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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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