Would The CIA Depose DJW?
Back in the bad old days of the Cold War, the American CIA and British MI6 organisations allegedly tried to prevent the spread of communism by removing dictators of “banana republics” by supporting anti-communist factions and boosting them into power. Before deciding to embark on such a venture, the first question they asked “is there […]
Back in the bad old days of the Cold War, the American CIA and British MI6 organisations allegedly tried to prevent the spread of communism by removing dictators of “banana republics” by supporting anti-communist factions and boosting them into power.
Before deciding to embark on such a venture, the first question they asked “is there anyone capable of stepping up and, if so, is his ideology in line with our goals?”
After all, there wasn’t much point in removing one communist dictator only to see him replaced by another.
And this is my concern with the current infighting between the President of the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association and its members.
Not that I’m stating that David John-Williams or his naysayers are communist dictators!
But the comparison in situations is still valid.
While John-Williams has been accused of many constitutional transgressions, and threats to report him to the Fraud Squad, before the membership try to vote him out of office, they should first consider the collateral damage of these actions.
Who would replace John-Williams at the helm? Who is acceptable, available (and willing) to take the role of TTFA President?
When we look at the current landscape of football politics, taking into account the requirements of being acceptable, available and willing, that landscape is fairly barren. And we haven’t even mentioned capability, experience or qualifications.
TTFA President David John-Williams
Over the next 24 hours, John-Williams is going to try to prove that he has acted correctly and above board. His opponents will attempt to prove otherwise. Whatever the outcome, the continuance of organised football must be able to continue.
We have not yet recovered fully from the Jack Warner fall out which left the TTFA deeply in debt, unattractive to sponsors and financially unable to rebuild the football structures necessary for our national teams to improve, or even maintain their international standings. After a number of years of nuclear winter, we have started to see the green shoots of recovery.
The best scenario for our number one sport would be that the embattled President proves he has acted correctly and continues in his role.
Let me say at this point that I have no dog in this fight. If John-Williams has acted incorrectly or, as alleged, illegally, then he must face the consequences.
However, is removing him without proper investigation the correct step? Will a Fraud Squad investigation push football back into the sponsorship category of untouchable? Will either measure force FIFA to step in or worse, would Keith Rowley take a lead from the government of Ghana and disband the TTFA, possibly excluding T&T from international competition and FIFA funding?
If the TTFA membership decide that DJW has acted unconstitutionally, I would feel that an appeal to FIFA to investigate the situation, coupled with a reduction in power for DJW would be a happy medium. T&T’s status in global football would continue, as would FIFA funding. Sponsors would be comforted that a measured approach had been taken and that oversight and transparency had been enhanced. Maybe, football could win over politics for once?
TTFA’s Home Of Football project
In the meantime, the next questions would concern the role of Board Members. It would appear that attendance at board meetings has been erratic by some and partial by others. Why accept a seat on the Board if you’re not willing or able to attend? And worse, board members are leaking documents to the press, further damaging the TTFA brand and the corporate and public perception of the sport.
While I appreciate the right of individuals to air their grievances in the media, the role of board members should be to protect the TTFA brand and uphold the constitution. And that includes keeping your President in check! If you are not prepared to do this, then step away. Once freed from your responsibilities as a board member, you can talk all you like. But you cannot undermine the organisation you have been asked to lead.
One accusation against DJW is that he hasn’t communicated with his board enough. Can you blame him? Although I believe he is obligated both constitutionally and morally to advise the board regularly and obtain approvals before acting, I can see (not condone) why perhaps he hasn’t.
While we would never want an assembly of lemmings blindly following a leader over the edge of a cliff, a board member must show some loyalty to their President and allow the democratic process to take place. A board of directors can fight like cat and dog behind closed doors but should promote a united front to the public. The option to resign and expose is always available! Minutes will show which way a person voted and comments that they made.
Whatever the outcome of this football civil war, the first priority must be the continuance of organised football and the protection of the brand. After that, let justice prevail.
And let’s not forget one of the loudest criticisms so far of the David John-Williams tenure was his removing Stephen Hart as Head Coach of the Senior National Team and then, in a panic, replacing him with Tom Saintfeit. Let us not repeat that debacle.
Source: Kevin Harrison
The views expressed in this article is not the views of USPORTT.COM