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Shabazz gets prestigious international appointment, replaces Shaka on IFAB

Former Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team head coach Jamaal Shabazz will spend the next two years helping to shape the laws of the world’s most popular sport, as the Morvant Caledonia United co-owner revealed his appointment to the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) football advisory panel.

The IFAB, which comprises of a member each from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and FIFA, is the only body authorised to make changes to the laws of the game and is technically independent from the world governing body—although the latter organisation has a 50 per cent vote on all board matters while a 75 per cent threshold is required from all members to make amendments.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago Women’s coach Jamaal Shabazz makes a point to Summer Arjoon during international friendly action against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 22 March 2018.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

The IFAB describes itself as ‘the independent guardian of the Laws of the Game […] with the goal to improve and develop the game for players, match officials and fans while protecting and strengthening the spirit and simplicity of football’.

Shabazz, who campaigned for Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams at the last general election and for his failed bid for the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) presidency, effectively replaces compatriot and former World Cup 2006 goalkeeper Shaka Hislop on the prestigious committee.

Hislop, once the England Premier League’s most expensive goalkeeper and now an analyst for ESPN, saw his two-year term with IFAB end earlier this month. During his tenure, the IFAB implemented the VAR (video assistant referees) system as well as allowed for the use of a fourth substitute and changed the rule for handball.

Hislop served alongside several household football names like former Croatia and AC Milan star midfielder Zvonimir Boban, ex-South Korea stand out Ji Song Park, former World Cup and Champions League champion Christian Karembeu and two former Trinidad and Tobago coaches Francisco Maturana and Carolina Morace.

“It was an honour to serve the game in this capacity and at this level,” said Hislop. “The opportunity has given me a better appreciation of the game’s inner workings and decision making processes.”

Photo: Naparima College attacker Mark Ramdeen (centre) poses with his 2018 SSFL MVP trophy between SSFL president William Wallace (right) and ambassador Shaka Hislop (left).
(Copyright Annalicia Caruth/Wired868)

It is now Shabazz’s turn at the head table. The former Jamaat Al-Muslimeen insurrectionist who went on to serve his country as coach of an array of national football teams—and with a successful stint in Guyana as well—will travel business class to Europe over the next two years to help decide on the future laws of the game.

Shabazz’s appointment came on the recommendation of Concacaf while his appointment letter said his selection was based on his ‘profound football background, experience and expertise’.

Shabazz, who resigned from the Women Soca Warriors in July, declined comment on his new post.

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82 comments

  1. Is that a paid job? Or just a role on a committee a couple of times a year?

  2. David Nakhid

    Keith …..continue to be an advocate for whatever you deem needs to be addressed and as continuously as you want……Transparency in Football administration…Great! Insight into the corrupting of our entire politcal class by drug Lords and monied interests…..Greater! But when you begin to come across as a disgruntled egotistical hypocrite, time for some introspection Comrade. I am happy about your St. Paul conversion after the demise of Jack Warner and unlike most of our cowardly citizenry who tend to criticise the advocate rather than the corruption and corruptors advocated against, I applaud your efforts. But since I have never seen one single utterance from you in the past about any of the previous appointees to IFAB who were significantly less qualified than Jamal Shabazz, then why your alarm now? Not only that, it would have served you better if you thought his appointment inappropriate to highlight or list his deficiencies rather than listing your bona fides at every opportunity. My friend and brother for many years Shaka Hislop who thoroughly deserved to be on IFAB was not more qualified than Jamal , neither Morace nor Boban etc…..I think you need to check your ego sometimes Comrade before you enter the door of a rational debate. Regards David Nakhid.

  3. Jamaal Shabazz have a past, Keith Look Loy have a past but both are today trying to contribute to our football. If you are willing to ignore one of the fellas past but not the other you are a hypocrite. Keith Look Loy specifically queried process and qualications for IFAB, nothing else. Those that attack him utilizing 15, 20 or 30 year old justifications do Mr. Shabazz a great disservice because in so doing they remove the spotlight; maybe with reason. CONGRATULATIONS Mr. Shabazz

    • Sean Powder many unapologetic hypocrites but hoping we all can vigorously debate football issues and not personalities and petty disagreements.

