GARY Griffith, Commissioner of Police (CoP), said all is not lost in TT football but said the normalisation committee must be allowed to do its job to rebuild a relationship with FIFA.
FIFA suspended the TT Football Association (TTFA) with immediate effect on Thursday after the United TTFA failed to meet the deadline in withdrawing their court case against the sport's global governing body. They needed to withdraw the case by 3 pm on Wednesday.
United TTFA has not given up the fight against FIFA who, in March, removed the executive of the United TTFA and install a normalisation committee to run local football.
In another twist on Friday, the United TTFA sought to withdraw its withdrawal of its lawsuit against FIFA.
The William Wallace-led United TTFA remains adamant that its challenge should be played out in the local courts since it is a statutory body.
Griffith, who has been outspoken about matters concerning local football, said, “It is not the end of the world. I am looking at the glass half full, it cannot get worst than this. It could only get better.”
The CoP said the United TTFA members are thinking of themselves. “I think what we would have done was learn from our mistakes. What we saw was the matter of egos trying to take precedence over the bigger picture. People were so excited to win a battle at the expense of losing a war.”
Griffith said the lives of young people will be affected. “We have to move forward. This is not just going to affect (only) football, but we are talking about young persons having the opportunity for scholarships, contracts, our exposure.”
This will also create financial problems for local football, according to Griffith. “Definitely if we stay in this situation we not going to get a cent from FIFA , the Government quite rightly is not going to want to invest much…in a sport that is not going further external to our own borders…the private sector is definitely not going to put a cent.”
Griffith said the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee (comprising chairman Robert Hadad, Judy Daniel and Nigel Romano) must be in charge of TT football.
“One thing to make this work is for the normalisation committee to have full control and let them be the spokespersons on behalf of TT football to FIFA to give the assurance that there is no such court order, and that the normalisation committee will now have full authorisation to move our football forward.”
Griffith, in a message to the young footballers, said, “Ignore all of the issues and concerns that we are seeing outside of the field. When you get on that 100-yard by 60-yard (field) focus on your football. Do not be distracted by all of the negativity and all the concerns you have seen and heard. The administrators have let you down, but you do not let yourself down.”