FIFA has withdrawn from mediation with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) citing the failure of its lawyers to keep the matter confidential.

FIFA has agreed to settle their dispute with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) through mediation.

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane was more deserving of the Best FIFA Men's Player award in 2019 than Barcelona star Lionel Messi, according to France great Alain Giresse.

After guiding Barca to LaLiga glory and the semi-finals of the Champions League last season, Messi won the accolade for a sixth time back in September – he was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009 and claimed four Ballons d'Or while it was backed by world football's governing body.

Mane finished fifth in the voting, behind Liverpool team-mates Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

But Giresse, who coached Mane during his time in charge of Senegal between 2013 and 2015, insists the 28-year-old should have finished top after starring for Liverpool on their way to Champions League success.

"I definitely would have put Sadio Mane ahead of Messi, in terms of the season they had last season," he told ESPN.

"When I was head coach of Senegal, Sadio was still young but he had ahead of him an enormous potential, a technical potential, and a moral potential to go on to become a great player, as he has become today."

Giresse, named French Player of the Year three times in the 1980s, was Tunisia head coach until August and should have been eligible to vote.

"I didn't receive the ballot sheet, so it wasn't me who voted [on Tunisia's behalf]. I can't say who did, but it wasn't me," he said. The top pick credited to Giresse was Ronaldo, with Van Dijk second and Messi third.

Former Bordeaux and Marseille midfielder Giresse also managed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at international level with Gabon. 

Aubameyang shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Mane and Salah last season and Giresse believes the Arsenal striker is now among the world's best.

"I launched Pierre-Emerick with the Gabon national team, at the start of his development, his expansion and his progression," he said.

"We can all see his pathway and the level he's reached now. We're talking about [him moving to] Real Madrid, so it shows how this player has reached a world-class level, and you could say the same about Sadio."

 The former president of soccer’s governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean was sentenced to time served for his role in accepting $1.66 million in bribes in the FIFA scandals and will return to Honduras after 4 1/2 years in the U.S.

Alfredo Hawit of Honduras, CONCACAF’s president from May 27, 2015, until Dec. 4, 2015, was given the sentence Monday by U.S. District Judge Pamela K. Chen in Brooklyn during a video hearing.

The 68-year-old Hawit also was sentenced to two years of supervised release and barred during that time from holding a title in FIFA, CONCACAF or any professional soccer organization. Chen deferred a ruling on restitution for 90 days, said forfeiture will be $950,000 and said he must pay $400 in special assessments.

“I do take responsibility and I have changed considerably. I want to ask forgiveness for all those things I did back then,” Hawit said through a translator.

“There are no words to express how sorry I am,” he said in a written statement read by the translator to the court. “I also regret all the harm I did to soccer, which is the sport that I love. ... From the day of my arrest in Zurich and the time that I spent in jail and 4 1/2 years so far, I’ve suffered. I’ve felt humiliated and shamed by my behavior, and I’m paying the price.”

Hawit, a lawyer, teacher and former professional soccer player, will be deported when the coronavirus pandemic eases and Honduras reopens its border. Prosecutors said his family is working with the Honduran consulate to arrange transport, and Chen recommended that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement allow him to self-deport.

Hawit pleaded guilty on April 11, 2016, to two counts of wire fraud conspiracy and one count each of racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Each count carried a possible sentence of up to 20 years.

His sentence showed the impact of a guilty plea early in the case rather than risk a guilty verdict at trial. Former South American governing body president Juan Ángel Napout is serving a nine-year sentence following his conviction and former Brazil federation president José Maria Marin was sentenced to four years after his conviction. Marin was given compassionate release about eight months early in April, shortly before his 88th birthday.

Chen said Hawit tried to conceal bribes and even used the name of his wife, a superior court judge in Honduras. He also tried to cover up the payments by directing co-conspirators to create a sham contract.

“The government’s investigation and prosecution in this case has rightfully served as a wake-up call to the entire professional soccer world and to all of its associations that business cannot be conducted in this manner,” Chen said.

