FIFA lifts suspension on Trinidad and Tobago Football Association

FIFA President Gianni Infantino waits for the start of a signing ceremony at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Sept. 14, 2020.
REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger, file

FIFA, the world’s governing body for football, has lifted the suspension of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), with immediate effect.

FIFA, in a media release last week stated, “after taking note of the (Oct.23) decision of the Trinidad and Tobago Court of Appeal and the express wish of the members of the TTFA for all associated legal claims brought by the parties purporting to act in the name of the organization to be terminated, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided to lift the suspension of the TTFA with immediate effect.”

“This means that all of the TTFA membership rights have been reinstated and TTFA representatives and club teams are again entitled to take part in international competitions. FIFA may also benefit from development programs, courses and training provided by FIFA and/or Concacaf. Moreover, FIFA member associations may again enter into sporting contact with the TTFA and/or its teams,” the release stated.

The Bureau of the FIFA Council, led by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, issued a suspension order on the TTFA on Sept. 24 “due to grave violations of the FIFA statutes.”

According to FIFIA, “the suspension was prompted by the former leadership of the TTFA (led by Williams Wallace) lodging a claim before the (T&T High Court) in order to contest the decision of the FIFA Council to appoint a normalization committee for the TTFA (which) was in direct breach of article 59 of the Statutes, which expressly prohibits recourse to ordinary courts rules unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations,’ the release added.

FIFA’s media release also sstated, “The members of the TTFA normalization committee, which was installed by a decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council on March 17, 2020, will proceed with their duties.”

Wallace and his TTFA executive were removed by FIFA and replaced by the normalization committee, headed by Robert Hadad for mounting debts, estimated at TT$50 million.

Wallace challenged FIFA’s decision at the local court, instead of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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