ACTING chairman of the TT Pro League and member of the TT Football Association (TTFA) Brent Sancho has fired back at TT Football Referees Association (TTFRA) vice-president Osmond Downer, who claims that decisions made at the September 15 EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) “may be declared null and void because of it not being convened in keeping with the constitution of the TTFA.”
Downer, in a media release issued on Monday, said, “Article 29.2 of the TTFA constitution requires that the persons who have signed the list requesting the EGM must be accredited delegates to the General Meeting of the TTFA at the time the request letter was signed on or before September 3.”
The TTFA last held a general meeting on November 24, 2019, during which William Wallace, leader of the United TTFA, defeated David John-Williams to become president of the TTFA. However, Wallace and his executive were removed by FIFA on March 17 due to the TTFA’s financial strife.
According to Downer, “based on the minutes of the 2019 AGM (Annual General Meeting), the named delegates remain the accredited delegates until they have been changed by their member associations in keeping with Article 22.3, and such changes must be communicated in writing to the secretariat of the TTFA.”
Downer said, “My information is that only one of the members of the TTFA has written to the TTFA secretariat informing earlier this year about the change of officers and accredited delegates to the general meetings. That member is the Eastern Football Association (EFA).”
In the letter requesting the EGM, there were changes for the delegates for Pro League clubs AC Port of Spain (Ryan Nunes replacing Michael Awai) and San Juan Jabloteh (Jerry Hospedales replacing Phillip Fraser) as well as Super League squad Club Sando (Derek Lange replacing Steve Gopeesingh).
Downer said, “Article 29 of the TTFA constitution is clear as to the protocol for requesting such an EGM: ‘if a majority (more than 50 per cent) of the accredited delegates to the General Meeting make such a request’. Who are ‘accredited delegates’? We see that there (is) a total of 47 delegates. So, at least 24 are required to request an EGM.”
Sancho remarked, “Why everything that Downer says is correct? He was very incorrect with the last statement he made as it relates to how the process works with regards to suspension (by FIFA to member associations), as was evident by (Caribbean Football Union president) Randy Harris.
“A suspension can still be meted out by the (FIFA) Bureau Council.”
Sancho, a former TT footballer and Minister of Sport, said, “Each member has to sign the compliance and over the course of the year, they can change their signatories.
“I find it strange that all these things are coming here to try to obstruct this meeting, which is sad.
“It clearly shows that the membership is not in support of the United TTFA. For (Downer) to continuously try to come up with these claims, it’s sad for a man who supposedly stands on solid ground.”
There may be cases where a delegate might die, or migrate, and Sancho responded, “exactly.”
Sancho said, “Any time of the year, you can write to the normalisation committee or the TTFA or whoever is in charge for that matter, and state the person who has the right to be the signatory. That’s normal practice.”
With regards to the issue between United TTFA and FIFA, Sancho said, “This is about the membership and the stakeholders of the sport. The players and the majority of the membership clearly don’t agree with the position that the United TTFA is taking. They said they were coming on transparency, accountability and working to suit TT football.”