THE TT Football Association (TTFA) has withdrawn its support from the League of Champions tournament, which was launched by former president David John-Williams last month.
This decision was made after a meeting, on Thursday, at the Ato Boldon Stadium, in Couva, between TTFA president William Wallace, TTFA officials and representatives of the participating clubs. According to a TTFA media release, “The TTFA is not in a position to support the running of the League after it was discovered that there is inadequate funding for this purpose.”
The media release continued, “The clubs have agreed to have the league condensed to one round with matches resuming on the weekend of December 14, with the clubs covering all costs incurred.” The League of Champions tournament was launched on November 4, at the Home of Football, Balmain, Couva. The inaugural event, which was initially set to run until April 12, featured a number of teams who either opted out of the 2019 Terminix Super League or were deemed non-compliant, as well as a National XI (TT Under-15 team).
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 the other participating teams. The Under-15 team will no longer be a part of this event, while the TTFA plans to launch a new league structure in 2020, subject to board approval.
At the launch, then TTFA director of competitions, Sharon O’Brien, mentioned that each participating club will receive $51,200,which will be split into three parts: $25,600 (which was presented to the participants during the launch); $12,800 (during the midway point of the season); and the remaining sum (minus any fees incurred) at the end of the tournament. Asked if the influx of monies for this tournament came from the FIFA Forward Programme, Selby Browne, who chaired the launch, and who was an ally of ex-president David John-Williams, then replied, “The FIFA Forward Programme was a condition of the association receiving money from FIFA. That is TTFA’s money.
“When that money gets to the TTFA, it is the TTFA’s money to do what it says it will do. On an annual basis, each association will request from FIFA what its plans are.”