FIFA has lifted its suspension of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association thus clearing the way for the country to participate in international competition and participate in the draw for the  CONCACAF Gold Cup.

In a letter dated November 19, over the signature of FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura and addressed to Robert Hadad, Chairman of the Normalization Committee that was appointed in March, FIFA informed of the decision to lift the suspension that was imposed in September.

“We write to inform you that the situation of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has been referred to the Bureau of the Council on 17 November 2020,” said the letter that went on to rehash the situation that had unfolded over the last eight months and that concluded with the Court of Appeal in Trinidad and Tobago ruling in favour of football’s world governing body.

“In addition, the Court of Appeal stressed that in accordance with art. 57 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes and art. 67 of the TTFA Statutes, CAS was the only recognized path to resolve such dispute. Additionally, the Bureau was informed that on 26 October 2020, the FIFA administration received the minutes of the TTFA members’ meeting.”

At that meeting members of the TTFA voted overwhelmingly to “fully comply with its obligations as a member of FIFA, recognizing the legitimacy of the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee, and; bringing its own statutes in line with the FIFA statutes, and; to fully cooperate with the Normalisation Committee in the fulfilment of its mandate as stated in FIFA’s letter of March 17th, 2020; be it further resolved that all court matters existing between the TTFA and FIFA shall be immediately brought to a stop”.

The move ultimately ended the dispute and cleared the way for a return to normalcy.

“Under these circumstances, the Bureau decided on 19 November 2020 to lift the suspension of the TTFA with immediate effect. This means that all of the TTFA’s membership rights have been reinstated, as defined in art. 13 of the FIFA Statutes, with immediate effect,” the letter said.

“Consequently, TTFA’s representative and club teams are again entitled to take part in international competitions. This also means that the TTFA may benefit from development programmes, courses and training provided by FIFA and/or the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football.

“Moreover, FIFA member associations may again enter into sporting contact with the TTFA and/or its teams.”

In March, the ousted William Wallace administration had taken FIFA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the decision to dissolve the administration that had only been in charge for four months. They subsequently withdrew the dispute from CAS and placed it before the TT High Court of Justice, who ruled that FIFA’s decision was illegal and therefore null and void.

However, the Court of Appeal overturned the ruling.


 

 Politeness and kindness are qualities that would typically be miles away from any association with the sport of rugby. But, Schezelle Fleming, a rugby coach at the South East Port of Spain Secondary School, in Trinidad and Tobago, it seems would beg to differ.

Following the disruption of sports because of COVID-19, Fleming started writing children's books focusing on themes like behaviour.

 She wanted to share some important life lessons with young boys between the ages of three and seven and so, published her first book 'Like Big Boys Do' in June.

As the name suggests, the book 'Like Big Boys Do' acts as a guide for little boys becoming big boys, and the lessons are a far cry from what Fleming preaches on the pitch about tackling.

An excerpt from the book reads: "But of course there are times when I get quite upset. Like when a friend takes a toy I wasn't done with yet. Instead of kicking and screaming, I breathe and count - 1, 2 and I calmly use my words like big boys do."

Fleming admits the endeavor was inspired by her son.

"My son inspired me to write my book 'Like Big Boys Do'. He loves to read and is a stickler for 'Mummy, the book said...'," Fleming shared.

 The former rugby player is also in the midst of writing another book. This time about honesty “because let’s be honest, it’s very common for children to explore the world of lies when they get to a certain age. Even though it’s a natural part of their growth, it still helps to show them why it’s important, to tell the truth,” said Fleming.

Though the messages that are found in the books are seemingly different from the ones rugby sends, Fleming believes rugby does not necessarily have to be overly aggressive.

"I feel like rugby is a sport that helps you find that balance,” she said.

 “It’s not about being excessive, it’s about being assertive and confident,” she noted in an article titled, 'Fleming: I feel like rugby is a sport that helps you find that balance,' published by World Rugby.

One way rugby can encourage balance is by regulating training. As a rugby coach, it's Fleming's duty to ensure the environment is appropriate for building capable players.

