FIFA has filed an injunction in the TT High Court to stop it from hearing any matter relating to its normalisation committee.
This committee was set up in mid-March by the sport’s global governing body to resolve financial mismanagement and over TT$50 million in debt incurred by the TT Football Association (TTFA).
The injunction insists that the right forum for its current dispute with the TTFA is the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and not the TT High Court, according to a report on wired868.com.
Fifa has also requested, once successful, that former TTFA president William Wallace and vice-presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Sam Phillip pay its legal costs too.
Fifa’s stance was filed with the High Court through its attorneys Christopher Hamel-Smith SC, Jonathan Walker and Cherie Gopie from M. Hamel-Smith and Co. TTFA is being represented by Matthew Gayle, Dr. Emir Crowne and Crystal Paul of New City Chambers.
Wallace and his team were elected to office by ousting David John-Williams after two rounds at the TTFA annual general meeting in November 2019. On March 17, Fifa removed the Wallace-led administration from the helm of local football citing financial mismanagement and major debt.
Wallace and his team have challenged Fifa’s actions claiming the football body is unworthy of removing a democratically elected slate.
Speaking with Keith Look Loy, a member of Wallace’s United TTFA group, he confirmed Fifa’s submission and hoped for a speedy start to the legal process. “The court date is yet to be set. The court has now received documents from both sides. FIFA submitted theirs yesterday (Monday). Now the court will set a date. We’re hoping for a swift start because this is dragging (on). Fifa answered our claim in the court on Monday and the court will set the date for the hearing,” he said.
According to Look Loy, this case is based on two legal principles – national sovereignty and the right of TTFA members to elect or remove who they want. Although at odds with some of Wallace’s decision during his short tenure at the helm of local football, Look Loy remains grounded that Fifa has overstepped their boundaries by disbanding the Wallace administration.
“We fully intend to pursue this case. In a perfect world, speaking on my personal behalf, I would like to see the court uphold the validity of the Wallace administration and the membership make a decision on how the Wallace administration proceeds, if it is to proceed. Because it is the membership that put them there and that is democracy. That is the principle on which we are standing in the court,” he closed.