Fresh farce as TTFA appears to have two general secretaries, DJW mum on fate of Latapy-George and Lawrence

In chaotic Venezuela, beset by economic turmoil and protests, there are two presidents. Not to be outdone, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA)—also cash-strapped and plagued by governance issues and a lack of transparency—now appears to have two general secretaries.

Although Justin Latapy-George has operated as general secretary since 1 December 2016 and literally occupies the office at the TTFA’s headquarters in the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, Camara David—widely tipped as John-Williams’ favoured man for the job—has now attended at least two official events meant for the local football body’s general secretary.

And the stakes appear to have been raised further as David is now listed on the FIFA website as the TTFA’s general secretary.

Photo: The FIFA website listed Camara David as TTFA general secretary and Allan Warner and Joanne Salazar as vice-presidents on 4 February 2019.

The TTFA general secretary is the chief executive officer of the football body’s general secretariat, which is responsible for the daily operations of the member association and implementing the board of directors’ vision.

Latapy-George confirmed that he is the TTFA’s general secretary at present.

“As far as I am aware, at this very point I remain in the position of general secretary,” Latapy-George told Wired868 on 4 February.

John-Williams did not respond to Wired868’s questions regarding why David has now appeared as general secretary—or in a role intended for the general secretary—on at least three occasions: the FIFA Forward Programme in December 2018, the FIFA/CIES Football Executive Programme at UWI, St Augustine Campus in January 2019, and now the FIFA website.

David, who served for one year as the Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) general secretary, declined comment.

In truth, Latapy-George’s relationship with John-Williams appeared to have been damaged on 22 September 2018 when the general secretary admitted that the president ordered him to withhold information from the board, on the resignation of former vice-president Joanne Salazar.

Photo: TTFA general secretary Justin Latapy-George (right) poses with Panama ambassador Luis Cigarruista Vargas.
(Copyright TTFA Media)

The deception was exacerbated when John-Williams declared Shawn Cooper as Women’s National Senior Team head coach after an email vote which counted more board members than existed at the time—and the inherent suggestion that the football president tallied Salazar’s vote, two weeks after she resigned effective immediately.

John-Williams, after he was outed, told Latapy-George to start looking for a job. However, the president subsequently asked his general secretary to hold on to the post before his contract expired on 31 November 2018; and, a month later, the general membership moved a motion expressing satisfaction in Latapy-George’s performance. John-Williams was urged by the membership to re-hire Latapy-George until the next TTFA elections in November 2019.

“Just before my contract ended, I was asked to hold on [by John-Williams],” Latapy-George told Wired868. “There was no time frame given. We did meet on 2 January and I am waiting for related feedback on that meeting, which I would rather not comment on.

“But even then, no specific date was given to me about any decision regarding my post. There is nothing else I can say; because only the president would be able to answer anything further.”

John-Williams, as usual, did not respond to requests for information. However, Keith Look Loy confirmed that the board has not met since November 2018 and, as such, no decision was made on the position of general secretary.

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (centre) is flanked by Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat (left) and then SPORTT chairman Dinanath Ramnarine during a press conference on 29 September 2017.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

The TTFA constitution stipulates that only the board of directors can hire or fire the general secretary—or a football coach or any other technical staff member—with the president’s role confined to making recommendations to fill the former post.

Look Loy, the TTSL president and FC Santa Rosa club owner, has already seen the TTFA’s updated profile on the FIFA website—which, incidentally, still carries the names of John-Williams’ two former vice-presidents, Allan Warner and Salazar, who both resigned within the first and third years of his term.

“That information on the TTFA website can only have been put there from high echelons of the TTFA,” said Look Loy, “because FIFA could not come up with that themselves and they did not get it from Justin. That is deceit of the highest order, a lack of democracy and transparency and an abandonment of the constitution.

“Camara David is a man who lectures on [issues like] good governance at UWI; and, if he is aware, this is the second example of a lack of ethics by him after the Barbados trip [for the FIFA Forward Programme workshop in December 2018].

“David was buzzing around the Uefa meetings [with the Pro League and TTSL clubs] as though he is the general secretary already and I wonder if he is being paid… And then people with their own agendas want to remove me for fighting for transparency; and here it is yet again, another example.

“Transparency is not only about money; it is about governance.”