She said Hawit did not warrant additional jail time, given that he voluntarily accepted extradition, spent two months incarcerated and about four years under house arrest, and he expressed remorse.

“While it is clear that Mr. Hawit faltered badly by agreeing for a number of years to take bribes of a significant amount on multiple occasions and covering that up through elaborate schemes," Chen said, "he did recover after being caught and has since tried to make amends.”

Hawit became CONCACAF’s president after Jeffrey Webb was arrested while attending a FIFA meeting in Zurich, but Hawit was arrested in Switzerland on Dec. 3, 2015. He was extradited to the U.S. the following Jan. 13 and released on bond that Feb. 2.

He was banned for life by FIFA on Dec. 19, 2016, after the adjudicatory chamber of its independent ethics committee found him guilty of violating FIFA's code of ethics provisions on general rules of conduct; loyalty; duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting; conflicts of interest; and bribery and corruption.

The elegant twin towers that decorate the POS horizon are both the same height.  If one is looking at them from the west one looks taller than the other; to the observer from the east one also looks taller than the other except that if both persons compare notes there will be an argument as to which tower is taller. It is a matter of perspective.

The issue arises when perspectives are being peddled as facts and more so when there is an attempt to use these “FACTS” to reshape an individual’s character.

Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response that counts.

Leadership is about being humble enough to admit your mistake.

When a story broke on Sportsmax that the salary signed off on Terry Fenwick’s contract is not what we agreed on.  My initial thoughts were that Terry unilaterally changed the terms of his contract.  In an attempt to get clarity on the situation, an easy solution was put forward; throw Terry under the bus.

Mistakes can be made, but to throw someone under the bus is deliberate and does not come naturally to me.

Further discussions revealed, for the first time to me at least, the details of the negotiations in finalizing the contract.  My understanding then and still is that the terms in the contract that came under scrutiny were indeed part of the final settlement but the MISTAKE was that they should not have been reflected in the final TTFA contract.  I admitted then that a mistake was made and that it would be corrected.

  Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response that counts.

 Leadership is about being humble enough to admit your mistake.

Even with this explanation, the matter refused to die and the narrative changed to one that said, the President unilaterally changed the terms of the contract and this narrative was given more life when a member of my own team endorsed it.

The facts are as follows:

  • I played absolutely no role in the negotiation of Fenwick’s contract. This negotiation was left entirely in the hands of the Technical Committee
  • Two emails were sent to me by the GS on Tuesday, December 17th, while I was in Qatar. The Subject: Adjusted terms and conditions.

 In one email the GS indicated that there was agreement on the final terms of the contract.   The attachment in the email indicated a salary of USD 20,000.

 

The second email forwarded was from Peter Miller to Keith Lookloy.  Details of the second email are as follows;

 

Dear Keith,

After much discussions, a revised position has been arrived at which is attached for your information prior to our discussions on Thursday. Please feel free to give feedback in order to arrive at a firm position given the urgency of the matter.

Kind regards.  

The attachment in this email indicated a salary of USD 20,000.

 

  • I assumed that the final terms would have been sent by the negotiating team to the attorney to prepare the contract.
  • When the contract came back to me and was handed over by my General secretary for signing there were no red flags.
  • I signed the contract believing that the terms therein were agreed on with my negotiating team.

Questions:

 Were the terms agreed on at the end of the negotiations and sent to the attorney for the preparation of the contract altered?  If the answer is yes then the action could not be ascribed to me, since I played absolutely no part in the process but just signed off on the product.

If the answer is no; Is it that clear directions were not given to the attorney as to what should have been put into the contract?

How could it then be concluded and supported by persons who are aware of the facts that the President changed the terms of Terry Fenwick’s contract?

