T&T Automobile Sports Association (TTASA) president Fyzool Madan says the forex problems plaguing this country have caused his body to be demoted to an associate member of the Federation of International Automobile Association (FIA).
At Friday’s annual general meeting (AGM) in Paris, the FIA announced that T&T was no longer a full member of the body and as such had relegated the local sports’ governing body to an associate member.
TTASA has been owing to the international body $80,000 in fees for the last two years but Madan told Guardian Media Sports on Saturday that while his body has the relevant money to make the payment to the FIA, the issue is changing it into euros is challenging. He said, “It is because of the foreign exchange. We cannot get the foreign exchange. If you go to the bank now, you get $100 or $200, it is $TT40k we have to pay to FIA and we have to convert that and it’s a tug really for us to get that money.”
The demotion means TTASA has no say at the international level with no rights to vote at assembly meetings.
However, while some members of the local racing fraternity labelled it a ‘disgrace’, the TTASA president was adamant the country wasn’t missing out on much being an associate member.
Madan said, “I wouldn’t spend the club money or even my money to go into a meeting to vote and do all these scandalous travelling, that is wasting money. At this time, it doesn’t even make sense of being a full member of FIA. T&T doesn’t even need that. We don’t have FIA races here. We have a lot more important things to deal with at this time.”
Madan, who has been president of TTASA for the last four years reassured the public of his association’s willingness to pay the FIA but was adamant there was only so much he could do. “This will not be a quick fix due to the foreign exchange but as soon as possible in the new year we are going to try to get this money,” he said.
He noted once the debt is paid off TTASA will be reinstituted as a full member of the international body.
The news comes on the heels of a turbulent end to the year for the TTASA president who saw several members resign from his association as well as growing criticism for his handling of the association’s constitution. It was reported that he was seeking a third term in office as president when the current constitution only allows for a sitting president to serve two terms. In mid-November, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Shamfa Cudjoe said she was forced to halt the alleged attempt.