A last-ditch attempt to get members of the United T&T Football Association (TTFA) to drop its legal battle against football’s world governing body FIFA, to remove a Normalisation Committee that was appointed to govern the affairs of local football on March 27, seems to be gaining traction.
Guardian Media Sports was reliably informed that a petition requiring the signatures of the membership has already received more than 50 per cent support of the 49 delegates, who can make decisions inclusive of pending signatures of the Women’s Football League (WoLF), although its president Susan Joseph-Warrick is a vice president of United TTFA executive, which was FIFA removed on March 17.
Also expected to sign on the dotted line are Eastern Counties Football Union president Sherwin Dyer, the Central Football Association (CFA), the Tobago Football Association (TFA) and the Eastern Football Association (EFA) among many others, along with other support from clubs in the T&T Super League (TTSL)and the T&T Pro League. Secondary Schools Football League’s (SSFL) interim president Philip Fraser said he will first take the request to his membership before he can sign for or against.
Both Brent Sancho, chairman of the T&T Pro League and Mike Awai, a Business Development Officer at Pro League campaigners AC Port-of-Spain, has said that with 51 per cent support of the membership, a request can be made to the chairman of the normalisation committee, businessman Robert Hadad to call an emergency general meeting, from which a decision can be made to seek the court’s approval to stop the action of the ousted TTFA executive members - former president William Wallace and his three vice presidents - Clynt Taylor, Joseph-Warrick and Joseph Sam Phillip, which has put the country in a position to be sanctioned by FIFA.
Sancho said also that with 75 per cent of the support of the football membership, the United TTFA group can be stopped outrightly, as they would not be representing the wishes of the majority of the members.
Only on Wednesday, a letter from FIFA’s secretary general Fatma Samoura warned the United TTFA that if they did not comply with the FIFA Statutes, and accept the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) based in Zurich, Switzerland, as the jurisdiction for settling the dispute between the parties, then the country faces sanctions.
Samoura also gave the United TTFA executive a deadline date of September 16, 2020 to take its matter out of the T&T High Court in Port-of-Spain.
Meanwhile, in an unexplainable twist, Keith Look Loy, the man responsible for the formation of the United TTFA, sought suggestions from the membership of his club FC Santa Rosa, via Facebook yesterday, on whether they should continue their fight with the FIFA, or if they should surrender and let the FIFA have its way.
Wallace, president of the United TTFA, said he believes Look Loy must have been testing the waters to see what their support was like. He later reaffirmed his team’s firm stance against FIFA, saying they are to meet soon, in the wake of Wednesday threatening letter from FIFA.
Christine Hoyte, WoLF’s representative on the Board of the TTFA, said yesterday that a decision was taken to sign the petition as the WoLF doesn’t support the country being banned.
Hoyte said: "This is a matter between the United TTFA and the FIFA so we don’t feel that the country, which has a number of young people pursuing dreams in football, should suffer for that. It would take away the dream from young people and leave them with no other alternative. There are also young players seeking professional contracts and scholarships abroad and their history in the sport here will determine if they will be successful or not.”
Hoyte, a former national defender, made it clear that WoLF’s goal is firmly towards the development of women football in T&T.
Dyer, who is set to be challenged for the top position in the eastern counties, said he heard about the petition and he is impatiently waiting to sign it, saying he will not support the country being sanctioned and will also never support anything Look Loy is involved in.