The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s constitution dictates that, 14 days before an AGM, the TTFA must supply all delegates with: the agenda, the activity report, the financial statements, the independent external auditors’ report, and the minutes of the last general meeting as well as any other relevant documents.
But just hours before the AGM, which is scheduled for 2 pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium’s VIP room, the candidates are yet to receive this vital information.
So, on behalf of the TTFA, Wired868 is happy to step in and offer its own assessment of the state of the Trinidad and Tobago game to local football stakeholders:
TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee has boasted repeatedly about the size of the debt he met at the TTFA and the smaller one that exists today.
But how could he be so certain about the football body’s financial health when the last audit was done in 2008? And how come there is never any mention of new debts considering the TTFA’s failure to satisfy contracts with players, coaches and God knows who else?
And, for the record, Tim Kee is fond of saying that he inherited this mess. But he was the TTFA vice-president with direct responsibility for finance when millions disappeared from the football body’s coffers during the ‘noughties’ and when the costly 2006 World Cup bonus dispute began.
And, when Tim Kee temporarily left the TTFA in 2010, the football body had been unaudited for two years.
Tim Kee referred to the TTFA executive committee as “the recalcitrant minority” during a debate on I95.5FM on Thursday day. It takes a special type of mathematics for one president to view three vice-presidents as a minority.
And what does the constitution say?
The TTFA president, according to section 39, “is primarily responsible for:
a) implementing the decisions passed by the General Meeting and the Board of Directors (formerly referred to as the Executive Committee) through the General Secretariat;
b) ensuring the effective functioning of the bodies of TTFA in order that they achieve the objectives described in this Constitution;
c) supervising the work of the General Secretariat.”
Tim Kee, by his own admission, has refused the council of his executive committee, oversaw the collapse of almost every committee in the football body and is at war with his former general secretary, Sheldon Phillip, who, according to his board of directors, was improperly sacked.
Otherwise, the TTFA’s technical director Kendall Walkes has no budget to work with since FIFA has stopped funding due to the football body’s unaudited books. It means the country’s football programmes are barely operational.
FIFA has frozen its Financial Assistance Programme and other unnamed specified programmes until “full compliance” with the governing body regarding “certain standard procedures such as internal financial audits.”
And when FIFA thinks you’re too dodgy to be trusted with money, you need to take a long, hard look at yourself. The decision has already denied the TTFA access to upwards of US$125,000 over the last five months.
A bright light for the TTFA. There were over 20,000 patrons at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on November 17 to see the “Soca Warriors” play to a goalless draw against the United States in 2018 World Cup qualifying action.
Too bad they were treated to a horrific experience by security forces who terrorised supporters under the guise of keeping them safe from terrorists.
Still, taken in conjunction with a near full house to see the “Women Soca Warriors” tackle Ecuador last December in a FIFA Play Off fixture, Tim Kee can boast of being in charge when the Trinidad and Tobago citizens began to fall in love with their national football teams all over again.
National Senior Teams:
The Soca Warriors are respected in CONCACAF once more and can make some noise in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign. Tim Kee hired head coach Stephen Hart—as if you didn’t know—and has largely stayed out of his way and allowed him to get the job done.
Too bad, the TTFA president doesn’t pay his coach and barely provides the bare essentials that the team needs to remain competitive. All the same, the performance of the senior squad is another plus of Tim Kee’s watch.
And the Women Soca Warriors? Well, they qualified for the CONCACAF leg of the Rio 2016 Olympic qualifying competition as Caribbean champs and jet off for a glamorous international friendly against the FIFA World Cup champions, the United States, in a few days.
Tim Kee said, on Thursday, that he will talk to Waldrum soon but did not give a date. No rush. Who needs a coach anyway, right?
Wait, didn’t he just sell us on the importance of the men’s coach that he hired?
The men’s team finished fourth in their six-team CONCACAF group and six points behind third placed Guatemala. But they did win the Caribbean qualifiers and finished ahead of Jamaica and Aruba at CONCACAF level.
It was not a bad showing, poor preparation considered, but work needs to be done to provide international exposure for these talented young players before they are enveloped in the mediocrity that plagues too much of our domestic game.
Whereas the men ruled the Caribbean, the women’s under-20 team needed penalties to snatch third place against Puerto Rico and tallied defeats to Jamaica and Haiti and a draw to St Vincent and the Grenadines en route to the CONCACAF competition.
Trinidad and Tobago’s women previously used Caribbean tournaments to boost their scoring tallies. Now, we could not beat St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Are alarm bells ringing yet?
The boys team failed to even make the Caribbean semifinal round and qualified for CONCACAF as the region’s fifth placed team. And, in CONCACAF, they failed to win a game and finished bottom of a group that included Jamaica and Cuba.
Now do the maths and see what that tells you about Trinidad and Tobago’s prospects for the 2022 and 2026 campaigns.
And before you put all the blame on coach Shawn Cooper, remember the TTFA failed to match its Caribbean neighbours by sending its squad off for international exposure at the CONCACAF 2013 Under-15 tournament.
And, to further test the theory, the TTFA performed an encore during the school holidays as it opted not to send an Under-15 team to the respective 2015 Caribbean competition.
So let’s see how that works out for the next national youth coach who must try to steer Trinidad and Tobago to the India 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
And the national under-17 women?
Their frustrated coach, Rajesh Latchoo, resigned before the Caribbean final competition where they lost to Haiti and Jamaica and failed to qualify for the CONCACAF competition.
That’s right. A Trinidad and Tobago women’s team failed to even get to CONCACAF. And nobody noticed!
The ship is sinking and most people are ignorant of the fact since Kenwyne Jones is on a good scoring run and the senior Warriors are getting results.
Can we turn it around? Of course!
The performances of our two senior teams continue to make Trinidad and Tobago a respected opponent while the swelling of the gates is encouraging for revenue streams and corporate interest.
But there is a lot to be done to get the TTFA functioning again at boardroom level and in the area of football development.
Have you seen anything from Tim Kee to suggest he is the man for the job?
Does Selby Browne, David John-Williams, Ramesh Ramdhan or Clynt Taylor seem a better fit?
God willing, Trinidad and Tobago’s football stakeholders will make the right choice tomorrow.
Editor’s Note: Click HERE for more information on who can vote at the TTFA elections.