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T&TFA faces Fifa sanctions

Published: 
Thursday, March 22, 2018
David John-Williams - TTFA President

It's now a race against time unknown before the T&T Football Association (TTFA) faces sanctions from the world governing body for football - (The Federation of International Football Associations -FIFA), for its inability to submit audited financial statements for the year 2016 in time.

This sanction will prevent the embattled football association from receiving annual subventions from FIFA for yet another time. Ironically, David John-Williams, the TTFA president, in just over a year of him assuming office, boasted of his association's achievement by providing the FIFA with audited financial statements which had been withheld for many years under then president and special adviser Oliver Camps and Jack Warner.

Now John-Williams could have himself to blame if sanctions are imposed on the TTFA, as he failed to adhere to the sport's constitution which allows adjourned meetings to proceed whether a quorum exists or not.

The annual general meeting was initially held on November 28 last year and comprised a full quorum, but it had to be adjourned after John-Williams called in sick. Afterwards there were four unsuccessful attempts to complete the meeting and ratify the 2016 financial statements.

John-Williams failed to attend two other meetings as he was on official FIFA duty, while the other two times delegates of clubs in the regional associations- Northern Football Association (NFA), Southern FA, Eastern FA, Central FA, Tobago FA and the Eastern Counties Football Union (ECFU), the 22 Super League teams, 10 T&T Pro League clubs, as well as the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), Primary Schools Football League, WolF, referees association and futsal, have all failed to attend the AGM to make up a quorum.

In the last attempt on Saturday John-Williams adjourned the meeting saying he felt it unethical to deal with such an issue without a quorum.

The TTFA now has an unknown deadline to submit its financial statements to the FIFA. Attempts to verify the deadline date were unsuccessful as calls to the phones of John-Williams, general secretary Justin Latapy-George, vice president Ewing Davis, and Joanne Salazar, vice president of the TTFA, went unanswered.

Meanwhile, the football association will be expected to submit its financial statements for 2017 by June.

Former referee Osmond Downer, who is considered a dictionary on the sport's constitutional said, a reconvened AGM need a quorum only in the case of an election or dismissal of an officer. "Dealing with financials is not an issue that requires a quorum," Downer explained.

Though the football boss was chastised for his decision he also received sympathy from many who turned their focus on club delegates and accused them of dereliction of duty. Downer said if the delegates showed up for meetings there could be no adjournments, noting the delegates are just as guilty as John-Williams.

Board member Anthony Moore, who did not attend the meeting Saturday due to ongoing problems with the sea-bridge, believes there could be concerns that some clubs could be non-compliant which is why they have consistently stayed away from meetings.

Non compliant club delegates can sit in meetings, but only as observers.

WALTER ALIBEY

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