United TTFA executive to skip general meeting - rest of body widely expected to plot path for FIFA return

By Sports Desk October 24, 2020

The embattled executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has opted against attending a general meeting called for Sunday, in light of the recent legal defeat in court.

On Thursday, the island’s Court of Appeal in Trinidad and Tobago set aside an earlier ruling by High Court Judge Carol Gobin, which found that FIFA’s removal of the duly elected executive was “illegal null and void and of no effect”.  The executive has, however, not resigned as their status following the ruling remains somewhat unclear. If the power of the normalisation committee still stands, then a resignation would not be necessary.

The world football governing body opted to remove the executive earlier this year, after just four months on the job.  The Wallace-led executive, however, contested the decision, first at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), before withdrawing the case and taking it to the Trinidad and Tobago High court.  The decision saw the association run afoul of FIFA statues and it was suspended last month.

In wake of the ruling, the TTFA body is expected to begin the process of fulfilling the requirements set out by FIFA to regain re-admittance to international football.  In a recently released letter, Wallace insists he will not stand in the way of the rest of the body.

 “Over the last seven months since March, we were fortunate to be allowed rare candid views of the TTFA as it is really seen from several other vantage points—including the international and the regional and, latterly, the judicial and the political,” the letter read.

“That combination of different points of view, especially the political, has made it clear to my vice-presidents, Clynt Taylor and Joseph Sam Phillip, and me that our views and the views of some fraction of the membership remain at variance at this time. We are acutely aware that tomorrow is promised to no one of us and that it is the membership’s right to decide on the tomorrow they desire for the TTFA.  We shall not stand in your way,” he added.

Wallace reiterated the fact that he remained surprised that the executive had not received broader support for their actions.

 “I am still quite unable to comprehend how anybody can think that what Fifa did in March 2020 is acceptable. Maybe it was desirable that those who elected us should be consulted.

Frankly, however, it never occurred to us that anyone would view Fifa’s decision to send in a normalisation committee after a mere four months of our tenure in any way different from the way we viewed it. In addition, the action directly affected the executive and to some extent brought our names into disrepute,” it continued.

“We remain convinced that the right to make our case, to let our voices be heard, is a basic human right. It is a right which, in our view, FIFA denied us when they abrogated their responsibility at the Court of Arbitration. We are well aware of what that action led to.”

Wallace added, however, that the executive respected the decision of the appeals court.  Last week technical committee chairman Keith Look Loy announced his retirement from football administration.

 

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