A subtle reminder that Trinidad and Tobago would have to do without FIFA monies was enough incentive to get most delegates voting in favour of passing 2019 financials, presented by the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee (NC), headed by local businessman Robert Hadad.
Under fire NC chairman Hadad established firmly his point at yesterday’s Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) emergency general meeting (EGM) with an input from a FIFA official, who indicated that FIFA would only release its subvention to the TTFA —the local football association’s only source of income—if the audits were approved by the membership.
Subsequently, 24 Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) delegates voted in favour of approving the accounts statements, which had been rejected at the TTFA’s AGM just two weeks earlier. Thirty delegates also voted to delist the inactive former football coaches’ association and later voted for the installation of the year-old Unified Football Coaches of Trinidad and Tobago (UFCTT).
The intentions of the NC, appointed by world football’s governing body in March 2020, was questioned by Veteran Footballers Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFOTT) president Selby Browne. Hadad indicated that although the course of the FA was uncertain, the normalisation committee were not currently on a pathway to declare the TTFA insolvent.
Further, an argument was put forward that the only persons who could arrange affairs to dissolve the Association was the TTFA membership, and that neither the FIFA nor the NC had the power to wind up the Association, which was incorporated by an act of Parliament.
Former president David John-Williams also questioned the actual debt of the TTFA, which chairman Hadad estimated at $50 million. Responding to John-William’s query, Hadad admitted that on the books, the debt stood at $35 million, but with pending court matters and other contingencies, was likely to swell to his previous estimation.
Hadad was again chided for his lack of communication with local football stakeholders and as the NC president he was reminded of his duty to report to the membership. It was strongly suggested that he should regularly communicate with TTFA members, at least on a monthly basis. Despite several issues being ventilated, the consensus was that TTFA members are still in the dark over many other TTFA matters.
The TTFA subsequently issued a media release, stating: “The NC reiterated that management decisions related to the 2019 audited financials were all guided by International Financial Reporting Standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board and adopted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Trinidad and Tobago.”
The communique added: “The NC also outlined that these standards were used to address the matter of the accounting of the grant of the 17.51 acres of leasehold land in Balmain, Couva, which was valued at $42.5 million. Accounting for Government Grants, which this land falls under, is covered under International Financial Reporting Standards. When the lease is perfected, the TTFA will determine the most appropriate accounting treatment, in accordance with good financial governance practices.”