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (left) is assisted by Camara David (second from left) during a presentation to a swim club at the Home of Football in January 2019.
(Copyright TTFA Media)

David is a part-time lecturer on Introduction to Sports Management at UWI, St Augustine but, at present, does not have an official post at the TTFA.

“This situation supports the theory that Camara David went to Barbados as the general secretary of the TTFA [in December 2018],” said Look Loy. “I want to know if Camara David has already been given a contract; because this is not approved by the board.

“[…] Is he already contracted?”

Article 35.1 of the TTFA constitution stipulates that: “the President shall convene the meetings of the Board of Directors at least once every two months…” At present, John-Williams is in violation of the constitution on that point.

Latapy-George apart, Men’s National Head coach Dennis Lawrence’s contract expired on 31 January 2019 and he is also anxious to be reappointed—pending board approval—while the Men’s National Under-17 and Women’s National Under-15 Teams are among a host of inactive outfits at present.

The Under-17 are due to start their Peru 2019 World Youth Cup campaign in just over a month, yet they do not even have a coaching staff.

Photo: The T&T National U-15 Team pose at the 2017 CONCACAF Championship.
Those players are expected to make up the spine of the current U-17 Team.
(Back row, left to right) Darian Bradshaw, Justin Araujo-Wilson, Adriel George, Jean-Heim Mc Fee, Marc Wharfe, Cephas St Rose.
(Front row, left to right) Randy Antoine, Josiah Edwards, Jaiye Sheppard, Jabari Lee and Kernel La Fon.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

Look Loy said he will try to invoke Article 35.1, which also allows for board members to call a meeting when the president is negligent of his duties:

“… If 50% of the members of the Board of Directors request a meeting in writing, the President shall convene it within ten days. If the President does not convene the requested meeting by the aforementioned period of time, the other members of the Board of Directors may convene it themselves.”

Look Loy promised to contact his colleagues today to discuss addressing the aforementioned issues.

“The position of general secretary, the national coach, the National Under-17 Team that play in just over a month,” said Look Loy. “There are other burning issues but those are at the top of the agenda…”

Wired868 asked John-Williams: “Can you explain why FIFA now lists Camara David as TTFA general secretary? Has David been hired? Has a position been taken on current general secretary Justin Latapy-George and communicated to the board?

“And why has the board not been asked to meet on position of head coach Dennis Lawrence? Can you update us on the status of the National Under-17 Team? When will the next board meeting be held?”

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (centre), media officer Shaun Fuentes (left) and new Soca Warriors coach Dennis Lawrence at the TTFA headquarters on 30 January 2017.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/TTFA)

John-Williams did not respond up to the time of publication.

At present, the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Team is ranked 92nd in the world by FIFA as well as 10th in Concacaf and third in the Caribbean—behind Jamaica and Curaçao.

The Soca Warriors were ranked 49th by FIFA when John-Williams was elected as TTFA president in November 2015, while they were third in Concacaf and first in the Caribbean at the time.

The Warriors were 80th in FIFA, seventh in Concacaf and second in the Caribbean—behind Jamaica—when Lawrence took over from Tom Saintfiet as head coach in February 2017.

Editor’s Note: Camara David’s name was removed from the TTFA association’s webpage on the FIFA website on 5 February 2018; but Justin Latapy-George’s name was not inserted either. Instead, the TTFA chose to leave off the general secretary title altogether.

The names of vice-presidents Allan Warner and Joanne Salazar remained on the FIFA site, although they retired in 2016 and 2018 respectively. TTFA president David John-Williams, in an interview with the Trinidad Newsday, claimed not to know how David was listed as general secretary on the FIFA site.

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  1. This is a picture of girls football spectators in another part of the world. This was the caption.

    “This is what it means to see someone who looks just like you, kicking goals.

    On the field. In the boardroom. In the Parliament.

    This is why it matters.”

    It was written by politician Daniel Andrews

  2. Who is the media person at the TTFA?

  3. It’s called the laws of Estopel

  4. Lasana Liburd not sure about football,but in Triathlon rhe NF has special access to update that info on ITU site themselves… they do control the national content… the publication then is usually rubberstamped( needs aproval of the ITU media team) to appear publicly…

  5. If Latapy-George’s contract has expired, why is he still functioning in that capacity and still getting paid? Did his original contract have some clause saying that it will automatically be renewed or it will be on a month-to-month basis or something so? Is it a verbal contract?

