“Public organisations can’t be run like private fiefdoms!” Court orders DJW to hand TTFA financial info over to Look Loy

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) board member and TTSL president Keith Look Loy hailed a ‘complete victory’ over football president David John-Williams this afternoon, after the High Court ordered John-Williams to make all financial information related to the local football body available to the claimant within seven days.

Look Loy, who was appointed to the TTFA board in January 2018, turned to the courts after his repeated requests for information related to the controversial Home of Football project were either ignored by John-Williams or only offered on various conditions, including that the administrator sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (left) shares the stage with board members Julia Baptiste (centre) and Keith Look Loy at the presentation of FIFA refereeing badges to local officials on 23 January 2019.
(Copyright TTFA Media)

However, Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh rubbished John-Williams’ stance as he ordered the TTFA president to not only make the requested information available within a week but to also permit Look Loy to make copies.

Once more, John-Williams was stuck with not only the cost of his legal team but must also pick up the tab for Look Loy’s attorneys as well—expenses that must again be borne by the cash strapped local football body.

Crucially too, John-Williams’ stalling encouraged Look Loy to widen the scope of his enquiry to not just the Home of Football but every cent spent during the president’s tenure, which began on 30 November 2015.

Look Loy told Wired868 that he will immediately hire a forensic accountant to help shine light on the secret spending of the John-Williams-led administration, which has been kept hidden from even board members.

“I asked for names for all the contractors who worked [on the Home of Football] in Couva, what they worked for, who gave them the contracts, how much money has been spent, where the works have reached, etc,” said Look Loy. “But I also asked for the ledger of the TTFA from November 2015 to present. Why? Because it is the daily record of income and expenditure of the TTFA that tells the entire day by day history of the [football body] until March 2019.

Photo: (From right) FIFA official Veron Mosengo-Omba, Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe and TTFA president David John-Williams inspect the TTFA’s Home of Football in Couva on 20 August 2018.
(Courtesy MSYA)

“I am expecting we will find information on a lot of questions we have been asking including what is the TTFA’s relationship with I95.5FM, etc.

“It is extensive work but it is work that has to be done for us to ascertain the true financial status of the TTFA and to find out who has been spending money, what has the money been spent on and who has been receiving the money.”

Look Loy was represented by attorneys Matthew Gayle, Dr Emir Crowne and Crystal Paul. Anand Missir was retained by the TTFA.

John-Williams never denied that Look Loy was authorised to receive the information requested, according to the TTFA’s constitution. However, his legal team argued that world governing body, FIFA, was keen on a certain level of confidentiality for the project, that Look Loy ought to have used in-house arbitration before approaching the courts and the High Court was not the right forum to settle the dispute in any case since, they claimed, the TTFA was not a public body.

Justice Boodoosingh gave short shrift to each point as he pointed out that the TTFA was incorporated by an act of Parliament and the entire public has a stake in the going-ons of the national football body. And he chided John-Williams for trying to stand behind an alleged suggestion by FIFA, which the president did not support with documentation.

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

“The judge made the point that transparency and accountability are necessary in the modern world and those who have nothing to hide shouldn’t be afraid of the light,” said Look Loy. “And he said the TTFA and FIFA should have seized the opportunity to lay everything bare; but, even if FIFA said there should have been no disclosure, the TTFA should have rejected it and made the information available [for the sake of] the image of the game.

“Even if this type of thing happened before, it must not happen again. He actually made the point that public organisations cannot be run like private fiefdoms.”

The High Court’s ruling compounded a miserable month of March for John-Williams. Last week, Concacaf banned all Trinidad and Tobago clubs from participating in its competitions, due to the TTFA’s failure to properly implement the club licensing requirements—which means Pro League teams cannot compete at senior Concacaf Champions League or Under-13 level.

And, on Monday, a court order froze the TTFA’s First Citizen Bank account after a request by the National Futsal Team, following the TTFA’s failure to service a debt of just over $500,000.

Now, just eight months before John-Williams is due to face the electorate for a second term in office, the football president is forced to open his books to an indefatigable critic of his behaviour at the helm of the football body.

Look Loy suggested that his court victory was a win for transparency—in and out of the football community.

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)

“First of all, I want to thank [my attorney] Matthew Gayle for doing a terrific job,” he said. “It feels good to know that I won—even though I had to take part in a 14 month odyssey. For people who are fighting for transparency and accountability in the national arena, at least we know that we can have recourse and justice from the courts.

