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Board members want urgent meeting after USA humiliation, over 500 fans call for DJW to resign

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Board members Keith Look Loy and Susan Joseph-Warrick are urging president David John-Williams to call an urgent Board meeting to discuss the Men’s National Senior Team, in the wake of their 6-0 loss to the United States last night—which is a record defeat for the Soca Warriors at the Concacaf Gold Cup.

Head coach Dennis Lawrence received a two and a half year contract extension from the TTFA Board in February, which is set to make him the longest serving national coach in local history.

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams and Men’s National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence enjoy each other’s company during the Football for a Cause charity match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 26 October 2018.
(Copyright Nicholas Bhajan/CA-Images/Wired868)

Yet his record is five wins, five draws and 15 losses in all outings with 18 goals scored and 38 conceded. In competitive fixtures, Lawrence returned two wins and eight losses from 10 matches.

Regardless, four months ago, the Board gave John-Williams authority to keep him until the Qatar 2022 World Cup—despite not knowing Lawrence’s salary or key performance indicators.

Look Loy, the Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) president and a former FIFA technical officer, had urged the Board to give Lawrence until the ongoing June Gold Cup to earn an extension—but he was overruled. Now, he wants his colleagues to reassess their position.

“After last night’s humiliation in Cleveland, which is being described by all and sundry as ‘a national disgrace’,” stated Look Loy, “I hereby request that you urgently call a Board meeting to discuss: [the] SMNT Gold Cup performance (and the CONCACAF Nations League); Dennis Lawrence’s contract; decisions of the Emergency Committee (previously circulated and attached); and other business

“If there is an emergency in TTFA, it is what happened last night.”

Warrick endorsed Look Loy’s request as did non-Board members like Central Football Association (CFA) general secretary Clynt Taylor, Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) president William Wallace and UTT coach and ex-Strike Squad captain Clayton ‘JB’ Morris.

However, Look Loy is unlikely to get the support necessary to have his meeting since, according to the TTFA Constitution, it would take six members to back his stance.

Photo: USA defender Aaron Long (centre) is congratulated by teammate Walker Zimmerman after scoring the first of his two goals against Trinidad and Tobago in a Gold Cup affair in Cleveland on Saturday 22 June 2019.
(Copyright AP Photo/David Dermer)

At present, John-Williams has the unstinting support of his vice-president Ewing Davis and ‘vice-presidents in waiting’ Richard Quan Chan and Anthony Moore, which makes four. Selby Browne and Bandele Kamau are members of the controversial TTFA Emergency Committee that is accused of helping John-Williams sidestep the Board while Sherwyn Dyer has been a consistent ally of the president.

Kamau and Browne travelled to the Gold Cup with the Soca Warriors—all expenses paid—while Dyer, Quan Chan, Moore and Davis have also flown to exotic locations with the squad in 2019, presumably on the say-so of John-Williams.

It means John-Williams might expect to have at least seven from 13 possible votes.

Earlier this month, Pro League CEO Julia Baptiste expressed concern that the Board had been sidelined by the Emergency Committee for several important decisions, including the selection of Women’s National coach Stephan De Four and new kit sponsor Capelli Sport.

“It appears that this emergency committee was put in place to neutralise the Board of Directors,” stated Baptiste. “Something as important as negotiating a kit deal should not be made by a handful of men. Proper protocol will dictate that a decision of this kind be ventilated at the Board level and a decision taken. Not to read an ‘after the fact’ report.

“So the other members of the Board are of non-effect? This is an ‘emergency’ committee; I am sure that the intention and spirit of the constitution was not for this committee to become the sole decision maker or a replacement for the Board.

“[…] This is wrong. It should not be allowed. And if the other members of the emergency committee are comfortable with this then our football is in a worse place than I thought.”

Neither John-Williams nor general secretary Camara David are known to have responded to Baptiste’s concerns.

While the TTFA Board considers meeting to discuss Lawrence’s performances, football fans want to hold someone higher to account. Within 24 hours of the Warriors’ loss to USA, over 500 persons signed a petition that demanded John-Williams to step down as TTFA president.

The petition was started by Warriors fan David Rigby and counted 2006 World Cup goalkeeper Kelvin Jack among its signatories. Below are a few of the reasons giving for signing:

Marvin Nicholas: I’ve signed due to his lack of vision and implementation of a proper structure for the age groups in which these young players could be integrated to the senior level. The biggest mistake was the dismissal of Stephen Hart to deploy a coach with no international experience. POOR CHOICE!!!!!

Stephano Olliviere: A clear lack of accountability and governance in the TTFA, a lack of developmental goals and a clear path to achieve them.

Zwade Swann: Football has regressed badly cause of his governance and approach.

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams weighs up his options during an exhibition match at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 10 April 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Dillon Seepersad: Trinidad and Tobago’s Football Association needs Proper, Transparent and Accountable leadership which is clearly absent at this point in time. Everything rises and falls on leadership.

Kevin Harry: I just fed up see this side take lix from every body they play…more defeats than victories…ride out soldier!!!

Albert Elbourne: Trinidad soccer lacks the understanding and depth on an international scale. To improve and go forward there must be changes made at the top

Leslie-Ann Bristow: My son is a young footballer. DJW is destroying his future and that if many like him

Ian Fitzwilliam: Tired of watching our national program treated as a personal play thing by the powers that be.

Brian Springer: In my over 30 plus years of supporting Trinidad and Tobago Football I cannot recall us being at a lower ebb EVER! At the end of the day Coaches and Players are Fired/Dropped when results are bad, why should those who administrate not be held to a similar standard? If we are failing in EVERY SINGLE category, Men, Women & Youth teams WHO exactly will the “Home of Football” be housing???

Kristopher Sylvester: Trinidad football is in crisis and he’s the mastermind behind it all

Roger Beaver: These players representing our country deserve better.

Anthony Awai: Simply enough is enough!!

Photo: Panama midfielder Armando Cooper (left) prods the opening goal past Trinidad and Tobago midfielder and captain Khaleem Hyland during Gold Cup action at the Allianz Field in Minnesota on 18 June 2019.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

Chantal Forde: We deserve better and I love football. We cannot continue operating under DJW and expect to progress from here on out. It is time.

Roger Dubois: Can’t even manage a parlour.

Dayne Brizan: We need greater accountability and focus on development with the resources we have. John Williams has presided over and is responsible for a high handed approach worst than Jack Warner with far worse results on the field and a poor use of human capital.

Laurainne Douglas: There needs to be a complete revamp of the program which focuses on true development of players and has the best interest of Trinidad and Tobago football, male and female, at hand. No political agendas nor corrupted thoughts allowed.

Richard Valentine: Worst leadership we have ever had in football. It hurts my heart to see something that I am deeply passionate about suffer by the hands of a reckless and inconsiderate TTFA administration. Imagine we are in June and we haven’t scored one international goal for 2019. NOT ONE!!! Coaches don’t even have a clue what to do.

We do have talented footballers, and I will continue to support them in their respective leagues, but in order for Soca Warriors to see their former glory like our 2006 World Cup moment, we need to have a total overhaul of the TTFA administration, starting with Mr David John Williams. Sir, you have tried and you have failed, please step down.

Nigel Myers: DJW is too arrogant, egotistical, and shady. He and his cohorts need to ride out into the sunset.

Editor’s Note: Click HERE to view petition calling for TTFA president David John-Williams to step down.

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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