SELBY BROWNE, president of the Veterans Football Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFOTT), is urging the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee to maintain a level of communication with the membership of the TT Football Association (TTFA).
Browne was speaking in an interview on Monday, a day after the normalisation committee, which oversees the daily affairs of the TTFA, held an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), to approve the audited financial statements for 2019, ratify the expulsion of the Coaches Association of TT from its membership, and welcome the Unified Football Coaches of TT to its fold.
“It was the best thing that happened to the TTFA, progress was made. We’re in a better place now,” was Browne’s view on Sunday’s EGM. “For the very first time, there were truthful discussions between the membership and the normalisation committee. That is the only way that we can make progress and move things forward.”
The normalisation committee (chairman Robert Hadad, Judy Daniel, Nigel Romano and Nicholas Gomez) held its annual general meeting (AGM) on September 25, the first time they held an AGM since they were appointed in March, 2020 to replace the TTFA executive, led by William Wallace.
“It was made abundantly clear that the normalisation committee had boxed themselves into a corner with the desperate need to have the approval of the audited financial statements of 2019,” said Browne. “The point was made to the chairman that the failure of the normalisation committee were three important things – communication, communication and communication.”
According to Browne, who served as vice-president during the tenure of David John-Williams as TTFA president, “The normalisation committee has understood, for the first time, their roles and functions. In my humble view, of the points issued in their mandate, (another) one should have been added, which is communicate with your membership as quickly as possible, and far more progress would have been made, because there were straightforward questions that were asked, and there was the demand for direct answers, especially from the chairman.”
Merere Gonzales, president of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), who described the meeting as “rather successful, productive, meaningful and positive”, is also hopeful that there will be light at the end of the tunnel for TT football, at least from an administrative level.
“I believe, while there are various challenges which didn’t occur overnight, I am seeing a more genuine interest by persons to see if they can re-engage, revamp and return the image of Trinidad and Tobago football to where it rightfully deserves,” said Gonzales. “It’s just that, along the way, you will have some unique challenges, either by persons or by circumstances, that can sometimes create a stumbling block.”