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Isa approved as TTFA technical director; DJW makes fourth “short-term” appointment

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) appears set to makes its fourth major appointment under the term of current president David John-Williams. And, like the other three, it has been secretive, done without tender, supposedly interim and merely hustled through the local football body’s board of directors.

Muhammad Isa, a former national youth team coach and the technical director of Pro League team, Club Sando, has already been approved by the TTFA’s board of directors and is believed to have started work.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart (far right) holds court with (from left) TTFA interim general secretary Azaad Khan, president David John-Williams, technical committee member Muhammad Isa and TTFA vice-president Ewing Davis in December 2015. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart (far right) holds court with (from left) TTFA interim general secretary Azaad Khan, president David John-Williams, technical committee member Muhammad Isa and TTFA vice-president Ewing Davis in December 2015.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

Although the TTFA has not released any information to that effect and Isa himself declined the opportunity to confirm the news.

“The offer was made to me today,” Isa told Wired868. “That is all I can say.”

He also declined comment on what the TTFA job might mean for his role with Club Sando.

“It hasn’t reached to that stage yet,” said Isa.

Previous technical director, Kendall Walkes, was officially terminated on 18 March 2016 and all FIFA member associations are required to have a technical director to receive developmental funds of US$250,000 per year, which is broken into four parts and released at the end of each quarter.

The TTFA is believed to have used from that money to satisfy its debt to former women’s coach, Evan Pellerud, last month. It would suggest that John-Williams might have pencilled in Isa as his technical director for a month ago or more.

Photo: TTFA president and W Connection founder David John-Williams.
Photo: TTFA president and W Connection founder David John-Williams.

Or maybe not. It has been as difficult for the media and public to get information from the current football administration as it has been since ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner’s disgraceful departure from the game.

TTFA technical committee chairman Dexter Skeene, who is also the Pro League CEO, refused comment.

“I would refer to David John-Williams on that one,” said Skeene.

Wired868 was unable to reach John-Williams for comment.

Isa’s appointment, if he was indeed hired, follows an emerging pattern in local football under the current president.

Azaad Khan had already been on the job for a month or more before the TTFA pointed out that he was its interim general secretary.

According to the TTFA constitution, John-Williams is entitled to his own way in the selection of the general secretary. However, the board of directors, with advice from the technical committee, is responsible for the hiring of coaches and technical staff.

Photo: New Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 coach Brian Williams. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: New Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 coach Brian Williams.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

Since John-Williams replaced Raymond Tim Kee as president, Richard Hood and Brian Williams were hired as Women’s Senior Team and Under-20 Team coach respectively.

In each instance, the board of directors was told that there was not enough time to tender for the job and urged to accept the recommendation.

Isa’s selection followed suit. Wired868 was informed that the board of directors did not even receive a copy of his CV to peruse before they were asked to vote for his appointment.

“It was stated that he was chosen by the former regime as the assistant technical director and it was a short term measure,” said one board member, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It came to a vote and, because it was said to be interim, the board voted to appoint him.”

Thus far, the role of TTFA technical director has appeared to be a poisoned chalice, although the problems often come during regime changes.

Anton Corneal was hired by acting TTFA president Lennox Watson in 2012 but was not paid once by the football body once Tim Kee took charge later that year. Corneal eventually quit in April 2014.

Photo: Former TTFA technical director Anton Corneal is among dozens of coaches still owed money by the TTFA.
Photo: Former TTFA technical director Anton Corneal is among dozens of coaches still owed money by the TTFA.

Walkes replaced him in March 2015 but, once John-Williams took over in November 2015, he went four months without pay before being dismissed in March 2016.

Corneal has taken legal action against the TTFA while Walkes is likely to soon follow suit.

