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Home of Football temporarily closed; DJW allegedly opened property without insurance

It’s a good thing that there were no mishaps when former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams opened the controversial Home of Football in Couva last week.

The HOF, according to the new executive, is uninsured and lacks approval from necessary state authorities including the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service.

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (right) and general secretary Camara David pose during the opening of the TTFA Home of Football on 18 November 2019.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)

The startling revelation was one of several things discovered by the new TTFA leadership, headed by president William Wallace, in their first day at the job on Monday.

On Monday 18 November, the TTFA held a gala opening ceremony for the HOF, which was attended by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and FIFA president Gianni Infantino and other dignitaries.

And, before that, the Home of Football hosted the Men’s National Senior Team before their friendly against Anguilla as well as the Women’s National Senior Teams of Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts and Nevis, Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda and Aruba.

But they had all been invited to a facility that, according to Wallace, was uninsured and uncertified by the local Fire Service.

On 4 November, Wired868 asked John-Williams whether the Home of Football was insured and certified by the Fire Service. John-Williams’ only response was: “You write whatever you want to write.”

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (centre) shows FIFA president Gianni Infantino (left) and T&T prime minister Dr Keith Rowley around an executive suite at the opening of the TTFA’s Home of Football in Couva on 18 November 2019.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)

The decision to close the HOF until it could be properly certified was one of several immediate steps taken by the incoming executive. The other decisions made today were:

  1. To stop transactions on all TTFA bank accounts, including online transactions
  2. To initiate an audit of the Association’s finances
  3. To issue a public invitation to all TTFA creditors to present their claim
  4. To introduce new security measures for protection of TTFA property
  5. To create an Advisory Committee
  6. To assign specific roles to the newly elected Vice Presidents: Clynt Taylor (Membership Affairs), Susan Joseph-Warrick (Women’s Football), Joseph Sam Phillip (Security)

Wallace and his vice-presidents spent eight hours in meetings at the TTFA’s head office, according to a release by the TTFA Media, during which they began the process of probing the local football body’s secretariat and finances. General secretary Camara David and finance manager Tyril Patrick were a part of those deliberations.

Photo: SSFL president William Wallace (centre) greets players before kick off in a SSFL match up between Shiva Boys Hindu College and Naparima College at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 8 September 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

The Discussions focused on:

  1. Projected income and expenditure to December 31st 2019
  2. Current debt
  3. Audit of personnel employed by TTFA, including technical staff and contracts
  4. Ongoing legal matters
  5. Elite football—a new league and TTFA League of Champions
  6. CONCACAF NextPlay programme
  7. Standing Committees

The new TTFA leadership promised to keep the public abreast of its work.

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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2 comments

  1. Earl Best

    “On 4 November, Wired868 asked John-Williams whether the Home of Football was insured and certified by the Fire Service. John-Williams’ only response was: “You write whatever you want to write.””

    Tell him that what you wanted to write was the story you wrote on Sunday, headlined “John-Williams dethroned after one term in office. “

    And tell him that that is also what ALL lovers of football in T&T wanted you to write.

    Good riddance, ex-prez!

  2. It is irresponsible to host activities in a public facility which is uninsured. This bold act is indicative of a “smart man” attitude which this country has struggled with ever since the great “Valmon Jones” scam. It will not change until there is a collaborative approach to leadership and governance. Being elected to office places the incumbent in a position of sacred trust and there is an expectation that all leaders will do the right thing at all times.