I use my Sundays to look back at what has been happening in the world of sport. On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week through different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT. 

 

  1. Batting clicked in Windies warm-up match

The three-day warm-up match between New Zealand A and West Indies at Queenstown ended in a draw on Sunday. Electing to bat first after winning the toss, New Zealand ‘A’ put up a dominant display of batting to post 308 for 3 declared in the first innings and then 124 for 1. The Windies scored 366 in what must be considered a commendable effort.

     The 112-run partnership between Kraigg Brathwaite and Darren Bravo helped bring the Windies compile a good score after opener John Campbell was bowled for 4.

Brathwaite went on to score 47 while gave a glimpse of his class in a memorable Bravo 135. Bravo knock included 13 fours and five sixes. Top order batsman Shamarh Brooks also stepped up with the bat scoring 80 while Captain Rostan Chase contributed 42 from 76 balls. 

  There is cause for optimism when considering the performance with the bat from the West Indies even though John Campbell does need to show greater game awareness and application. The lower order also needs to raise their game as four of the batsmen were dismissed in single digits.

Despite the commendable batting performance, the Windies had a tough time with the ball. Kemar Roach, Chemar Holder and Rahkeem Cornwall ended the match wicket-less and the bowling attack only managed to snare four wickets during the match.

If the West Indies are to be competitive during the coming series, the bowlers need to quickly shake off the rust and get firing.

 

  1. A sigh of relief for Trinidad and Tobago’s football!

Football’s world governing body, FIFA, on Thursday lifted the suspension of the Trinidad and Tobago football Association, TTFA. The decision was communicated in a letter to the Head of FIFA’s normalization committee in T&T, Robert Hadad. This is a major fillip for Trinidad and Tobago’s football as it paves the way for the team to participate in the CONCACAF Gold Cup and World Cup qualifiers. 

     Despite the setbacks, it is my hope that the normalization committee will cleared the massive debt burdening the association while paying salaries and getting the national team ready for international competition.

  1. Huge blow to Golden State Warriors after Klay Thompson’s injury

The Golden State Warriors star guard Klay Thompson suffered a season-ending tear to his right Achilles tendon during a workout last Wednesday in Southern California. The 30-year-old Thompson missed all of last season after tearing the ACL in his left knee during Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. 

The Warriors were hopeful that Thompson would return fit and ready to compete for the 2020-21 season. However, they are now trying to figure out how they will cope without one half of the Splash Brothers, whose absence contributed to their league’s worst record (15-50) last season.

 Another season without Thompson on the court will be a huge blow to the Golden State Warriors chances of winning a title next season. How does one accept that such a dependable star has become so vulnerable? 

 

 

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.”

 

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.

In light of the devastating impact the recent Trinidad and Tobago High Court ruling could have on the country’s national program, it’s hard to not agree with Prime Minister Keith Rowley's assessment of the victory being a pyrrhic one.

The term itself comes from the example of Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose triumph against the Romans in the Battle of Asculum destroyed much of his forces, but while it was a famous tactical win, it eventually forced the end of his campaign.  If that metaphorical allusion is too complex, one could consider a tree with 211 branches; William Wallace and his executive have climbed to the edge of one of the highest ones, cut it off and celebrated while falling to the floor.

The ruling was declared as a victory of significant proportions for global football, but it really strains credulity to see how.  Last month, the majority of the TTFA members had voted to withdraw the case.  Rowley’s post might not signal the official position of the government, FIFA’s usual opposition in such matters, but it clearly seems that they do not support the action either.  Neither, does it seem, did a vast majority of fans of the sport across the country.  Perhaps the victory, framed as many things these often are these days, in disingenuous displays of fervent nationality, was only for a few disgruntled executives and their egos.

Believe it or not, the rest of global football has continued on as usual, in many cases oblivious to the ruling of the court or even suspension of the TTFA.  Qualifiers have continue as planned, and those of us who compete in the region will have the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifiers to look forward to in short order. 

There is a simple reason for the overall lack of interest.  While the case has been framed by many of those involved as a once in a lifetime battle of David vs Goliath, the real fact of the matter is surprise, surprise Trinidad and Tobago is not the only country to take FIFA to court, or even to secure a positive court ruling.  Perhaps many sold themselves the same stories at the start of the chapter, but the tale has always ended in much the same manner in a variety of disputes with FIFA.  If there was a case that was going to turn out differently, forgive the incredulity for not believing it would be an association that has racked up debts of almost $US10m and dogged by years of scandals and mismanagement, that breaks that trend.

