AILING United TTFA member Anthony Harford admits there are many questions to be answered by ousted TT Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace. However, he holds firm to his belief that FIFA is inherently wrong to remove a democratically elected leadership.
Harford, alongside team members Keith Look Loy, Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Joseph Sam Phillip, was integral in carrying the now-defunct Wallace administration to the helm of local football, at the November 2019 TTFA general elections.
Since January, the veteran football administrator has been medically unfit and was unable to voice his concern on the fraternity’s recent administrative blunders.
However, the All Sport Promotions director, on Wednesday, threw his support behind Wallace’s legal battle against the sport’s global governing body who removed the executive in mid-March citing financial issues and massive debt. FIFA then installed a normalisation committee, headed by businessman Robert Hadad, to chart a way forward.
The Northern Football Association (NFA) president also urged citizens to make a clear distinction between this legal matter and those which depict Wallace’s mismanagement by way of his signing off on three contracts without approval from board members. “They are separate issues. How can FIFA be considered to act legitimately by ousting a democratically elected leadership sanctioned by FIFA within a few months of them taking office?
“You have 34 cases around the world of FIFA installing normalisation committees to work with the executive. But in TT, you’ve thrown out the executive. To me, something is inherently wrong with that. It is an indication that FIFA is colonising TT again. Why do that to us? I am fully in favour for us fighting for our sovereignty as a football nation,” Harford said. When asked to share his thoughts on the signing off on contracts to Avec Sport (uniforms), national coach Terry Fenwick and Ramesh Ramdhan without the board’s agreement, the NFA boss admitted these were a clear series of missteps by Wallace, who should also be accountable for his actions. Harford, though, maintains his support for Wallace and believes the former president must be responsible for his actions.
“I am not ready to abandon William Wallace. I am concerned, like all other stakeholders, that a series of mistakes have been made. My hope is that they don’t become a dance routine. At some point he is going to have to give a complete and unequivocal explanation as to what has transpired, what he has signed and not signed for and behalf of the TTFA so there is clarity,” added Harford.
In a press release Harford issued on Wednesday, he cited his medical challenges for his non-involvement in national football. He confirmed his zone supported the removed president for TTFA’s elections despite having to submarine the ambitions of its own members.
He reaffirmed his concern at Wallace’s shady decisions during his short stint at the helm of local football. As a founding member of United TTFA, Harford also called on members to rally around their downtrodden partner.
He said, “I believe Mr Wallace has made some mistakes, but not born out of malice, but rather in an effort to get the TTFA out of economic despair. I trust that the principles that gave birth to United TTFA still stand and that every member of this small group continue to support William Wallace. It is also my hope that Wallace gives the national community explanations for the missteps.”