Photo: Trinidad & Tobago national flag
Caribbean football powerhouse Trinidad and Tobago were today suspended by the world football governing body FIFA after they failed to withdraw court proceedings despite two clear chances to do so.
FIFA earlier today outlined the need for their course of action in media release posted on their website.
“The Bureau of the FIFA Council today suspended the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) with immediate effect due to grave violations of the FIFA Statutes.
“The suspension was prompted by the former leadership of the TTFA lodging a claim before a local court in Trinidad and Tobago in order to contest the decision of the FIFA Council to appoint a normalisation committee for the TTFA. This course of action was in direct breach of article 59 of the FIFA Statutes, which expressly prohibits recourse to ordinary courts unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations,” the release said.
The problems developed between the FIFA and the TTFA after FIFA established a “normalisation committee” to investigate “serious mismanagement” within the TTFA.
“A normalisation committee was installed by the FIFA Council after it was established that the former leadership of the TTFA had engaged in various acts of serious mismanagement. The decision of the former leadership to go to a local court to contest the appointment of the normalisation committee jeopardizes not only the future of football in Trinidad and Tobago but also endangers the overall global football governance structure, which relies on the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as the exclusive forum for resolving disputes of this nature.”
The defiance of the TTFA to drop the court proceeding came to a head today.
“The relevant parties were initially given until 16 September to withdraw the case but failed to do so. This deadline was then extended until 23 September, which was not respected either.
“In the circumstances, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided to suspend the TTFA.
“This suspension will only be lifted when the TTFA fully complies with its obligations as a member of FIFA, including recognising the legitimacy of the appointed normalisation committee and bringing its own statutes into line with the FIFA Statutes.”
It remains to be seen what the response will be from the TTFA and what the ramifications may be regarding World Cup qualifiers, which has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.