Robert Hadad

CHOSEN: Hadco Group CEO

Robert Hadad.

—Photo courtesy Hadco Ltd. 

BUSINESSMAN ROBERT HADAD has been selected by football’s world governing body, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), to run the daily affairs of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), possibly for the next two years.

Yesterday, the Switzerland-based organisation issued a release naming businessman Robert Hadad as Chairperson; lawyer and deputy-chairman of the Environment Management Authority (EMA) Judy Daniel, as Deputy Chairperson; and Nigel L Romano, a former National Flour Mills chairman and ex-CEO of JMMB; as members of its normalisation committee, after dissolving the William Wallace-led TTFA executive. None of the appointees have had any previous involvement in football administration.

FIFA announced its decision in a press release, stating, “Following the decision taken by the Bureau of the FIFA Council to appoint a normalisation committee for the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) and the subsequent consultation process undertaken by FIFA and CONCACAF, the composition of this committee can now be confirmed as follows: Mr. Robert Hadad (Chairperson); Ms. Judy Daniel (Deputy Chairperson); Mr. Nigel L Romano (member).

FIFA further added: “The FIFA administration, in consultation with CONCACAF, will appoint two more members in the coming days.” FIFA outlined the mandate of the normalisation committee as including to run the TTFA’s daily affairs and to establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA.

The body has also been given the direction of reviewing and amending the TTFA Statutes (and other regulations where necessary) and to ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress and to also organise and to conduct elections of a new TTFA Executive Committee for a four-year mandate.

“The members of the TTFA normalisation committee will assume their duties with immediate effect and, as per standard procedure, will have to pass an eligibility check. Their confirmation will be contingent upon the outcome of the eligibility check.”

Last week Tuesday, FIFA dissolved the TTFA Executive led by Wallace, citing among other things a decision to protect its investment in Trinidad and Tobago from possible litigation by creditors, who are owed over $50 million by the TTFA.

Wallace had inherited a massive burden after unseating David John-Williams as Association president last November 24. Wallace deemed FIFA’S action to be high-handed, since the world body denied his short-lived, but democratically elected regime, time to make an impact. He commissioned lawyers Dr. Emir Crowne and Matthew GW Gayle to lodge an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The TTFA had sent a protest letter to FIFA but Wallace admitted that their initial correspondence was sent to the wrong FIFA department.

“The (TTFA) letter was not sent to the (FIFA) legal team, but the general secretary,” Wallace explained. “They have now received it from us, and we are waiting advice as we go forward.”

FIFA, though, seems to be proceeding with its own agenda by moving forward with the appointment of the normalisation committee members. Asked if the TTFA intends to still proceed with its CAS appeal? Wallace said: “That will probably be the second stage of this whole thing. I am awaiting the lawyers to see how we proceed from here.”

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