Along with inadequate clubs and rugby tournaments for girls, the narrative that rugby has to be overly aggressive hinders female participation in the sport and, "convincing their parents that the game isn’t 'too rough' for them to play" is a conversation Fleming has often.

Fleming introduced rugby at the South East Port of Spain Secondary School in 2018 and coaches both a girls’ team and a boys’ team. She also teaches Spanish there.

 

 

When the Mumbai Indians defeated the Delhi Capitals on Tuesday’s final of the 2020 season of the Indian Premier League, it also made Kieron Pollard the player with the most T20 titles in the history of the format.

The powerfully built Trinidadian allrounder was winning his 15th title and his fifth with Mumbai, also a record for the franchise.

It puts him above compatriot Dwayne Bravo, who has 14, Shoaib Malik with 12, Rohit Sharma, Mumbai’s captain Rohit Sharma with 10 and Lasith Malinga, who has nine titles.

Following Tuesday’s comfortable five-wicket victory over the Capitals, Pollard expressed his joy at winning yet another title but confesses that the path to winning the many trophies he has won has never been easy.

“It's a great feeling. I've been here 11 years, fifth trophy,” said Pollard who won a record fourth Caribbean Premier League title with the Trinbago Knight Riders in September.

“No one sees the planning and training, it's pressure playing for a franchise like this. The amount of trophies, the amount of work, the amount of players who go on to play for their countries, I think we'll have to say so [that this is the best T20 franchise].”

Pollard praised the owners and management of the franchise and aimed a friendly dig at his fellow Trinidadian, who plays for the Chennai Super Kings.

“Dwayne Bravo you're behind now and I'm in front of you, just had to say it on camera.”

From all indications, he seems to relish the pressure that comes with a final. He made reference to this prior to Tuesday's final in a video on Mumbai's Twitter page.

“The name of the game is pressure, in a final. Everyone takes that pressure. You want to win and not commit a mistake, but at the end of the day, you have to try to take the finals as a normal game. Just go out there, enjoy yourself and the atmosphere,” Pollard said.

“Obviously, no crowds in this final, but enjoy the magnitude of it. It is an IPL final, it’s the biggest thing after the World Cup final,. 

Pollard will now head to New Zealand where he will represent the West Indies in their three-match T20 season set to begin on November 27.

Cricket commentator Michael Holding believes Nicholas Pooran should be playing Test cricket despite the fact that he has not played much first-class cricket.

Trinidad and Tobago’s champion racehorse trainer John O’Brien logged his 1200th career win with a Midsummer Classic triumph for Wise Guy at Santa Rosa Park on Saturday that kept the chestnut gelding on the path to the Triple Crown.

Ridden by the 20-year-old apprentice Kimal Santo, Wise Guy captured the TT$55,000 (US$8,000) National Lotteries Control Board (NCLB) Midsummer Classic by 1-1/4 lengths over his 22-1 stablemate Apache. Wise Guy clocked two minutes 02.31 seconds as the 2-5 favourite for the 9-1/2 furlong run on a sloppy track to complete the second leg of the Triple Crown, having won the Guineas last month.

After leading early and then stalking the front-running 90-1 bet Spring Valley, Santo challenged for the lead mid-race with Wise Guy while Princess Steffani (40-1) surged forward to tackle the pacesetters.

Approaching the final bend, Wise Guy and Princess Steffani had a near three-length advantage on the rest of the field but Wise Guy quickly gained control as they entered the homestretch.

The Jamaica-bred Apache presented a brief threat inside the last furlong but Santo’s right-hand whipping kept Wise Guy safely in front to the finish, becoming the first T&T-bred winner of the Triple Crown “Middle Jewel” since Onetokeep in 2012.

“He kept going when the horse (Apache) got to his withers which is commendable but he does idle a bit when he is in front for too long,” said O’Brien about Wise Guy’s seeming moment of vulnerability inside the last furlong.

The 5-2 bet Bella Riva, the 2019 champion two-year-old, was a further 5-1/2 lengths away in third in a top-three Classic sweep for O’Brien achieving the 1200-win milestone he was not even aware of. “I didn’t have any idea at all. I remember the thousand and the 11 hundred but I didn’t realize I had got there,” said O’Brien.

