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.
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.”
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.
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.”