Downer: John-Williams is violating constitution by failure to call AGM and TTFA election date

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams and general secretary Camara David have again drawn criticism over their supposed disregard for the local football body’s constitution, as stakeholders look forward to the 2019 elections.

Veteran administrator Osmond Downer, who is the Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association (TTFRA) vice-president and one of the framers of the constitution, has called on David to explain why he has not yet announced an election date in line with Section 27 of the constitution, which states:

Photo: FIFA president Gianni Infantino (right) and TTFA president David John-Williams at a press conference at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 10 April 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
  1. The Annual General Meeting shall be held every year in the month of September. If it is not possible to hold the meeting in September, the date of the meeting by the Board of Directors on the date not later than 30th of November of the said year.
  2. The Board of Directors shall fix the place and date. The Members shall be notified in writing at least 60 days in advance.
  3. The formal convocation shall be made in writing at least 14 days before the date of the Annual General Meeting. This convocation shall contain the agenda, the activity report, the financial statements, the independent external auditors’ report, and the minutes of the last general meeting as well as any other relevant documents.

Downer noted that, since members are due 60 days’ notice before an AGM, the election can not be held in September—and perhaps not even in October. Are John-Williams and David, he wondered, ignorant of the constitution?

“Note that the AGM ‘shall be held every year in the month of September’,” stated Downer, in a letter leaked to Wired868. “If there is good reason for postponing the date of the AGM, then this can only be done by the [Board of Directors], but the date must not be later than the 30th November.

Photo: TTFRA vice-president Osmond Downer (right) makes a point to referees president Joseph Taylor.

“[…] I note that no notice has yet gone out to the Members on the date and place of the Meeting. This means that the Meeting can no longer be scheduled for September.

“[…] For whatever reason, the belief has developed that the AGM of the TTFA is held in November. No! The correct month is September.”

John-Williams was elected as TTFA president on 29 November 2015. However, his predecessor, Raymond Tim Kee, was allowed to stage the elections late since the TTFA’s new constitution was only ratified by FIFA that July and time was permitted for members to become compliant with the new rules. The current football boss has no such excuse.

“The rescheduling of the date of the AGM should already have been done, for good reason, by the [Board of Directors],” said Downer. “Has this been done? If so, what is the scheduled date?”

Wired868 was informed that David responded to say the matter would be put before the Board. However, John-Williams did not put the AGM or elections on the agenda when he chaired a meeting of the TTFA Board—subsequent to Downer’s letter—on Wednesday 27 August. Instead, he focused on restarting professional football in the country and not to set an election date.

John-Williams, who is also the president of TT Pro League club W Connection, told the media that he will not entertain questions on any topic outside of his drive to resume top flight football.

TTFA David John-Williams W Connection Renee John-Williams
Photo: TTFA president and W Connection owner David John-Williams (left) presents the winning cheque to his daughter and Connection director Renee John-Williams after their FA Trophy final win over Police FC at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 8 December 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

However, TTFA Board member Keith Look Loy, who is also the Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) president, confirmed that the Board has not discussed the upcoming elections.

Look Loy is part of a team that vowed to challenge John-Williams for the presidency, although he said he will not contest any post himself.

John-Williams’ term in office has been littered with controversies including criticisms from current and past national coaches, administrators and players, a public spat with United States Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Jim McIntyre, and a petition for his removal by one fan, which got over 1,500 signatures.

Prominent stakeholders who have criticised John-Williams include: former 2006 World Cup players Shaka Hislop, Russell Latapy, Kelvin Jack, Densill Theobald and Anthony Wolfe, Women’s National Senior Team players Maylee Attin-Johnson, Kennya “Yaya” Cordner and Saundra Baron, former technical directors and prominent coaches Anton Corneal, Kendall Walkes, Terry Fenwick, Clayton Morris, Angus Eve and Randy Waldrum, and past and present administrators like Bruce Aanensen, Jinelle James, Ramesh Ramdhan, Sheldon Phillips, Susan Joseph-Warrick, Anthony Harford, Shymdeo Gosine, Clynt Taylor, William Wallace, Joseph Taylor, Raeshawn Mars, Tim Kee and Look Loy.

Regardless, John-Williams is set to see out his term as football president without ever facing a formal vote of no confidence.

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)
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