By Paul Nicholson
September 18 – FIFA have given the dissident former Trinidad and Tobago FA board until 3pm (AST) on September 23 to withdraw all court claims against the world governing body or face suspension.
In a letter to TTFA Normalisation Committee chair Robert Hadad, FIFA said: “… the FIFA Council has decided to give a final deadline to the relevant parties to withdraw all types of claims against FIFA before the Trinidad and Tobago courts.”
“Failure to comply with this directive within this revised deadline will result in the matter being brought to the attention of the relevant FIFA bodies to decide on the suspension of the TTFA.”
Previously FIFA had given a deadline of September 16 saying that if the case is not withdrawn suspension proceedings will be started. The new wording and deadline makes it clear that suspension is inevitable.
The decision to extend the deadline was made by the FIFA Council at a meeting yesterday. The deadline does not offer any form of mediation with the United TTFA complainants and FIFA insiders are adamant that there is none to be had.
To prevent suspension the former president William Wallace and his co-complainants will have to provide court documents and certified statements that the case has been withdrawn, such is the distrust from the governing bodies of football towards Wallace, United TTFA ringleader Keith Look Loy (ironically a former FIFA employee when Jack Warner was in his money-stealing pomp), and the other former TTFA board members.
If the documentation is not provided the TTFA can expect the ban to be swift and the suspension to be long, according to one insider who asked to remain anonymous. “There are no winners in this,” he said, “only losers. The biggest losers are the players who will miss out on the potential of international football and careers.”
The FIFA Congress did not have the suspension of the TTFA as an agenda item. Look Loy, revealing the depths his group are going to cling on to power, posted on Twitter saying: “Nothing on the FIFA Congress agenda. They will wait until their Bureau of 7 meets, as I said on TV6 yesterday. Easier to pass a suspension there than to justify it to 211 countries, all of which have received a copy of Mark Bassant’s documentary. It’s chess. It ain’t checkers.”
Questions are now being asked about the truth of Bassant’s documentary which claims Panama accounts in the name of former president David John-Williams stacked full of FIFA money that should have gone to the TTFA. So far evidence has not been compelling to prove that is the case and John-Williams has vehemently denied the allegations ( see http://www.insideworldfootball.com/2020/09/18/former-ttfa-chief-denies-hidden-fifa-cash-panama/).
However, that Look Loy’s group have seemingly circulated the documentary to all FIFA’s members does echo the modus operandi of the United TTFA who were elected to leadership with fabricated letters of support and promises of sponsor support that were similarly made-up.
While it isn’t checkmate, Wallace and Look Loy were always playing this game with too few pieces and on a board that was never theirs but actually belonged to football – in Trinidad and Tobago and worldwide. They now have to decide if their football legacy will be the suspension of the game for an indefinite period in their country and the loss of opportunity and joy it brings.
They will also likely have to face personal investigations by FIFA’s Ethics body. That doesn’t look like it will end well either. Similarly, if reports are correct that a criminal investigation has been opened into John-Williams then its seems likely that the same will have to be opened into the United TTFA.
Click on link to: Letter to TTFA from FIFA
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