In a race dominated in the past seven years by Jamaica-bred horses, including 2014 Triple Crown winner Momentum and the Jamaican Anthony Nunes-trained 2016 winner, The Gatsby, Wise Guy scored one of three wins O’Brien had on the afternoon.  The 16-time champion trainer also scored with Lady Bird in the first and News Flash in the second.

The PT Racing-owned Wise Guy had won the September 24 Guineas by 4-1/2 lengths snapping Bella Riva’s six-race winning streak. The improving gelding now has four wins in six starts this year and will target the November 28 T&T Derby, bidding to become Santa Rosa Park’s fourth Triple Crown winner after the Glenn Mendez pair of Carnival Messiah (2001) and Top of the Class (2003) and O’Brien’s Momentum six years ago.

 

 

Attorneys representing the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association today filed a termination order before the Court of Arbitration for Sport effectively ending their appeal of the suspension imposed on the association by FIFA last month.

The termination order is in keeping with the resolutions arrived at on Sunday by the delegates of the association who voted en masse to end their seven-month dispute with the world governing body over a March 18 decision to appoint a normalization committee to manage the affairs of the debt-ridden association until the next Annual General Meeting scheduled for some time within the next three years.

The delegates also voted to end all legal action against FIFA, which resulted in the termination order being filed today.

The TTFA is hoping their actions along with others will see FIFA lifting their suspension before December 18. This will allow Trinidad and Tobago to participate in the draw for the 2020 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The TTFA was represented by Dr Emir Crowne, Mr Matthew Gayle, Ms Crystal Paul and Mr Jason Jones.

 

Richard Ferguson, Chairman of Sunday’s Extraordinary General Meeting of the delegates of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association has written to Robert Hadad of the FIFA-appointed Normalization Committee stating that they will comply with its obligation as a member of FIFA and that they will cease all legal action against the sport’s governing body.

The move effectively brings to an end the seven-month long dispute between the association and FIFA, who in March 2020, dissolved the TTFA’s administration four months after it was duly elected in November 2019.

FIFA cited weak financial controls and systems that plagued the heavily indebted association. However, the matter led to a month's long dispute that went before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Trinidad and Tobago High Court of Justice and eventually before the Trinidad and Tobago Appeals Court, who ruled in favour of FIFA late last week.

Today’s letter follows on the heels of resolutions that were overwhelmingly accepted during Sunday’s EGM and from which former TTFA President William Wallace and members of his executive withdrew.

It states that the TTFA has decided to “comply with its obligation as a member of FIFA, recognizing the legitimacy of the FIFA- appointed Normalization Committee” and to bring its own statutes in line with the FIFA statutes.

They have also resolved to fully cooperate with the Normalization Committee in the fulfillment of its mandate as stated in FIFA's letter of March 17th, 2020 and critically, that all court matters existing between the TTFA and FIFA shall be immediately brought to a stop."

Ferguson also stated that the “TTFA must advise that its members have agreed to abide with the conditions of the Normalisation Committee and will co-operate fully to ensure that the mandate of the Committee is realized.”

He also apologized to Hadad and members of the Normalization Committee, FIFA, CONCACAF and CFU “for any embarrassment and inconvenience caused by TTFA representatives over the last year.”

“I also hope that a strong positive relationship can be re-established as we move forward for the betterment of football in Trinidad and Tobago.”

 

Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter of the LA Current edged closer to his national record in the 100-metre backstroke after finishing fourth in the event as action in the International Swimming League in Budapest resumed on Sunday.

Carter erased his season best of 51.28 from a just over a week ago when he stopped the clock in 50.85. His form has been improving as competition in the ISL intensifies. He has witnessed improvement in his  opening speed as well as his ability to maintain speed in the latter stages of the race.

On Sunday, Carter was second at the half-way mark before finishing fourth.

Notwithstanding the fourth-place finish, Carter is putting the national record on notice that it is in jeopardy of being lowered before the end of the  ISL season. Carter is now the only swimmer in the CARIFTA and CCCAN federations to have gone below 51 seconds and he has now done it twice.

The race was won by Ryosuke Irie of the Tokyo Frog Kings in a time of 49.91,threatening his Japanese national record of 49.65. Irie won the bronze at the World Championships in this event in 2014 in 50.12.

