The multi-million dollar Home for Football that has been chosen as a step-down facility for recovering COVID-19 patients will undergo some major changes before the facility is launched to assist the Government in its fight against the virus.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley confirmed the 72-bed facility will be used during yesterday’s post-Cabinet press conference, following an exclusive Guardian Media report yesterday which broke the news.
But an insider with knowledge about the facility yesterday revealed that the Water and Sewage Authority (WASA) had been working at the facility over the last week to ensure some issues are dealt with.
“They are finally ensuring that the Home of Football will have its own water supply. Before, they had to rely on the water supply from the neighbouring cycling velodrome,” the source explained.
The insider added that they were also moving to outfit areas for a proper kitchen and laundry facility on the premises.
“They definitely have to install equipment and run the proper plumbing to get those spaces up and running,” the source said.
Former T&T Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace had also raised issues about Fire Service approvals and liability insurance for the 72-room hotel, which cost $16.85 million to construct, when he shut down the facility soon after its gala opening last November.
“I understand that fire extinguishers are to be placed in every room as well as the reception area and service area,” the insider said in relation to this aspect.
Other sources told Guardian Media that the liability insurance was renewed in February of this year and with people expected to occupy the premises if needed, the matter is no longer an issue.
“We know that the Government has gotten all the necessary approvals and we are happy that they have decided to use the facility,” the insider said.
Meanwhile, concerns were raised yesterday over why Wallace, whose executive was disbanded on March 17 and replaced by a FIFA Normalisation Committee three months after they took over stewardship of the TTFA, wrote a letter to Minister of National Security Stuart Young saying they supported the move to use the facility and noting that the matter should have gone through him.
Wallace claimed that the Normalisation Committee, led by Robert Hadad, had no authority to give permission for such a move nor did it have any legal standing in the country.
Wallace said in the letter, “As you are aware, the TTFA was formed by an act of Parliament (act 17 of 1982) and is to be governed by its constitution. The constitution of the TTFA places the responsibility for negotiating and entering into any contracts or agreements on the president of the TTFA, a post I have held since 24th November 2019.”
The Normalisation Committee has been tasked by FIFA with developing a plan to revive the TTFA and take it forward. Contacted on the issue yesterday, Hadad said he had no comment but noted FIFA would address the matter soon.