Now don’t get me wrong, FIFA as an institution has gotten a lot wrong, on more than one occasion it has proven to be riddled with corruption and can often come off high handed and dictatorial.  However, for many FIFA members, all sovereign states, the deal is a Faustian bargain.  Like it or not, a lot of the organisation’s massive success has to do with its ability to set aside and solve petty grievances and rivalries that often consume international politics and ensure that, for the most part, whatever the stakes there is a game played on the pitch.  A part of that success then means that for many associations FIFA is able to successfully fund a huge part of the development of the game locally.

For many in the twin-island republic, it is the latter that would cause significant trepidation regarding the ruling.  In the case of the already cash strapped United TTFA, it surely comes down to things like funding needed to secure the livelihood of thousands of workers that serve the sport across the island.  It could mean blighting potentially bright youth prospects, who will not only lack competitions to showcase their talent, but funding to help develop it.  Depending on how long this impasse lasts an inactive national team could not only miss the upcoming World Cup qualifier, but fall behind in preparations for 2026, which will be held in the CONCACAF region and surely be a massive blow for fans if T&T cannot secure one of four extra places.  All in all, steep prices most are not willing to pay for a declaration of sovereignty. 

In recent interview with my colleges on the SportsMax Zone, which got quite heated at times, well-respected leading sports attorney Dr. Emir Crowne, who was one of the representatives for the TTFA, struggled to put what was achieved by the body for the overall good of the country’s football in any meaningful context.  Understandably, it was a tough job, I suspect outside of mere theoretical platitudes for those in charge, there is no real concrete benefit for the sport be found.  

As part of her ruling, the High Court judge found the section Article 8(2) of the FIFA Statutes, which speaks to the establishment of normalisation committees, was incongruous with the country’s municipal laws and was hence invalid.  A win, perhaps, but what is the endgame.  In the end, in all likelihood, the TTFA will have to amend the statues of its own association to completely enable its parent association to govern as set out in the statues.  A move previously taken by all other David’s in this battle, no matter how long it takes.

The Trinidad and Tobago High Court of Justice has ruled that FIFA’s removal of the executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) is illegal, null and void and of no effect. The High Court also ruled that the decision was made in bad faith and was for an improper and illegal motive.

In the decision that High Court Justice Carol Gobin handed the decision down on Tuesday night, the judge also ruled that the appointment of a normalization committee to interfere in the affairs of the TTFA is null and void and of no effect and that FIFA statute 8(2) is inconsistent with the provisions of the TTFA Act no. 17 of 1982.

The decision is a blow to the football world’s governing body, who has suspended the TTFA indefinitely, a move that has put Trinidad and Tobago’s chances of participating in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in jeopardy.

In March, FIFA effectively dissolved the executive of the TTFA that was elected to office in November 2019 and appointed a normalization committee to oversee the affairs of the association. Since then, the ousted executive led by William Wallace has been at loggerheads with FIFA as the two parties strive for a mutually agreeable outcome.

Sportsmax.tv will have more on this story on Wednesday.

 

 

Former Trinidad and Tobago international Kelvin Jack has called for an end to the ‘toxicity’ currently surrounding the nation’s football, beginning with a decision to withdraw the case against FIFA and a return to the international football fold.

The twin-island republic was suspended from international football last month, after disputing FIFA’s right to dissolve the country’s football federation and implement a normalisation committee.  Deposed Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) President William Wallace and his executive took the issue to the country’s High Court, which is expressly forbidden by FIFA’s statues.

In a strange twist of events, the United TTFA executive had agreed to withdraw the case as per the wishes of the wider membership but missed filing the application by the FIFA deadline.  The decision was subsequently taken to revive the case before the court.

While admitting that he felt a huge amount of sympathy for the deposed board, Jack insisted that the current actions taken by the United TTFA are detrimental to the sport.

“When Fifa appointed the normalisation committee, my first reaction was one of genuine surprise. I made that known to the president William Wallace and to [United TTFA member and technical committee chairman] Keith Look Loy.  I was empathetic towards the situation they were put in. I was particularly irked because I felt they only just assumed office but were then being forced out,” Jack said in a release first published in its entirety on Wired868.

The former goalkeeper, who was appointed men’s National Senior Team goalkeeping coach by the United TTFA, made it clear, however, that he did not see the need for the current course of action to continue.

