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Look Loy explains TTFA defiance: why teach the youth ‘hypocrisy, cowardice and self-interest’?

“[…] Some opposed to our resistance to Fifa talk about our supposed endangerment of ‘the youth’. But, in effect, their moaning merely teaches youth, by example, the abandonment of democracy, principle, justice, and fair play, for the prevalent values of our national intellectual and spiritual life: hypocrisy, cowardice, self interest, and convenience. It sickens me to my stomach.

“[…] It is a rich irony that the powers that be in Zurich—those who pretend to preach to us of ‘good governance’—are today embroiled in another tragicomedy of their own making, regarding illegal meetings with the Swiss attorney general and the perversion of the course of Swiss justice in cases involving Fifa. The world is not as blind as some of us here are…”

The following letter to the editor on United TTFA’s defiance of a Fifa order to implement a normalisation committee in Trinidad and Tobago, was submitted by TTFA Technical Committee chairman and Board member, Keith Look Loy:

Photo: FC Santa Rosa president and technical director Keith Look Loy (far right) looks on during Ascension Invitational action against Guaya Utd at the Arima Velodrome on 23 August 2019.
Look Loy is also the TTSL president and the TTFA technical committee chairman.
(Copyright Nicholas Bhajan/CA-Images/Wired868)

“This is a matter of principle—not a matter of getting banned or not getting banned. Everybody in the world has a right to seek justice. If that is not the case, then something is wrong somewhere.”

These words from Mr Osmond Downer crystallise the central idea that has propelled United TTFA’s rejection of FIFA’s illegal attempt to remove the democratically elected leadership of the Association.

There are sacrosanct principles involved here—not the least of which are national sovereignty and democracy.

Some opposed to our resistance to Fifa talk about our supposed endangerment of ‘the youth’. But, in effect, their moaning merely teaches youth, by example, the abandonment of democracy, principle, justice, and fair play, for the prevalent values of our national intellectual and spiritual life: hypocrisy, cowardice, self interest, and convenience. It sickens me to my stomach.

The president of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, Brian Lewis, has given immaculate focus to the other critical point in all of this—Fifa’s brutal abandonment of all norms of civilised judicial process and justice. And I quote him:

“Fifa has the power, by virtue of their statues, to appoint a normalisation committee. The exercise of that right can’t be unfettered. It’s not a right to act in an arbitrary, illogical manner devoid of equitable treatment, rule of law and principles, without due process and natural justice; or to act unreasonably.”

Photo: (From second to left) Concacaf president Victor Montagliani, then TTFA president David John-Williams, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, FIFA president Gianni Infantino, Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe and deputy House Speaker Esmond Forde cut the ribbon to formally open the TTFA Home of Football in Couva on 18 November 2019.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)

Lewis is a highly experienced international sport administrator, and he has no dog in the fight. For him to publicly issue such a ringing condemnation of Fifa’s behaviour is remarkable, and is an indictment of Zurich’s barbaric handling of the TTFA.

There is no rational explanation of this behaviour to be found in Fifa’s regulations. There is no explanation other than that advanced by United TTFA—that is, Fifa is seeking the overthrow of a legitimate TTFA administration in order to protect its guilt by complicity for consistently turning a blind eye and ear to the malpractice of former president David John-Williams and his cohorts.

I refer explicitly to the continued issuance of ‘bounced’ cheques, to the failure to pay millions in statutory deductions from employee salaries to state authorities, and to the financial imbroglio that is the Home of Football, which is two million in debt (as exposed by Mark Bassant of the Guardian Media), and on which almost TT$16 million was spent without contracts, purportedly in cash. Fifa has to cover this up.

It is a rich irony that the powers that be in Zurich—those who pretend to preach to us of ‘good governance’—are today embroiled in another tragicomedy of their own making, regarding illegal meetings with the Swiss attorney general and the perversion of the course of Swiss justice in cases involving Fifa.

The world is not as blind as some of us here are.

