Attorneys for the ousted T&T Football Association (TTFA) Dr Emir Crowne and Matthew GW Gayle have officially file an application to begin proceedings of their legal battle through the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) on Monday, against the world governing body for football, the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) on behalf of their clients.
Gayle said the required $1,000 Swiss Francs, which represent the fee for CAS, was paid on Monday but he made it clear, however, that another unknown amount that would represent fees for the arbiters, is to be paid soon.
Following a decision by FIFA to appoint a Normalisation Committee to run the affairs of T&T football did not go down too well with former president William Wallace and his administration which comprised his three vice presidents — Clynt Taylor, Joseph 'Sam' Phillip and Susan Joseph-Warrick, the representative for women’s football in T&T following their successful democratic election on November 24, 2019.
Gayle said the application was drafted up sometime now and was just awaiting the CAS fee, which was paid up.
On March 27, FIFA installed businessmen Robert Hadad and as chairman, retired banker Nigel Romano, as well as Environmental lawyer Judy Daniel, who is deputy chairman of the cash-strapped administration. Two other members to be selected by a joint team of FIFA and CONCACAF, is expected to be named soon.
Wallace who won the hearts of voters at the TTFA elections in November said his administration inherited little to no funding in the coffers of the David John-Williams-led association when it assumed office and has also faced mounting bills and a debt that moved from $16 million to $50 million.
However, after entering two questionable deals with international sportswear company Avec Sports from the United Kingdom and Lavender, a global architecture company, the Wallace and his vice presidents made a desperate call on members of the public to show their financial support through a ‘go fund me' initiative launched on March 30, which benefitted from the contributions of US$2,000 provided by the T&T Super League, among other donations.
The latest figures in the go-fund-me account yesterday shows it has accumulated a total of US$3,155. The account is set-up to raise an estimated TT$300,000 to $500,000 to underwrite the cost for their legal challenge against FIFA.
To date, the T&T Super League (TTSL), Secondary School Football League (SSFL), Northern Football Association (NFA), T&T Football Referees Association (TTFRA), the T&T Women’s League of Football (WoLF) and T&T American Youth Soccer Organisation (TTAYSO) have all come out an offered written support to Wallace and his vice presidents after FIFA's decision on March 17, to send a Normalisation Committee to govern T&T football.
The FIFA letter from FIFA's secretary-general Fatma Samoura to Ramesha Ramdhan, the general secretary of the TTFA in part reads:" Under these serious circumstances, and in accordance with article 8 paragraph 2 of the Fifa statutes (which foresees that executive bodies of member associations may, under exceptional circumstances, be removed from office by the Fifa Council in consultation with the relevant confederation and replaced by a normalisation committee for a specific period), the Bureau of the Council decided, on 17 March 2020, to appoint a normalisation committee for the TTFA.
Contacted on Monday for a response, Wallace told Guardian Media Sports that every comment from them will come through their lawyers.
Meanwhile, Hadad is preparing to take up the job he was given by FIFA when the current coronavirus pandemic ends. He has since been liaising with TTFA general secretary Ramdhan for information that will lead to the committee achieving its mandate successfully.
Hadad said his first assignment will be to pay the staff of the TTFA their salaries for last month (March).