Wallace bows to ‘bullying’ FIFA

Ousted TTFA president William Wallace  -
Ousted TTFA president William Wallace -

FORMER president of the TT Football Association (TTFA) William Wallace admitted he was hesitant in agreeing to withdraw the legal matter against FIFA because the world football body will continue to have its way with TT football.

A TTFA membership meeting was held on Tuesday night which allowed the TTFA membership to unofficially vote if they wanted the United TTFA to continue its court matter against FIFA.

A media release was sent by the United TTFA at 1 pm on Wednesday, confirming the decision to withdraw the matter.

The release sent by the United TTFA, said, “Of the participating member representatives 21 called on the United TTFA to end its legal challenge to FIFA, while eight were in favour of it being continued and three abstained. We, the signatories, accept this call.” United TTFA was fighting FIFA’s decision to remove the executive of the United TTFA in March and appoint a normalisation committee to run local football. The normalisation committee is led by local businessman Robert Hadad.

Wednesday was the United TTFA’s final deadline to withdraw its matter from the High Court. The United TTFA is also not considering taking the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The United TTFA release did not include the names of Wallace and Clynt Taylor. The release was issued by second vice-president Susan Joseph-Warrick, third vice-president Joseph Sam Phillip, Anthony Harford and Keith Look Loy.

In Wallace’s affidavit in support of the application for permission to withdraw the case, he said he acknowledged that the majority wanted the matter to be withdrawn.

However, Wallace said he wanted to continue with the case. “I do not believe the claim should be withdrawn…I believe the defendant is more afraid than ever before, particularly in the wake of the public revelations into alleged acts of financial mismanagement...”

Wallace continued, “To ask this court for permission to withdraw this claim on the day before Republic Day, and in so doing tacitly accepting that football in TT continues to be at the whim and fancy of the defendant, who is bullying and coercing the TTFA into bending its knee, makes me feel physically sick. It is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.”

Wallace told Newsday he was not “mentally ready” to include his name on the United TTFA media release.

“I took a decision that I was not ready to sign any document, but if the team wanted to send one out that it (must) go out but I was not ready mentally to sign the document.”

Pressed more about why he was not ready to include his name, Wallace said, “When you say you are not ready mentally that is sometimes what you can’t explain because it is a mental thing. It is a sense of readiness you know.”

Asked if he has confidence in the normalisation committee to run TT football, he said, “I would not say confidence. I can’t describe it as confidence, but I wish them the best of luck.”

The United TTFA release said the “majority of representatives were motivated by fear of FIFA’s threat to suspend TTFA.”

FIFA was threatening to suspend TT if the United TTFA continued their fight against them.

The Concacaf Gold Cup draw will be held on Monday and TT would have been excluded from the competition.

“The second FIFA deadline and the desire to participate in the draw for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup have changed the balance of power. People see Concacaf’s move but fear FIFA’s big stick and missing the tournament.”

The United TTFA release also reminded the TT football stakeholders that FIFA now has complete control.

“We caution TT that the owners of football have voluntarily agreed to cede the right to govern ourselves to FIFA. We caution that FIFA is now and hereafter the final arbiter of who will be the government of local football. This makes a sham of our sovereignty. It may not matter to some, but our football has been colonized. We call on our supporters to be vigilant and we wish TTFA the best of success.”


"Wallace bows to ‘bullying’ FIFA"

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