“There could be no change without consequences. Some people want to support our stance but are unwilling to accept the consequences.”
This was the statement yesterday from ousted T&T Football Association president William Wallace, who is leading a daring battle against the world governing body for football FIFA, for the right to manage the local game once more.
The team of Wallace, Clynt Taylor, Joseph Sam Phillip and Susan Joseph-Warrick was replaced by a FIFA Normalisation Committee appointed by the FIFA because the TTFA faced a real risk of insolvency.
T&T football is now being managed by that normalisation committee, comprising businessman Robert Hadad, the chairman, retired banker Nigel Romano and attorney Judy Daniel, after Wallace and his executive was removed from office on March 17 by FIFA, according to article 8.2 of its statutes.
Wallace, who on Monday took their battle with the FIFA to the High Court in Port-of-Spain, took a swipe at their detractors yesterday, saying the notion of taking a stand without risk is contradictory.
“They are basing this on what might happen, assuming that we will be banned for our stance. We are taking a calculated risk and we are getting the support of the international media,” Wallace said.
He added: “Right now our football needs to reset. For the past four years, our football had been going backwards, yet no one stood up and said anything but us (the United TTFA). Now they are telling me about where we are going wrong. This is not a decision that was made just so, we considered several factors before we arrived at this.”
Meanwhile, Stern John, a T&T Under-20 assistant coach, is calling on Wallace and his team to do the right thing.
“This is taking T&T football back to the stone age and I cannot support that. At the end of the day, football must be the winner. It must not be destroyed at the expense of someone proving a personal point,” John told Guardian Media Sports.
He said believes with the approach being taken, several young T&T footballers will suffer.
“I have a son who wants to represent this country but if we are banned, he may never get the chance, just as many other young players. I think Wallace has gotten it wrong here,” John, the country's all-time top goalscorer, explained.
The Wallace team's decision to take the FIFA to the local court is a violation of the FIFA Statutes for Member Associations, an action that leads to a ban. However, it is uncertain which ban FIFA could hand down, as one official said, “The country, on the whole, could be banned, or there could be a ban on individuals. This decision will be made at the FIFA Congress and that is if the FIFA decides to ban us for the stand we took.”