Following the postponement of this year’s Olympic Games, Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Kelly-Ann Baptiste has revealed that she already has one eye on life after athletics.

Like several others, the 33-year-old many-time national champions was hoping to line up for a chance to claim a historic gold medal for her country at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

Due to the world being forced to turn their attention to battling the spread of the coronavirus pandemic those plans have now been shelved, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announcing that the games had been moved to next year.

While staying focused on being prepared to take up the challenge when it arises in a year’s time, Baptiste insists she is already focused on her endgames.  Unsurprisingly, the athlete conveyed that she had already begun considering how to best aid in the development of future T&T talent.  Unexpectedly, however, she may also pursue a career in interior design.

“Since the Games have been cancelled (postponed) I am shifting my focus for a while on how best I can serve the younger athletes, while also working and growing my styling and photography business,” Baptiste told Trinidad’s 7pmnews.

“I’ve taken a liking to styling and photographing interiors and hope to establish a career doing so.  I always want to give back to the younger athletes at home and I’m in the process of brainstorming ways that I can.”

West Indies veteran Dwayne Bravo believes the West Indies possess the tools to dominate T20 Internationals.

Barbados Football Association (BFA) treasurer Adrian Donovan believes the Trinidad and Tobago FA are on their way to being suspended, considering recent retaliation against the implementation of a FIFA normalisation committee.

The football world governing body made the decision to disband the TTFA and implement a normalization committee, following what it claims was a fact-finding mission to the twin-island republic.  According to FIFA the TTFA had “extremely low overall financial management methods” and extreme debt.  In doing so FIFA quoted article 8:2 of FIFA’s statutes, which states, "Executive bodies of member associations may under exceptional circumstances be removed from office by the council in consultation with the relevant confederation and replaced by a normalisation committee for a specific period of time."

The William Wallace-led association has, however, since threatened to take the matter to the Courts of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) a move that Donovan considers a mistake.

“I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever, that the TTFA will be suspended,” Donovan told the Barbados Advocate.

“In all of this FIFA is absolutely correct if they have to suspend this national federation because all those who signed off on the FIFA Statutes are expected to follow their rules and regulations,” he added.

“When you sign under FIFA rules and regulation and you have no legitimate evidence as to how you have spent their money, it is only a matter of time before the weight of FIFA would be felt.”

Since coming to office the William Wallace-led association pointed to mismanagement in the implementation of the Home of Football project, put in place by the previous administration.  The new executive seemed set to put into place another ambitious project at the Arima Stadium.

 

 Deposed Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace has distanced from any link between himself and former T&T football top man Jack Warner.

Warner, who received a ban from football for life in 2015 and is still facing extradition to the United States on corruption charges, was a known supporter of Wallace ahead of his successful bid to oust former president David John-Williams three months ago.

Speculation has since been rife that an association between Wallace and the former disgraced FIFA officials was one of the reasons the world football governing body disbanded the newly elected TTFA administration.  Wallace was quick to insist, however, that he did not have a close relationship with Warner and indicated as much to FIFA.

 “That is a perceived relationship and one that I don’t have that when it came to the fore, I wrote FIFA, I wrote CONCACAF indicating to CONCACAF that there is no such relationship with Mr. Jack Warner and I guess that if at the end of the day that letter meant nothing then so be it,” Wallace said in an interview with the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show.

Wallace, who was relieved of his duties by FIFA last week, went on to point out that he received solid support from a lot of individuals who wanted change during the election and that he could not control who Warner chose to support.

“We had a host of people supporting us and actually, we won the election 26 votes to 20 votes so it meant that 26 of the delegates supported me along with many other Trinidadians who felt at that point in time that something was definitely wrong with the organisation at that point and they needed a change so as a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, even though Jack Warner expressed his opinion in terms of there should be change at the association then he has a right to do that, I really can’t stop him from doing that,” he added.

FIFA sent word of its decision to replace the TTFA executive with a normalisation committee two weeks ago in the face of what it described as extremely low overall financial management methods, combined with massive debt.  A surprised Wallace, who pointed to positive meeting with FIFA only a few weeks prior has vowed to fight the decision.

 

 

 

Lawyers representing the ousted executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) are demanding that FIFA withdraw their letter appointing the normalisation committee following their failure to respond to correspondence challenging the legality of said committee and the appointment of an interim manager.

They also declared that Tyril Patrick’s decision to remove himself as interim manager of the TTFA further strengthens their position.

On March 21, 2020, Patrick, who was the accountant employed by the previous TTFA administration, responded to the attorneys’ assertion that his appointment was invalid, stating that he was no longer accepting the appointment and that he had informed FIFA of his decision.

The lawyers, Matthew Gayle and Dr Emir Crowne, in a series of letters to Member Association Services Manager Sofia Malizia, questioned the motives behind FIFA’s installation of the normalization committee that replaced the executive that was constitutionally elected in November 2019.

