buc?tar-?ef Jeber Barreto//
Sancho: No meeting

Sancho: No meeting

SOME Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) members have rejected a call by a faction of the United TTFA for a general meeting to be held on Saturday, to discuss the tenure of president William Wallace.

Jeber Barreto

While not pleased with recent revelations, that Wallace had approved contracts without the Board’s approval, the argument is that the ‘United TTFA’ group, the close allies of Wallace, did not have the moral authority to demand such a meeting

A release was circulated from United TTFA spokesman Keith Look Loy on Tuesday calling for a virtual general meeting via Zoom on Saturday from 2pm. Three of Wallace’s vice-presidents; Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Joseph Sam Phillip, along with Anthony Harford and Look Loy, were identified as having sought the gathering

The group stated in a release: “We are confronted by the fact of TTFA president Wallace’s signature of three contracts, which the TTFA Board did not approve. (1) Avec uniforms, for which the Board criticised him but accepted his apology and assurance that such action would not be repeated. The contract was presented to the Board after the fact. (2) Terry Fenwick’s, (3) Ramesh Ramdhan’s.”

“This pattern of behaviour is unacceptable. It is unilateral. It exceeds the constitutional limits to the president’s authority,” United TTFA stated

However, with likely opposition coming from the Pro League, East, South, Veteran and other groups, there is the likelihood the ‘United TTFA’ may not have the numbers to force a general meeting

One of the opposing voices is that of former Sports Minister Brent Sancho, the acting chairman of the TT Pro League

“I have noted from the United TTFA statement that they have called a general meeting of TTFA’s membership and have stated that they intend to continue the High Court action against FIFA,” said Sancho

“Well, I say ‘Be gone with you all’. You have no moral authority to call any meeting and you certainly have no moral authority to pursue a course of action that could result in TTFA being banned by FIFA. No right-thinking member will subscribe to a meeting or support court proceedings.”

Sancho further condemned some members of United TTFA, stating that he came under heavy attack from them when probing answers to the very contracts for which Wallace is now being condemned

“I am angry that now this web of deceit, which has once again brought shame on Trinidad and Tobago, has reached the light of day. Those members of United TTFA have the audacity to condemn their leader, so that they can attempt to escape this outrage unscathed,” Sancho stated

Keon Edwards, president of the Eastern Football Association (EFA), said if members even met on Saturday, it would not be an official general meeting and decisions taken there will therefore be null and void

“There are certain ways to call a general meeting. There are two general meetings, an annual general meeting and an extraodinary general meeting, and ‘United TTFA’ has no grounds to call any meeting in the manner which they did,” Edwards said

Veteran Footballers Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFOTT) president Selby Browne also mirrored the view of Sancho and Edwards

“The fact is the United TTFA has no authority to call a general meeting of the TTFA. The constitution provides for at minimum 50 per cent of the membership to call, in writing, for a general meeting. The United TTFA is not a member of the TTFA,” Browne said in a issued statement

Browne accused the TTFA executive of failing to have one general meeting during its first four months in office and that they have no authority to call one now, having been replaced by a FIFA Normalisation Committee in March

“It is amazing that they have the tenacity or persistence, to call for a general meeting when they have been removed from office by FIFA, and a Nomalisation Committee appointed to conduct the daily matters of Administration of the TTFA. Worse, any such meeting by the membership of the TTFA would have the effect to quite simply place those members in good standing in the TTFA in a position of compromise with FIFA,” added Browne

And Sancho also is of the view that Wallace alone should not take blame for missteps made by the Wallace-led regime after just four months in office

Further, Sancho felt that Wallace’s United TTFA’s inner circle had strongly supported recently-signed ‘bad deals’ and was equally culpable for adding to the burden of the TTFA, a debt which stands at over $50 million while also facing several legal litigation matters in the courts by their creditors

“These recent revelations expose ‘United TTFA’ as totally incapable of managing the business of football,” Sancho stated, adding, “If, as you are now saying, you had no idea about Wallace’s actions, you should walk away in shame. But in fact, perhaps you did know but chose to turn a blind eye.”

Sancho also once again offered his support for a FIFA-imposed Normalisation Committee to clean up the TTFA

“It is time to clear the floor of these people and hand over our support to Robert Hadad and the normalisation committee while we search for a new breed of football administrator to take up the reins in the future, as well as ensure that there are appropriate checks and balances in place to prevent similar abuse of power by opportunists in the future.”