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High Court asked to declare John-Williams’ refusal to share TTFA financial info as unlawful

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) board member Keith Look Loy has formally asked the High Court to review the behaviour of local football president David John-Williams, as the controversial administrator continues to withhold information related to the financial operation of the National Sporting Organisation—and, in particular, the Home of Football project.

The TTFA’s Home of Football project is being constructed on land donated by the Trinidad and Tobago government and received a US$2.25 million grant from FIFA.

Photo: Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe (right) and TTFA president David John-Williams inspect the Home of Football project in Couva on 20 August 2018.
(Courtesy Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs)

However, the particulars of how much has been spent, on what, and by whom, remains largely a mystery to everyone but John-Williams—and presumably his inner circle.

Look Loy’s application, which was filed yesterday by his legal team of Matthew Gayle, Dr Emir Crowne and Sheriza Khan, bemoans John-Williams’ failure to grant access to the TTFA board and himself to the following information:

  1. The TTFA ledger for the period November 2015 to present;
  2. The contribution of FIFA, TTFA and government to the project for the construction of the technical centre in Balmain, Couva and the overall budget for same;
  3. The names of all companies and/or parties which submitted construction and/or professional bids in connection with the project;
  4. The TTFA body or personnel which or who selected the contractor and any sub-contractors then engaged in the project;
  5. The name of the project manager;
  6. The name of the contractor and any sub-contractors engaged in the project;
  7. The quantum, duration and terms of all the project’s contracts; and
  8. The current financial and construction status of the project.
Photo: (From right) Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe, SPORTT chairman Douglas Camacho, FIFA official Veron Mosengo-Omba and TTFA president David John-Williams at a site inspection of the Home of Football on 20 August 2018.
(Courtesy Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs)

Look Loy is asking the court to compel the TTFA to allow him access to the aforementioned information and to declare as unlawful the failure of John-Williams and general secretary Justin Latapy-George to furnish him with the requested documents. He is also requesting costs and any relief that the court deems appropriate.

Among the grounds listed for Look Loy’s request are that the TTFA is a public body—incorporated by an Act of Parliament—with a clear public duty, the failure of John-Williams and Latapy-George to make the information available restricts Look Loy’s “ability to carry out his director’s duties”, and the local football body has a public duty to “ensure that the [TTFA] is governed in transparent and ethical manner.”

According to Look Loy’s legal document, “The failure of the [TTFA] to furnish the information on the applicant or other board members raises concerns about the lack of transparency and mismanagement of public funds.”

So far, Look Loy’s request for information has been supported by fellow board members Collin Partap, Sharon Warwick, as well as Northern Football Association (NFA) president Anthony Harford, Central Football Association (CFA) general secretary Clynt Taylor and Veteran Footballers Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFOTT) president Selby Browne.

Photo: TTSL president and FC Santa Rosa owner Keith Look Loy leads a march for peace in Arima on 17 March 2018.
(Copyright Annalicia Caruth/Wired868)

The other current board members who have not offered public support for Look Loy’s call for transparency are: Joanne Salazar and Ewing Davis (vice-presidents), Karanjabari Williams (NFA), Richard Quan Chan (Southern FA), Anthony Moore (Tobago FA), Joseph Taylor (Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association), Julia Baptiste (TT Pro League) and Wayne Cunningham (Eastern FA).

John-Williams, as president, is chairman of the TTFA board.

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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60 comments

  1. I went to a TD workshop this weekend and they were talking about soccer boards and governance. They were discussing policy …..the amount of rules that David John Williams has broken is astounding……it also shows just how damaged our board is as well. But the key point is our officials in Trinidad are simply not educated in terms of administration and it’s not necessarily their fault but the education of officials and coaches can help with their ability to combat corrupt manipulation by understanding the policies and adhering to them…….

    • Malik Johnson There has to be consequences for those who don’t adhere to the rules and throw the group into chaos as a result DJW knows exactly what he is doing.

    • Persons selected for Board or executive positions based on cliqism and nepotism not ability to do job .
      Check administrative experience of members .

    • Malik Johnson which is why there ought to be some training for board members. There are consequences to decisions taken, but we do not hold anyone to account.