Second place went to Irishman Shane Ryan of the Toronto Titans in 50.22. The reigning World Championship silver medalist in the 50-metre backstroke lowered his national record from 50.41.

Third place went to Ryan Murphy, Carter’s teammate and the current long-course World Champion in 50.42. The LA Current’s Team Manager Lenny Krayzelburg swept the backstroke events for the US at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The LA Current took the win with 535.50 points. The Tokyo Frog Kings were next best with 506.5 points. Third place was occupied by the Toronto Titans with 401 points. The Aqua Centurions re fourth with 260 points.

 

 

While he was disappointed that the Mumbai Indians suffered a shock loss to the Rajasthan Royals, Captain Kieron Pollard could not help but feel especially aggrieved for one of his teammates, Hardik Pandya.

Batting first, Mumbai were struggling at 101 for 4 after 13 overs after Pollard was bowled by Shreyas Gopal for 6. At 7.76 an over, Mumbai were looking at a score of between 155 and 170. However, Pandya smashed 60 that included two fours and seven sixes while facing just 21 balls to propel Mumbai to a competitive 195 for 5.

What they didn’t bank on was Ben Stokes smearing Mumbai’s bowlers all over the park, scoring an unbeaten 107 from 60 balls and Sanju Sampson’s 54 from 31 balls to see the Royals race to 196 for 2 with all of 10 balls to spare.

Pollard, filling in for a second game for Rohit Sharma, who is out with an injured hamstring paid tribute to Stokes but felt for Pandya, whose heroic efforts were in vain.

“I thought Hardik brought us straight back into the game, but well played to Stokes and well played to Samson,” said Pollard who now has one loss and a win as the stand-in captain.

He believed the conditions helped the Royals more than they did Mumbai.

“The wicket ended up being a good wicket with a little bit of dew. It played into their strengths. But having said that, well played to the opposition,” said Pollard, who was not particularly concerned that the loss would impact Mumbai’s ambitions of being among the top-two teams at the end of the regular season.

“It really doesn't do much to the campaign, we still have three games to do. We just have to come out with good cricket. Our bowlers tried but it wasn't meant to be today,” he said.

“[Hardik] keeps showing time and time again, doesn't matter the position of the team. Tough luck an innings like that he ends up on the losing side.”

Delegates of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) voted by an overwhelming majority this morning to inform the Robert Hadad-led Normalization Committee to advise FIFA that they will accept the committee managing the affairs of the association until they can have an Annual General Meeting in the next two to three years.

They also voted to cease all legal actions against FIFA and to reject William Wallace and his executive that had been in dispute with football’s world’s governing body since March and which has led to Trinidad being suspended from international football.

Thirty-three delegates voted in favour of the actions to be taken while two abstained during the virtual extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the fraternity’s 47-member delegation.

FIFA appointed a normalization committee in March after dissolving the William-Wallace-led TTFA's administration that was duly elected in November 2019. 

On Saturday, Wallace and his ousted executive announced their withdrawal from today's EGM after declaring that said EGM was properly constituted.

“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,” Wallace said in a statement.

“That combination of different points of view, especially the political, has made it clear to my vice-presidents 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.”

 

 

 

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.

 

A Court of Appeal in Trinidad and Tobago today set aside a ruling by High Court Judge Carol Gobin that FIFA’s removal of the duly elected executive was “illegal null and void and of no effect”. According to reports out of the twin-island republic, United TTFA that is led by William Wallace, was also ordered to pay legal costs.

FIFA had dissolved the executive of the TTFA in March and installed a normalization committee to oversee the affairs of the association. The ousted executive then took the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but eventually withdrew the case citing institutional bias.

They put the matter before the TT High Court of Justice where High Court Justice Carol Gobin ruled twice in favour of the TTFA – on August 13 and October 13 – in the first instance to say that the TTFA were entitled to justice from the local courts and then to declare FIFA’s actions illegal and null and void.

However, on Friday, the Court of Appeal, ruled in favour of the football’s governing body.

