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TTFA members push back; black eye for DJW-led board as “unconstitutional” AGM postponed

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s (TTFA) membership must meet again in two weeks after this morning’s Annual General Meeting was postponed owing to general secretary Justin Latapy-George’s failure to provide all members with the necessary documents on time—as stipulated by the TTFA Constitution.

Latapy-George had followed the instructions of the David John-Williams-led board, who felt that only compliant members should have access to the TTFA’s financial documents and other information.

Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (right) makes a point to Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 26 March 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

During the week, John-Williams held a media conference and visited at least one television morning show to make his case—and Wired868 pointed to some inconsistencies with his message in an earlier story.

In the end, the TTFA board was stopped in its tracks by the membership at today’s meeting in the National Cycling Centre in Couva.

Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association (TTRFA) vice-president Osmond Downer, according to one member, used the constitution to rein in John-Williams and company.

“Downer read from Section 10 of the constitution and informed them that they violated members’ rights when they didn’t send them the convocation,” Central Football Association (CFA) general secretary Clynt Taylor told Wired868. “They had no authority to send to [nine] members and not the full membership. Every member remains a member unless suspended so, according to the constitution, they have to send the convocation to all members.”

Owing to the “voluminous amount of documentation” contained in the convocation, Downer called a vote for the AGM to be postponed for two weeks so members could peruse the documents and be able to comment more effectively.

There were different opinions as to how to proceed, though. Some members, including a Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) faction, felt the AGM should continue and deal with other issues on the agenda outside of the financial documents, which could be left for the postponed meeting.

Photo: Cunupia FC forward Stevon Stoute (right) celebrates a goal with teammate Denell Lopez during TTSL One action against Defence Force at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar on 2 July 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

In the end, a vote was called only for a two-week postponement of the entire meeting. Seventeen members agreed with Downer’s motion, four disagreed and 14—inclusive of the TTSL representatives—abstained.

Incidentally, there was a turnout of 35 TTFA delegates from a total of 49, which was over 70 percent and possibly the highest attendance of John-Williams’ term as football president. Arguably, it showed too that members did not take lightly the threat of losing their rights.

According to a source, John-Williams informed FIFA of his move to ignore more than 60 percent of the TTFA’s membership before Latapy-George sent out the convocation. The members were not having it, though.

Wired868 asked John-Williams whether he took responsibility for the violation of the TTFA Constitution which forced the postponement of the AGM and disappointed the majority of the football body’s membership. He had not responded up until the time of publication.

Latapy-George declined comment.

The AGM followed a reconvened Extraordinary General Meeting in which only one member was needed to constitute a quorum; 26 delegates turned up.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams and new FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the TTFA headquarters on 27 January 2016.
Infantino was at the time the UEFA general secretary.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

Although John-Williams spent much of the past week stressing that over 60 percent of the TTFA’s members had lost their rights on 12 January 2017, owing to a transitory clause implemented two years ago, the EOGM was told that CONCACAF had actually relaxed deadlines on the matter of compliance.

All clubs, according to Taylor, have until 31 May 2018 to become compliant while the deadline for zonal associations is 31 December 2018.

Downer moved that all TTFA members be given a new deadline of 31 March 2018 to be compliant. Again, it was not unanimous.

Look Loy suggested that having the compliance deadline so close to the start of the domestic season could leave organisers scrambling to adjust schedules if clubs were then found to be non-compliant. And the TTSL president countered that the deadline should be 31 December 2017.

In the end, though, the EGM opted to compel all non-compliant members to submit a report by 31 January 2018, which spelled out their individual difficulties so they could be addressed before the 31 March deadline.

The EGM was followed immediately by the AGM. But, because the John-Williams-led board had willfully withheld relevant documents from its members—when constitutionally due—on the shaky ground of compliance, the meeting was called off before it had properly begun.

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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19 comments

  1. The dictator want to ensure Hart and other members of the football community stay out of influence so he can continue to sabotage our program

  2. But the EATS and DRINKS already there !!!! Need HELP!!!!!!

  3. I do hope that all members seek to make themselves compliant . it could only positively affect the administration of football in Trinidad, this should of course be followed by a mandatory development scheme adherence by all clubs and academies with established KSA’s for each age group. We can’t continue to look for the next great one but instead develop a bond of highly functional ‘ones”, attrition and further structured development,inclusve of proper nutrition, psychological champion development and physical development should impact the mix. I pray that we aim at cohesion and not be warped in power struggles with no other aim than keeping or obtaining power for its own sake.

  4. Ah eh even bothering to read de article, I just tired….

  5. Always controversial our football associations even at schools.
    Power and greed as a lot money flows through these bodies.

  6. Well anything was better than Tim Kee and Phill… wait, hold on.

  7. Just seems like fiasco after fiasco since DJW was elected..

  8. I dunno this downer guy but ttfa members have to show some balls …..they’re a cowardly bunch…..

  9. Wish there were more like Downer amongst the membership of TTFA

  10. Media on bed with them….is freeness to see games etc, you know!!!

  11. Downer and dem still in football….geeezzzzz….go home and rest nah….o ly manipulators for self and pockets

  12. Ancil Santana, you think certain media workers will admit now that they have no idea what they are talking about and are better off listening to people who do have a clue? Lol