Emir Crowne

EXPERIENCED SPORTS LAWYER: Dr Emir Crowne

FIFA has not responded.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has not yet responded to notice sent on Wednesday, May 19, of a case brought against the international football governing body by ousted executives of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).

“All they have to indicate is that we (FIFA) will file an appearance, and these are our attorneys at law,” stated advocate attorney Dr. Emir Crowne, in an interview on the Jamaica-based Sportsmax Zone programme on Friday.

Barrister Matthew Gayle and Crowne, are acting on behalf of “United TTFA,” comprising embattled TTFA president William Wallace and his vice-presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Sam Phillip. The former executive is fighting its replacement by a FIFA-appointed normalisation committee headed by local businessman Robert Hadad. The New City Chambers legal team served FIFA notice of it’s intention to take it to the Trinidad and Tobago High Court. United TTFA gave the international body eight days to respond.

Apart from an automated response, FIFA has not acknowledged the correspondence.

“If they don’t do that, the case will proceed in divorce (without FIFA),” stated Crowne. “It would be very odd if they didn’t do that.”

Crowne also theorised that apart from a potentially nasty court battle, mediation is a possible solution for both parties.

“Quite frankly I haven’t floated the idea of a mediated course with members of the TTFA,” the attorney said, “but there are some outcomes that I am thinking about...and this is only quite general.”

With such a scenario, Crowne said there may be a power-sharing option between “United TTFA” and FIFA.

“That may involve a combination of the normalisation committee and the appointed executive,”Crowne said, “I don’t know.”

“But there may be a path forward, and at the end of the day, relationships are preserved and Trinidad and Tobago football comes out better, as opposed to those people on the sidelines who are saying they think that because you’re standing up for your rights, Trinidad and Tobago football with inevitably be destroyed.”

Crowne argued:“It can’t be right that FIFA could act this way and when a Federation stands up to them, all of the football pundits say, well it’s FIFA, let them do what they want. That’s can’t to be right.”

Even if United TTFA is victorious in the Port of Spain High Court, how does it reconcile with a world body it has taken legal action against and will still depend on for funding? Crowne expected FIFA to be mature regardless of the outcome of the local court case.

“If FIFA is anything like it purports to be, an organisationally complex entity, it will abide by whatever the decision is in the end.

“I suspect that FIFA has seen enough of these battles. It is not like they are going to hold it over their (TTFA) heads and will respect whatever judgement arises from it.

“If we get down that path,” Crowne stated.

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