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Wallace writes Infantino: Work with United TTFA, or we will continue in court

“[…] Normalisation is a draconian and unfair act which seeks to undermine the independence of the TTFA and ride roughshod over the will of the electorate who voted for the United TTFA slate in November 2019.

“[…] By refusing to work together with us, and by repeatedly refusing to engage in mediation as we have called not less than six times for Fifa to do, you run the risk of irreparably damaging football in Trinidad and Tobago…”

The following is an email from Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace to Fifa president Gianni Infantino on 26 August 2020:

Photo: Fifa president Gianni Infantino.
(via il messaggero.it)

Dear Mr Infantino,

Re: Failure of Normalisation in Trinidad and Tobago

My vice presidents and I were elected to lead the TTFA in November 2019. For years before that Fifa had stood-by and watched as mismanagement and cronyism caused havoc for Football in Trinidad and Tobago, provoking notable public failures—including the botched Home of Football project in Balmain, Couva.

We were elected to bring transparency and financial probity. In this vein we approached Fifa early in my tenure, and opened the books for scrutiny in a way not done before when the joint Fifa-Concacaf mission visited in early 2020.

Normalisation is a draconian and unfair act which seeks to undermine the independence of the TTFA and ride roughshod over the will of the electorate who voted for the United TTFA slate in November 2019.

Added to this, the fact is, that in all the countries that were normalised, in all instances, it is clear that the incumbent executive was in breach of Fifa statues or acted in manner that justified Fifa’s intervention.

Photo: Fifa president Gianni Infantino (right) and then TTFA president David John-Williams at a press conference at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 10 April 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

In the case of Trinidad and Tobago the two reasons given by Fifa for their intervention clearly had nothing to do with the new executive. That being said, together with my executive, I remain willing and ready to work with Fifa to resolve the outstanding issues in the interest of Football in Trinidad and Tobago.

Normalisation should not have been an option in this instance, but rather, to allow the newly elected executive to work hand in hand with Fifa for and in the best interest of the TTFA.

By refusing to work together with us, and by repeatedly refusing to engage in mediation as we have called not less than six times for Fifa to do, you run the risk of irreparably damaging football in Trinidad and Tobago.

Fifa cannot continue to ignore our calls to mediate an agreement between the TTFA and Fifa and maintain any moral authority. Fifa must recognise and work with the duly elected executive of the TTFA.

Likewise, TTFA must recognise, and does, the need for financial assistance and guidance from Fifa in resolving TTFA’s current financial malaise.

Photo: TTFA president William Wallace poses during at a photoshoot on 9 January 2020.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/TTFA Media/CA-images)

If you will not talk and if no agreement is reached, the TTFA is left with no choice but to continue on the path Fifa has forced us down through the courts.

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2 comments

  1. Earl Best

    A strategic error, if you ask me.

    The normalisation looks to have been about power rather than justice. The assumption on which a letter of this sort is based is that the addressee is concerned about if not justice at least about optics. To proceed thus is to misunderstand the old adage about justice needing to be seen to be done.

    In my view, Mr Wallace would be well advised to enlist the aid of high-profile personalities as intermediaries and to keep his correspondence out of the public domain.

  2. Understand when you are in a battle with someone that may not be the ‘right’ time to say nice things about the opponent but every time I read a statement from the disposed executive I wonder how these people would ever be able to work together in the future with the FIFA if that becomes necessary ? It maybe okay for the disposed president to blame the FIFA for what may happen to T&T football but he has to also be able to blame himself. Thought that the effects of the pandemic would let man understand that we still have a lot to conquer and that humility maybe not that bad after all. But I was so wrong.