‘Not me and that!’ Patrick turns down Fifa appointment, as TTFA hit with more uncertainty

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Fifa, apparently, needs a new makeshift football leader in Trinidad and Tobago.

This morning, controversial Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) finance manager Tyril Patrick informed attorneys for the estranged local football president, William Wallace, that he will not attempt to succeed him.

Photo: TTFA finance officer Tyril Patrick (right) poses with Fifa president Gianni Infantino during the opening of the TTFA Home of Football on 18 November 2019.
Fifa has placed Patrick in immediate charge of the TTFA, although he was the subject of an internal probe for alleged professional misconduct.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)

On Tuesday, Fifa effectively dissolved the TTFA’s board of directors and placed Patrick in charge of the local body until a normalisation committee could be implemented.

Wallace responded, through New City Chambers attorneys Dr Emir Crowne and Matthew Gayle, with a pre-action protocol letter to Patrick yesterday evening.

“In default of you indicating you intend to ignore and/or not comply with the Fifa [appointment],” stated the legal letter from Gayle, “then without further notice our firm’s instructions are to initiate urgent formal proceedings against you asking the High Court to bar you and any other person from taking any steps to interfere with the day to day operations of the TTFA.”

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Patrick responded this morning. He wants no part of the fight between Fifa and TTFA.

“I would like to confirm via this email that I am no longer the interim manager at TTFA,” stated Patrick, in a letter to Gayle. “I am no longer accepting the appointment and I have informed Fifa of my decision. Thank you.”

Photo: Then SSFL president William Wallace (centre) greets players before kick off between Shiva Boys Hindu College and Naparima College at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 8 September 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

Patrick’s apparent withdrawal could plunge the TTFA further into chaos, as local football comes to terms with an unprecedented intervention by Fifa.

As a result, Wired868 asked Fifa chief member association Veron Mosengo-Omba the following questions:

  • Has Tyril Patrick declined his appointment by Fifa to run the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, in the lead-up to a normalisation committee?
  • If so, does Fifa intend to name a replacement? Who will select this replacement?
  • Do you think that you should recuse yourself from matters involving the TTFA, since you have been named in a potential investigation into financial mismanagement here? Please give [an explanation for] your response.

Mosengo-Omba had not responded up to the time of publication.

Crowne said Patrick’s email further weakens Fifa’s move to install a normalisation committee on the twin island republic.

Photo: FIFA president Gianni Infantino (left) presents Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe with a gift during the opening of the TTFA Home of Football in Couva on 18 November 2019.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)

“It is an interesting email [from Patrick] for several reasons,” said Crowne. “First, we have no information as to whether it was made before we issued our email to Mr Patrick or after. Secondly, that has implications for Fifa’s letter to the TTFA.

“[…] The question arises now whether this [Fifa] letter to the TTFA is still valid, bearing in mind that we have challenged the letter irrespective as being null and void. Now, moreso, the question arises as to what weight if any can be placed on this letter in light of the fact that Mr Patrick has declined Fifa’s appointment.”

In fact, Wired868 can confirm that Patrick initially picked up the mantle from Fifa. On Friday, he sent an email to all staff advising workers that the TTFA’s office will remain closed until further notice and that ‘any urgent issues can be directed to me’.

Patrick appeared to have a rethink on his job title after he received a pre-action protocol letter.

TTFA’s office staff was sent home last week due to the Covid-19 pandemic but were initially due to report to work on Monday 23 March. At present, the novel coronavirus notwithstanding, it is uncertain when they will return to work and who is authorised to instruct them to do so.

All national football team training and screening sessions have been suspended due to the ongoing health crisis.

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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  1. Right now T+T membership in FIFA is up in arms due to this politics .
    All the National registered clubs needs to gather their heads and cast a vote towards leadership and let that victor guide the football body into a quorum.
    Then FIFA will inugreate the association again constitutionally .

    • At the end of the day FIFA will have their way .
      Trinidad have to submit or face ejection.
      Trinidad law cannot interface with the rules of FiFA
      FIFA is a dictatorship they call the shots .

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