Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad intends to push on with a Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Extraordinary General Meeting on 15 September, despite several constitutional issues about the conclave—including whether a requisite number of delegates supported the meeting.
Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association (TTFRA) vice-president Osmond Downer pointed out that three of the 25 signatures on the petition requesting an EGM might have been invalid, since the respective member bodies appeared to have not officially appointed them to act on their behalf.
The EGM is meant to recognise the authority of the normalisation committee and distance the local football body from legal action taken against Fifa by TTFA president William Wallace and vice-presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Sam Phillip.
The constitution stipulates that 51 percent of the delegates must request an EGM, which means it requires at least 24 valid signatures.
Hadad responded today with an email which stated: ‘It should be noted that at least three TTFA members communicated to the TTFA, in writing, of changes to member delegates—prior to the TTFA normalisation committee receiving the request by the member delegates to convene the EGM’.
Hadad’s claim appeared to be wrong for two reasons. First, one club owner suggested that it was untrue.
The owner told Wired868 that he gave a verbal commitment to change his delegate before the request for the EGM was approved. He was not asked for anything in writing at the time or after, and had not submitted anything.
Hadad did not respond to a request for comment on the contrasting tales. Downer said there is precedent for the committee chairman’s claim to be tested at the meeting.
“At the general meeting last year, a lady came from Tobago to represent Bethel and she was challenged by [then TTFA president David] John-Williams,” said Downer. “But she was able to show a copy of an email sent to [Super League president Keith] Look Loy and Look Loy was able to show that the request was sent to the general secretary. Only then was she allowed to take part—that is proof.
“[…] Look at article 22.3. What will tell you delegates when you are asked to produce proof?”
The other point that Downer feels escaped Hadad—and interim Pro League CEO Brent Sancho—was that clubs cannot change their own representatives anyway.
Even if the normalisation committee chairman, who is co-CEO of HadCo Limited, was telling the truth about receiving requests to change delegates in writing, it is only the member body that can so inform the TTFA secretariat—and not the clubs.
San Juan Jabloteh, AC Port of Spain and Club Sando FC are not delegates, rather it is the TT Pro League that selects 10 delegates while the TTSL choose eight. So, as was the case with Bethel last year, the club must ask its member body to change its delegates for a general meeting.
The Pro League and TTSL then has the choice of either agreeing to another delegate from the same club or appointing a delegate from a different team altogether.
“No club on its own can change its delegates,” said Downer. “What the club should do if it wants to change delegates, should be [to] contact the Super League and then the Super League decides who should replace that delegate—either with someone from the same club or a different club. The Pro League, same thing.
“[…] These people don’t understand the constitution at all.”
Hadad, in his release, also informed members—two months after the fact—that general secretary Ramesh Ramdhan had been suspended.
“The TTFA general secretary, Mr Ramesh Ramdhan, has been suspended pending an inquiry into the entry of several contracts by the TTFA,” stated Hadad. “We wish to make it clear that we are not imputing any dishonest motive against the general secretary.
“The general secretary has made a request that the matter be referred to mediation for a resolution to which […] we have agreed.”
Downer offered a curt response.
“That [delay in informing members about Ramdhan’s suspension] is a disrespect to the members,” said Downer.