Hadad: We’re grateful to be ‘functioning member of Fifa and Concacaf’, 2021 will be better

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“[…] We are so thankful to end 2020 and to enter into 2021 with the TTFA, as a functioning member of Fifa and Concacaf.
“[…] Our tasks of addressing the current debt, running the daily affairs of the TTFA, reviewing and amending the statutes, and generally charting a better way forward for Trinidad and Tobago football, remain top priority…”

The following is a public statement from Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad, on behalf of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA):

Photo: Normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad (background) talks to players before a Men’s National Senior Team training session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 20 November 2020.
(via TTFA Media)

To all our valued members and stakeholders,

As this year comes to its close, we wish to extend warm greetings on behalf of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association.

In the midst of difficulty, there is always something to be grateful for and I wish to acknowledge and appreciate the gifts of life, health, strength and all that has been bestowed upon us this year. We are so thankful to end 2020 and to enter into 2021 with the TTFA, as a functioning member of Fifa and Concacaf.

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The support, interaction and experience shared from those in Fifa and Concacaf have been important in guiding us to this point and to where we are aiming towards in 2021 and beyond.

This year has been a terribly testing and difficult one for everyone in some way or another. I wish to note that football does not exist in isolation and is also affected by the challenges of society. The existing problems in local football, coupled with the pandemic, have made this year into certainly one of the FA’s most challenging periods in its history.

Photo: Fifa president Gianni Infantino (right) and then TTFA president David John-Williams at a press conference at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 10 April 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

The socio-economic challenges also affect the end product, but rest assured that we are undertaking a number of interventions in order to develop our organisation and to elevate our game to a higher standard.

Our tasks of addressing the current debt, running the daily affairs of the TTFA, reviewing and amending the statutes, and generally charting a better way forward for Trinidad and Tobago football, remain top priority.

We are currently focused on a strategic planning process as it is imperative that our plan is locked in place and becomes a blueprint for long-term growth and stability.

I take this opportunity to thank all our stakeholders for their ongoing support and patience over the past few months. We have and will continue to invest significant time and energy into getting the best outcome for the country.

We will update you on our plans as they evolve, as we work towards being in a position to share our future strategies. Additionally we are currently in a process of forging stronger relationships with our existing partners and stakeholders and do have plans to ensure they are part of our future success.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Chrissy Mitchell (right) goes for goal while defender Tsai-Anne Fernandez looks on during a Women’s U-20 training session at UWI, St Augustine on 6 February 2020.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/Wired868)

With regards to our national teams on the field of play, we recognise our country’s progress to the quarter-finals of the Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship earlier this year.

We also appreciate the success and progress of several of our professional players in the overseas leagues such as Kevin Molino, Joevin Jones, Levi Garcia, Akeem Garcia and Kennya Cordner to name a few. These players all excelled for their respective clubs in leagues from North America to Europe.

Our locally based Senior Men’s Team players braved the challenging conditions to turn up to practice over the past few months as we prepare for the upcoming Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers, which commence in March with a home fixture against Guyana.

The TTFA’s Home of Football hotel served as a step-down facility in the government’s Covid recovery efforts, and as an organisation we are immensely pleased to have been able to provide support in the country’s fight against the virus.

Photo: The TTFA Home of Football facility.

There are ongoing plans to expand on the use of the facility from 2021 of which you will hear more about in the new year.

The start of the World Cup qualifiers will be a test which we are all anticipating and promises to be an exciting and ambitious venture which will see us re-enter Concacaf and Fifa competitions for the first time in a year.

We have encountered a trying and difficult year and we are looking forward to a brighter 2021. What we put into our football now, determines the end result. We are buoyed by a promising future and as I have said in the past, we have been presented with an opportunity to make a change. 

We must all embrace this and remain positive and committed to building back our country’s football. We must do this for the players, youth, fans, coaches and for all stakeholders.

In closing, I thank you again for your patience, confidence and support. On behalf of TTFA, I wish you all a safe and wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Photo: Soca Warriors head coach Terry Fenwick (left) has a word with assistants Keon Trim (centre) and Adrian Romain during a training session at the St James Police Barracks on 13 November 2020.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/Wired868)
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