FIFA has been ordered to pay $60,000 to the TT Supreme Court Registrar by or before October 15.
This comes as a result of a Security for Costs application filed by United TTFA attorney Matthew Gayle in the Chamber Court of the Court of Appeal, in Port-of-Spain, on Monday.
If FIFA fails to pay the sum within the stipulated time, its appeal to not have the case against the TT Football Association (TTFA) heard in the local courts will be thrown out.
“The Security for Costs application is to ensure there is some type of financial security for the applicant (United TTFA) in the event that the applicant is successful in the Court of Appeal. It won’t be a situation where FIFA, if they lose the appeal, would take their ball and run away,” said United TTFA attorney Jade Jones.
After FIFA removed the William Wallace-led executive from the helm of the TTFA in mid-March citing massive debt and financial mismanagement, the sport’s governing body appointed a normalisation committee to run TT football affairs.
The ousted regime deemed this move by FIFA “illegal” and opted to contest the matter in the local courts. FIFA, however, maintains its stance that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland is the only recognised path to resolve such a dispute.
Additionally, Jones believes Justice Malcolm Holdip’s decision to accept their Security for Costs application comes after FIFA’s blatant disregard towards denying the legitimacy of the TT court to hear the case.
In a media release issued in July by FIFA, it stated,
“For the avoidance of doubt, FIFA only recognises the authority and jurisdiction of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in these matters. Any dispute regarding the appointment of a normalisation committee falls squarely within the jurisdiction of the CAS, and CAS alone
Jones added, “In this case, we would have more or less said that FIFA has shown a history of indicating that they don’t intend to recognise the TT courts. So there’s a concern there that this procedural appeal (FIFA’s), which is challenging Justice Carol Gobin’s decision in August to have the case heard locally.”
He continued, “After that they said FIFA would never recognize anything but CAS, Justice Holdip paid keen attention to that statement.
“It’s really two criteria for Security of Costs. You have to show that the other party is domiciled, lives or a resident of another country. The other component is whether it’s fair and just.
“The court looked at the circumstances and submissions of both parties.
“If you have FIFA on one side saying they will never recognise the TT courts, I think that was the point that the court took this decision on. In this case, FIFA will not be prejudiced because the money is paid into the court. It’s not going to TTFA’s account.”
If FIFA does not pay the money, the procedural appeal cannot go forward and cannot be heard on October 19. This means United TTFA would win the appeal to have the case heard here.