Besieged leader of the United TTFA (Trinidad and Tobago Football Association) group, William Wallace, says he and his team will make “the right decision” concerning how they proceed with their court action against FIFA.
Wallace made the disclosure during an interview with Andre “The Fearless One” Baptiste, on his show on i95FM, on Saturday night.
“We would make the right choice over the next couple of days, over the next week... We will make the right decision,” Wallace told Baptiste.
Pressed later in the programme as to what T&T needs to do so that the ban could be lifted, Wallace said: “We would do what we have to do over the coming days. I have nothing else to say on this. We are going to act as we see fit...we are going to take whatever action we deem necessary over the coming days.”
After the United TTFA members missed FIFA’s second deadline to withdraw a High Court case against the world football’s governing body, last Wednesday at 3 p.m., FIFA announced the suspension of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) from international football, citing grave violations of the FIFA Statutes.
Wallace said after a meeting with the membership last Tuesday night, at which the overwhelming majority indicated their desire for the United TTFA to withdraw their case against FIFA, its lawyers filed the withdrawal the next day. After FIFA’s suspension announcement on Thursday, Wallace said he was “shocked” and the United TTFA quickly filed a withdrawal of their original notice of withdrawal request, then filed an injunction with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a hearing, to ensure T&T would get an opportunity to be involved in the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup draw, scheduled for today at 8 p.m.
That point became moot after CONCACAF announced later Friday that T&T would be drawn for the 2021 Gold Cup. “However, they will only participate in the competition if the suspension imposed on the TTFA is lifted by FIFA by 5 p.m. ET on December 18, 2020,” the CONCACAF communique stated.
Wallace told Baptiste that the main reason for re-submitting their High Court case was to be in proper standing when they filed their CAS injunction so they could ensure T&T would be part of the Gold Cup draw.
Wallace and company have been challenging FIFA’s decision on March 17 to remove them and install a Normalisation Committee (NC). In their its release last Thursday, FIFA stated the suspension would only be lifted when the TTFA fully complies with its obligations as a member of FIFA, including recognising the appointed NC and bringing its own statutes into line with the FIFA statutes.
Asked if he felt the suspension could have been avoided if the United TTFA filed withdrawal documents on time, Wallace said: “Based on what I saw we were going to be banned anyway.”
He added that United TTFA acted in good faith while FIFA did not, by still suspending T&T despite the United TTFA beginning the process of withdrawal. “I did what I was supposed to do and I do not file documents to the High Court of T&T,” Wallace said.
Asked if he could understand why people would draw certain conclusions based on their urgency to resume their case, contrasted with the missed deadline to withdraw the case, Wallace said: “Well what can I say let them draw conclusions...there is nothing about that, that is difficult to understand so...based on where you are situated and what your agenda is, you can draw any conclusion you want to.”
Wallace added he was satisfied with himself and the actions that he had taken. “I am satisfied in myself in terms of standing up against something and I don’t need support to stand up. I have a mind of my own and I take a stand whatever that legacy is to people. Let it be!”