“The filing of these proceedings was a breach of Article 67 of the TTFA’s Constitution of which the TTFA is bound,” Chief Justice Ivor Archie ruled, according to 868Wired. “We are of the view that section 67 is unambiguous… The filings of these proceedings was therefore ultra vires, null and void and of no effect and will be struck out.

‘In accordance with the relevant provisions of the FIFA Statutes, any appeal against a final and binding decision passed by FIFA, CONCACAF or the leagues shall be heard by the CAS, unless another arbitration tribunal has jurisdiction in accordance with Article 69.

Prior to Friday's decision, William Wallace had said that if the ruling went against him, he would end all legal challenges against FIFA.

"If we lose this matter, that's it for me. There is no more appealing,” Wallace said in an interview on WESN Content Capital TV. “I [would] say 'Thank you very much' and I walk away. I have no intention of going beyond our court.”

The TTFA was represented by Dr Emir Crowne, Matthew Gayle, Jason Jones and Crystal Paul. Christopher Hamel-Smith SC, Jonathan Walker and Cherie Gopie represented FIFA.

Trinidad and Tobago international Sam Wallace has re-signed with the New South Wales Swifts club for the 2021 season of the Suncorp Super Netball League.

Wallace, a two-time club MVP and 2019 Grand Final best-on-court recipient, joined the Swifts in 2017 and won the Suncorp Super Netball League in 2019.

Head Coach Briony Akle said having the key partnership of Wallace and Helen Housby in for next season was vital for the club’s continued success.

“Since both players joined the Swifts in 2017 they have formed a formidable partnership in the attack end,” she said.

“Sam has been a rock for us in attack and she really showed what she can do in all areas of the attack circle with her long-range shooting this year.

“Her partnership with Helen is one of the best to watch in the game. While we didn’t get the finish to 2020 we were looking for, the connections we’ve formed over the past three seasons will only continue to strengthen.”

Wallace, 26, enjoyed another outstanding season during the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball League. She was the third-best shooter scoring 522 goals from 591 attempts and scored 46 Super Shots from 85 attempts, which ranked her fifth in both categories. She also ended up fifth in the rankings for offensive rebounds with 31 for the season.

 

Nineteen-year-old Jayden Seales said he was pleasantly surprised when he received word that he had been called to be a reserve player for the West Indies for their upcoming three T20, two-Test tour of New Zealand.

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) board member and technical committee chairman Keith Look Loy has announced his retirement from football administration.

Look Loy, a former T&T national youth player has amassed a long and distinguished career in football administration, serving in various capacities.  In the past several months, however, he has been at the centre of the battle as part of a William Wallace-led association that was replaced with a normalisation committee by FIFA.  

The association, officially registered as the United TTFA, recently scored a victory as the Trinidad and Tobago High Court ruled the normalisation committee implemented by FIFA was illegal.  The country was, however, suspended for violating the global football body’s statues.  It seems the contentious battle has taken its toll.

“Now that the central issue of the legality of Fifa’s actions has been adjudicated, it is time for TTFA’s membership to decide the immediate political direction of the Association,” Look Loy said in a release post in full on Wired868.

“For my part, I have run my race—not only in this matter but in football as a whole. In the aftermath of the seven-month battle between United TTFA and Fifa, with conflicting emotions. I resign the positions of TTSL president, TTFA Board member, and TTFA technical committee chairman. These resignations are effective immediately,” he added.

Though supported in some quarters, the action by the TTFA against FIFA and the subsequent suspension was not seen in a favourable light by everyone, including many fans.  President of T&T Keith Rowley called the executive’s victory in court a pyrrhic one and the majority of the TTFA had voted to withdraw the case before the court following an emergency meeting.  Another meeting will be held next week to decide the fate of the association.

 “I was born in 1953 under British colonial rule, which our people historically resisted. I am old enough to remember the raising of ‘the red, white and black’ at the magical midnight on 31 August 1962, under the watchful eye of Dr. Eric Williams,” he added.

“Football has been my lifelong love and labour. I participated in and represented Trinidad and Tobago football, on and off the field, for more than 50 years. Never did I think the day would come when a foreign entity would attempt to seize control of our football. To see many fellow citizens hysterically rationalise, aid, and abet this is unbearable.”

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