“The political backdrop of this matter is not lost on those we represent,” Gayle wrote. “The ‘existing debt of at least USD 5.5’ 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.

“It is passing strange that you purport to have installed Tyril Patrick, the accountant who oversaw at least in part the amassing of the very debt that the FIFA now complains of.”

Gayle and Dr Crowne also questioned the veracity of FIFA’s decision.

“The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association is a sovereign body established by an Act of Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago by way of Act 17 of 1982, The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (Incorporation) Act, 1982.

“The duly elected executive or any individual member may only demit office by operation of the constitution of the TTFA, which makes no allowance for the appointment of yourself or any other person to ‘oversee’ the day to day affairs of the TTFA as the FIFA letter purports to do or in any other capacity in place of the duly elected executive.

“It is, therefore, our client’s respectful view that the FIFA letter is null, void and no legal effect. It is not in any way binding on them.”

FIFA had until 8:00 am Monday, March 23, to respond to the lawyers but did not, which prompted the lawyers to draft another letter stating their position.

“As you will no doubt we aware by this point, Mr. Patrick has declined to accede to your unlawful and/or void and/or improper and/or unconstitutional attempts to interfere in the day-to-day running of the TTFA by the duly elected executive, led by President Mr. William Wallace,” Mr Gayle wrote.

“Our client’s respectful view is that your failure to respond by the stipulated deadline, coupled with Mr. Patrick’s clear indication that for his part he recognises the sovereignty of the TTFA, is a clear indication that FIFA itself has acknowledged the sovereign nature of the TTFA, ought rightly to put this matter to an end.”

Lawyers representing the ousted executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) have written to FIFA, football’s world governing body questioning the timing of the appointment of the Normalisation Committee that has taken over the running of the association.

Retired Trinidad and Tobago international and sports pundit Shaka Hislop has lashed out at the recent FIFA takeover of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), insisting the move is tantamount to betrayal by world football’s governing body.

Last week, FIFA announced the decision to appoint a normalization committee to handle the affairs of the country’s football after a recent ‘fact-finding’ mission that it claims turned up instances of “low financial management methods” and “massive debt.”

With the TTFA changing leadership just four months ago, Hislop questioned the timing of the decision.

“TTFA’s financial woes have been very public and mushrooming over the last four years. The accounts have been frozen multiple times under the previous administration. Surely all at Concacaf and FIFA were aware of this, even as they continued to funnel money into the Home of Football project,” Hislop said in the expose.

“A legitimate question would be why wasn’t similar action taken by FIFA at that time when the circumstances of the organisation appeared to be most dire? Are we really expected to accept, and believe the explanation that this is about a financial management plan?”

Wallace had defeated incumbent David John Williams, whose Home of Football project had been widely supported by FIFA, at the last election.  Hislop proclaimed the recent move looked like more than a coincidence.

“It’s an easy existence to manufacture if you have the right people in place. FIFA clearly believed they did.

As many in the previous administration cheer this action in an effort to appease and gain their own favour, it should be clear to all, our football was never their primary concern. Their actions since November make that painfully clear,” he added.

“Within days of losing the last election, it’s concerning, at best, that one unsuccessful vice-presidential nominee and former board member issued public pronouncements that FIFA would be installing a normalisation committee.

With FIFA and Concacaf still determined to hold the reins on our regional influence, those relationships are protected and enforced—transparency is to be avoided at all costs.”

The former goalkeeper, who admitted to being hopeful following the appointment of the new Wallace-administration, believes the legal battle to come will not be the end of the issue.

 “Idiocy and power are an awful mix, but can only flourish with our complacency. The upcoming legal tussling is only just beginning, with people either already taking sides or cleverly positioning themselves right in the middle.

Goliath has staked his claim. We’ve all heard this parable before, we’ve lived through one incarnation of it not so long ago.

Should Goliath win this one, our game will not be so forgiving or forgetting of the locals who enabled and cheered this on. I’ll keep trying to find the hope in our game.”

Olympics-bound Trinidadian Kwesi Browne is recovering well after he was diagnosed with the Coronavirus Covid-19 on Monday, an official of the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation confirmed on Friday.

The board of the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League has unreservedly thrown its support behind the decision by football’s world governing body FIFA to take over the running of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).

After a recent investigation, FIFA took the unusual step of removing the recently appointed TTFA board of directors and replacing it with a normalization committee.  The parent body cited concern over the TTFA’s “low financial management methods” and massive debt. 

FIFA went on to explain that the decision was backed up article 8:2 of the organization statutes that states, "Executive bodies of member associations may under exceptional circumstances be removed from office by the council in consultation with the relevant confederation and replaced by a normalisation committee for a specific period of time."