    • Nigel it is a regular industrial practice that if you continue to do your duties after the expiration of your contract, you are considered to have been granted some sort of renewal. So Justin would not be totally without rights there.
      Maybe Lester Logie, Akins Olatunji Vidale or Rae Samuel can help us with a union perspective on that.

    • So once you don’t get an explicit “Your services are no longer required” memo, you can just stay on and do your job and get paid? This works for coaches and players too?

    • Lasana Liburd terms in contracts of employment vary. The terms of the contract and specific performance may have created a legitimate expectation to Mr Justin Latapy George that it will be renewed. Who reviews the performance of the General Secretary? Is it the responsibility of the board or the President to do his performance appraisal? What does the TTFA constitution say?

    • The correct way in my opinion should be the constitution. However we all know how people overlooked the constitution by their behavior. Them really good yes

  6. If I was Warner and Salazar I would request my name be removed so as to disassociate myself and prevent future misrepresentation

  7. Editor’s Note: Camara David’s name was removed from the TTFA association’s webpage on the FIFA website on 5 February 2018; but Justin Latapy-George’s name was not inserted either. Instead, the TTFA chose to leave off the general secretary title altogether.
    The names of vice-presidents Allan Warner and Joanne Salazar remained on the FIFA site, although they retired in 2016 and 2018 respectively. TTFA president David John-Williams, in an interview with the Trinidad Newsday, claimed not to know how David was listed as general secretary on the FIFA site.

  8. This man JW is such a disrespectful individual eh!!

  9. Asked further whether the TTFA currently has an active general secretary, John-Williams said, “Maybe you should direct your question to the current GS and ask if he has been removed from his position or is he still in post. Too much mischief and agendas I am seeing.”

  10. And the funding bodies still handing out taxpayers money which is used to appeal against athletes judgements in court. DJW should get himself a legal firm as a sponsor.

  11. Wow. This man is really a law unto his own yes.

  12. How dare you question the wit, wisdom and will of King David! Away with thee, foul knaves, away!!!

    With every incident, one man is surely smiling to himself. King David’s transgressions make it difficult for us to readily recall the Tim Kee era!

  13. Latapy working for free or they paying two salaries?

  14. Some of the wounded soccer players during the 60’s up to my playing time of the 90’s have not been rehabilitated because many people remained silent in the T&TFA for years. From the council generals that worked for Jack Warner favor I can recall only three of them object to his running of the Football association. Today we see a lot of discrepancies all along the lines of transparency and yet some people are suggesting both sides are to blame.One side are off the road, we are offering ideas how to get back on the road. Are we to continue to accept poor business ethics in the office and then just go along with the vehicle until it crashes.? Seriously. Huuuuuuum

  15. They should give camara David all the jods

  16. Well as you and I know that there are does that never like to rock the boat especially when they want to coach one of the national teams in our sweet country and the only time that they rocks the boat and start bumping their gums singing like a canary is when they finally isn’t part of the corrupted TTFA eh Earl Carter Them really good yes

  17. Whoever answer the phone is the Gen Sec…

  18. When you read this article how can you not comment .

  19. I like the comment from Bass C leff to Derrick King. Derrick needs to know when you’re working with a dictator you do not stand a chance. Many people tried to reason through dialogue with Eric James, during the 60’s to early 70’s without any regard for the needs of the players. Then came Austin Jack Warner from1972 to 2010. People tried to reason with Jack, instead he seek satisfaction of his ego.Now in 2019 you are saying you don’t comment on Soccer? Well if you don’t have anything to say about the suffering of the direction football is moving the you are in agreement with the actual action of DJW.

  20. but the people who suffer continue to accept and support these persons in charge

  21. Not a real country so my dictator President will always be allowed to get away with his madness Them really good yes

  22. Lasana Liburd, I believe this may have happened previously with the acting GS, when Latapy-George was initially hired as well. Am I mistaken?

  23. Typical of almost every institution in this country where people in charge continue to get away with wrongdoing

  24. I wonder if is both sides cause that to take place. So I must not say anything about it. So I must sit to talk with who? DJW is not for transparency, everything he does is in the dark . So if I talk against it am I wrong? Huuuuum Them really good yes

  25. Incidentally typing this and my phone autocorrects this to his!!

  26. The man has found an accomplice in FIFA…..

  27. DJW bs take 1 thousand!!
    Anybody else fed up of this shit??

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