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Dear Editor: Let’s dare to aim high; Wallace’s courage should be applauded

The following Letter to the Editor on the William Wallace-led TTFA administration was submitted to Wired868 by Patrick Raymond:

The recently and newly elected Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace and his administration, following its removal and the installation of a Fifa ‘normalisation committee’, and its recent success in the local courts, will host an extraordinary general meeting for all stakeholders on Sunday 25 October.

Photo: Then SSFL president William Wallace (centre) prepares to hand over the 2019 Premier Division trophy to Naparima College at CIC grounds on 4 November 2019.
Wallace was elected TTFA president on 24 November 2019.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

This should not have been necessary if Fifa was more respectful of the TTFA’s proud 112-year history—with 76 years as a Fifa member association—and not all about their own maximum-control agenda.

In addition, Wallace’s initial missteps were not the issue. Having heard/read the various reasons for Fifa’s action, and the arguments and positions of all the self-interested/appointed pundits… What are the facts?

1. If the problem is the current massive TTFA debt, then the problem is not with the newly elected Wallace administration, but one which over the past four years was the responsibility of the ousted David John-Williams-led administration, which is reported to have failed to provide a full and audited accounting. 

2. If the problem is an issue with the TTFA’s Constitution, here again the current constitution was revised in 2014 by the late Raymond Tim Kee’s constitution reform commission, and later approved, and under which the John-Williams’ administration, governed and operated over the past four years. If there was/is a minor problem, then let’s fix it. Two competent lawyers (from Fifa and TTFA) could sit down and quietly arrive at a solution. Much ado about nothing.

3. What else is there that cannot be amicably resolved without sullying the name of a respected 76-year Fifa member association, with a proud 112-year history in the game’s development—not only in T&T, but the Caribbean?

Photo: (From left) Concacaf president Victor Montagliani, Fifa president Gianni Infantino, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and then TTFA president David John-Williams observe proceedings during the opening of the TTFA Home of Football on 18 November 2019.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)

Unfortunately, the apparent reasons for this treatment can be traced back to the abject failings/legacy of two former Caribbean Concacaf/Fifa executives, Jack Warner and Jeffrey Webb, and the reduced significance of the current CFU president, an otherwise nice guy who, though a Concacaf Council member, has been made toothless and a yes-man; and where today, the Concacaf-appointed Caribbean development officers exert far more regional influence than the current CFU leadership.

So, hopefully come Sunday, we can acknowledge William Wallace’s courage for standing up for the TTFA and T&T and Caribbean football.

Forget your differences and begin working together, starting with the Tim Kee administration’s Strategy for the FUTURE 2018, that was completely ignored during the four-year ‘me-first’ agenda of David John-Williams.

Come Sunday, to quote Uefa president, Aleksander Ceferin: ‘Let us dare to aim high’.

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6 comments

  1. “Not only must Justice be done, it must also be seen to be done.” This oft – quoted aphorism is relevant to the Appeal case between FIFA and TTFA.
    As a fair minded person, I am asking the question if there were measures put in place to ensure that fairness and transparency were observed with regard to the process of the assignment of Judges to adjudicate at the Court of Appeal.
    My personal view is the entire selection process was flawed for the following reasons:
    1) The decision taken at the Court of Appeal have international repercussions. Therefore, instead of two Appeal Judges, three Appeal Judges should have been selected to adjudicate on this matter;
    2) The Chief Justice should not be a adjudicating this case. It is common knowledge that he and the Prime Minister have been friends from boyhood days. As a matter of factime they are very good friends today. Taking this into account the CJ should have recuse himself . The PM by his utterances and actions leave no doubt in the minds of many that he was against the TTFA Executives before the TTFA elections and after the TTFA elections. For this reason the fair minded and informed observer will conclude that the CJ will not be impartial.
    3) The trial Judge, Justice Gobin, have been slugging it out publicly with the CJ over a period of time. This is an opportune time for the CJ to discredit her judgement.
    4) According to newspapers report, there is a bit of turmoil in the administration of Registrar Department of the Surpreme Court. Random selection of Judges assignment have broken down resulting in a minority of Judges not being assigned to cases. And quite by accident, these Judges have been publicly at odds with the CJ. Therefore, what system was used to select the two Judges to hear this Appeal matter?
    5) Having selected two Judges to hear this very important appeal matter, what if the two judges arrive at different decisions? Is it that the junior Judge will have to go along with the CJ”s decision?
    6) The CJ at the hearing on Monday made negative remarks pertaining to the case being heard before the appeal matter. This sent a signal to all and sundry
    Let me say upfront, I do not have any confidence in the entire selection process numerically, fairness, transparency and accountability.
    The result is a foregone conclusion.

  2. Common sense solutions are always welcome. Thank you Mr Raymond, I agree.

  3. At last a voice of reason. Wallace has exhibited courage and fortitude, unlike some people who prefer to bow to what they perceive as greater power. Whoever follows Wallace will have the path cleared for them by a group which understood principle and was prepared to fight for it.One day, sometime in the future, William Wallace and Keith Look Loy and their supporters will be recognised for their groundbreaking decision which has made football administration more accountable to its fans,not only in Trinidad, but worldwide.

  4. Already one fool is calling for the resignation of Wallace and the return of the Normalization Committee. What will the Normalization Committee bring to the table except a return to FIFA? Creditors are still being owed, both coaches and players are still being owed money. And guess what? The PM told Wallace that he is unable to help with any debt relief. Does the Normalization Committee have a Plan B for this? Or are we simply content to re enter FIFA with no plan whatsoever for the future of the sport?

  5. Ha!

    It have to have a treetop bank or DSS for Trinis to aim high.

  6. I fully endorse this analysis from Patrick Raymond. This entire TTFA/FIFA fracas has been fanned by supine, self-seeking, unscrupulous , unprincipled, voracious, weak men and anal linguists who are hankering for the return of handouts from David John-Williams. And I speak of lesser men like Brent Sancho, Selby Browne, Tony leeAndre Baptiste and hordes of callers on Baptiste’s sports programmes who don’t understand football “Beyond the boundary”. By the way , how come wash-your-foot-and-jump -in UNC anal linguists have been mute on this national issue? Is it that they love to see Africans mashing up one another?