General Secretary

I move to the other issue and that is the Ramesh Ramdhan’s contract.  As one Senior Counsel puts it; “from reviewing the TTFA constitution it seems as though the General Secretary is the sole responsibility of the President.  The discussion with the Board is merely a courtesy”

Even without this interpretation, I acted based on my own interpretation of the constitution, along with common sense and logic.  My condemnation in this matter was based merely on the persons who were speaking the loudest and fuelled by their own agenda.

Nowhere in the constitution speaks to the Board drawing up the terms and conditions of the GS.  The Board role is to appoint or dismiss the GS on the proposal of the President.  Ramdhan was proposed to the Board and the Board agreed to his appointment.  A suggestion was made by a Board member that the length of the contract be one year, and I say a suggestion because the Board is not empowered to draw up the terms of the GS contract.  If this power is ascribed to the Board it means that all the other terms of the contract should have been drawn up by the Board and not just the length of the contract.

Just to draw on a bit of logic, if in my discussions with Mr Ramdhan, he refused a one-year contract, is it that I had to search until I find someone who agreed with the proposed one year.  

 Even with that said, the reason for giving the General Secretary a two-year contract was not shrouded in any conspiracy and is in fact more than reasonable. Factors such as the two years contract agreed on for the National Senior team staff; the role the GS had to play in the role out of the activities of the FA, and average term given to previous secretaries were all taken into consideration. 

As one of the framers of the constitution said in a recent article, once the decision was made and taken back to the Board, the Board had to accept. This position is consistent with the Senior Counsel who indicated it’s a matter of courtesy. Unfortunately, the courtesy to the Board was curtailed by the Covid19 shutdown.  Just to note the GS has never been paid. 

Did the President preparation of General Secretary’s contract, based on the interpretation of the constitution unilaterally change the terms of the General Secretary contract?

Unfortunately, the two acts above were responsible for my team making a statement that they have lost confidence in me. Even more unfortunate this position was made public before I was given the chance to be heard. The team has since met and recommitted to moving forward.

  Peter Miller

As part of the United TTFA, I was initially asked to consider leading the group but refused to commit. The major reason given for my noncommittal was the financial state of the TTFA.  I reasoned that the only way that I am committing is if there is a plan to deal with the debt.  During this period, my deceased friend, Raymond Timkee shared with me a very impressive commercial package designed for the TTFA, that was negotiated on his behalf, and which would be implemented if he was elected president. In that package was a plan to deal with the historic debt of the FA, and of course, that piqued my interest.  I was also introduced to the name, Peter Miller.

 Based on Mr Timkee’s failing health he eventually asked me to go forward with the plan. The package was presented to the other members United TTFA and they were all impressed.

I gave my word to Peter Miller that if I was elected president, I will honour the agreement that he had with Timkee. The truth is Peter Miller’s package/presentation was responsible for us winning the elections, our campaign was based on its content and we were heavily dependent on its successful rolling out after November 24th.

Post-November 24th, Peter Miller indicated that he needed an agreement before he moves forward to firm up the pre-election letters of intent. This was not an unreasonable request; however, it presented a dilemma for me to find a way to transition the un-official arrangement with the United TTFA to the TTFA.  Settling this quickly was made even more urgent since by then, we realised that the situation that we met in the FA was even more dire than we expected and that we had to depend on Miller to deliver.

The GS and I tried to find a way to navigate the situation, but the options were few.  The only workable decision open to us at that time was the one I took and that is a decision to sign an agreement with Miller.

I took this decision as leader of the team and decided not to burden anyone else with it.

Was there an inherent risk? Yes, but there are times when you have little choice.

Agreement

  • Miller position was that no changes be made to the original agreement with Raymond Timkee, however, my suggestion to Miller was that the flat rates quoted as a monthly salary would have to be reflected as a percentage of what was delivered and that there were no issues if instead of lumpsum payments the disbursement was done monthly.

It did not matter to me what the percentage was because the numbers were already agreed on with Raymond and I gave my word before the elections that I will honour the agreement.  In addition, my own philosophy is that we had nothing so whatever came in would be more than we had.

