PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Ousted executives of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association are awaiting a response from the Court of Arbitration for Sport before deciding on their next move, but deposed president William Wallace says they simply want football’s world governing body, FIFA, to “do the right thing”.
Last week, the Switzerland-based CAS dealt a massive blow to Wallace and former vice-presidents Clynt Taylor, Joseph Sam Phillip and Susan Joseph-Warrice in their challenge to FIFA’s takeover of the TTFA, when it stipulated a payment of 40 000 Swiss francs (US$41 000) before the case could proceed.
Lawyers for the aggrieved party have since written CAS pushing back on what they have termed “exorbitant” fees, and are currently waiting on a reply.
“I expect FIFA to do the correct thing, to do the right thing, that’s what I am expecting from FIFA … to do the just thing,” Wallace said in an interview.
“There was an executive that was voted into office in a fair election and in an election supervised by FIFA themselves and if FIFA as the parent body … and if there was an issue and you are the parent body, I expect you to come in, I expect you to sit with the person who were elected and discuss the issues with them.
“And if you want to propose help, you propose help and as far as I am concerned, if you want to propose help, you have to work with the officers who were elected. And I have no issue with that. If you think you have to send in specialised people to do certain things, you send them in and we were willing to sit and work with everybody.
“[But] you got into office and then you don’t hear from FIFA during that period and the next thing you’re hearing is this [takeover] is happening – even a blind mind can see what is happening here.”
FIFA swooped down on the TTFA last March to oust the five-month-old executive and install a normalisation committee, following an assessment that found “extremely low overall financial management methods, combined with a massive debt”.
According to the Zurich-based body, the situation left the TTFA “facing a very real risk of insolvency and illiquidity”.
Wallace and his vice-presidents have challenged FIFA’s actions before CAS and said despite the latest setback, remained determined to seek justice.
“We are the executive, we are the ones that feel an injustice was done when we look at all the developments across the Caribbean. We are the ones that have been following this and getting information as to why this may have happened and so on,” Wallace said.
“We have four officers – the president and three vice-presidents. All of them are behind this, all of them feel that this was an injustice. Not just us, there is a large section of Trinidad and Tobago that also feel the same way.
“I am easy to get along with … I don’t create issues but when I have to stand for something, people who know me know that I would stand and take it to the end.”
CAS’ latest decision to demand the 40 000 Swiss francs payment before the case could be heard has been widely viewed as a fatal blow to Wallace’s challenge but he said he would continue to discuss the options with his colleagues.
“We are taking one step at a time and we don’t want to signal anything to anybody … whatever decision we have to make, we will make that decision and the whole of Trinidad and Tobago will know that decision,” he stressed. (CMC)
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