Isa might have the benefit of taking the job early in John-Williams’ four year term. But then, like all of the new president’s appointments, he will apparently have to live with the term “interim” and the inherent implications to his job security.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and 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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65 comments

  1. Former T&T Women’s National Senior Team assistant coach Ben Waldrum said on Facebook that Muhammad Isa gave them tactical advice on a dinner napkin during the women’s CONCACAF tournament.

  2. TTFA run by nepotism to serve the needs of one individual….football not in the forefront!

  3. And ah have a better one for Alyuh some time ago a meeting was called to rounds up some of the coaches to run some programs in different areas in our sweet country eh and meh friend ISA was in charge eh, well he entered the meeting with a short pants and slippers eh, and when certain questions was asked by my professional youth coaches eh, his reply was always hold on and the next thing he always making a call on his cell phone in order to answers their questions yes, and when I am calling them bootleg eh, some folks does be getting mad with me eh. Them really good yes. Haahahaha

  4. Hahahaha haha for plenty years now the North running things eh, and failing miserably eh, so now it’s the time for the South to rule and show Alyuh north people how to run things eh so I am moving down dey by meh family Savitri Maharaj eh, before I apply for any work in the TTFA eh. Them really good yes. Hahahaha

  5. Where @Earl Mango Best? #DemReallyGoodYes!!

  6. This is fantastic corrupted organization run by John Williams and Associates. Elections held behind closed doors, people are afraid to discuss and elaborate on what is taking place, discrimination against the female members of staff and players, to name a few of the atrocities coming out of the ‘new TTFA’. Haven’t we learned from the past? We keep dragging ourselves deeper and deeper into the quicksand.
    Furthermore why is TTFA hiring at this time in the development of our football, old Horses from the paddocks we have long condemned. They didn’t develop Trinidad and Tobago’s football before and they certainly don’t bring anything new to the trough today. developed our young Men and Woman? It is time we stop settling for mediocrity and start reaching for excellence…..
    We need someone who has a proven track record and who can step into the present cultural and technical structure of football and present to Trinidad and Tobago programs that speak to the long term-future development of the sport. We need Kendall Walkes.
    Can Mr. John-Williams and Associates, define for us the long term development plans for Trinidad and Tobago football? Is there a plan? Have the stakeholders of the game in Trinidad and Tobago met and examined the feasibility of this grand design? I ask these questions because it appears that this regime is taking Trinidad and Tobago football backwards instead of forward.
    Selecting Mr. Muhammad as the Technical director (Interim or otherwise) does not solve our problem. What are Mr Muhammad’s credentials, that qualify him to direct Football in Trinidad and Tobago? Haven’t we been here before? What were the results in a previous dispensation? Do we anticipate a different outcome now? Is he certified by FIFA or any well International
    Football organization? Why was he selected in that position again? Let’s stop settling for mediocrity and start reaching for excellence.

  7. Hmmmmmm well yes what again..

  8. And the 80 yr old Lincoln Phillips was also hired before to be the women national team goal keeper Coach eh, so nutten is wrong with hiring another pensioner to be the Technical Director of the TTFA eh, and although he cannot use a computer the ex Technical Director Kendall Walkes had already organised everything for him in order to run the show. Them really good yes hahahaha

  9. Please pick tobago players from clubs in tobago i no it have players like cyrus. witnchester. And more tobago have good check us out please. /Mantis/

  10. I am very concerned about monies for development being allocated for other reasons. Is this a normal practice with other global associations? Is there any body/ group that will police this to ensure that the monies are used for the intended purpose?

  11. Pro league Coup……eh Lasana….

  12. I wish Mr Isa well. The country needs him to succeed even in an interim basis.

  13. ..But while observers critique the TTFA goings on, those in charge will rely on their high level connections to muddle through – FIFA x CONCACAF.

  14. I want to focus on process. What are the TTFA rules and regulations as it pertains to the recruitment and appointment of a technical director? Was this followed? If so, I am ok. What are the stated qualifications required for the position? If Isa has them, I am ok there too. I am definitely not ok with the secrecy and the continued interim appointments.