  • Via email, Miller asked if any part of FIFA funding could be used for marketing. The GS responded via mail that FIFA Forward funding cannot be used for in any way. (emails available)

The Plan

  • To sign a letter of intent since any binding contract of this nature has to be approved by the Board. The intent, of course, was to make sure that Miller remained on board and what we campaigned and depended on could still be delivered.
  • Payment to Miller would come from what he brings to the table so there is no direct risk to the TTFA
  • We get the Board to agree in principle that we have to outsource marketing. The Board did agree.
  • The roll-out of the sponsorship was carded for June. Once the successful roll-out commenced, a recommendation would have been taken to the Board to officially contract Miller as the marketing person.

Conclusion

  • Since entering office, no action taken by me brought any personal benefits to me, my intentions were that TTFA would always be the beneficiary.
  • A major part of our relationship with Miller was the proposed project to finally eliminate the historic debt of the FA. Everyone would agree that this has to be addressed.
  • A headline in Wired868 that said I lied, was unfortunate. When asked if Peter Miller had a contract with the TTFA, in an attempt to manage an ongoing situation, I answered no. Well, technically the answer was correct, but I do not want to hide behind any technicality and in retrospect, the answer could have been… I would respond to the question at a later date.

 

  Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response that counts.

 Leadership is about being humble enough to admit your mistake

Of major importance is that even though these matters may have originated inhouse, there is a very important reason why they are playing out like this in the public domain. In the coming weeks, the picture would be made much clearer.

Thank you.

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has reached out to lawyers representing FIFA requesting mediation in their dispute over the appointment of a normalization committee in March, Sportsmax.TV sources indicate.

They now await a response from FIFA’s lawyers, Messrs M.Hamel-Smith and Co. indicating whether they will agree to the request.

The William Wallace-led executive was dissolved by FIFA in March and a normalization committee appointed just four months after the TTFA Annual General Meeting in November 2019. FIFA cited poor financial management and the FA’s massive debt as reasons for the appointment of the committee to oversee the association’s affairs.

William Wallace retained the services of Dr Emir Crowne and Matthew Gayle instructing them to take the matter to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). However, in late May the New City Chambers attorneys were instructed to withdraw the appeal before CAS fearing ‘institutional bias’.

Subsequently, the matter was taken to the Trinidad and Tobago High Court of Justice.

Since then, Wallace has come under increased pressure from his board following revelations relating to three contracts signed with Avec Sports, national coach Terry Fenwick and Ramesh Ramdhan. All three contracts were reportedly signed without the required agreement from board members.

These revelations, first publicized on the the Sportsmax Zone, have turned the board members against the beleaguered president.-S

Power is the ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events. Transparency in governance focuses on honesty and openness. Question; is it that when one gets power it clouds their ability to be transparent? 

Real Madrid have been champions of Europe 13 times and their first title came in dramatic fashion in Paris on this day 64 years ago.

Back in 1948, meanwhile, the New York Yankees welcomed Babe Ruth for one last time to the stadium where he wrote large chapters of baseball folklore.

Cricket's Twenty20 format initially upset many purists but has become a money-spinning, highly successful element of the sport since it was introduced in June 2003.

More recently, Spain's 2018 World Cup plans were left in tatters, with Real Madrid at the centre of another major sporting story.

 

1948 - Babe Ruth's last goodbye to Yankee Stadium

For the 25th anniversary celebration of Yankee Stadium's opening, there was a guest more special than all the rest.

The legendary Ruth was in the house, but it was clear for all to see that he was seriously unwell.

It was already known as 'The House That Ruth Built', and as Ruth stood with a baseball bat instead of a cane, it would be his last visit to his old stamping ground.

This was the day his number three shirt was retired. Stricken by cancer, and a shadow of his once powerful self, Ruth would die aged 53 on August 16 of the same year.

 

1956 - Real Madrid launch a dynasty

The first of 13 European Cup and Champions League triumphs for Real Madrid came at the Parc des Princes on this day.

