Business as usual at TTFF
February 10, 2012 · 0 CommentsTHE TRINIDAD and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) will continue as normal with their mandate of overseeing the game locally, despite the humiliation of having their assets seized at their headquarters on Dundonald Street, Port-of-Spain, on Wednesday.
The TTFF held an Executive Committee meeting yesterday afternoon at the Harvard Sports Club, St James, but interim president Lennox Watson and Anthony Harford, chairman of its Authorisation Committee, held a media briefing to address the controversy.
Watson refused to respond to numerous questions on the levy of the TTFF assets, as 13 members of the “Soca Warriors” sought to recoup $4.2 million owed to them by the TTFF.
However, he made the assurance that “the TTFF is continuing to function as close to normal as possible but the local governing body have acknowledged that the players have taken action.”
Watson noted that, despite the raid, some of their items were removed and it does restrict their ability in total, but they are continuing with whatever little they have.
Harford pointed out, “I would continue doing my work and I’m hoping for some support from all quarters because football is important. There is more than a quarter-million people playing football in the country. That is a statistic that is well-known.
“It is a group of people that we cannot now satisfy,” Harford added. “We have to continue playing the sport, we have to continue administering the sport. It is important that people understand the action was seizure of assets from the TTFF based on a court order but the TTFF as an organisation is not dissolved, and will continue to function.”
Former TTFF president Oliver Camps declined comment when contacted yesterday, stating, “I am driving. I can’t really talk at the moment. Call me later.”
Two Trinidad and Tobago football greats Sedley Joseph and Leroy De Leon believe that FIFA, the world’s governing body for football, must intervene to solve the impasse between the players and the TTFF.
They believe this intervention must be done through the formation of a Normalisation Committee which the FIFA appoints in territories where there is conflict within the particular Football Federation.
Only last year, FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committees in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Indonesia, Nairobi and recently in the Caribbean.
It is being seen as the way to solve the TTFF imbroglio, which saw a court order resulting in the seizure of the TTFF assets, following the non-payment of an interim sum of $4.2 million. The monies were promised to the players after they qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Germany in 2006.
Yesterday, Joseph, who captained TT’s in their first FIFA World Cup qualifier, and De Leon both said it is only a matter of time before FIFA get involve in the issue, as they described Wednesday’s seizure of the TTFF assets as a sad day in the history of TT football.
According to Joseph, “there must be a complete overhaul of the people in charge of the sport in TT and replaced by new ones. We need new blood in the sport because football in TT has been dominated by certain officials and although some of them have left, the other who were there with them, must also go.”
Joseph, an ex-national midfielder also accused the TTFF of focussing only on what they had to gain financially in the sport rather than on development.
“There was absolutely nothing done for development of football since the country qualified for the World Cup.”
Joseph called for all involved to be held accountable, saying, “I can’t understand how all that money cannot be found or no one knows where it is. My belief is that they all know where the money is but they just cannot say anything.”
Meanwhile De Leon, who is described as one of the better players ever to grace the field for TT, said that all involved should face the consequences.
“I would like to see some serious investigation being done on the people involved in the disappearance of the TTFF account books and the monies to pay the players. An agreement is an agreement, whether it is written or verbal, it is still a contract so why don’t they want to pay the players.”
Source: Joel Bailey & Walter Alibey, Newsday
By USPORTT Desk