  15. Sherron, “The Financial Assistance Programme (FAP) was established by FIFA in 1999 and is designed to motivate and empower the associations and confederations to organise development programmes that meet their needs and strengthen football and its administration in the long term, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, youth football and technical development.”
    http://www.fifa.com/development/financial-support/index.html

    • Otherwise known as #CoMinglingOfFunds

    • “Member associations and confederations that want to benefit from the FAP have to submit an application to FIFA.”

      I’m assuming such an application is submitted accompanying an official development plan, not so ? Then it means TTFA has been collecting funds under false pretense if it wasn’t being pumped into development programs.
      By extension, meaning something wrong with the auditors too, unless there was a waiver somewhere along the line.

    • On another page: “Financial support to help member associations participate in qualifiers for the men’s and women’s FIFA U-17 World Cups.”
      Possibly they could have paid off Pellurud under this guise, given that he was a U-17 coach

  16. ..Political manipulation Financial constraints. Practical convenience. Friendship. Regional bias. Sigh.

  17. Good way to keep them in line

  18. Are short term appointments meant to keep these appointees from getting too independent?
    Or is that down to financial considerations?
    There doesn’t seem to be much independent thinking these days in football.

  19. So much for change, same attitude of past presidents

  20. this is in alignment with ‘good governance’ code in sport?

  21. ..As I said on Wired recently, we are now worse off than under RTK. At least no better off. Development funds have been used before to fund other expenses. In many associations. If the talk of Pellerud being paid off with such funds is true – nothing new there. Isa is my pal but football development requires a long term (at least four years) appointment. Not another secretive, convenient, interim deal that would only result in more instability when the interim appointee is replaced – as he inevitably will be, given the administration’s brief history Development in any sphere is predicated on stability and lack of confusion, people. The most dangerous aspect in all of this, of course, is the “one-manism”. Azad Khan refers people to DJW. So too Dexter Skeene. The democracy of one..

  22. Trinidad and Tobago really gone to the dogs yes!! DJW showing us blatantly he doesn’t care to do stuff in the open…clandestine is his thing. Just said the right things until he was voted in…and then a big fat middle finger to the rest of us…smh..

  23. The FIFA funds have already been released according to TTFA, so no need to only now appoint an interim TD

  24. If DJW is six months into his tenure, why is there still a need for “rushed” appointments?

  25. The appointment should come from the proper authority and along the proper channel.
    Wonder what it feels like to be an impotent board member…

  26. The only reason for selecting an interim TD is to satisfy FIFA’s requirements. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to me. And even though it’s interim, the appointment should still come with a specific term of duration.

  27. All respect to Isa, but we spinning top in mud now

  28. Look don’t vex me this hour lol

  29. Is this for real?? This whole thing stinks including the behavior of DJW.

  30. Who else wants a do over of the elections from last year

  31. ..As I said on Wired recently, we are now worse off than under RTK. At least no better off. Development funds have been used before to fund other expenses. In many associations. If the talk of Pellerud being paid off with such funds is true – nothing new there. Isa is my pal but football development requires a long term (at least four years) appointment. Not another secretive, convenient, interim deal that would only result in more instability when the interim appointee is replaced – as he inevitably will be given the administration’s brief history Development in any sphere is predicated on stability and lack of confusion people. The most dangerous aspect in all of this, of course, is the “one-manism”. Azad Khan refers people to DJW. So too Dexter Skeene. The democracy of one..

  32. We receive US$250,000 a year for development. That’s alarming I would to see how this was spent in the past and how they intend to spend it in the future. I’m seeing that it was used to finish pay off Even Pellerud but that doesn’t seem to be ‘development’ to me. Is it that it’s one of the TTFA’s main sources of income so they just use it as they please? It’s difficult get clarification on what the money is for on FIFA’s website. I’ll like to get some answers. Lasana Liburd