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Hadad: “I’m here to fix the game of football”; Fifa-appointee talks to TTFA coaches

Robert Hadad, chairman of the Fifa-appointed normalisation committee, described the local game as being ‘in a disorganised, deranged place’ but suggested he is the man to ‘fix’ it, during an online meeting with national football team technical staff members that lasted just over half hour last night.

Hadad was installed by Fifa secretary general Fatma Samoura to head the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association on 27 March 2020, as the world governing body attempts to prise elected president William Wallace from his role.

Photo: TTFA normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad.
(via Trinidad Guardian)

Wallace got 26 votes from a total of 46 on 24 November 2019 but was allowed less than four months on the job before the Bureau of the Fifa Council, headed by president Gianni Infantino, declared that it had no confidence in his stewardship on 17 March. He has challenged the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Hadad, who is the co-CEO of HadCo Limited, a board member at the International School of Port of Spain and a Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) member, made it clear that he does not care to know how former president David John-Williams or anyone else put the TTFA in its current financial mess. Rather, he thinks he has the business acumen to fix it.

“I am not here to play a blame game, I am here to fix the game of football,” said Hadad, according to the TTFA Media. “I never had any idea that I would be here today. I want to sit with you all and really work out what it is we need to do to get football to where it needs to go.

“What I can tell you is what I know very well is business and my team and myself will focus on how we get out from the debts we are in and we have to get out of these debts so we can plan a way forward.

“Football is not in a lost place. It’s just in a disorganised, deranged place and we just need to get it back together.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago players congratulate goalkeeper K’lil Keshwar after their penalty shoot-out win over Puerto Rico in the Concacaf U-20 Championship Round of 16 affair in the Dominican Republic on 1 March 2020.
(Copyright MexSport/Concacaf)

Last night’s meeting was chaired by technical director Dion La Foucade and, according to the TTFA Media, touched on: ‘measures to resume the respective programmes given the limitations due to current Covid-19 restrictions, contracts and remuneration and generally strategies for reversing the fortunes of Trinidad and Tobago football’.

However, coaches present suggested it was an extremely ‘basic’ introduction by Hadad that offered no ideas for any of the aforementioned topics. The chairman declined the chance to discuss coaches’ contracts and said he would do so subsequently within small groups.

“We will meet on an individual team basis, on an individual group basis,” said Hadad. “We will be talking to all of you with respect to your individual contracts and we will spend time with each one of you. And we will talk of what we expect of each national team.”

Hadad told coaches that, no matter how many letters Wallace writes, it is only the normalisation committee that will receive funding from Fifa. And he reiterated his job as to: help get the TTFA’s statutes ‘in line with Fifa’s’, clear the local body’s debt, run the affairs of the organisation and prepare for the next election.

Notably, neither normalisation committee deputy chairperson Judy Daniel nor ordinary member Nigel Romano were involved in the Zoom discussion.

Photo: Dion La Foucade (right) poses with Soca Warriors captain Khaleem Hyland.
La Foucade was appointed as TTFA technical director on 15 January 2020.

Hadad asked each attendee to maintain their mental and physical wellbeing during the pandemic and vowed that things will get better quickly.

“Preserve your physical and mental health as best as possible,” said Hadad. “We may have disagreements as we go along. But what I will tell you is that I am the person that will try my best—my team and myself—to find the right path so that we can move forward in a very positive manner.

“There is nothing that I want more than to see Trinidad and Tobago football in a better place.The speed at which you saw the Home of Football opened is the speed at which you are going to see a football field get green again. And I am going to fight everyday for more.”

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5 comments

  1. Earl Best

    “There is nothing that I want more than to see Trinidad and Tobago football in a better place.”

    Oh, really? Well, here is one of any number of possible “strategies for reversing the fortunes of Trinidad and Tobago football.’

    Forget the high-sounding rhetoric, move the man whom NOBODY voted for and let the man whom Trinidad and Tobago football voted for just the other day do his job.

    Yuh cyar go wrong with dat!

    • Quite a lot could go wrong with that! I am reading that it is only the normalisation committee that will receive funding from Fifa.

      ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’. Ent?

      • Earl Best

        And we dare not, I suppose, say no to FIFA’s dollars even if we know it to be filthy lucre in every sense?
        Call me a dreamer but to Infantino and Montagliani and John-Williams and others of that ilk I say that this too will pass.
        Where are FIFA high-flyers Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini and Jack Warner now? And, if we are lucky, where might they be one of these Sunday mornings?

        • I agree with Mr. Best and might I add, Mr. Hadad is an opportunist and only cares about himself. Any true patriot looking at what took place during the last administration and what has taken place during the short tenure of the lawfully appointed new administration, would have told FIFA that they would not have taken the normalization role.

          • Too many disappointments, Mr. Gamaldo. There is no guarantee that the Wallace led crew of the lawfully appointed administration will change the trend to date. Should we continue to live in hope?

            If you agree with Mr. Best, then you would be contented, as so should he, to be excluded from all international events and programs under the auspices of FIFA. We can pontificate and take the high road about being opportunistic and patriotic but that’s the reality!

            It’s all well and good to dream and be moralistic but when yuh hand is in the lion’s mouth, yuh have to ease it.