“…this impasse that has crippled football. In my opinion, the ongoing court action is nonsensical and has a debilitating effect on Trinidad and Tobago football. The court action should be discontinued immediately,” he added.

Jack also took issue with some of the arguments he claims are used to support the continuance of the TTFA’s legal action.

“I have analysed the various arguments for the continued progression of this court action. From the supposed invasion of Trinidad and Tobago sovereignty to no football is being played right now because of the global pandemic, to the view by some that Trinidad and Tobago wouldn’t qualify for the 2022 World Cup anyway,” he said.

“These reasons are weak and incredibly disrespectful to the players, fans, potential sponsors, coaches, and referees.”

The player, who pointed out that he himself used the failed 2002 qualification bid to prepare for the success of 2006, admitted that he could not fathom a workable long-term plan being put forward by the TTFA, under the current circumstances.

“Maybe there is a plan? How will development programs be funded? How will salaries be paid? How will the players gain valuable international experience? How will our women’s team close the gap on our international rivals? How will our aspiring international referees develop?

Committed die-hard fans will be starved of watching their beloved national teams play in tournaments,” Jack went on.

“There are 211 countries that adhere to Fifa statutes; we are one. If we are truly honest we must realise we cannot, on one hand, utilise all the provisions of Fifa—for example, receive funding and playing in international tournaments—but then frown when one of the very statutes which we agreed to, the implementation of a normalisation committee, is used by Fifa.

If we detest the role of a normalisation committee in the Fifa statutes so vociferously, why did we join Fifa in the first place? Shouldn’t we have objected to the statutes all those years ago, or at the very least inform Fifa that we do not agree with the role of a normalisation committee—as we believe our sovereignty as an independent country supersedes their statutes?”

Trinidad and Tobago will be barred from the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers if the suspension recently imposed by FIFA on the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) is not lifted by December 18.

The TTFA was suspended by the world football governing body last month, after missing a deadline to withdraw a case brought against the association in the Trinidad and Tobago High Court.  The dispute arose earlier this year, after FIFA’s decision to dissolve a then fourth-month-old TTFA board and install a Normalization committee to run the affairs of the country’s football.  The deposed William Wallace-led executive has refused to recognise the committee.  

The suspension immediately deprived the country of its full member benefits as part of the association, and also impacts its ability to take part in international competition.  Earlier this month, CONCACAF announced that the country would remain a part of the CONCACAF Gold Cup draw, but would be replaced by Antigua if the matter was not resolved by the identical date of December 18.  FIFA re-asserted its position in a letter to the Normalisation Committee on Tuesday.

“By way of this communication, we inform you that FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 World Cup Qualifiers for the Concacaf region (hereinafter: Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers) are scheduled to begin in March 2021. The organisation of such competition entails complex logistical and operational matters intensified by the COVID-19 crisis. In view of this, please note that FIFA has decided that, in order to ensure the proper preparation and planning of the participant teams, if the suspension imposed on the TTFA is not lifted by 18:00 CET on 18 December 2020, we have no choice but to exclude the TTFA from participating in the Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers,” the letter stated.

“As a result of the suspension of the TTFA's membership of FIFA, the Normalisation Committee which was appointed by FIFA has necessarily ceased all operational and management functions over the TTFA. However, we want to highlight that the only legitimate leadership of the TTFA, recognised by FIFA and Concacaf, is the one led by Mr. Robert Hadad. Having said this any communication from FIFA with TTFA will continue to be exclusively being with Mr. Robert Hadad.”

According to FIFA, the TTFA must meet three conditions before they are re-admitted to global football.

  1. The TTFA complies with the terms and conditions of its membership of FIFA as set out under the FIFA Statutes, including in particular Article 59 of the FIFA Statutes;
  2. The TTFA acknowledges and confirms FIFA’s power and authority to appoint a Normalisation Committee subject only to the right of the TTFA to appeal such a decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport;
  3. The TTFA Statutes are amended to ensure that all type of disputes may only be submitted to the established dispute resolution forum at CAS. The suspension will immediately impact the country’s participation in the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

 

The embattled Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) William Wallace-led executive has sought permission to reverse the withdrawal of proceedings, in the case brought against FIFA, currently before the T&T High Court.

Earlier this week, a TTFA membership meeting that was held saw its membership unofficially vote to cease the TTFA action against FIFA in the court.  Wallace and his executive reluctantly agreed, and action was taken to withdraw the suit before the court on Wednesday.  The body, however, missed the deadline to withdraw the lawsuit by two minutes and were as a result suspended by FIFA.

