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MSJ: Trinidad and Tobago must not let Fifa treat country like a ‘banana republic’; back the TTFA

“[…] Trinidad and Tobago is not a banana republic and Fifa must respect our laws. When the FBI recently investigated Fifa, it had to run for cover—so FIFA does not hold the moral high ground here…”

The following press statement on Fifa’s decision to implement a normalisation committee in Trinidad and Tobago and remove the elected executives of the local football association was submitted by Gregory Fernandez, chairman of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ):

Photo: Fifa president Gianni Infantino (left) presents Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley with a personalised football jersey during the opening of the TTFA Home of Football in Couva on 18 November 2019.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)

The Movement for Social Justice is in support of the recently elected executive’s position in its struggle with Fifa over the appointment by Fifa of a normalisation committee to run the affairs of Trinidad and Tobago’s football and its attempts to summarily dismiss the newly elected executive.

The TTFA is a national body established by an Act of Parliament in 1982 and therefore its jurisdiction is the laws of Trinidad and Tobago and not of Fifa. Trinidad and Tobago is not a banana republic and Fifa must respect our laws. When the FBI recently investigated Fifa, it had to run for cover—so FIFA does not hold the moral high ground here.

Given that the significant debt of the TTFA was run up by the last administration of the TTFA and the new executive was in the process of working out a plan to address this, one would have thought that Fifa would have worked with the new executive toward achieving such a goal.

The attempts by Fifa to dismiss the newly elected executive and impose a normalisation committee is unconstitutional under the laws of Trinidad and Tobago, and the TTFA should resist every effort by Fifa to impose dictates from above.

The fact that Fifa countenanced the malpractices of the previous administration even though it was brought to Fifa’s attention at several points during the term of the previous administration but willy-nilly wants to dismiss the newly appointed executive which was looking into the reasons for the poor state of the TTFA’s finances suggest there is more at stake here.

Photo: (From left to right) Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick, Caribbean Chemicals chairman Joe Pires and TTFA president William Wallace.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

This approach by Fifa will only serve to further setback Trinidad and Tobago football by another two years, as there is no track record in football of the normalisation committee.

The MSJ does not support the bullying tactics of the Fifa and calls on the Fifa to work with the duly elected executive of the TTFA in addressing the issues surrounding the work of the TTFA.

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3 comments

  1. Whether the ousted TTFA would have been able to solve the debt problem or not is now irrelevant since they were never given the chance to prove themselves.

    However, if you are angered by the manner in which the Wallace administration was replaced (as was I), then I invite you to back up your talk with money. Please make a donation to the “Fundraiser by Supporters of United TTFA” to help this cause. If the TTFA has even a small level of success in this cause, it would help to make sure that FIFA is more careful in the future about the way in which they approach a normalization committee solution.

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/TTFA-Fights-FIFA-Intervention?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet

  2. I have a solution. Forget the emotional talk which makes little sense to me. Check TTFA Constitution and you would see the condition of membership in FIFA. In the meantime do not just talk big, get a Committee together so we can raise funds and support our own football. Show them that we are big and we have money so that we are not really a football ‘banana republic’ we just behaving so. Then we willing get nothing but respect. Until then talk, emotional talk, uninformed talk having us look like a ‘real banana republic’ for through. And at the same time do not act like the so called ‘super’ countries and disrespect ‘so called’ banana republics anyway. The decision may have been harsh but TTFA can not use certain laws when they feel like and others when they do not. Do not make the twin-island republic look stupid. Please, I am begging you.

  3. Its all well and good to be an arm chair critic and speak of support for the duly elected executive of the TTFA in addressing the issues surrounding the work of the TTFA.

    One cannot help but wonder whether FIFA is not on solid ground in appointing a Normalization Committee to regularize the operations of the TTFA.

    In view of the poor record of the TTFA, it seems justified that FIFA is not prepared to provide additional monies to the TTFA, under the current executive, for regularizing its finances and development of the game in the country.

    FIFA has indicated that it has no confidence in the current elected TTFA executive even though duly elected, as were all the past executive committees.

    It is difficult to fault FIFA in that regard.

    If we are prepared to go it alone without FIFA funding, it is left to be seen how far we can go, not to mention we would be ineligible for all events under the auspices of FIFA and that would be international football competitions. In such circumstances, it would be pointless in going it alone.

    Clearly, our ‘hand is in the lion’s mouth’ and perhaps it may be more prudent that the duly elected executive of the TTFA work with FIFA, instead of vice versa of FIFA working with the duly elected executive of the TTFA.