Having beaten Milan 5-4 on aggregate in their semi-final, they faced a Reims side who had overcome Scottish outfit Hibernian to earn a rather short trip to Paris.

The French side surged two goals ahead in 10 minutes, before Alfredo di Stefano cut the deficit.

A dramatic match saw Reims 3-2 ahead with 25 minutes to play, but Madrid ran out 4-3 winners, Hector Rial's second goal of the game in the 79th minute proving to be the winner. Madrid won the tournament each year from 1956 to 1960, beating Reims again in the 1959 final.

 

1976 - Barker shows her bite

Sue Barker is better known to television audiences as a tennis presenter, often tasked with conducting on-court interviews with newly-crowned Wimbledon champions, and her grand slam success is regularly overlooked.

The greatest day of her playing career came on this day at Roland Garros, when Barker won the French Open with a 6-2 0-6 6-2 victory over Czech opponent Renata Tomanova.

The field had been weakened that year by the absence of defending champion Chris Evert, who elected to skip the tournament. Barker was the top seed, and capitalised.

 

2003 - Cricket takes the fast track

The England and Wales Cricket Board pioneered Twenty20 cricket, with the vision that it would draw a younger audience to the sport, and the short format made its debut on June 13, 2003.

The Twenty20 Cup launched with five matches in a day, with Warwickshire the highest-scoring side, piling up 188-7 at Taunton in a 19-run win over home side Somerset.

Warwickshire's Trevor Penney got into the spirit of the competition with a rapid 52 from 28 balls, clubbing four fours and three sixes.

2018 - Spain sack Lopetegui on World Cup eve

A day before the World Cup began in Russia, Spain's camp collapsed into chaos with the sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) was furious after Real Madrid revealed Lopetegui would become their next boss, an announcement that was said to have been conveyed to them just five minutes before the rest of the world knew.

It was the first the RFEF knew of any negotiations, and they swiftly ditched the man who was preparing to lead the country's bid for glory. Fernando Hierro took over, and Spain were eliminated on penalties by Russia in the first knockout round.

Lopetegui failed at Madrid but is back in business with Sevilla.

At the time of publishing, it has been 60 programme hours since the SportsMax Zone asked questions of the duly elected President of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, TTFA, William Wallace.

Just about two weeks after they had retained the services of a noted Trinidadian law firm for their high court battle with the ousted executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, FIFA has fired new lawyers.

In late May, attorneys from the Law Offices of Dr Claude H. Denbow S.C. filed papers in the Trinidad and Tobago High Court of Justice stating that they were representing FIFA in their dispute against William Wallace, whose executive they dissolved in March 2020.

 However, on Tuesday, June 9, a notice of change of attorney over the signature of Dr Emilio Garcia was filed stating that Messrs M. Hamel-Smith and Co. will now be representing FIFA effectively replacing the Law Offices of Dr Claude H. Benbow S.C.

Cherie Gopie was the filing attorney.

Lawyers representing Wallace are seeking a permanent injunction preventing 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.

 

 

Jose Mourinho knows how to make a grand entrance and he proved that at his unveiling as Chelsea manager.

Though June 2 is the date 'The Special One' first arrived on the scene in the Premier League, it was also a day that saw a significant change at FIFA.

Meanwhile, in motorsport, Formula One icon Michael Schumacher got off the mark for Ferrari.

We take a look at the major sporting events to have happened on this day through the years.

 

2004 – The Special One lands in London

Having won the Champions League with Porto, Jose Mourinho arrived at Chelsea with the reputation as one of the world's best up-and-coming coaches.

And - as a sign of what was to come - the Portuguese wasted little time in creating the headlines, declaring himself 'The Special One' during his unveiling as the Blues' new boss.

"We have top players and, sorry if I'm arrogant, we have a top manager. Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one."

He was proved right, his Chelsea side going on to win the Premier League with a then-record 95 points in his first season, also winning a record number of matches (29) during the campaign.

