FIVE local football bodies have all thrown their support behind the TT Football Association (TTFA), in its battle against FIFA’s decision to send a normalisation committee to conduct the affairs of local football.
Last Tuesday, FIFA decided to scrap the TTFA executive, led by president William Wallace, and implement the committee due to mounting debt by the TTFA, which was more than $50 million.
On Wednesday, FIFA appointed TTFA finance manager Tyril Patrick to head the TTFA until the committee was implemented. However, on Saturday, Patrick declined FIFA’s offer, stating that he did not want to attempt interfering in the running of the duly elected TTFA executive.
The local bodies who have all offered support are the TT Super League, the Northern Football Association (NFA), the Tobago Football Association (TFA), the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) and the TT American Youth Soccer Organisation (TTAYSO).
In a letter to TTFA general secretary Ramesh Ramdhan on Monday, which was issued by TT Super League secretary Peter Thomas, “the clubs of the Super League wish to communicate their support for the democratically elected officers of the TTFA, who FIFA have stated their intention to unilaterally remove from office.”
The Super League has condemned the decision by FIFA, “which it views as premature and arbitrary, given the fact that (the TTFA executive) have been in office merely four months.”
And the Super League has encouraged the TTFA “to explore every available avenue to have the FIFA decision rescinded.”
NFA president Anthony Harford, who addressed his letter to Wallace, said, “It is curious that, after just three and a half months of substantive tenure, FIFA would take such a decision, when for the two years prior to our elections, the majority of stakeholders were clamouring for their intervention, to no avail.”
Harford added, “We remain steadfast in our belief that this is a breach of justice and we sincerely hope an undogmatic way is found to solve this problem. We look forward to your prevailing in this matter.”
Via a letter issued by its vice-president Samuel Orr to the TTFA on Saturday, the TFA, “(raises) its disappointment at the action initiated by FIFA.”
The TFA has also urged the TTFA to seek any available means to get the FIFA decision rescinded.
Also, on Monday, the SSFL general secretary Azaad Khan and TTAYSO area director Dale Toney both sent letters to the TTFA, condemning the move made by FIFA.
On Thursday, the TT Pro League expressed their support towards the setting up of the normalisation committee.
“As a football company who have invested over $200 million into the national economy over the last 18 years, the TT Pro League stand ready to work alongside the Ministry of Sports and the FIFA appointed normalisation committee for the continued development of the game.
“The TT Pro League will not support any move by the former administration to engage in any legal battle against FIFA over their removal from office,” said the Pro League, in a media release.