” the lawyers wrote.

The executive took the matter to the Court for Arbitration for Sport but eventually withdrew over fears over what they described as ‘institutional bias’ in favour of football’s world governing body.

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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