Keith Look Loy, the driving force behind the formation of the United T&T Football Association (TTFA), is calling on the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), being led by Barbadian Randolph Harris, to seek the postponement of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers which are scheduled to begin in October.
Look Loy yesterday said he believes the postponement of the tournament until next year is something that Harris and the CFU should be arguing for because of the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has already claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands around the world.
“Asia has already pushed its qualifiers back to 2021 (next year), and CONCACAF has postponed the CFU Club Championship, so why doesn't Harris do it in the interest of saving lives. It will be impossible to adhere to quarantine regulations because of the regularity at which matches are to be played,” said Look Loy.
The former FIFA Youth Development Officer pointed to a FIFA statement which prohibited players from being released from their clubs to represent their countries in UEFA World Cup Qualifiers because of the coronavirus. The draw for the qualifiers took place last week and it pooled T&T in a group with St Kitts/Nevis, Guyana, Bahamas and Puerto Rico, with only the winner progressing to the second round of the qualifiers.
National coach Terry Fenwick told Guardian Media Sports last week he sees the group as a promising one to emerge from, but financial constraints have put his team in an unfavourable position. Fenwick said he was told by Robert Hadad, chairman of the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee that his hands are tied from providing financial assistance to the team because of the ongoing court battle between the ousted United TTFA elected officers and the sport's supreme body - FIFA.
However, Look Loy took a swipe at the normalisation committee, calling on its members to access the more than $20 million sitting in the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland because of the reluctance of the FIFA to hand it over because of the ongoing court battle.
“For Hadad, FIFA and the normalisation to say their hands are tied is an outright lie. They paid office staff and they have right now, in excess of $20 million, which represents grants and COVID Relief Funds etc. I am appealing to the normalisation committee to access the funding for the qualifying tournament in October.”
He said the reluctance of the normalisation committee to access the funding is a deliberate attempt to frustrate the United TTFA in its battle with the FIFA to have the appointment of the normalisation committee overturned. He explained that when they took over the management of the sport in November last year, the country saw for the first time in five years, a proper technical department.
He said, “For the first time we had national teams fully staffed and training. And at short notice, we had the Under-20 women's team compete in the Dominican Republic at the CONCACAF Tournament and reached the quarterfinal round, so our plans were working but then came FIFA and mashed up everything.”