    • Sean, and there it is! I could not have said it better. Just like partizan politics, those attacking KL and giving JS a bligh are all hypocrites. They seem to have “selective amnesia”. Then, there are others who fabricate blatant lies to support their amnesia.
      I have seen some immediately banished from this forum for one mishap (falsehood) while others continue to lie after lie without any thread of evidence to substantiate their claims, while admin does or say nothing. I support KL if he decides to move further on those who make claims without supporting evidence.

  4. Jack b ** out his critics Cornmeal Valentine and others maybe we boy hoping for ah b** out.

  5. Congrats to Mr Shabazz. But again if you were part of Jack Warners reign over local football you have no authority to criticize anything that happens today with the TTFA. You had all the opportunity to change the culture then and you did nothing, dont come now and try to be the saviour of football. Let persons with clean hands speak. Let persons who have not being tainted by corruption in local football have their chance. It is really disappointing to keep seeing and hearing these ppl who benefited from years of Jack warner largess today acting as if poor leadership started with DJW! It a began way before him and once some of you are still around it is destined to continue.

    • Ancil LeRoy James Yeah. Kinda like how Shabaaz was also there under Jack – and Watson, and Tim Kee, and now the Big Boss (where I was not). I have nothing against Shabaaz. I just think he is the wrong appointment. Not that it matters

    • Good bye guys. Thanks for the discussions but when we start fighting among ourselves the focus goes off what we are trying to do for the athletes. Thanks Keith for your efforts toward proper process and transparency.

    • Jo Ann You’re right. This joker is a distraction. But you can’t come here and just fabricate and say what you want. I have never attacked anyone on a personal level. Not by fabrication or fact. Not even the Big Boss.

    • He shudda done that “Process and Transperancy” back in days when he was part of the corrupted TTFF….but as the saying goes” Never ever bite the hands that feeds you ent Keith Look Loy….Them really good yes.

    • Earl Mango Pierre You are now showing your true colours. You are always waiting in the wings ready to jump out at any opportunity to discredit him with ‘back in the day’ stuff. Same stuff we hear from people trying to shut down any call for change.

    • Jo Ann Again he shudda call for change since back in the days and our football wudda never be in the mess that it is in today, do you really have any idea the amount of millions that passed through the corrupted TTFF back in the days and I will again stand by with what I said all the brown noses will never ever bite the hand that feeded them and it seems you yourself is a just come lately so you is excused and good luck with your future endeavours eh Them really good yes.

    • Earl Mango Pierre Keep making excuses for why people aren’t worthy to ask for change and everything will stay the same. Me because I’m a ‘come lately’ Luckily you are without sin. Just because you gave me the ‘good luck with the future flick off’ F you I will stay!

    • Jo Ann Well in our sweet country the change will only come when the right folks who really cares about our players, the beautiful game and our sweet country gets involved not the hypocrites eh Them really good yes steeuuppss

    • Earl Mango Pierre Change definitely won’t come from you. Because you won’t allow anyone you don’t approve of or anyone new to speak up without your criticism.

    • Jo Ann That is not my calling meh dear my calling was to always expose the corrupted folks in our sweet country so that they will always face the courts and then plenty jail time hence the reason why the white plane will be coming for the corrupted Jack Warner so that he will face the court and then plenty jail time in my second sweetest country eh Them really good yes

    • Earl Mango Pierre Focus on today. The current athletes. The women. The people who are getting lost in this ‘old days justice’ ‘he can’t talk’ crap. There are young vibrant people with hopes and dreams waiting for support. Anyway enough said.

    • Jo Ann Well until the corrupted people in our sweet country understands that nothing is going to change because it always seems that they are the ones who always get involve with organizations be it the government or sports organizations and it is always about the millions not about the athletes and that madness will always continue until the end of time in our sweet country and just to let you know many folks in our sweet are in court for fraud or have lost their lives for conning reasons just keep on Watching Crime Watch Ian Alleyne. Anyway you continue to have a blessed and wonderful day eh Them really good yes

    • Until we stop fighting amongst ourselves, and stop only looking backwards, we will go nowhere… I commend KL for trying to correct what we alp perceive to be wrong with our football… no one is free of mistakes and sins, main thing, past is past, we cannot change that, we can learn from it, and we can correct the future… we all have very strong feelings about Trinidad football, our Soca Warriors… let us work together to move forward…

    • Che Abrams Becareful how you is using that name because my dictator president said on the fearless one program on Saturday that it can’t be used anymore because two parties said that they are responsible for the name that wanted ridiculous amounts of monies from the TTFA so maybe we can call them Soca Worries until they really start proving themselves once again to be really the Winning Warriors eh Them really good yes hahahah