“On a personal level, I feel good to know I did the right thing and the court supported it… In the absence of factual information, speculation will thrive. Now we will go and see what we find.”

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief 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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  1. “[…] Normally when one has to failed to comply with an order of the High Court, you would then proceed to enforcement—which is further court proceedings and the enforcement of sanctions up to and including jail time…”
    TTFA board member Keith Look Loy and his attorney Matthew Gayle consider contempt of court proceedings against President David John-Williams and General Secretary Camara David, over the the football body’s supposed failure to satisfy High Court ruling regarding Home of Football information

  2. Hopeless… that is how Trinidad works and he knows it .

    • Tony Maxwell Hatt Maybe he figured if the corrupted Jack Warner got away with the same madness for plenty years ,he can do the same and I guess now our players and coaches will definitely won’t be paid Them really good yes

    • And he really have the nerve to say that certain people is trying to destroy our football. I guess his memory is very short, our football was destroyed when he fired our bestest winning Coach Hart and brought in his own coaches for his own agendas and the bootleg Coach Dennis will go down in the history of our football as the most loosing Coach. I don’t know why he didnt keep Coach Seinfet or whatever his name is nah, he wudda definitely wudda done much better, since he knows that Coach Hart wudda never be is puppet on a string. Them really good yes.

  3. Demand CONCACAF AND FIFA look at what is happening. They are both apparently disinterested.

  4. Too much intelligent people on here see what DJW is …..so how can we work together to help remove this plague from our football????

  5. Yes he does…. first of all I congratulate KLL for his commitment and perseverance… knowing this President…he has another foolish card that he will play and run up more expenses and lose again… it makes no sense what he is trying to achieve…. thanks to Mr. KLL

  6. Are the TTFA and its membership consulting legal entity?
    Were they Providing legal content practitioners of various specializations with pertinent case related evidence.
    Attorneys with the ability to quickly and efficiently find necessary legal information they need, when and where they need it.
    By facilitating access to primary law as well as state specific law, records, forms and treaties on law. If the TTFA can’t meet its contractual obligations; then there is bankruptcy as an option. Was this a considered option for protection? Was there an imbalance in the expectation? Was the expectation of payment reasonable?
    However, of greater importance is the legal evidence of law flow chart; if professionally adhered to, it offers a schematic of the relations between certain rules of law and its relevant case applicability.
    Many law practitioners perceived the subject of evidence as a series of discrete areas, such as hearsay, character, and expert testimony and so on; this is the perceived consideration without knowing or appreciating how the evidence of law closely relate to one another.
    The rules of law, however, are intended to provide a comprehensive scheme to resolve questions of admissibility. Evidence of law does not come neatly divided into discrete packages labeled: ”hearsay,” ”character” or some other inquiry in to the focused designation.
    A single item of evidence might raise an assortment of evidence problems spanning the spectrum of the rules of law. The challenge comes from the difficulty in recognizing the range of possible objections posed by a particular form of evidence of law.
    The T&T court has once again been engaged to decide the next step from the board room, to the soccer battlefields of unresolved disputes, to why being in charge isn’t what it used to be.
    The argument of whether the TTFA power is corrupt or is actually decaying is clear.
    The non-verbal argument seems clear and persuasive: the arrogance, bullying, deception, a misunderstanding of the applicable law of contract whether verbal or written is a presumption of the violation of law.
    Could it be that those who have power wants to hold on to it by any means necessary? Yes!
    Will the current TTFA soccer administration power be shifting to a loose band of insurgents, from group leviathans to sprightly start –ups, from dictatorship to the public square of discourse? This is a questionable life expectance. Is this a reasonable discourse expectation?
    The TTFA and its membership are in shambles; its leadership is indiscipline; the membership’s collective concept of power is like the wind, constantly changing positions;
    Their motivational gravitation for power is becoming harder to solidify; harder to acquire; once there difficult to relinquish; difficult to control; even difficult to lose.
    This also illuminates the struggle between once-dominant mega players and the new micro powers challenging them in every field of human endeavor.
    Drawing on provocative life experiences of the TTFA‘s President and Membership; the elusive end of or manipulative power based of the President and the court will reconfigure the future behavior of the T&T soccer world.
    Interesting groups are finding it harder to defend their fortifications. No leader of savvy significance has emerged to engage in clinical discourse about the TTFA.
    Those who do not have power want it badly; but do not know how to confront authority and take it. this inspires the imagination, stimulates a strategic process; it creates a wonderment that is fascinating to note how modern day power is acquired ,used, and lost, and how these changes affect the functions of organizations .
    The soccer community of T&T are finding it difficult to
    use an extensive range of literary devices .these devices reflect a conversational rather than a constant adversarial relationship approach, and may offer some insight into the methods of entreaty, exposition, logic and restraint. This approach comes across as absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense to deaf ears.
    Now the claimants are demanding and requesting favorable judgement compensation from the wisdom of the court.
    There is a profound reliance on the courts for guidance because organizations are incapable of planning progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with the process of business management.
    They again find a sense of immediate gratification when they enlist sympathy from the public domain.
    Their expressions are one of gratified consolation; they seek open outlets for their pent up emotional release on Facebook as the presence of an opportunity to express entreaty, agitation, and ecstasy.
    However, they still don’t perceive or accept the presence of the dynamics of change in a complex power matrix.
    When the courts decide on a course of action, “to be or not to be”; would the administrative glass be half full or half empty at the end of the deliberations? Would there be an enforcement and respect for a rule of law ?
    Dr. Cliff Bertrand Legal Assistant

