It is time to stop flip-flopping and stand on principle.
Sidelined Trinidad and Tobago Football Association president William Wallace says this is one of the issues the local football fraternity must face as time ticks away towards a ban from international football.
On Friday, Fatma Samoura, general secretary of world governing body, FIFA, wrote to the chairman of its local Normalisation Committee Robert Hadad, informing that Wallace and his United TTFA group had been given more time to reconsider their decision or the country would face serious consequences.
“The FIFA Council has decided to give a final deadline to the relevant parties to withdraw all types of claims against FIFA before the Trinidad and Tobago courts and comply with all their obligations under the FIFA Statutes, in particular arts 57 et seqq of the FIFA Statutes, by 23 September,” Samoura wrote.
“Failure to comply with this directive within this revised deadline will result in the matter being brought to the attention of the relevant FIFA bodies to decide on the suspension of the TTFA.”
United TTFA are currently challenging the legitimacy of FIFA’s Normalisation Committee in the Trinidad and Tobago High Court, a move which has brought resistance from some members of the local association who attempted to hold and Emergency General Meeting (EGM) to vote on the matter, a move which United TTFA blocked via an injunction granted by Justice Carol Gobin.
But responding again to criticism of his group’s stance, Wallace insisted that the TTFA had to take a stand. “If I put my tail between my legs I’m supporting something that is totally wrong. I’m supporting injustice, and more than that, as the facts present themselves now, I’m supporting corruption,” Wallace said on TV6’s Morning Edition programme on Friday.
However, the TTFA’s elected president went further and addressed the question of what impact his group’s action could have on the future of the country’s youth.
“We are talking about children and football and they somehow are going to be affected by this. They would also be affected off the field of play if we continue to accept and teach the wrong things, that bullying is right, that supporting something for the sake of expediency is also right,” Wallace said.
“People supported this, and the only time people came out against this is when they realised that Trinidad and Tobago might be sanctioned. So it was correct up front, we got full support and then suddenly it dawned on us that you know what...we may be sanctioned, so hear what, expediency steps in, let us pull back now and ask that the matter be removed.”
And asked whether he was prepared to deal with the backlash that could come with suspension from FIFA, Wallace was steadfast. “That is one of the things that we would have considered...Based on the issue, it is so important to us, that if those are the consequences we have to face at the end of the day we are willing to face them,” he said.
But also speaking on the programme, Technical Committee chairman under the Wallace administration, Keith Look Loy, did not accept that the majority of TTFA members are now against United TTFA’s action.
“We have support across the board in Trinidad and Tobago football,” Look Loy said. “There is at least one Pro League club...Steve David, the boss in that club, a football icon in this country, authorised me to say that (Point Fortin) Civic stands with United TTFA in this, do not back down...We have Super League clubs, we have regional level clubs, and across the board we have support.”
However, he stressed: “The issue is not what people think, the issue is not (to) be judged in the media. A Justice of the High Court of this country forbade any discussion of this matter because it is under her consideration and it’s before her court and that’s the end of the matter.”