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Hadad’s unconstitutional ‘meeting’ raises more questions on NC’s occupation of the TTFA

Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad has come under fire again for repeat violations of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Constitution, after his invitation to members for a meeting provoked more questions about his leadership.

On Wednesday, TTFA acting general secretary Amiel Mohammed invited members to a ‘meeting’ on Zoom next Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. The ‘forum’, according to Mohammed, will ‘feature a membership update presented by the NC on TTFA Affairs’.

Photo: Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad.

Mohammed’s email, on behalf of the normalisation committee, did not include an agenda or suggest a stipulated question and answer segment, while a one hour timeframe for the body’s first meeting with members—16 months after its appointment—is farcical.

The more pressing issues that the normalisation committee are likely to face questions on include:

The TTFA’s debt repayment plans, Fifa’s desired constitutional amendments, the TTFA’s financial statements, the Soca Warriors’ disastrous 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign, details of the Bol clothing deal, details of interim head coach Angus Eve’s contract, details of Women’s National Senior Team head coach James Thomas’ contract, details of the payoff offered to former marketing manager Peter Miller, an explanation regarding Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith’s role within the TTFA and the Men’s National Senior Team, details on former head coach Terry Fenwick’s altercation with press officer Shaun Fuentes, details on former assistant coach Kelvin Jack’s altercation with player Gary Griffith III, the legal advice that underpinned the normalisation committee’s handling of the contracts it met and entered into since its appointment, a breakdown of the match fees and television revenue pocketed for the January international friendly against the United States, and an explanation regarding where the normalisation committee currently banks the Fifa subvention to the TTFA.

Photo: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith (left) has a word with then Soca Warriors head coach Terry Fenwick after training at the Police Barracks in St James on 3 July 2020.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

And, first and foremost, why is the normalisation committee refusing to adhere to the constitution by holding a general meeting?

Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association (TTFRA) president Osmond Downer, in a response to the normalisation committee, said he is ‘thankful for the long awaited opportunity to have a membership meeting for the stakeholders of the TTFA to be updated on the activities of the NC’.  

However, he also expressed concern about the invitation.

“What is the status or nature of this ‘meeting’?” asked Downer, in an email seen by Wired868. “From your request for members ‘to send their delegates’ email addresses’, it would appear to be a ‘general meeting’. But, what kind of general meeting?  

Photo: Seventeen-year-old Puerto Rico flanker Wilfredo Rivera (centre) skips past Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland during World Cup qualifying action in Mayaguez on 28 March 2021.
(via TTFA Media)

“[…] Article 27 of the TTFA’s Constitution clearly lays out the requirements for the convening of an annual general meeting with required days notice etc. This ‘meeting’ certainly does not fulfil the requirements of Article 27.    

“[…] Again the convening of this meeting does not fulfil the requirements of article 29, for example, the requirement for ‘at least 10 days notice before the date of an EGM’.

“So, this ‘meeting’ cannot be classified as a constitutionally valid general meeting of the TTFA. Perhaps it can be labelled as an informal meeting or gathering of the members of the TTFA.”

What is the difference between a properly constituted meeting and an informal one?

The former ensures specific rights to the bodies which comprise the TTFA, as relates to the information they are due and demands they can make of local football’s current management body.

Photo: Nipdec and National Flour Mills chairman and normalisation committee member Nigel Romano.

In an informal meeting, Hadad can merely share what he chooses before signing off. Such a conclave would allow the normalisation committee to claim—at least to gullible or uninformed parties—that it has met stakeholders, without offering any value to the members whose interest they are supposed to serve.

Downer’s closing sentence was instructive.

“One would presume that, at the meeting, questions and even suggestions for improvement will be allowed from the stakeholders,” said Downer.

It was half-statement, half-question. And it was telling that he saw it necessary to raise it at all.

Hadad apart, the Fifa-appointed normalisation committee comprises Judy Daniel, Nigel L Romano and Trevor Nicholas Gomez.

 

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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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6 comments

  1. For the record, FC Santa Rosa will not attend this meeting. The club does not recognize FIFA’s Normalisation Committee, nor the authority of Mr. Mohammed to communicate in any official capacity with TTFA members. Moreover, under the existing TTFA Constitution, which remains in force, the only parties who may call a TTFA membership meeting are the TTFA President, or the required percentage of bona fide TTFA Board members or TTFA members. Any such meeting must state an agenda. The existing Constitution approved by the membership must be respected and the arbitrary rule of non-elected persons by fiat must be rejected.

    • Keith, Does Santa Rosa FC propose to so inform the NC or do they in your judgement not even deserve the courtesy of a response?

      I fancy I know your answer but asking for a friend…

    • I assume that the pronouncement for the record that “The club does not recognize FIFA’s Normalisation Committee” reflects a decision taken at the General Meeting of the FC Santa Rosa or some similar body within the Club.

      The General Meeting of the TTFA, on the other hand, has overwhelmingly recognized the Normalisation Committee and the members of the TTFA enjoy the benefits of that recognition.

      In this context, the pronouncement separates FC Santa Rosa from its fellow TTFA members. It is an unnecessary demarcation at a time when the fraternity needs to be united against the occupation and arbitrary rule of non-elected persons.

      Just my two cents.

      • The club is free to decide its own policy regardless of what other TTFA members opt to do. Moreover, your information is incorrect. The last TTFA General Meeting was held in November 2019. It elected the Wallace administration. No TTFA General Meeting has ever voted to “overwhelming recognize” FIFA’s NC. The response to this invitation from Hadad will amply demonstrate which members are willing to limply accept the arbitrary dictatorship of Hadad.

        • Thanks for the clarity…as Marley would say…

          Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny,
          And in this judgement there is no partiality.
          So arm in arms, with arms, we’ll fight this little struggle,
          ‘Cause that’s the only way we can overcome our little trouble.

          Brother, you’re right, you’re right,
          You’re right, you’re right, you’re so right!
          We gon’ fight (we gon fight)…fight for our rights!

          – Bob Marley, Zimbabwe