T&T Pro League outfit Cunupia FC has decided to forgo a lawsuit against embattled T&T Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace and his two remaining vice presidents Clynt Taylor and Joseph Sam Phillips over their decision to pursue their controversial lawsuit against FIFA.
Guardian Media Sports understand that lawyers representing the club Tuesday filed an application to withdraw the case, which was filed last week.
After a claim for $4.5 million in losses incurred by the central club due to the unwanted legal actions by Wallace and his team to challenge the appointment of Normalisation Committee by football's world governing body, Cunupia FC coach Michael Du Four said his team wanted to send a strong message to the TTFA to drop its fight, as it was only hurting T&T football.
Du Four said: "The club initiated this court action based on the actions of the TTFA, which was really meant to say the club disagrees with what they were doing. Cunupia FC is into the business of football and not going to court. We withdrew the matter because we want football matters to be settled on the field and not in the courtroom. We also want these matters to be settled amicably."
The Cunupia football boss told Guardian Media Sports he has no desire in his club being a catalyst for going to court for football-related matters, but rather be an example of making decisions in the interest of the sport and all involved in it, which is what he wants Wallace and his team of Taylor and Phillip to follow.
He jokingly said he prefers to see Cunupia FC take on a Wallace XI, featuring Keith Look Loy, a United TTFA founder, Taylor and Phillip in a post COVID-19 match at any venue.
In the original court filings, the team's attorney Peter Taylor said: "The Defendants' actions were grossly negligent, highly reckless unethical and irresponsible and without due regard to the statutory underpinning which binds the actions of the Association since they knew or ought to have known that failure to withdraw the action in the High Court would result in the suspension of T&T from all the attendant adverse consequences flowing there from."
The club claimed that Wallace and his team went against the wishes of the majority of its member associations, who voted to withdraw the case, by withdrawing their withdrawal application, which was filed past the deadline, after FIFA announced the TTFA's suspension.
"The Defendants' decision not to obey the majority vote of its membership to withdrawing the High Court action is inconsistent with good administration," Taylor said.
It stated that through the suspension it would miss out on participating in regional club tournaments and receiving corresponding funding.
"The Defendants' actions will severely hamper the Claimant's development of it players and staff for an indefinite period thereby occasioning loss and damage," Taylor said.
Responding to the case, Wallace's lawyer Matthew Gayle wrote to Taylor and suggested that it be withdrawn as it was doomed to fail.
Gayle noted that his client was improperly served via WhatsApp and was not given a pre-action protocol letter and allowed to respond.
Gayle questioned why Taylor claimed that Wallace and his team in their personal capacity breached an alleged contractual agreement with the club, when no such contract existed.
He also queried the club's claim that is sponsorship and funding issues were caused by Wallace and his team's ongoing case before Justice Carol Gobin.
"There is no nexus between your client's purported potential and/or theoretical future losses, which the claim compounds by rightly and properly recognising my client as the 'duly elected president'," Gayle said.
Gayle suggested that the $4.5 million in Government and private funding claimed was not guaranteed as it was dependent on the team's qualification for regional club tournaments.
"In any event, no causation is predicated and the purported potential/anticipated losses are predicated on the occurrence of several events which ate yet to take place or may never do," he said, as he suggested that the case was based on speculation.
Gayle suggested that the club take up its complaint with FIFA for suspending the association for narrowly missing its deadline for withdrawing the case.
Gayle gave Taylor until October 23 to withdraw the case before he applies for it to be struck out and for the club to pay its legal costs.
Du Four said his club will now have to accept its losses and hopefully make it up when the local football season resumes.
Ironically, the withdrawal comes on the day when Justice Carol Gobin was set to deliver her ruling on whether the appointment of the normalisation committee by FIFA is considered legitimate or not.