Selby Browne

DID HE KNOW?: CSTN chairman Selby Browne, centre, poses with James Tree, left, vice-president of global sports agency IMG and Caribbean Football Union general secretary Kamara David at a Port of Spain meeting in February to sign a football TV rights agreement.

Selby Browne, the former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association vice-president, is remaining silent and offering little comment on FIFA’S takeover of the Association three days ago.

Browne, a former NLCB director, is also chairman of Caribbean Sport Network (CSTN), a company which last month won the broadcast rights to the Concacaf Nations League and FIFA World Cup Qualifiers package, consisting of 180 matches for the three-year period, 2020-22. Browne was also a defeated first vice-presidential candidate when Williams Wallace’s United TTFA slate unseated former president David John-Williams in the November 24, 2019 TTFA elections.

On Tuesday last, FIFA, the world governing body for football, evoked article par. 2 of the FIFA Statutes to take over the TTFA.

“The Bureau of the FIFA Council has today decided to appoint a normalisation committee for the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA),” its statement read.

There is speculation that Browne might have had prior knowledge of FIFA’S impending action and there is an allegation that he made such a prediction on social media hours before FIFA intervened.

Fingers were pointed towards Browne, even perhaps by TTFA president Wallace himself, who said: “People would have been on Facebook before, almost indicating this was going to happen.”

Wallace added: “So to me, it looks like this was planned and orchestrated.”

A known “old-talker” at times, Browne would not be drawn into debate.

“The only two things I have to say is nothing and absolutely nothing,” was Browne’s response on Thursday to a Trinidad Express query.

However, Browne acknowledged writing an open letter to Wallace in December, predicting FIFA’S impending intervention in the TTFA’S affairs. His letter, though, seemed more to be a prediction and suggested that unless Wallace’s new regime got an immediate multi-million dollar injection of cash, it would go bankrupt, thus prompting intervention from football’s governing bodies Concacaf, which governs the sport in the region, and FIFA.

Browne’s assertion might well have been only speculation. A few months earlier, he had been upgraded from Veteran Football Foundation representative on the TTFA Board to vice-president to David John-Williams, and he might have been more informed about the real state of the Football Association’s finances that the incoming Wallace regime.

“I hope the answers to this real concern will be immediately addressed by the new TTFA administration before those questions are asked by the Concacaf and FIFA and indeed, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago,” Browne had said.

The former footballer added: “This administration is now responsible for the answers to make payment of the now more than TT$48 million debt of the TTFA in addition to the TT$15 million statement of claim by Mr Jack Warner.

“The new TTFA will need to immediately bring the US$30 million sponsorship funds to include receiving the promised Nike sponsorship millions to avoid the TTFA from being declared bankrupt or avoiding insolvency.”

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