FIFA suspends Trinidad and Tobago Football Association

The Bureau of the FIFA Council yesterday suspended the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) with immediate effect due to what it termed “grave violations” of the FIFA Statutes.

In a statement, the world governing body said the “suspension was prompted by the former leadership of the TTFA lodging a claim before a local court in Trinidad and Tobago in order to contest the decision of the FIFA Council to appoint a normalisation committee for the TTFA.

“This course of action was in direct breach of article 59 of the FIFA Statutes, which expressly prohibits recourse to ordinary courts unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations.”

 FIFA had set up a normalisation committee after it was “established that the former leadership of the TTFA had engaged in various acts of serious mismanagement,” the statement said.

“The decision of the former leadership to go to a local court to contest the appointment of the normalisation committee jeopardizes not only the future of football in Trinidad and Tobago but also endangers the overall global football governance structure, which relies on the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as the exclusive forum for resolving disputes of this nature.”

The statement said that the “the relevant parties were initially given until 16 September to withdraw the case but failed to do so. This deadline was then extended until 23 September, which was not respected either.

“In the circumstances, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided to suspend the TTFA,” FIFA said, adding “this suspension will only be lifted when the TTFA fully complies with its obligations as a member of FIFA, including recognising the legitimacy of the appointed normalisation committee and bringing its own statutes into line with the FIFA Statutes”.

So far there has been no response from the TTFA and its former president William Wallace, but head of the three-member Normalisation Committee here,  Robert Hadad, said he was disappointed with the position adopted by the former TTFA officials.

Hew said despite his many attempts to stave off the suspension, FIFA went through with the suspension.
“The FIFA appointed Normalisation Committee is the only way forward and is the only recognised body by FIFA and the football family needs to work with us so we can put everything into getting this suspension lifted.

“It is incumbent upon us to come together and fix the TTFA for the good of future generations,” he added.