  7. As much as i want to applaud this court rulin…something tells me dis guy has some trick up his sleeve to get out of dis one

  8. Maybe dis will expose him and see it only his team will benefit frm it and he will get d financial reward

  9. Keith Look Loy the Jude doing a fair job and a master class in administration live it

  10. Keith look loy this movie getting better
    Dig deep time
    So we don’t know what’s right

  11. Stats youth pro league
    U13 2/5 games
    U15 2/5 games
    U 17 3/5 games
    Club licensing
    No youth academy structure at some pro teams
    Time to work

  12. Thank you Mr. KLL
    It still can be great again as you know business isn’t ran like that total disrespect on a professional level

    • Keith Look Loy great job to you and your team education separates us it’s life. What he really think he’s bigger thank the game
      Ok let’s see where everyone stands they all have corporate job but do different these words say it louder
      Forensic audit vomit time

  13. This is VERY good news if the Home of Football is everything it’s being cracked up to be by David there should be no need for any veil of secrecy…Kudos to Keith Look Loy for sticking to his guns despite all the flack and lack of support!!! Let this be a lesson that sometimes ONE Man CAN nake a difference!!!!

  14. I wonder if the follies of King David will come up for articulate and objective discussion in the forum of The Prancing Knave?

    Congratulations to you again, Keith Look Loy. Odyssey completed but the saga must continue!

  15. Well done, Keith Look Loy! Your odyssey has come to a deservedly good end. But let this not be the end of the saga – go through those books with the finest of fine-tooth combs!

    Oh, how King David has come to fear the Ides of March 2019!

  16. Congratulations to you and your team for your awesome effort, Mr. Look Loy!

  17. For Transparency & Accountability that is all we ask

  18. Anand Missir- stealing money. To paraphrase a well-worn legal idiom: He who represents the TTFA has a fool for a client.

  19. Keith Look Loy I do not care if you want to be President of TTFA or Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, you are citizen and entitled to seek both if you choose. Regarding your tireless persistence on behalf of transparency and accountability, I thank you on behalf of the nation and nationals living abroad. However, I expect DJW to violate that court order by not supplying the records in 7 days..your efforts will have to be double

  20. For the integrity of the game of football in T&T Disastrous JW and his cowardly board MUST GO!!!

  21. Well done Keith Look Loy! In the interest of transparency and good governance, and on behalf of my fellow trinis (those who want it and those who don’t), I thank you. Whatever we think of Justices Boodoosingh, Seepersad and Rampersad they have been delivering some very progressive rulings in TT. I also thank them for taking a stance. I applaud you all.

  22. See we can’t fix stupid. But we could give it a Court date. Congrats!

    Board members and membership STAND UP and recognize the damage this administration is inflicting on football and the footballing kids of this great country???
    Find some dignity and integrity!!!

  24. What it is DJW have to hide so, from his own board members to boot? Ent dem supposed to be part of de decision making process? So he want dem to make decisions with little to no facts or data? Ah guess dat last question was rhetorical.

  25. Keith Look Loy on behalf of Trinidad and Tobago I’d like to thank you for your stance …. many will try to deflect the merits of your actions by suggesting it’s a bid for you to seize control but whatever your motivation is you asked fair relevant questions and as they say “is only those with cocoa in the sun have to hide ” ….. the only unfortunate thing is with 14 months there was more than enough time to sanitize the books … but we’ll see

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