  6. Congrats to Jamaal. Know he will represent us well

  7. Flying business class to Europe eh?

    Hopefully there are no stopovers in the USA

  8. Congratulations Br Jamaal Shabazz.

  9. Congrats Shabazz… may it be easy inshallah

  10. Congrats Jamaal Shabazz. More blessings

  11. Typical superficiality. Put Shabaaz on a FOOTBALL committee and i could understand that. Not one for football law. But this is Trini and people can’t see beyond personalities. Nobody has to tell me about Shabazz’s contribution to local football, or his experience. But let the shoe fit nah.

    • This is so tiresome. Why is it that difference is viewed by most people through the prism of personality. Democracy and good governance are not a result. They are a PROCESS that produces a result. So if one criticizes the Shabazz appointment it is not because of the lack of proper process, not an objection to a person. That should be simple enough to understand, but…

  12. Reading all the comments above, I am reminded of Gladys Knights and the Pips tune :” It should have been me”

  13. Congratulations Professor Jamaal Shabazz and continue keeping our Flag flying very high..

  14. Nah. None. Like you can’t understand. Fix up.

  15. Going once… going twice…
    Why not Jamaal Shabazz???

    • Bass Cleff Cause he was the blubbering mess sitting on a chair in a field talking to Andre almost crying ‘Leave DJW alone. Don’t question the man. Let him do things his way’. No professionalism there.

    • Jo Ann that’s why??? I thought maybe he was unsuitable for the job or something… you sure that’s why???

    • Bass Cleff I think anyone who condones lack of transparency and accountability and advocates for continued secrecy and running the TTFA like a dictatorship with such passion is not what anyone needs in any role associated with sport in T&T, especially one involved with law or ethics. I don’t remember him advocating or taking a stand for the Women Warriors or girls in Football either!

    • Jo Ann now I hear you and your point of view… and do agree to a great extent remember however that this is not only happening now and we do have the same ppl who condoned actions of the past administration because it was beneficial to them, suddenly they are now advocates for good governance like they only just woke up from their slumber… I’m not saying that makes this right I am simply saying these ppl should just shut up and let other ppl talk… that’s all…

    • In the here and now we are all advocating for good governance that is all I am interested in. At this moment I am very thankful to Keith for his efforts to achieve this.

    • Jo Ann and I’m happy to hear that I’m saying that I wish he done this before that’s all… but hey I guess in this case we can now say God’s timing is perfect??? Timing is everything

  16. Okay so why NOT Jamaal Shabazz though??? Again… a question eh

  17. OK. I was a member of FIFA’s Football Committee, appointed by FIFA, after being a FIFA officer for a total of seven years; a member of FIFA’s and CONCACAF’s Technical Study Groups for multiple World Cups, Gold Cups and CONCACAF Champions Cups; CONCACAF Technical Director; and a national coach at different levels.

    I might accept an argument in favour of Shabaaz being a member of a FIFA Women’s Football committee, but IFAB?

  18. Sorry to be a bit off topic Lasana Liburd but it’s every single thing that happens in Trinidad and Tobago football that Keith look loy will have a problem with. When the tenure is up, set a manifesto and contest the position of president of the TTFA with the intention of making positive change. Sounding just the like the opposition/government and its hampering the progression of the sport nationwide.

    • Zane Coker Yes. Like asking for transparency and accountability in the expenditure of tens of millions. Doh ask no questions about dat man. And I HAVE NO INTEREST IN BEING TTFA PRESIDENT. Oh, and “manifestos” are bull shit. Ask DJW how much of his he has implemented. I rather go with character.

    • Zane Coker Doh ask nutten about constitutional breaches; about stalled national teams and development programmes; about mounting debt; about inactive committees. Nah man, doh oppose dat. And doh worry. Everything is gonna be alright. Just wave yuh “manifesto”.

    • I never said anything about not asking for answers. You have a right to do that. My whole thing, as an athlete, every single thing that happens in Trinidad football you have a “negative Nancy” approach to. I’m in support of transparency and accountability even though that has never been the case from inception with the hole the was dug since TTFF and now the TTFA

    • Zane Coker Everything like what?

    • And you have any problem with what the Big Boss doing – or not?