Photo: Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

Mr Downer makes the valid point that Fifa’s so-called normalisation committee order seeks to remove only the democratically elected officers and not the TTFA Board and committee officials. I have known this all along but elected to await the judicial disposition of the case before making a decision on how I, personally, will proceed.
That is to say, if the democratically elected officers, the William Wallace-led administration, are triumphant, I will surely re-engage.

If they are not and Fifa prevails, I do not see myself working with the so-called normalisation committee as a committee chairman, quite frankly. I will not collaborate with usurpers of legitimate authority. I would also have to make a decision on my board membership, in which I would involve the Super League clubs I represent.

In the interim, team staff with whom I worked closely as technical committee chairman are reporting to me the fact that Dion La Foucade is approaching them with demands that way exceed his contracted portfolio as technical director.

Both nature and arbitrary arrangements like Fifa’s so-called normalisation committee abhor a vacuum, I suppose. So the good gentleman is filling the gap. My big regret though, is that Fifa’s mad cap scheme has arrested the significant and successful initiatives we had undertaken, in less than four months, to structure TTFA’s technical work in both development and competitions.

Now we hear of job cuts and salary reductions among staff appointed by the Wallace-led board, as the so called normalisation committee looks to apply its ‘business model’—despite the fact that the 2020 Fifa funding due by right to the TTFA will easily cover the cost of staff.

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

“Football should never be the accomplice of dictators.”

These words of Eric Cantona, from his television series ‘Football Rebels’, ring true, always, and should guide all of us.

What Fifa, and its local accomplices and supporters high and low, are attempting to do, is to kill democracy and to replace it with a cynical caricature of itself, which it will proclaim to be democratic and progressive. We would inhabit a poorer football world and a poorer nation if that goes unchallenged and succeeds.

We are a free and sovereign nation, and we are, each of us, born under a Godly injunction to resist injustice. And this little Trinidad and Tobago will stand against the Fifa Goliath in front of the entire world.

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11 comments

  1. I truly don’t understand why Wired868 is working so hard at avoiding the actuzl ttuth here. I’ve been a fan of the terrific Lasana Liburd for years, but this position is puzzling.

    TTFA is broke. It operates mostly on the yearly $1.2 million FIFA gives every federation. William Wallace complains bitterly about not hsving control of the TTFA checkbook. The fact that the money he wants control of is FIFA money never gets mentioned.

    The problem with FIFA begins and ends with Jack Warner. Look Loy repudiated the ridiculous “debt” of $ 2.5 million Warner claims he is owed. But the very first thing Wallace did upon taking office was reinstate that debt.

    So ehat we’re really talking about is FIFA taking control of the bank accounts to keep Wallace from gaining control the FIFA money which is supposed to go to the program and hsnding it over to Jack.

    All this nonsense about democracy and contract law is so much silliness. Its about FIFA not wanting Jack Warner running thd TTFA again and steslung mord money because he’s a greedy, evil man.

    Yes of course FIFA is a csbal of cheap grifters. As Stalin famously told Roosevelt, the Swiss are swine.

    Nonetheless they have a huge interest in keeping Warner out of the TTFA. As they should.

  2. There are many in the local media who believe in the principle that might is right. They see this fight as some sort of show or entertainment. Particularly annoying is to listen to the two freeloaders Tony Lee and Andre Baptiste pontificating regularly on this issue

  3. Certain things are unavoidable in life. For example, VAT and death are inevitable. Other unavoidable things are the normalisation committee is here, the TTFA will be banned, and United TTFA will take FIFA to the High Court.

    The problem is not that FIFA has declared a normalisation committee to replace the TTFA. The problem is the timing and how this normalisation committee has been put into place.

    Now, I believe United TTFA should make this court case worthwhile. It will not be enough to prevail against FIFA in the High Court. They should also consider seeking punitive damages against FIFA. And, here, they should think of big numbers.

    I believe FIFA should serve the purposes of the football associations around the world and not the other way around. FIFA needs an earthquake ignited either by this lawsuit or the action of some of the larger FAs. I hope United TTFA prevails, and I hope they are awarded monetary damages.