    • Nerisha Mohammed the issue with the board is not primarily an education thing…it’s an ethical thing….the majority lack integrity it character……it’s less about them not knowing the right things to do but more about them not wanting to do the right thing because of self interest

  2. JUSTICE Ronnie Boodoosingh is prepared to rule on TT Super League president Keith Look Loy’s lawsuit against the TT Football Association (TTFA) over transparency in the construction of its US$2.5 million “Home for Football” by next month, if the parties do not settle the issue themselves by then.
    https://newsday.co.tt/2019/02/23/look-loy-v-ttfa-ruling-expected-march-20/

  3. Leslie-Ann Joan Boisselle, Nerisha Mohammed… No real new information yet. But there is little chance you will see new info from any other source to be honest.

  4. Why is this different to other fields? Will there be TTFA offices there.

    • None of the other grounds belong to the TTFA. And there is the ability to house players, etc.
      The facility itself is a good idea once it doesn’t leave us in debt and FIFA picks up the tab. The issue is the accountability.

  5. ..TTFA. DJW. Is his monument..

    • Callum Marshall There will never be any transparency because they always have to mismanaged and steal the millions just imagine that back in 2006 World Cup the sponsors 200 million monies was never accounted for so therefore nothing has changed with respect to how the corrupted TTFA continues to conduct their business and a matter of fact just last night I heard on the news that a manager from one of the EPL teams or I wonder if it was the MLS was fired because he was using the sponsorship millions to purchase properties so you see it isn’t only in our sweet country that the madness is taking place eh so Mr Live Wire will just have to continue exposing them eh Them really good yes

  6. ..The project involves fields and a ninety room hotel..

  7. So who’s offices will they be?

  8. I’ve been seeing this covo going for a while now but really didn’t make time to read been a distracted with my own predicament as a Petrotrin worker thinking it was 2 different issues now only to realize it’s one and the same
    When we have leadership who rule without transparency and believe that they are in positions not as servants of the game or the country or the company BUT think that the football, the country or the company is there to serve them and their concerns ….
    So any normal, straight minded moral person or organization would have no problem making the financial records public
    Only when you have something to hide it becomes a problem to have your books audited
    So Mr. Keith Look Loy I don’t always agree with you but in this issue I support you 100 %

  9. Not to get into much, I think the title and job description has been forgotten. I believe it runs along the line of ‘overall’ running of football and not limited to one or two aspects of.or persons involved.

  10. Who is the Home of Football for?

  11. Pure nonsense, other than confirmation that DJW has ignored his Board and continues to personally serve as General Contractor and Project Manager. There are guaranteed to be construction deficiencies, who will cure them and based on what contracts?

  12. Jamaal say leave de man leh he do he ting. Lasana, did you manage to see the whole interview?
    https://www.facebook.com/DFearlessOne/videos/238474806861018/

  13. Excellent! Thank you, Keith Look Loy. He has no choice but to share the information with the courts. People with compromised intelligence always think they are above the law.

  14. Watching Joel Villafana interview his “football analyst” Gordon Pierre on local football just helps me further understand why we are in the state we are.
    The rot is deep yes. Very very deep.
    I feel sorry for the public who don’t know any better any rely on these people for information.

  15. It’s like going a PTA meeting with your child who is in Standard 3 and only then getting feedback and the report card from the Standard 1 teacher. Two months before the SEA exam, you’re now realizing the kid should have been getting extra lessons for a couple of weak areas.

  16. I hope people are taking note that there is a correlation between business and governmental entities submitting late stale outdated financial reports and their ability to stay in business. Petrotrin is a perfect example. Four years ago, the company’s was now issuing audited financial reports for 2 years prior; hence the reason it took long for stakeholders to realize the extent of the company’s financial problems.

  17. Keep the fight Keith……….

  18. ..Now we will truly see who is who, as they say. Who willing to do the needful to rid football of this blight, who talking, who hiding, who doesn’t care, who like it so. And I copied the pre-action protocol letter to both the CONCACAF and FIFA. Then the FIFA official visited and said accountability is not an issue..

  19. The TTFA, CONCACAF and FIFA have left those committed to good governance no other choices but the legal system.

  20. Too many hiding behind status and position, it is right to let the law deal with them .
    They are destroying football because they are selfish
    Bun dem

  21. ..Not bacchanal Patricia. Struggle. You can’t make cake without breaking eggs. And progress doesn’t happen by wishing for it..