Originally, the TFFA had been given until September 16 to withdraw the action, but FIFA had given a further extension until the 23rd

In explaining its reasons for choosing to suspend the TTFA, FIFA on Thursday said “The suspension was prompted by the former leadership of the TTFA lodging a claim before (the TT High Court) in order to contest the decision of the FIFA Council to appoint a normalisation committee for the TTFA. This course of action was in direct breach of article 59 of the FIFA Statutes, which expressly prohibits recourse to ordinary courts unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations.”

According to Keith Look Loy, a former member of Wallaces' TTFA executive, the reason for returning the case to the court is in order to challenge the FIFA suspension at the CAS.

 “We filed an injunction at the CAS against the suspension. But to ensure we had legal standing to do so, we had to have a legal matter before the local courts. Had the case been withdrawn from the court, there would be no legal standing in the local high court,” Look Loy told the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

“There would be no legal standing because they have no case before the court, which means they have accepted FIFA’s imposition of the normalisation committee. We do not accept this and thus had to withdraw the withdrawal application to file such an injunction against FIFA.”

Following the avalanche of blame that has tumbled on embattled TTFA president William Wallace, in light of FIFA’s ruling to suspend Trinidad and Tobago from world football indefinitely, former national footballer, David Nakhid, insists there are multiple ‘villains’ involved in the case.

Nakhid was quick to point out that he has no sympathy for Wallace because the deposed official “did several things subsequent to his appointment without consulting the board.”

 “A situation like this calls for compromise, it calls for mediation, it calls for some level of consultation between parties and we never had that,” Nakhid said in an interview with the SportsMax Zone.

“What we had was a lot of hotspot meetings and disjointed efforts by parties here and parties there,” he added.  In the mind of the former Soca Warriors captain, however, Wallace was far from the only one deserving of criticism. 

As such, he also turned his attention to the world governing body FIFA, for whom he had some particularly strong words.  He accused the global football organisation of being ‘hypocrites’ and seeing the Caribbean region as just part of a voting bloc and not much else.

“FIFA has always been an organisation that has the Caribbean and by extension Latin America as just a voting bloc.  Basically, we are still indentured labourers to them," he said.

The former Caribbean Footballer of the Year was also critical of leaders of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), past and present, who he accused of leaving no legacy for the Caribbean and ensuring that the region did not have a genuine voice on the world stage.

 Nakhid launched a longshot bid for the FIFA presidency in 2015 but was disqualified from the race after receiving a double nomination.  At the time, his proposed candidacy never received wide support across the Caribbean, garnering a total of five votes.

On Thursday, FIFA suspended the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) for its failure to withdraw a case that is currently before the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago, within the prescribed timeframe that came after a previous extension.  The ruling will see the twin-island republic immediately deprived of all its rights as a member of FIFA, which comes with other consequences.

Former Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Sports Anil Roberts has lamented what he classifies to be a cause that was destined to be ‘a losing battle’ in wake of FIFA’s recent suspension of the TTFA from world football.

FIFA and the TTFA have been locked in a bitter dispute since March of this year, when the global football governing body appointed a normalisation committee to take over the affairs of the nation’s football, after dissolving the board.  The then four-month-old William Wallace-led executive rejected the move and refused to recognize the committee, framing the actions as an infringement on the country’s sovereignty.

In its letter, however, FIFA pointed to article 8 paragraph 2 of the FIFA Statutes, as giving them the right to appoint a normalisation committee.  The Wallace-led coalition then opted to take the case to the CAS before having issues with the cost of presenting the case and suggesting any ruling would have been biased towards FIFA.  The body instead opted to take the case before the Trinidad and Tobago High Court, a move also prohibited by the FIFA statutes.  In announcing the decision to suspend Trinidad and Tobago from international football on Thursday, FIFA pointed to violations of article 59, which states that;

“Recourse to ordinary courts of law is prohibited unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations. Recourse to ordinary courts of law for all types of provisional measures is also prohibited.”

According to Roberts, even if one were to submit to the fact that every argument made by the ousted TTFA officials were correct, they ignored a certain reality.

