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John-Williams allegedly injured at Home of Football project; TTFA refuses to confirm or deny claim

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams was allegedly injured on Sunday at the site of the Home of Football project in Couva, according to a medical source.

John-Williams, according to a TTFA media release, suffered “non-life-threatening injuries” after an accident on Sunday. However, no details were provided as to the extent of the injuries or where they had occurred.

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams enjoys himself at head coach Tom Saintfiet’s maiden training session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain on 15 December 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Williams/Wired868)

However, Wired868 was today informed that the heavyset administrator fell while at the construction site for the FIFA-funded project, which will include a technical centre, training pitch, hotel and entertainment centre. He supposedly suffered bruised ribs.

“He fell through the decking where the construction was going on [at the Home of Football],” a source told Wired868, on condition of anonymity. “Apparently, he told workers not to walk there because the spot was not stable and then he himself walked there and fell through.

“It happened after lunch [on Sunday]. After that, he was taken to the Couva Hospital and then transferred to San Fernando [General Hospital].”

Wired868 tried unsuccessfully to reach 1st Vice-president Ewing Davis as well as the President’s daughter and current W Connection chair, Renee John-Williams, to verify the unconfirmed report.

Calls to Davis’phone went unanswered while Ms John-Williams appeared to have read the WhatsApp questions sent to her but did not respond to them.

In this case, the site where the injury occurred is relevant since, on 31 March, the TTFA’s Board of Directors decided—with four votes for and three abstentions—to remove the Home of Football project from under the supervision of John-Williams and place it under the Board’s direct care.

Photo: The site for the TTFA’s Player Hotel.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

This decision was taken after the football president repeatedly failed to provide contracts and/or bills for work done. John-Williams is due to give the relevant answers to the football body’s general membership before the end of this month.

Having lost the vote to retain control of the Home of Football project, John-Williams, who is a contractor by profession, allegedly told the Board that he was withdrawing from the helm of the project “to protect [his] integrity.”

The Board subsequently ruled that Davis should head the Tenders Committee for the project, which will also include 2nd Vice-president Joanne Salazar and Board member Richard Quan Chan.

TTFA general secretary Justin Latapy-George said he did not have any details on John-Williams’ injury.

“That information I don’t have at this very minute,” Latapy-George told Wired868. “I haven’t had a direct conversation with him yet [since his injury]. I can’t confirm or deny at this very moment [whether the accident happened at the Home of Football].”

Another TTFA insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had heard that John-Williams was injured at or around the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva but he was not sure exactly where. The Home of Football project is a stone’s throw from the Ato Boldon Stadium.

Photo: TTFA president and W Connection owner David John-Williams (left) presents the winners’ cheque to his daughter and Connection director Renee John-Williams after the club’s FA Trophy final win over Police FC at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 8 December 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

“I heard today that he got injured in the Stadium but what part of the Stadium I don’t know,” said the source. “Renee said when he is ready he will talk to us and tell us what happened and we should respect his privacy. The family is being very cautious because they say he is working too hard and they want him to get better speedily.

“His family thinks he is overworked and that the fall was due to exhaustion.”

TTFA Board member and Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) president Keith Look Loy, who proposed the motion to remove the Home of Football project from the care of the football president, said he was concerned at the suggestion that John-Williams was hurt at the construction site—for more reasons than one.

“I know nothing [official on John-Williams’ injury] other than what I read on Wired868—and that is instructive,” said Look Loy. “The TTFA secretariat nor any other person in the TTFA has explained to us what has happened. So I know as much as the public knows.

“I therefore do not know if that accident happened at the Home of Football and, in the absence of details, people will speculate.

Photo: A site for new training pitches at the TTFA’s Home of Football in Couva.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

“If indeed this did happen as a result of an incident at the construction site, then this is unfortunate on many levels—not least because the Board of the TTFA replaced John-Williams as the head of the project […] and he said he would have nothing more to do with the project.

“I hope this is rumour; if it is proven to be true, it will be a transgression of what the Board has decided and it will not look good for him.”

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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