William Wallace

William Wallace

WILLIAM WALLACE may yet pay the ultimate price for not complying with the wishes of Trinidad and Tobago Football Association delegates when he decided upon continuing with a Trinidad and Tobago High Court challenge against FIFA, the international governing body for world football.

Yesterday, TTFA Board Member and Eastern Football Association (EFA) president Kieron Edwards wrote an official letter to Wallace, demanding that the agenda of an October 25 Emergency General Meeting (EGM) also include removal of Wallace’s administration and installation of FIFA’s normalisation committee as administrators of local football.

“In relation to the Extraordinary General Meeting of TTFA scheduled for 9:00 AM on Sunday 25th October 2020 we would like to add the following item to the agenda: “The removal of the current TTFA executive which includes the president (Wallace), vice-presidents and other Board Members and the installation of the normalisation committee as appointed by FIFA to be the new Executive of TTFA,” Edwards wrote.

Speaking to the Trinidad Express yesterday, Wallace seemed resigned to let the membership determine what course they would take. He said that while he remains in office he will keep to his promise to hold the upcoming EGM. The TTFA boss took solace in the fact that his defiant battle against FIFA was a “principled stand;” that the High Court ruled in his favour; and that FIFA’s action towards his four-month-old executive was exposed as being high-handed.

“The judge also made the point about us standing up and not capitulating to FIFA’s statutes which would have basically given their statutes precedence over our act of Parliament. And for me, those things are important, and the people that opposed that, we will see from here,” Wallace said.

Wallace was reinstalled as TTFA president when Justice Carol Gobin ruled on October 13 that FIFA’s replacement of his executive on March 18 by its own normalisation committee—headed by local businessman Robert Hadad—was null and void.

His decision to take the issue to the High Court, contravened FIFA’s statutes which list suspension or expulsion as a consequence of such actions. His United TTFA executive had bowed to pressure from the majority of its membership and initially agreed to withdraw the case but missed filing the application by a September 23 deadline. A day later, FIFA suspended the TTFA and in a strange twist, United TTFA revived the case before the T&T court.

“This suspension was a result of Mr William Wallace instituting legal action against FIFA when the agreed procedure was to take the matter to CAS. This action also contravenes Article 15, part B of the TTFA constitution. The president and his associates, known as the ‘United TTFA’ elected to take this action without seeking the approval of the Board Of Directors or the members of TTFA and the action resulted in the suspension of TTFA and by extension Trinidad and Tobago,” stated Edwards.

He added that Wallace and United TTFA had “perpetuated the expulsion of the TTFA from FIFA through the violations of FIFA statutes” and as such, he should be removed for failing to uphold the TTFA’s constitution, adding that TTFA members had no other choice.

“FIFA has stipulated that the suspension of TTFA would only be removed if the current court case is withdrawn, the normalisation committed is recognised as the legitimate executive of TTFA and the current TTFA constitution is amended to agree with the FIFA constitution. Therefore, for the suspension to be lifted the current executive must be removed and the normalisation committee appointed as the new Executive of TTFA.”

— Ian Prescott

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