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Fight back on! Wallace withdraws withdrawal in shock twist to TTFA-FIFA legal saga

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace has responded to Fifa’s suspension by resuming his legal writ with the world governing body.

This morning, Fifa’s attorneys expected confirmation that the case against their clients had been withdrawn in the High Court. Instead, there was yet another surprise, as they were sent a ‘withdrawal of the withdrawal’—despite having never received the initial ‘withdrawal’ in the first place.

Photo: William Wallace addresses the audience during the media launch of the 2019 SSFL season at Fatima College, Mucurapo on 3 September 2019.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

The legal missive stated simply that: ‘the applicant withdraws and discontinues the notice of application for permission to withdraw the claim, draft order and the affidavit of William Wallace in support of the said application dated and filed 23 September 2020’.

Today’s application was filed at 7:38am.

On Wednesday, the TTFA filed documents at 3:02pm, which meant they were two minutes AFTER the High Court Civil Registry closed for the day. Since yesterday was the Republic Day holiday and the courts remained closed, Fifa had no official word of their withdrawal—save for a press statement by the United TTFA.

And, yesterday, the Bureau of the Fifa Council, headed by president Gianni Infantino, decided to suspend Trinidad and Tobago from the international game.

The suspension means the Soca Warriors will almost certainly miss out on the Concacaf 2021 Gold Cup, which was partly the reason that the TTFA officials abandoned the case in the first place—after being so instructed by roughly 70 per cent of local football delegates.

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

Wallace has now decided to change course again.

Ironically, even as he instructed his attorneys to proceed, Concacaf was preparing a draft of its own that would allow the Warriors to compete in the Gold Cup once their suspension is lifted by then. Wallace would not have known that at the time.

Up to the time of publication, Wired868 was unable to reach the besieged TTFA president for comment.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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14 comments

  1. Why call a meeting and make the membership feel that you are willing to follow their directive when you know that you do not intent to do so? Had me fooled. The United TTFA should not double-cross their own membership. This is starting to look like a divorce case where one of the individuals decides to burn down the house rather than let the other one get it. So now it is ok to go to CAS on a different matter? Seems like the United TTFA is determining which rules they are willing to follow in this matter. Sink or float it has gone too far. Suspect we would never find out the ‘truth’ behind the Normalisation Committee but the United TTFA is starting to show their true ‘colours’ as far as I am concerned and TTFA would either have to change their Statutes or the FIFA changes theirs. The soap opera continues.

    • Earl Best

      It’s very true that it’s not a good look but why not assume that these people have more information than you and I have?

      Might they not be in possession of stuff that makes sense of these seemingly contradictory behaviour?

      Has FIFA been consistent? Is there no reason to suspect that they may be hiding something? Or trying to?

      Notice how NOBODY seems to be talking about Bassant’s exposé? Notice how everybody seems to have forgotten DAJW?

      I am confident that Bassant has not forgotten. I say sit back and smile as the soap opera unfolds but keep one eye and both ears open for the drama which, I certainly hope, is to follow…

  2. Wallace, the democracy advancing president, has again showed dictatorship. He calls a meeting and decided not to follow the directive of the membership, even where he selected invitees.

    • Earl Best

      Lennox, An unofficial meeting can hardly issue a “directive.”

      And it would be a poor leader indeed who does not make his own mind up even after receiving ADVICE from the membership.

      That’s why democracy is said to be FOR the people, I think.

  3. Good for you Wallace and United TTFA! Now, you have nothing to lose, and everything at stake!

  4. Was this done with the blessing of the membership? Didn’t he say that he was withdrawing because 21 members mandated him to do just that? Have those 21 members now given him permission to withdraw his withdrawal? Games and more games.

  5. Do they really know what they want? You call a meeting…deliberately sent the withdrawal late…now withdrawing the withdrawal. Comedy of errors. My advice us that they all follow the Vice President and resign. Was supporting but after this ……..not at all. Hilarious indeed Nicholas Griffith Lasana Liburd

    • Yes, a comedy of errors indeed! But, maybe they will learn from the schools of hard knocks. FIFA is not to be trusted!

      • “FIFA is not to be trusted!”

        The relevance of this statement eludes me.

        • Earl Best

          Patience! Al will be revealed, I suspect, in due course.

          Suspend judgement, sit back and wait for the next episode of what has clearly become, as Wired868 notes, an unfunny soap opera

        • Anbrat, let me explain the relevance. Even if the TTFA had withdrawn their legal action 10 minutes before the deadline, they would still have been suspended. FIFA’s goal is to instill fear into the hearts of any other nation that is considering the course T&T has pursued. Iran is in a similar boat right now. So, this message is for T&T, Iran, and any other country that considers a lawsuit.

          So, don’t matter what we did at this point, it was going to lead to suspension. This action taken by FIFA is where they are not to be trusted. Any other organization would have forgiven a notice that was late by two minutes.

          • Thank you for enlightening me.

            It appears that you consider the late notice by the TTFA as ‘small ting’ and that they should have been given a ‘bligh’ by the FIFA.

            Oh well!

            • Who are you? A FIFA representative?

              • Your questions are rather implicit.

                Why should one be a FIFA representative if in disagreement with you in the related matter? An inherent bias on your part is suspected.

                Notwithstanding, just for the record I consider myself an independent Trinidadian thinker and a staunch supporter of Trinidad football dating back to the north/south era.