“There was no other outcome.  So, let us pretend that the TTFA was absolutely right.  Every argument they made, FIFA was being high handed, their decisions were wrong, they were using their power to suppress and oppress Trinidad and Tobago and its organisation.  Every argument was correct.  You still could not win, because the idea is you want to play football and FIFA controls football,” Roberts said in an exclusive interview with the SportsMax Zone.

Since 2003, FIFA has suspended around 24 countries for various disputes and violations of its statutes.  Antigua and Barbuda are the only other Caribbean country suspended during the period.

“We must be realistic in the world we live in.  In the world of sport, whether we like it or not, FIFA owns football.  Anyone who does not understand that is naive or would like to fight a war that cannot be won,” Roberts added.

“FIFA owns football.  Everything we want as a country, as a territory, they control.  Whether it is through their World Cup male and female tournaments or their junior age-group World Cups.  Whether its through their ability to control club football, world club football, Champions League, CONCACAF Gold Cup, opportunities for our young players to get contracts…So this was a losing war from the onset.”

 

  

Lawyers representing United TTFA have applied to the Trinidad and Tobago High Court of Justice seeking permission to withdraw the claims currently before the court regarding their six-month dispute with FIFA.

The move brings to an end William Wallace's case against FIFA in a bid to avoid being suspended from world football by the sports governing body.

The development comes, sources indicate, after there was majority vote against proceeding with the matter before the court, during an informal meeting of the TTFA on Tuesday night. Twenty-one members voted against pursuing the proceedings against FIFA, sources said. Eight voted in favour.

On May 18, lawyers for the William-Wallace executive had filed an application in the Trinidad and Tobago High Court 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.”

FIFA filed an appeal that was thrown out by Madame Justice Carol Gobin.

In response, FIFA sent letters to the Normalisation Committee currently in charge of the affairs of the TTFA strongly suggesting that the claims be withdrawn.

Failure to do so by September 23, FIFA said, would result in them initiating proceedings to have the TTFA suspended from international football.

 On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT

 The NBA’S MVP criteria need to be re-visited.

 Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player for the second successive season after garnering 25 of the 101 first-place votes and 962 points in the voting. Although the award is based on the regular season, the fact that it is awarded during the playoffs makes it potentially contentious. In this case, although Giannis gets the award, his team, the Milwaukee Bucks, have gone home after the Miami Heat eliminated them in the second round of the playoffs.

The decision has raised eyebrows including that of that Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James with some even suggesting that LeBron was robbed of the award based on his overall contribution to his team.

James, who is still in contention to win his fourth NBA title, also alluded to the inconsistencies, “Sometimes it's the best player on the best team. Sometimes it is the person with the best season statistically. Giannis had a hell of a season; I can definitely say that."

The fact that the Lakers are in the Western Conference Finals while Milwaukee barely made it through the playoffs triggered the negative criticisms. Once the criteria for winning the award is consistent and the timing that the award is presented is altered, this will help in ensuring that there is little negative perception. There is a need to change and there needs to be consistency!

Glad to see both the Windies and England women supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

Taking a knee and wearing the Black Lives Matter logo are more than mere gestures. They are constant reminders and a subtle form of education.

Both the West Indies and England women will wear the Black Lives Matter logo on their playing shirts during the Vitality T20 International (T20I) series that begins on Monday, September 21. The decision was a mutual one taken by players and management based on current situation globally.

 West Indies Women’s captain Stafanie Taylor has been vocal about the cause, accepting that as athletes they have an important role to play in raising awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement. I commend the women, as their actions can be a driving force for education and giving a voice to the voiceless.

 All matches will be played behind closed doors at Derby, where West Indies have been based for the past three weeks.  Monday's series opener will be the first Women's international match since Australia defeated India in the T20 World Cup final in March of this year.

Trinidad and Tobago Football have been reduced to a game of wait and see. 

FIFA has given the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) an extended deadline’ of September 23 to withdraw its claims against it currently before the Trinidad and Tobago High Court of Justice.

Ousted TTFA president William Wallace, who says he has the support of roughly half of the local body’s delegates, has refused to back down.

 On August 26, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura firmly requested’ that the ‘TTFA former leadership’ withdraw its claim from the local High Court ‘by 16 September 2020 at the latest’. She said then that ‘failure to comply with this directive would result in the commencement of suspension proceedings.

With an extra five days, one can only hope that those involved in the ongoing dispute will act in a manner that will ensure that football wins. Meanwhile, the football-loving public is left sitting on the edge of their seats awaiting the fate of the sport they love. Let us hope good sense prevails!

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