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Fifa must pay TT$60k as ‘security for costs’ after successful TTFA application

Fifa will need to deposit TT$60,000 as ‘security for costs’ if it wants its appeal against High Court Judge Carol Gobin’s ruling to be heard on 19 October.

Yesterday, Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace and vice-presidents Clynt Taylor and Sam Phillip got more good news from the courts as their application for an appeal courts order against Fifa was granted.

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

The ruling means that the world governing body, which is based in Zurich, Switzerland, must pay TT$60,000 to the Registrar of the Courts ‘on or before the 15th October’.

The figure is meant to spare the TTFA the hassle of chasing Fifa to the Swiss courts if the latter party fails to honour a potential order of legal costs for the local football body. Wallace’s team is understood to view the decision as another triumph, albeit a minor one.

On 13 August, Justice Gobin ordered Fifa to pay the TTFA’s legal costs after dismissing its motion to move the legal tussle between the pair to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Fifa appealed the ruling.

However, in an odd twist, Justice Gobin will hear the TTFA’s substantive case on 9 October—which seeks to invalidate the replacement of its board by a Fifa-appointed normalisation committee—while Fifa’s appeal is scheduled for 19 October.

Fifa, represented locally by attorneys Christopher Hamel-Smith SC, Jonathan Walker and Cherie Gopie, did not lodge a defence for Friday’s hearing, after its request for a stay of proceedings was dismissed.

Photo: Fifa president Gianni Infantino waits for kick off between Denmark and Australia at the 2018 World Cup in Samara, Russia on 21 June 2018.
(Copyright AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

The TTFA is represented legally by Dr Emir Crowne, Matthew Gayle, Jason Jones and Crystal Paul.

Yesterday’s financial order is not considered unusual when the appellant resides outside of the court’s jurisdiction—while Fifa’s repeated assertions that it does not recognise the authority of the local courts are unlikely to have helped.

On Friday, Wallace and his United TTFA slate will know whether their defiance of Fifa was based on solid legal principles.

However, with president Gianni Infantino refusing to be directed by anyone but CAS and Trinidad and Tobago already provisionally suspended, Wallace vowed to let his members have the final word by contravening an extraordinary general meeting—if he emerges as victor on Friday.

Concacaf has kept a place open for the Soca Warriors to participate in the 2021 Gold Cup tournament if the TTFA makes peace with Fifa by 5pm (ET) on 18 December.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Nathan Lewis (right) tears down the flank during 2018 World Cup qualifying action against USA in Couva on 10 October 2017.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

For the majority of the TTFA’s member delegates, the enjoyment of its rights as one of Fifa’s 211 member associations outweigh the perceived merits of the ongoing court case.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief 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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5 comments

  1. F IFA has breached its own statutes by failing to con

  2. You know, I have carefully noted the comments of some persons who feel that when the TTFA applied to be a member of Fifa they agreed to abide by all fifa rules. So if fifa say you can’t take dem to court in your owncountry, you have to put your tail between yuh legs and obey!
    But how did the TTFA come into being? By the laws of the Republic of Fifa?? A resounding NO is the answer.
    Infantino is a disrespectful evil and disgusting person that has absolutely no right, none what so ever, to tell Trinidadians that a body established by the laws of this sovereign country, cannot seek redress from a court in this country. Who the hell is fifa and infantino?
    Infantino is telling the world that he could replace your democratic system anytime he damn well feels to do so.. And I am not asking any one of you foolish yellow belly, lick yuh know what, trinis… I’m telling you that infantino is very wrong… And any court he goes to would tell him how wrong he is… And this brings me to my point… Infantino and fifa is not going to any court, no where in the world to deal with this case, all his shenanigans is to avoid the courts all together. Watch and see… He is just ducking the substantive matter…. The weak belly clown dat he is…..

  3. Seems to me that the penalty for not paying would be no appeal.

  4. If FIFA runs true to form, they will either not pay or pay and then announce that they are deducting the entire sum from all monies due and owing to the TTFA.

    Watch the play.

    I hope Mark Bassant and Wired have already started to identify any and all assets held by FIFA in T&T. We know–thanks, Wired868–that the Center of Excellence is NOT one of them.