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‘We shall not stand in your way’ Wallace and VPs skip TTFA EGM—but have not resigned

“[…] We remain convinced that the right to make our case, to let our voices be heard, is a basic human right.

“[…] We are acutely aware that tomorrow is promised to no one of us and that it is the membership’s right to decide on the tomorrow they desire for the TTFA. We shall not stand in your way…”

In the following press statement, Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace confirms that he and vice-presidents Clynt Taylor and Sam Phillip will not attend tomorrow’s EGM, which they called—in the wake of yesterday’s legal defeat at the court of appeal:

Photo: TTFA president William Wallace.
(Courtesy TTFA Media/Allan V Crane)

Dear Members,

Let me start by saying that I am still quite unable to comprehend how anybody can think that what Fifa did in March 2020 is acceptable. Maybe it was desirable that those who elected us should be consulted.

Frankly, however, it never occurred to us that anyone would view Fifa’s decision to send in a normalisation committee after a mere four months of our tenure in any way different from the way we viewed it. In addition, the action directly affected the executive and to some extent brought our names into disrepute.

We remain convinced that the right to make our case, to let our voices be heard, is a basic human right. It is a right which, in our view, Fifa denied us when they abrogated their responsibility at the Court of Arbitration. We are well aware of what that action led to.

We hasten to add that we recognise the authority of the appeal court to conclude that Madame Justice Carol Gobin erred.

Photo: Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

We take this opportunity to salute all those TTFA members who did repose confidence in us in November and have not backed away from their initial position. We salute as well as those who did but later changed their minds. We do not begrudge them their right so to do.

We also thank all those ordinary citizens of our two-island republic who have no interest in football but have been able to see that the issue goes well beyond the field of play.

Over the last seven months since March, we were fortunate to be allowed rare candid views of the TTFA as it is really seen from several other vantage points—including the international and the regional and, latterly, the judicial and the political.

That combination of different points of view, especially the political, has made it clear to my vice-presidents, Clynt Taylor and Joseph Sam Phillip, and me that our views and the views of some fraction of the membership remain at variance at this time. We are acutely aware that tomorrow is promised to no one of us and that it is the membership’s right to decide on the tomorrow they desire for the TTFA.

We shall not stand in your way.

Photo: TTFA first vice-president Clynt Taylor poses in a staff photo shoot on 9 January 2020.
(via Allan V Crane/TTFA Media/CA-images)

To this end, we have decided to absent ourselves from the EGM carded for 25 October. In our view, the meeting was properly constituted and as per constitution the delegates can elect a chairperson in the absence of the president.

Rayshawn Mars, secretary and delegate of the North Zone, has agreed to provide the technical support needed to conduct the meeting. We wish you a successful meeting.

Editor’s Note: TTFA president William Wallace confirmed that the release above was not meant to be a resignation letter, as initially interpreted by Wired868. Instead, Wallace is awaiting clarity from Fifa with regards to its normalisation committee. If the normalisation committee is in place, the president was allegedly advised by attorneys that ‘the issue of resignation does not arise’.

At present, the TTFA believes that although the operations of the normalisation committee are suspended, its chairman Robert Hadad remains in place.

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5 comments

  1. Whither goest thou football in TnT. A decision from the Appeal Court which overturned a decision of the lower Court. Then an EGM where the parties under scrutiny recused themselves from the meeting.

    Someone mentioned phyrric victories. Isn’t this another one or an extension of the same battle. However the battle continues.

    I will be sitting on the sidelines (no pun intended) looking at where football will end up.

  2. I’m willing to wager that in two years, our football would be nowhere better than it is, the TTFA would still be in debt and the FIFA funding would be wastefully spent. I’m also willing to bet that if we qualify for the Gold Cup, we won’t make it past the Group stage. But as long as the Normalization Committee is in charge, right?

  3. Mr. Wallace should be proud of himself he fought for justice and the court of law has made it’s decision, he may have lost this battle but it was well worth fighting for. Justice can be blind but there is life after Football and anyone finding themselves in his boots may have erred the same way or done a better job? Our humanity is not above reproach and for those that seek to chastise him is well within their rights, it’s our democracy that was at stake and Mr. Wallace did what he perceived to be the right thing. However, a quote i learned from the late Mr. John Alleyne (a former T.T.F.A & South Zonal president)”if you stick to your constitution scruprously you cannot be taken to Court successfully”. So Mr. Downer and the other stakeholders at hand our constitution is now at the mercy of F.I.F.A we need your help to save T&T Football.

  4. Earl Best

    “At present, the TTFA believes that although the operations of the normalisation committee are suspended, its chairman Robert Hadad remains in place.”

    This is all very confusing. Help me out here, Wired868:

    Justice Gobin decreed that Wallace was within his rights as the duly elected president to do what he did but that was undecreed by the Appeal Court pair of Justice Bereaux and the CJ. Correct?

    So the President, who is not really the president because Fifa said so, has NOT resigned but he won’t be presidenting tomorrow. Correct?

    Robert Hadad’s Normalisation Committee has been normalised but Hadad remains in place and thus retains his authority as chairman. Correct?

    Nice and clear, correct?

    In Calypso History Month, take Dan is the Man in the Van in yuh pweffen: “If mih head was bright, ah woulda be a damn fool!”