FIFA Suspends Trinidad& Tobago Over High Court Claim

By Sunday Akintoye

FIFA has suspended Trinidad and Tobago from international football after its football association (TTFA) pursued a dispute through the country’s High Court in contravention of the world governing body’s statutes.

The TTFA and FIFA have been at loggerheads since March after the world governing body dissolved the executive of the cash-strapped association.

FIFA said it had installed a normalisation committee after they concluded the TTFA’s former leadership had “engaged in various acts of serious mismanagement”.

This was opposed by TTFA president William Wallace and contested in court.

“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,” FIFA said in a statement.

“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.”

FIFA said they gave a September 16, 2020 deadline to withdraw the case which was extended to September 23, 2020 before the decision was taken 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 added.

Trinidad and Tobago are scheduled to play Guyana in their next competitive fixture on October. 8, the start of their qualification campaign for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Sunday Akintoye

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