“I also fully recognise that a lot of our problems have been a long time in the making. The dictatorial approach that got us in the problem in the first place is not what will get us out of it…”
In the following Letter to the Editor, former Trinidad and Tobago international football stars, Shaka Hislop, Maylee Attin-Johnson and Kelvin Jack blast Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams on his stewardship of local football:
Kelvin Jack, Trinidad and Tobago World Cup 2006 goalkeeper: “There are moments when change must be pursued and that time is now. David John-Williams’ continued ineptitude is having a negative effect that has debilitated football in Trinidad and Tobago. Our young players need the correct environment to improve and to grow. The current TTFA leadership is incapable of providing such.
“David John-Williams has demonstrated beyond doubt that he cannot improve the reputation of TTFA or instil trust among potential sponsors and stakeholders in Trinidad and Tobago. I believe that the establishment of a united administration is of huge importance to lead the TTFA out of the current mess that has made us a laughing stock among our rivals.”
Maylee Attin-Johnson, former Women’s National Senior Team captain: “It is extremely imperative that the person/persons given the responsibility to run football in our country has the ability, aptitude, experience, knowledge and humility to properly execute this responsibility to improve the inefficiencies plaguing our football.
In the past, football in our country has experienced difficult times, but never as woeful and disastrous as [in] the present. This current administration has taken our football beyond the depths of despair. Its members have acted in ways that have undermined and destroyed the bedrock of the sport in our country. If any of these men and women have any pride and patriotism, they will do the honourable thing and step down, and allow for the rebuilding process to begin.
“Sport in itself is a powerful vehicle, and by extension football. It is a sport that had a powerful impact on my life. It is heartbreaking knowing that the next generation of players will be deprived of fulfilling their dreams and the opportunities of representing our national teams because of the incompetence and dictatorship of this administration.”
Shaka Hislop, former Trinidad and Tobago World Cup 2006 goalkeeper and West Ham United captain: “I’d like to add to the chorus of voices of disapproval in the way our football has been progressing of late. There seems to be a dictatorial approach to all things concerning decisions made, a total disregard for voices and opinions of those who were elected and appointed into positions of prominence within our TTFA board and supporting administration.
“I also take the opportunity to say our building a Home of Football is not a long term plan. Building a Home of Football is not an excuse for a lack of transparency. Building a Home of Football does not disguise our performances on the pitch or, quite frankly, off it.
“I also fully recognise that a lot of our problems have been a long time in the making. The dictatorial approach that got us in the problem in the first place is not what will get us out of it.
“So please let’s take this opportunity to again go back to our constitution; how it was redrafted, why it was redrafted and the spirit it was—in the hope of moving our football forward by having a diversity of voices and opinions in making decisions in plotting our path forward.”