FIFA has recommended the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) host the election of its new executive (elective congress) on April 13.
The suggestion was put forward by FIFA Director of Strategic Projects Nodar Akhalkatsi in an email to the normalisation committee on Friday.
In response to this, TTFA General Secretary Amiel Mohammed issued a statement to association members on Saturday, in full agreement with FIFA’s recommendation.
Despite the normalisation committee’s tenure set to conclude on March 31, a decision will be facilitated for a short extension of their mandate, to ensure the elective congress is held on the set date.
This means the Robert Hadad-led normalisation committee will issue the notice for the extraordinary congress on or before February 13, after which, candidates for any of the executive committee positions must be submitted to the general secretariat by February 28.
From there, the general secretariat will circulate an official list of candidates to all TTFA members by April 3, with the extraordinary congress for the election to be convened on April 13.
In accordance with the mandate of the normalisation committee as outlined by the Bureau of the FIFA Council and Article 80 par. 7 of the TTFA Statutes, the normalisation committee acts as the electoral committee for these elections.
Akhalkatsi’s email recognised the normalisation committee overstaying their March 31 (Easter Sunday) deadline but wants to also ensure candidates have the required time to submit their slates and facilitate the electoral process.
He wrote, “It has to be ensured that the date of the elective congress is defined in a way, that the TTFA members have fair, feasible and realistic possibility to attend the congress and execute their statutory rights to participate in the congress and express their will by exerting their voting rights.”
Akhalkatsi requested the extension beyond the March 31 deadline “to respect a very important religious holiday”and the possible private commitments of its members on that particular weekend.
“We would therefore like to recommend to conduct the elective congress of the TTFA on 13 April 2023.”
Mohammed, in his Saturday email to TTFA members, thanked them for working with FIFA, Concacaf and Hadad and company throughout the process to realign TTFA’s statutes with FIFA’s.
He said the normalisation committee “believes that it is fair and just to give candidates enough time to organise their slates and campaign for the support of members, which requires at least 60 days’ notice, and is consistent with the notice period required for an ordinary congress.”
“We therefore support FIFA’s recommendation to host the elective congress on April 13, 2024. This will be facilitated by a short extension of the NC’s mandate and will result in the following timeline, which we believe will be respectful to all parties concerned and ensure that the process is fair, complete, and final.”
Mohammed’s email also said that, as discussed and agreed at the Emergency General Meeting on January 28 – in which the new TTFA statutes were approved by members – that the normalisation committee will “appoint independent persons to oversee the electoral process and its work as the electoral committee in accordance with the Electoral Code and Statutes of the TTFA.”
As it stands, Veterans Football Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFoTT) president Selby Browne, Eastern Football Association President Kieron Edwards and Southern Football Association President Dennis Latiff are, so far, the confirmed presidential candidates for the April 13 elections.
Currently, they are in the process of building their respective slates and will have the coming weeks to finalise their candidatures.
In response to Mohammed’s email, Browne replied saying that, “We at VFFoTT now await the formal notice of the FIFA Council for further extension of the term of the normalisation committee post-March 31st 2024.”