Robert Hadad…..chairman of the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee

Keith Clement

Chairman of the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee (NC) Robert Hadad has slammed former T&T Football Association (TTFA) boss Williams Wallace for the offensive manner in which Wallace continues to address the world governing body in the ongoing dispute between the two parties.

Hadad has also knocked Wallace for continuing to use TTFA and FIFA insignia’s on his correspondence, as he is no longer qualified to do so, and called on him to do the right thing to so the game can return to normalcy in this country.

Hadad made the comments in response to an open letter, dated August 26, from Wallace to FIFA president Gianni Infantino which has attacked the normalisation process and the work of Hadad’s team thus far.

In Wallace’s letter to Infantino, headed Failure of Normalisation in Trinidad and Tobago, Wallace said: “My vice-presidents and I were elected to lead the TTFA in November 2019. For years before that FIFA had stood-by and watched as mismanagement and cronyism caused havoc for football in Trinidad and Tobago, provoking notable public failures, including the botched Home of Football project in Balmain, Couva. We were elected to bring transparency and financial probity.

“Normalisation is a draconian and unfair act which seeks to undermine the independence of the TTFA and ride roughshod over the will of the electorate who voted for the United TTFA slate in November 2019.”

Noting that the two reasons given by FIFA for their intervention in T&T had nothing to do with his former executive, Wallace noted his team was still willing to work with FIFA to resolve the outstanding issues in the interest of T&T football Football. However, Wallace noted his executive should have been given the chance to resolve the issues as opposed to FIFA sending in a normalisation team and again called for mediation in the matter, which is currently before the local courts.

“FIFA cannot continue to ignore our calls to mediate an agreement between the TTFA and FIFA and maintain any moral authority. FIFA must recognise and work with the duly elected executive of the TTFA. Likewise, TTFA must recognise, and does, the need for financial assistance and guidance from FIFA in resolving TTFA’s current financial malaise. If you will not talk and if no agreement is reached, the TTFA is left with no choice but to continue on the path FIFA has forced us down through the courts.”

However, in a response on Independence Day (August 31), Hadad told Wallace his letter to Infantino was a complete misrepresentation of the facts.

“As stated in writing on numerous occasions by FIFA, you Mr Wallace, are not recognised as the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president. The TTFA Normalisation Committee which I chair has been appointed by FIFA and is the only legitimate body entrusted to manage/run the affairs of the TTFA as recognised by FIFA, Concacaf and FIFA’s 211 member associations,” Hadad wrote.

“Furthermore, you are not authorised to use the TTFA letterhead or any other marking for any communication or representation. Similar to all your correspondence and media interviews, your letter is an example of the campaign of misinformation and disinformation that you and a number of your colleagues from the removed TTFA Executive Committee have undertaken from the inception of not only the normalisation process, but as evidenced from the first day you were in office.”

Hadad told Wallace he had ignored the truth and calls from his membership to resolve the issue out of the court.

“You have had every opportunity within the FIFA system to make a case and put forward your position, however, you have voluntarily chosen not to do so and even went so far as withdrawing the matter from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). You know very well that it is a requirement of FIFA, Concacaf and TTFA Statutes that such disputes be managed through CAS, and you know very well the potential consequences for those who ignore important FIFA rules and regulations.”

Hadad added: “The tone and content of your letter is offensive, not only to the Normalisation Committee but to the people of Trinidad and Tobago who are working extremely hard for the betterment of football in the country. In recent weeks, the players of our senior men’s national team, our membership at large and other stakeholders have spoken out to you and your cohorts to request that you do the right thing and put Trinidad and Tobago football first.”