Former Wired868 freelance reporter and Central FC press officer Amiel Mohammed was revealed tonight to be the interim general secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), via an email to members.
He replaces general secretary Ramesh Ramdhan, who was suspended by Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad in mid-2020—‘pending an enquiry’.
Ramdhan is less than halfway into a controversial two year contract granted by former TTFA president William Wallace in early 2020.
Mohammed has arguably been filling in for Ramdhan for some time and routinely signs documents as ‘assistant to Robert Hadad’. Hadad told SportsMax last year that he dipped into his Fifa salary of US$6,500 per month to pay Mohammed.
However, by giving Mohammed an official TTFA post, the latter’s salary is expected to now come out of the local body’s operating budget.
“Mr Mohammed has worked alongside the normalisation committee diligently over the last few months and has maintained a high standard of organisational and football-oriented acumen,” stated Hadad. “He has the full confidence of the normalisation committee to assist in the management of the general secretariat and any other role as mandated by the TTFA Constitution.”
Hadad did not provide a CV for Mohammed or give members any details on the process used to select him.
Wired868 and Central FC apart, Mohammed worked as digital media consultant for the Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) in 2017—when he assisted general secretary Camara David by running the league’s social media pages.
After then TTFA president David John-Williams hired David as his general secretary, Mohammed worked as the latter’s assistant for an international invitational under-15 tournament in 2019.
Bizarrely, the normalisation committee’s letter informing TTFA members of its new interim general secretary was dated 10 January 2021. However, several members contacted by Wired868 only received it tonight.
Hadad did not respond to questions from Wired868 on Mohammed’s appointment and the subsequent announcement.
TTFRA vice-president Osmond Downer said it is within the remit of the normalisation committee to hire a general secretary, even though the burden of paying him falls on the TTFA—not Fifa.
“The board in the constitution is responsible for appointing the general secretary of the TTFA, on the proposal of the president of the TTFA,” said Downer. “At the moment, the board has been replaced by the normalisation committee. They will be well in order to appoint a general secretary to the TTFA on the proposal of the chairman who is Hadad—that is in keeping with the constitution.”
The chairman promised, in the 10 January statement, to provide an update.
“We also take this opportunity to outline that the normalisation committee will be coordinating meetings with TTFA members,” stated Hadad, “to determine the individual challenges that clubs and associations are facing during the Covid-19 pandemic and in general football matters.
“Updates on the TTFA’s financial health will be forthcoming at a general meeting which will be convened in due course.”
Notably, Hadad did not set a date for either update.
Fifa generally establishes five-member normalisation committees, with the chair receiving US$6,500 per month while ordinary members collect US$4,000 per month.
In Trinidad and Tobago’s case, the global governing body has appointed only three persons: Hadad, vice-chair Judy Daniel, and Nigel Romano. None have any managerial experience in football.
Hadad is co-CEO of family-owned business, HadCo Limited. Romano is chairman of the National Insurance Property Development Company Limited (NIPDEC) and National Flour Mills boards and is also a director and partner at Moore Trinidad and Tobago.
Daniel is an environmental lawyer who, Wired868 understands, lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. She is not believed to have visited Trinidad and Tobago in at least a year.
Daniel’s current address would make her ineligible for a TTFA board position, although it is uncertain whether the normalisation committee has any such restrictions.
Hadad did not respond to queries on Daniel’s whereabouts, or give a date for his first press conference—a full nine months into the job.
Editor’s Note: Article 34.6 of the TTFA Constitution states: ‘any candidate that wishes to become a member of the Board of Directors shall […] be nationals of and shall have permanent residence in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago’.