The Court of Appeal is scheduled to determine FIFA's appeal, over High Court Judge Carol Gobin's decision to hear a case brought by embattled T&T Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace and his United TTFA executive team, on Friday at 3 pm.
Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Appellate Judge Nolan Bereaux reserved their judgement on the appeal after finishing hearing submissions from the two parties in a virtual hearing, this afternoon.
In the appeal, the panel has been asked to determine whether Gobin had the jurisdiction to hear the case, which she eventually decided in Wallace and his team's favour, last week.
On Monday, FIFA contended that under its constitution, the TTFA agreed to forgo litigation in local courts in favour of arbitration before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
It also contends that the Act of Parliament, which incorporated the TTFA, did not preclude it from choosing CAS over local courts in its constitution.
The TTFA's lawyers have contended that the constitution could not oust the jurisdiction of the local courts.
They also claimes that FIFA frustrated their client's attempt to challenge its (FIFA) decision to replace them with a normalisation committee by refusing to pay its share of the 40,000 Swiss Francs required for an appeal before the CAS.
If FIFA wins the appeal, Gobin's ruling on the substantive case would become null and void.
Delivering her judgement in the case, last week, Gobin ruled that FIFA's move to appoint a Normalisation Committee led by businessman Robert Hadad to replace Wallace and his team was illegal, null and void and of no effect.
Gobin said: "The Court declares that the decision of the Defendant dated 17/3/20 to appoint a normalisation committee was made in bad faith and for an improper and illegal motive."
She also ruled that FIFA's Statutes which speak to the appointment of such committees did not conform with the local legislation which incorporated the TTFA and prescribes how it is governed.
In her judgement, Gobin considered FIFA's Statutes on the committee which stated that it is to be appointed to member federations in "extraordinary circumstances".
"The rule essentially gives FIFA a free hand. The absence of a definition does not however limit my ability to consider the circumstances of it and to determine the lawfulness of FIFA's actions," she said.
"I have considered the evidence and have come to the conclusion that the decision to invoke the normalisation was unwarranted and indefensible," she added.
She said that FIFA attempted to usurp the power of the local legislation by directing the committee to arrange fresh elections.
She also took the opportunity to criticise FIFA for its apparent disdain for the local courts through its actions in repeatedly refusing to recognise their jurisdiction for cases within the country.
"The defendant's conduct regrettably calls into question the sincerity of its vaulted commitment to achieving its objectives to promote integrity, fair play, and friendly relations in society for humanitarian objectives as well as its commitment to respecting internationally recognised human rights and striving to protect them. Disregard for the rule of law is inconsistent with these objectives," she said.
While Gobin said she recognised the effect of the case on the sport in this country, she suggested that it could be considered warranted in the circumstances.
"The TTFA's actions in seeking redress before the Court was perhaps the only appropriate response which avoided capitulating to the demands of FIFA and thereby elevating the status of FIFA Statues above the laws passed by our Parliament," Gobin said.
Wallace and his colleagues are being represented by Dr Emir Crowne, Matthew Gayle, Crystal Paul, and Jason Jones, while Christopher Hamel-Smith, Jonathan Walker and Cherie Gopie appeared for FIFA.