“[…] What I want to say to [Fifa president Gianni Infantino] is that you represent the worst of what sport has become.
“A mighty conglomerate which is focused on making money; wielding power; and imposing your superiority and power on the athletes and fans who have now become mere pawns and no longer the central players in sport…”
The following Letter to the Editor on Fifa’s decision to suspend the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) from the international game was submitted to Wired868 by Reverend Dr Iva Gloudon—a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and former international athlete, sport administrator, university director of sport and former ambassador to Jamaica:
I have been in sport all of my life; from elementary school to high school to club sport, to university, as a national field hockey team member, a director of sport at the university level, an academic in sport, as the president of Women’s Football and as the president of Women’s Field Hockey in Trinidad and Tobago.
Mr Gianni Infantino, sport has been my life and much of what I have achieved has been through sport. These days, however, I am mostly focused on being a ‘woman of the cloth’ and became a Reverend in 2012. I say this as I am praying that I can be reverential in what I am about to say to the mighty Fifa.
HOW DARE YOU!
I am not even going to attempt to justify who is right and who is wrong, as I do not believe that is the issue. I am not going to even attempt to address the issue of corruption, as this would only lead me to conclude that not many have surpassed Fifa in this regard.
What I want to say to you is that you represent the worst of what sport has become. A mighty conglomerate which is focused on making money; wielding power; and imposing your superiority and power on the athletes and fans who have now become mere pawns and no longer the central players in sport.
Do you even understand the pride that a country of 1.3 million people takes in their sporting accomplishments? Do you understand the pride we have when we are able to conquer the larger countries in the world to win gold, silver and bronze medals at the Olympics or make it to the finals of the World Cup?
Do you even understand how many of us only have the pathway of sport to lift us up out of poverty and hardship?
You are trying to convince me that the only management solution that you are competent at is throwing our duly elected football executives aside, defying our local courts and sitting around your table with six other men (yes, no women) in the hallowed hallways of Fifa and throwing an entire country, yes country, under the proverbial bus?
YOUR HIGHHANDEDNESS IS MESMERIZING!
We might be a small nation, but we are a very proud people. What about all of the other paradigms that exist which allows for a less confrontational solution? One in which all parties are taken into consideration and all parties can benefit.
Good leaders do not wield power just because they have power. Good leaders do not demand that their subjects bow to their every whim and fancy.
Good leaders do not demand that we go to a court that we cannot afford and which is certainly prejudiced towards us smaller nations.
So, the mighty Fifa is bigger than prime ministers, presidents, ministers of sport, athletes and, I daresay, God? Your laws, articles and clauses can be executed and applied in all situations without regard for human beings and the diversity of peoples?
Shame on you Mr Infantino!
I CANNOT BREATHE!