Trinidad Football pull stones and bobol Aug 23, 2020 9:26:09 GMT
Post by Admin on Aug 23, 2020 9:26:09 GMT
Court Ruling A Victory For World Football, Says Wallace
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Deposed Trinidad and Tobago Football Association president, William Wallace, has described Thursday’s ruling of the High Court as a victory for world football and has made it clear that neither he, nor his team of ousted TTFA members currently challenging FIFA, feared any reprisals by the powerful football world governing body.
The High Court here ruled that the dispute between the former TTFA executives and FIFA could be heard in the local jurisdiction, instead of the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport as contended by FIFA.
Wallace, along with former vice-presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Sam Phillip, are challenging FIFA’s takeover of the TTFA last March and the appointment of a normalisation committee to run the body’s interim’s affairs.
And even though speculation is rife that the court ruling could see FIFA slapping sanctions on the TTFA or Wallace and his team, the embattled former football head said they were prepared for any consequences, especially since they had taken a stand against injustice.
TIME TO STAND UP
“Sometimes you have to just stand up for something and I think this was the time for us to stand up,” Wallace said.
“We were given the opportunity and … we had all four persons who were like-minded on this. When we sat down and discussed this, we discussed the possible consequences of individuals being affected and everybody agreed it was the right moment.
“I think this is the right moment for world football simply because people from other confederations are speaking out at the moment about things like this and therefore it might be very well what is needed to bring about some changes that would affect sport in a positive way.”
He continued: “We took this action as people who were given a mandate by the electorate and then removed. We took this action based on that. So that if they’re any sanctions to come down, that it will come down on the individuals who took the action and not on the FA.
“We are ready … that if that is what happens – that we are sanctioned or banned or whatever as individuals – I have no problem with that. Having stood up for something, that is the consequences of standing up sometimes.”
In a 24-page ruling, Madam Justice Carol Gobin said there was an “inherent contradiction” in FIFA’s appointment of the normalisation committee with full powers to run the TTFA, and “its insistence on holding the TTFA to the arbitration agreement on the other”.
Since FIFA was disputing the authority of Wallace and his team, Justice Gobin said “the arbitration process cannot be triggered if there is a dispute as to the capacity of one of the parties to invoke the process and to bind TTFA to any outcome.”
More critically, the court concluded that arbitration was not the “appropriate forum” for the settlement of the ongoing dispute.
“This is a matter which falls squarely within the jurisdiction of the High Court of this country. This is not a matter for the Court of Arbitration for Sports.”
Wallace, who was elected TTFA president last November, said the ruling was a huge filip in his team’s quest for justice.
“We are extremely happy. All we have been asking for is a chance to be heard and if this is the first step towards that, then we’re extremely happy,” he explained.
“We have always said that we wanted an opportunity to discuss the decision of FIFA. We wanted to do it through mediation which we thought was better for all of us and we have reached out over four times and that did not happen and this is the next step.
“We followed the directions of FIFA vis-à-vis challenging matters like this. We went to CAS and of course everybody knows what happened there and we [went] back to Trinidad and Tobago.
“All we are looking for is a chance to be heard because we think that natural justice was not meted out to us. We never had a chance to say anything, we never had a chance to defend ourselves – nothing. And that’s all we want: that chance to be heard.”