THE FIFA-appointed normalisation committee met virtually with the National Football Coaches of TT (NFCTT) on Monday to address the non-payment of outstanding salaries to technical staff and players.
The normalisation committee runs the daily affairs of the TT Football Association (TTFA),
Last week, the NFCTT aired its concerns, with interim president Jefferson George “expressing extreme dissatisfaction with the treatment of staff and players, and the lack of transparency in the dealings of the TTFA.”
In an interview on Tuesday, George said, “We told them about the challenges (and) the lack of funds. We were able to express to them that, while we don’t disregard the gravity of their situation in finding the funds, we thought that priority had to be given to the persons who were actually doing the work, meaning the players and the technical staff (who have not received) a cent since last year.”
George, the former TT men’s Under-15 goalkeeper coach, said, “Some sort of balance had to be struck between those two and, at the moment, the balance is off, because you can’t be trying to address (debts), while not fulfilling the requirement to those who continue to work. I thought it was unreasonable."
He was hopeful about the outcome of the meeting.
“They listened, they agreed that the challenges that we face are great and they said that on Friday they’ll come back to us. We are hoping that on Friday we’re going to know when persons are going to be able to receive the monies that they are owed.”
George and Angus Eve were the NFCTT representatives at Monday’s meeting, while the normalisation committee members present were Nigel Romano, Judy Daniel and Trevor Gomez.
Were the normalisation committee members assured that chairman Robert Hadad would be briefed about the meeting?
“They said he would not have been able to make the meeting,” George replied. “They spoke with the authority of the entire body.”
George believes the issue should have been rectified a long time ago.
“The situation with non-payment is unreasonable anyway. The length of time that guys (are) without renumeration is unacceptable. It should not have had to come to this point. This is one of the things that we expressed to them.
“Too often we find, in local context, that the priority given to players and staff is way too low. The experience that these guys have in business, I don’t think this model will be used in any other business, where you can have people working months without receiving a cent.
“That is not good for any type of business,” George added. “We expressed that to them, and we hope that things can have a major change going forward.”