Tue | Jun 6, 2023

FIFA extends life of normalisation committee in T&T

Published:Saturday | March 4, 2023 | 12:48 AM
Trinidad and Tobago Football Association Normalisation Committee chairman, Robert Hadad.
Trinidad and Tobago Football Association Normalisation Committee chairman, Robert Hadad.

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):

Football’s world governing organisation FIFA has extended the term of the normalisation committee currently managing the sport in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) for another year.

FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura wrote to chair of the committee, Robert Hadad, on Wednesday to indicate the decision of Bureau of the FIFA Council was predicated on “challenges that the TTFA (Trinidad & Tobago Football Association) continues to face”.

“To ensure that the mandate of the normalisation committee is carried out and fulfilled in strict compliance with the bureau’s decision, the bureau decided on February 27 to extend the mandate of the normalisation committee until March 31, 2024, at the latest,” Samoura wrote in the letter.

She noted that the normalisation committee was appointed three years ago with a clear mandate to manage the daily affairs of the TTFA, establish a repayment plan for the debt-riddled organisation, review and amend its statutes (and other regulations, where necessary), and ensure compliance with the statutes and rules of FIFA.

Samoura said only half the work to stabilise the TTFA had been completed, and FIFA felt it was only prudent to allow the normalisation committee to continue its work to resolve all issues.

“The bureau took note that, due to the high amount of debts accumulated by previous TTFA administrations, and given the number of unsecured creditors, on November 8, 2021, the normalisation committee decided to proceed on the basis of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Trinidad and Tobago and make a proposal to the various creditors to settle outstanding legitimate creditor balances (the ‘BIA process’),” she wrote.

Samoura added this led to the first extension for the committee until March 31 this year, and a decision to provide financial support to the TTFA.

“With the primary objective of allowing the normalisation committee to fulfil one of its main tasks, and with a view to preventing the TTFA’s complete liquidation, as well as avoiding significant long-term harm to the organisation and football in general in T&T, FIFA decided to provide financial support to the TTFA to address its extreme situation,” she wrote.

“In this context, FIFA has now approved financial assistance to the TTFA subject to signing a strict financial agreement between FIFA and the TTFA. Furthermore, certain recent developments have delayed the BIA process. Consequently, and considering the backlog, the normalisation committee has not yet been able to begin revising the statutes, another of its main tasks.”

Samoura indicated that one of the main planks of the BIA process was not only the clearing of the TTFA’s debt, but also the restructuring of its governance, and strengthening of its oversight.

“We consider that it is of the utmost importance that the normalisation committee complete the BIA process,” she wrote, adding “the revision and amendment of the statutes, and organisation and conduction of elections of a new TTFA Executive Committee for a four-year mandate” must also be completed.