Tue | Oct 27, 2020

TTFA president ready to give up if appeal lost

Published:Friday | October 16, 2020 | 12:17 AM
FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.
FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) President William Wallace says that if FIFA wins the court appeal next week, he will not pursue any further legal challenges against it.

High Court judge Carol Gobin ruled in Wallace’s favour regarding FIFA’s appointment of a normalisation committee to replace Wallace and his administration on Monday.

But the Court of Appeal is now set to hear a challenge from FIFA on Monday over the Gobin jurisdiction to hear the matter.

“If we lose this matter, that’s it for me. There is no more appealing,” Wallace said in an interview on WESN Content Capital TV.

“I [would] say, ‘Thank you very much’, and I walk away. There is nothing like that (appealing to the Privy Council). I have no intention of going beyond our court.”

Justice Gobin ruled against FIFA, saying that the normalisation committee installed last March and headed by Trinidadian businessman Robert Hadad “was unwarranted and indefensible”.

Gobin also ruled that FIFA’s actions had been “made in bad faith and for an improper and illegal motive”.

Despite the victory for TTFA, Trinidad and Tobago remain under international suspension by FIFA because of Wallace’s decision to pursue action against FIFA in the local courts.

Wallace has challenged that decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and hopes the matter can be heard soon in the best interests of Trinidad and Tobago football.

“There is still the matter we have before the Court of Arbitration; that matter there, I hope can be heard. I hope we can hear that matter. I think we have a good chance,” he said.

Trinidad and Tobago were included in the draw for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup last month despite the imposition of the FIFA ban.

But Concacaf said that unless the FIFA ban was lifted by December 18, Trinidad and Tobago would be replaced in the competition by Antigua and Barbuda.

Wallace said he was cognisant of the important timelines involved in the matter.

“I hope that we can get it (CAS hearing) as early as possible because we’ve got to be always thinking about the 18th of December, which is extremely important to us, so everything that happens now, we must bear that in mind,” Wallace said.

FIFA levied an immediate ban on Trinidad and Tobago for what it says is a “grave violations of the FIFA Statutes”.

A FIFA statement said the move had been triggered by the “former leadership of the TTFA lodging a claim before a local court in Trinidad and Tobago to contest the decision of the FIFA Council to appoint a normalisation committee for the TTFA”.

“This suspension will only be lifted when the TTFA fully complies with its obligations as a member of FIFA, including recognising the legitimacy of the appointed normalisation committee and bringing its own statutes into line with the FIFA Statutes,” said the statement.