  4. My understanding of Contract Law is superficial, however, this is my viewpoint. FIFA, the world governing body for Football the world over, entered into an agreement with TT. All Football in the nation would come under a local governing body, the TTFA, to promote and ensure that the game adheres to International standards. In the course of things, FIFA in its observations realized that the local governing body was unable to achieve this task. As a result, they activated a clause in their contract which immediately dissolved the TTFA, replacing the body with a Normalization Committee. The principal task of the Committee (as the name suggests), is to resolve ALL problems or issues, run Football Operations in the country, and handover everything to a newly appointed TTFA.

    How hard is this? The “old TTFA” refuses to accede to the wishes of the Normalization Committee. As a matter of fact, they’re doing everything possible, it seems, to hinder its proper functioning. It’s safe, therefore, to refer to them as rebels since they 1) have rejected the fact that they’re disbanded; and, 2) refuse to bow to the very rules that they claim to adhere to. Also, by their actions and behavior, they’re preventing the further development of the game in the nation.

    Mr. Hadad, the Committee Chairperson appointed by FIFA, by his responses and inactions, seems unable to deal with these miscreants. His job is a call to action, to resolve all issues affecting the proper functioning of Trinidad Football, and to make things right. It’s time that he does what he’s supposed to do. My hope, my desire, is that the Committee that he presides over will EXCLUDE members of “the old TTFA” from “the New TTFA” that they will appoint. The former group, by their very actions and behavior, have demonstrated that they are unfit to govern. It’s time we get TT Football “back on track”!

    • Earl Best

      “”My understanding of Contract Law is superficial”
      My understanding of contract law is nil. But my understanding of the way the world should work tells me that only in the most superficial sense is this an issue of contract law.
      So if you think it is, then I politely suggest that you really have little or nothing to contribute to a serious discussion and you should do so wordlessly.

  5. With all due respect Mr. Look Loy we also have to teach the ‘youths’ that the way to fight the system is within the system. We also have to teach them that in times of distress, they need to control their emotions and come up with a plan to defeat the perpetrators. In addition, we have to let them know that sometimes you have to be patient in seeking redress for your perceived attack. And last but not least, you have to let them know that sometimes when people looking for your support they would only let you know want they want you to know, and that no organization is all good or all bad and if you really want the rose then you have to accept the thorns.

    Time will tell the ‘lessons’ really learned.

    • Lasana Liburd

      You’re speaking from a position of knowledge about fighting the system? Do tell us more…

      • That would be a little inappropriate and cloud the issue. Do believe that on the surface, the decision of the FIFA appears harsh but we do not know all the facts as to if any warnings were given. My remarks were based on the practice and system under which CAS operates. Could be wrong, but my understanding is that you must abide by the decision made until the CAS decides otherwise. That was not the approach taken. By his own admission, Mr Look Loy agrees that the FIFA has the right to make the decision that was take so can the T & T legal system determine if the FIFA’s action was justified or not? Would believe that when I see that. So according to system of sports, CAS is the way. Must be difficult times for the disposed Exco members as their credibility as administrators has been shattered. They all probably had good intentions and might eventually be remembered for the wrong reason, but at the same time they should have become aware of the ‘rules’ of the game they were about to play. In my opinion the system is through CAS To criticize CAS the way they did seem unwarranted. As any thing else, sometimes laws are only as good as the people who tasked with enforcing them. They should have know that whether they were right or not in their conclusions, to accuse Mr. Veron and the FIFA to be in cohorts with the past president was sure to bring a response. That would have been ok for someone not directly involved in the administration of T & T football. They unwittingly crossed the line as far as I am concerned. There are a fair number of individuals who have experience in that matter that could have advised them otherwise, assuming of course that they would have been willing to follow it.

    • Felix, I am not sure what you are trying to say. Your response appears incoherrent and another way of saying, “Just shut up and sit down!” Has FIFA done injustice to the TTFA? If you agree, how do you expect the committee should respond?