    • Appointment of most if not all person given a position, home of football and everything involved with it, local football leagues and I’m sure if I investigate a bit I can find more. Never a solution, always a problem but I understand that it have to do a lot with the people in your era/generation.

    • Zane Coker 🤣 Google my name and you will find all the development programmes I have initiated and been involved with buddy. Read.

    • Zane Coker .But I ask again, you have any problem with DJW administration? You find I blocking programmes when they have stalled under him? You find local football going so good it doesn’t warrant criticism? You find national teams going nice? You have a beach footbal league?

    • Zane Coker So you good with TTFA debt at 30M and a 2019 deficit budget of 40M? You good with that I suppose?

    • Zane Coker So you think it’s ok for coaches in programmes to work and not be paid? Yes?

    • Where are the solutions to all these problems… Criticising the problem rather than giving input into a solution makes no sense especially when you have no intentions to go up for the election. My whole thing is progression of sport. In 2013 we didn’t have a pitch to train on. It took 6years and 3 World Cup qualifications to finally have a pitch. Do I support everything that the administration do? Of course not. But when I look at things from the outside, everything is about money and bickering and nonsense. Time for that to stop.

    • Zane Coker Your superficial grasp of politics and exercise of membership responsibility is remarkable. So if one doesn’t want personal benefit one should keep quiet. I suppose that is the “young people’s” ethos? You getting a beach pitch but don’t have a beach league, but that’s ok. That is progress. And you have no idea what solutions I propose within TTSL and TTFA.

    • Make your solutions known to the public and up for criticism and maybe you won’t keep sounding so negative about everything.

    • Congrats Jamaal Shabazz….blesisngs keep.the trini flag fying…keep on doing your work for football !!!

    • That is what should be transparent. Solutions.

    • What? My solutions? Look at TTSL. A properly run league, debt free, with an education and development programme. My repeated proposals for the non-existent TTFA technical committee; for club football. Look, for those who just land, Google it.

    • But have no fear, as I have previously said, I will soon depart. But not yet.

    • You’re right… I’m not into the stupid political games that is being played that is hampering the progression of national athletes and the sport in its entirety. Maybe one day our so called “professional” (amateur minded) personel in sport will see the importance of athletes rather than personal benefits. Because when you and everyone else leaves the show will continue to go on.

    • Zane Coker And that is the point. One cannot honestly say that the DJW administration holds players central to its philosophy and/or operations. Otherwise, how could they be fighting the futsal boys in court? Or leaving national youth teams inactive for a whole year? Or failing to pay men’s team players for months? Or treating the female players, youth and senior, like shit? So I, and others, must not rebel against that? Sorry, I ain’t that guy. They will hear from me

    • Zane Coker And, as a parting shot, let me remind you it was the Tim Kee administration that actually elevated beach football to full membership in TTFA and supported it throughout its competitions, and established the home of football footprint to include a beach football pit.

    • Zane Coker please remember he was once chief cook and bottle washer under Jack Warner and never made a squeak, but today he is the most vocal football lover we can find. Ppl tend to forget the past thats why it is always repeated.

  19. Question: didn’t Jack appoint Lookloy on a fifa committee when Dwight Yorke dropped out? If so… who appointed him???? Please note this is a question eh…

  20. Congrats Jamaal Shabazz. God bless

  21. he did say wonderfull things about DjW

    • Collin Cudjoe people said wonderful things about previous administrators too… so did I and I still do because I have utmost respect for some of them in spite of but I can safely say I never benefited personally in any way… just saying…

  22. Congratulations Jamaal Shabazz as a fellow Trinbagonian and lover of the beautiful game I am indeed very proud of you. Always remember petty jealousy will NEVER stop. Ignore it. When hand outs were given left right and center under previous administrations not a dog dare bark but such is life… keep that TNT flag flying high Jamaal.

    • Bass Cleff i couldnt have said it any better. One of those who had the biggest bag collecting the handouts is today the loudest critics of the TTFA and everybody just conveniently forgets that.

  23. Is there any doubt about CONCACAF’s blind acceptance of the DJW administration than this? Who recommended Shabazz to CONCACAF? because these appointments are based on recommendation from the national association. Did the Referees Association or Referees Commitee, the custodians of Football Law in Trinidad and Tobago, have any say in this? Did the TTFA Board approve this? Typical rum and roti politics. Let people judge the change.