2015 – Blatter's reign comes to an end

A matter of days after he had been re-elected, Sepp Blatter stepped down as the president of FIFA on June 2, 2015.

Blatter's resignation came amid a huge corruption scandal, with the U.S Attorney General Loretta Lynch having announced an investigation into FIFA the previous week.

The Swiss was ultimately cleared of corruption charges, though he was banned from FIFA for eight years for a "disloyal payment" of two million Swiss francs to the then-UEFA president Michel Platini.

He appealed in 2016, managing to get the ban reduced to six years from the initial eight.

1996 – Schumacher clicks into gear for Ferrari

On June 2, 1996, Michael Schumacher put in what is widely considered to be one of the finest performances of his career.

Having to recover from a poor start in adverse weather, Schumacher took the lead in lap 13, going on to dominate the race and win for the first time in a Ferrari.

The German ultimately finished over three seconds a lap faster than the remainder of the field. However, it would be another four years until he claimed his first F1 Championship crown in a Ferrari seat.

1935 – Baseball legend Babe Ruth calls it a day

An iconic figure of American sports, one of baseball's all-time greats - Babe Ruth - retired on this day 85 years ago.

However, his incredible career ended on something of a sour note.

Having signed for the Boston Braves from the New York Yankees, in a role that would also see him serve as the vice-president and assistant manager, Ruth announced his retirement midway through the season.

His reason was a disagreement with Braves owner Judge Emil Fuchs, with Ruth saying: "Judge Fuchs is a double-crosser. His word is no good. He doesn't keep his promises. I don't want another damn thing from him—the dirty double-crosser."

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.

 

Lawyers representing William Wallace and the ousted executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) were today granted permission to serve documents o FIFA pertaining to their case against them to be heard in the Trinidad and Tobago High Court.

The Football Association (FA) will face FIFA in court next month to challenge a ruling relating to Chelsea's transfer ban.

Chelsea were punished in February 2019 for breaches of the rules pertaining to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

Initially barred from making any signings for two transfer windows while also hit with a fine, the Premier League club had their punishments reduced on appeal.

The FA, meanwhile, was fined 510,000 Swiss francs (£391,000 as it processes player registrations. However, an appeal saw the amount lowered to 350,000 Swiss francs by a FIFA committee.

English football's governing body has now escalated the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. A hearing is due to take place on June 26.

When contacted by Stats Perform, an FA spokesperson said: "The FA has cooperated fully with FIFA’s investigation. As this is an ongoing legal process it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time."

Women's football can thrive beyond the coronavirus crisis but must avoid the pitfall of overburdening top players, Netherlands head coach Sarina Wiegman has warned.

For leading European stars, the next five years promise to be intense, with a major tournament each year.

The delayed Tokyo Olympics takes place in 2021, with Netherlands defending their European Championship title in 2022, followed by a World Cup in 2023, the Paris Olympics in 2024, and Euro 2025 capping off a hectic period.

Wiegman told Stats Perform: "I think we have a very big challenge, because in theory we have five tournaments in five years in a row, which means we have a challenge to see and work out when the break [can come] for the players and other people who work very intensely in the women’s game."

She welcomed the move to switch the Euro 2021 tournament in England to new 2022 dates, saying: "Then I think we have our own stage, our own platform with the women's game. There's no competition with other football tournaments and I think that's what the women’s game deserves."

That tournament will take place in July, in a year when the men's World Cup is contested across November and December.

And while 50-year-old Wiegman, who led the Dutch to glory at home three years ago, is relishing a European Championship title defence, she is determined to guard the players' welfare.

"We need to take responsibility for players," she said. "We all want to have our top players in the main games, which is the tournaments, which is Champions League, which is top games in competition.

"Players want that too, the fans want that, and the coaches want that.

"But if we keep pushing them and keep giving load on them without any holiday or rest, then we're going to have a problem and a chance of not having the best players at a time when we want them to shine."

Page 1 of 6
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.