IT continues to be a war of words between the president of the TT Football Association (TTFA) David John-Williams and the United TTFA leading up to the TTFA elections on November 24.
A press conference was held, on Monday, to announce that the newly formed TTFA League of Champions tournament will be played from Sunday to April 12.
Defence Force, Police, Matura ReUnited, Guaya United, Miscellaneous Laventille United, Moruga FC, Harlem Strikers, Central Soccer World and Marabella Family Crisis Centre and the Tobago-based pair of Youth Stars United and Tobago Phoenix are among the participating teams.
A press release issued yesterday by The United TTFA questioned the timing of the new league as it comes less than three weeks before elections.
“The general policy of United TTFA is to promote football in TT, and within that to foster the development of club football. Nonetheless, United TTFA holds the view that the new league to be launched by the David John-Williams administration on 10 November – the so-called TTFA League of Champions – is a political gimmick intended to create the impression that TTFA is doing something for local club football and to undermine the TT Super League.”
The release added that it has based this conclusion on a number of factors including the TTFA not meeting with the TTFA Referee Committee to discuss and organise match officials for this league. According to the United TTFA this is disrespectful and unprofessional. The United TTFA is also questioning the FA’s source of funding to start the league after continuously complaining about a shortage of funds.
United TTFA promised the TTFA electorate and the people of TT that it will adopt the necessary measures to establish a proper elite league in 2020.
In response to the release by United TTFA, John-Williams told Newsday the TTFA tried to unify football in TT months ago by creating a two-tier league involving Pro League teams in the first tier and Super League teams in the second tier.
The teams in the second tier would have tried to earn promotion to the second tier, but that proposal was blanked by the TT Super League. The president of the TT Super League is Keith Look Loy, who is part of the United TTFA.
John-Williams said the TTFA League of Champions tournament is for the interest of football and not about politics.
“The TTFA is responsible for football in this country and it is not a political gimmick because if it was a political gimmick it would have been teams who (were) involved with delegates would have playing in the league. None of those clubs could vote.”
John-Williams, the president of local club W Connection said he knows the value of club football. “The football is the football and the politics is the politics. I am a person who grew up in the football, I did not grow up in the politics. I was accustom running my club in a particular way and you never hear my club being political. For some reason, people felt I was important to run the football affairs of this country and I do it as a national service. I know about players, I know about running a club, I know how players feel, I know the importance of club football. That is another attempt to distract what is right.”