The decision has expectedly not gone down well with newly appointment president William

Wallace, who called the move an attempted coup.  The body has vowed to explore its legal options by taking the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).  It will not have the support of the Pro League board.

“The Board of the TT Pro League has unanimously accepted the decision by FIFA to establish a Normalization Committee to steer the financial and statutory affairs of the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association,” the Pro League board said via a press release.

“As a football company that have invested over two hundred million dollars into the national economy over the last 18 years, the TT Pro League stand ready to work alongside the Ministry of Sports and the FIFA appointed Normalization Committee for the continued development of the game,” it went on.

“We have instructed our representative on the former TTFA Board, Mr Brent Sancho, that the TT Pro League will not support any move by the former administration to engage in any legal battle against FIFA over their removal from office."

The official who will make up the normalization committee are yet to be announced, or the time period it will maintain the affairs of the football body.

Trinidadian cycling coach Robert Ferrier is hoping to get his athletes back on track soon as they continue to prepare for the Pan American Championships in May and hopefully, the Olympics in July.

President of the Bermuda National Athletics Association Donna Raynor has confirmed the fate of this year’s CARIFTA Games remains in the balance but has not yet been cancelled over the threat of the coronavirus.

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on sporting events across the globe, with several already cancelled or postponed.  The 2020 CARIFTA Games is scheduled for Bermuda next month but the threat of the spread of the virus has put also put that staging in doubt.

“Basically, what we are in Bermuda is keeping a close on what has been happening with the Coronavirus, not only in Bermuda but in the Caribbean islands as well,” Raynor told the SportsMax Zone in an exclusive interview.

“One of our local organising committee members sits on the Health Organisation Committee of Bermuda and they are having a meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) to discuss all of the sporting events that are taking place in Bermuda,” she added.

“We also have the international triathlon set to take place on the Friday after CARIFTA and of course that will involve several athletes from the US, Europe and so forth.  The only saving grace is that most of our athletes are coming from the Caribbean and on charters.  So far Bermuda hasn’t had anybody that has tested positive, but we cannot be confident it will take place.  We are ready to host the Games but we have to be directed by our government.”    

Initially, Raynor admitted that the body had been confident of being able to stage the event due to the limited footprint of the virus in the Caribbean so far.  With Jamaica confirming its first case on Wednesday and Canadian authorities claiming that one of their latest cases travelled to the country from Trinidad and Tobago, things could be about to change.  Trinidad and Tobago have, however, reported no cases so far.  The CARIFTA Games have been staged every year at various countries around the region since 1972.

“It changes the ballgame (Jamaica positive test).  Today it’s Jamaica, tomorrow it could be the Bahamas, the day after that Bermuda.  So that’s definitely shaken our confidence and we definitely cannot say it will take place.”

A long-running dispute between the Trinidad and Tobago (TTFA) and radio commentator Selwyn Melville over ownership and rights to the ‘Soca Warriors’ brand has come to an end with a settlement.

Melville and the administration have battled for the better part of 15-years over the right to the trademark.  The commentator insists he coined the nickname in 1998 during a senior men’s match.

 With various administrations failing to come to an agreement with Melville on the issue.  The newly appointed Williams Wallace association has reportedly, however. come to an agreement that is expected to see both parties benefit financially.

“There was a matter in the court for probably over 15 years – the Selwyn Melville matter (concerning) the issue of Soca Warriors trademark...when we look at everything, the FA just had absolutely no evidence to claim the trademark, there was nothing,” Williams told Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

 “At this point in time, we are drawing up an arrangement to go forward with Selwyn Melville, who has claimed the trademark, for profit-sharing from the trademark between Selwyn and of course the FA.”

 

Dominican RepublicHaiti and Trinidad and Tobago are through to the Round of 16 of the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship after posting wins on Tuesday in Group F at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal.

It was a hard-fought contest throughout, but Trinidad and Tobago used a late push to down Cayman Islands 2-0.

Maria-Frances Serrant broke the deadlock in the 78’ before Afiyah Cornwall put the finishing touches on the three points with a goal in the 90+4’, giving the Soca Warriors six points through two matches.

Just like in their opening match against the Cayman Islands, Haiti flexed their scoring muscles with a 7-0 victory against Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Both Dayana Louis Pierre (32’, 40’) and Abaina Louis (36’, 46’) had braces, while Melchie Dumornay (22’), Mirlene Dorce (41’) and Rose-ayla Marcellus (55’) chipped in with goal.

An arbitration committee of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) has ruled that the Trinidad and Tobago Table Tennis Association (TTTTA) exempt Rheann Chung from the country’s national trials next month to select teams for the Caribbean Championships and the Latin America and North America Championships, a qualifier for the Olympics in Tokyo in July.

Dave Williams, the legal advisor to the president of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee Brian Lewis, believes they have a good chance of having the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturn the two-year ban imposed on Michelle Lee Ahye for whereabouts violations.

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