“Fifa has refused to engage in any discussions, forcing the TTFA as a last resort to turn to the courts. Not since 1962 have the people of Trinidad and Tobago allowed themselves to be forcibly subjugated in the manner that Fifa now seeks to do…”
The following is a press statement by Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace on the conduct of governing football body, Fifa, during the legal tussle between the two parties:
The TTFA notes that Fifa has appealed the ruling of the Honourable Madame Justice Gobin, but notes with some concern that Fifa has described this appeal as a mere ‘formal step’ and that FIFA has again threatened ‘potential further action’ against the TTFA.
This comes on the heels of their previous statement that: ‘Fifa does not, and will never, accept the jurisdiction of a local court in Trinidad and Tobago…’.
These statements suggest the contempt with which Fifa holds our courts, our people and our nation.
Fifa has wrongly sought to imply that the TTFA leadership have insisted in bringing the claim to the Trinidad and Tobago courts, when it was Fifa who refused to do all that was necessary to facilitate the CAS process, as the Honourable Madame Justice Gobin observed in her ruling:
‘In this case, not only has FIFA unequivocally refused to comply with the CAS 64(2) rule, thumbing its nose at its obligations to pay under the agreement, it further paralysed the arbitral process by obtaining an extension of time to answer the case until after TTFA paid its (Fifa’s) costs… [Fifa] rendered the arbitration inoperable.’
Contrary to Fifa’s statements, the TTFA has also tried not less than six times to formally engage FIFA in talks formal and/or informal, for the two parties to come together to resolve the issues in the interest of football in Trinidad and Tobago.
The latest effort came immediately after The Honourable Madame Justice Gobin’s ruling. Fifa has refused to engage in any discussions, forcing the TTFA as a last resort to turn to the courts.
Not since 1962 have the people of Trinidad and Tobago allowed themselves to be forcibly subjugated in the manner that Fifa now seeks to do. In the words of Justice Gobin, Fifa now threatens to ‘take its ball and go home’.
But by doing so however, Fifa would be accepting and confirming that the normalisation committee it claims to have appointed lacks not only moral legitimacy, but legal legitimacy too.
TTFA now looks to the hearing of the matter in the local Court of Appeal.