T&T could be back in the fold of FIFA and be among the teams to contest the CONCACAF Gold Cup preliminary rounds as well as the FIFA/CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers after all.
At least so it seems, from a consensus of the sport’s membership, who is set for the October 25 Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to lobby for the return of the Normalisation Committee, as well as the removal of the current football executive.
United T&T Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace, despite their triumph in the High Court last week, has ensured that the membership will decide on the way forward for the sport.
Wallace on the I95.5FM Andre Baptiste programme on Saturday fended off a call by Eastern Football Association (EFA) president Kieron Edwards for the agenda to include the removal of the current executive, as well as the return of the normalisation committee, which comprises businessmen Robert Hadad and Nigel Romano, and Attorney Judy Daniel, saying while the agenda cannot have any inclusions, the nature of the meeting would allow for any proposal.
The EFA boss in a document on Friday gave reasons why the proposition to bring back the normalisation committee and remove Wallace and his team of Clynt Taylor and Joseph Sam Phillip was crucial and necessary. However, Wallace sought to clear the air, saying after the ruling on Tuesday last, they immediately proposed an agenda, date and time for the EGM to his Board members and nine out of 13 agreed.
He said initially seven members out of 13 agreed, which still represented a majority but subsequent to that, they got nine out of the 13 members that responded agreeing with the proposed date and agenda. He explained also that he spoke to Edwards about his proposal and explained that because the majority of the members had agreed to the agenda and date, there could be no additions to the agenda.
“However, what I indicated is that because of the nature of the agenda, it is broad as it is wide. It said to discuss the way forward, so that way forward can include as many things as is possible. If it means getting any impediments out of the way, that can be discussed. The meeting is scheduled for the 25th,” Wallace said.
Attempts to make contact with Wallace, yesterday, proved futile.
Meanwhile, Richard Quan Chan, the Southern Football Association (SFA) president said the removal of the current executive and return of the normalisation committee has always been the obvious thing if T&T is to contest the qualifiers of both the CONCACAF Gold Cup and World Cup Qualifiers.
“This is what I got from the agenda- ‘discussing the way forward’. Once we accept the normalisation committee and allow it to do what FIFA wants, including sorting out the TTFA Statutes and bring it in line with that of FIFA, we should be back as a FIFA member and back in the qualifiers,” said Quan Chan, who dismissed the ruling of High Court Justice Carol Gobin to recognise the United TTFA as the legitimate body to manage T&T football.
“One of my major concerns with Justice Gobin was her being emotional by seeing FIFA’s challenge as one that was pushing aside the law of the country and pushing her aside as an individual, as opposed to her ruling on the basis of the Law and the Statutes.”
Monday, the Court of Appeal is expected to hear an appeal from FIFA over Gobin’s jurisdiction to hear the case.
FIFA will not have any defence, as it did in the High Court last week but football pundits are saying it will be precedence if the Appellate judges will overturn the ruling of the High Court.
Quan Chan said he lost confidence in the Wallace-led administration with the contracts of national coach Terry Fenwick, marketing representative Peter Miller, general secretary Ramesh Ramdhan, the Avec Sports deal and the Lavender/Arima Velodrome initiative.
Meanwhile, Jamaal Shabazz, coach and owner of T&T Pro League outfit Morvant Caledonia United said for the country to have a future we must return to FIFA.
He believes that discussion has to be held on the propose addition to the agenda, noting that with the diverse views and antagonism among the fraternity for the future of the sport, there must find a pathway going forward.
“Though I may have differing views to Wallace and company, I am still willing to discuss with them a reason why T&T must return to the fold of FIFA,” said Shabazz.