Robert Hadad - FIFA Normalisation Committee chairman.

National coaches, players, and members of the administrative office and technical staff of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) will be paid before Christmas, said Robert Hadad, the chairman of the FIFA Normalisation Committee, yesterday.

Hadad, who has been in the hot seat since March 27, amid a broken football structure that has left in its trail, a mounting debt that has crippled the sport locally and internationally, and a number of football-less Leagues that have failed to feed their national teams with players, said his committee which also comprises former banker Nigel Romano and attorney Judy Daniel, has been working meticulously daily to solve a number of the current issues that are affecting the local sport.

One of the problems which he has pointed to is the payment of salaries for players, staff, and coaches, which he said has already been addressed.

He told Guardian Media Sports yesterday that payment documents for all the parties mentioned have already been submitted to the sport’s world governing body – FIFA, for payment to be made before Christmas.

The coaches have not been paid since they took up their respective contracts in December 2019 and January 2020, under former president William Wallace. Some coaches, it is understood, are on contracts while others were given letters of agreement which expired at the end of August.

The last time salary payment came was in July this year, but technical director Dion La Foucade, who left his job in the United States earlier this year, was the only beneficiary of that payment.

T&T national coach and former national captains Clayton Morris (second from right), and Angus Eve (second from left), together with Wayne “Barney” Shepphard (left), and Richard Hood. Image: ANTHONY HARRIS

Meanwhile, Hadad also revealed that work has begun on a debt-repayment plan.

The embattled football association has been crippled by a debt which is said to be between $50-$80 million.

Hadad revealed that the Normalisation Committee (NC) has been working on assessing the legitimacy of contracts that are before them for payment.

He said, “Some people believe we have not been working but we have. This repayment will not happen overnight. It will take some time.”

Hadad, who is also a director of the HADCO Group of Companies and the NC team has been tasked with the job of stabilising T&T football and preparing it for election in two year’s time, following FIFA’s takeover on March 17, which found the state of the sport to be on the verge of insolvency.

Concerns have been raised about how the TTFA’s debt would have been cleared, whether it would be by the FIFA or if the NC will carry the responsibility of sourcing sponsorship. Hadad promises to provide answers to these concerns soon.

Hadad said that a holistic role to lift the sport to where it was before, is underway, noting that the amount they currently have in their coffers, will be used for the operation of the organisation before they can turn their focus on seeking to build the image and bring back corporate T&T on board.