Former TT midfielder David Nakhid speaks to the media before distributing hampers in his hometown of Mt D'or, Champs Fleurs on Friday. PHOTO BY AYANNA KINSALE. - Ayanna Kinsale
FORMER national football captain David Nakhid said FIFA acted in a “bullying fashion,” in its decision to take over the running of the TT Football Association (TTFA), saying the former TTFA executive has every right to challenge that decision.
Nakhid was speaking to the media before he distributed hampers to needy families in his hometown of Mt D’or, Champs Fleurs to help battle the covid19 pandemic.
He said, “It is a complex situation. I think the right of principle is with the former administration, the Wallace slate. The dilemma is if that situation, whether the right is with them, is going to serve the national interest of TT. I would like to think that as a matter of principle they have a right to fight the case, I believe that they do.”
On March 17, FIFA made the decision to disband the TTFA executive led by former president William Wallace.
FIFA and CONCACAF found that TTFA was not in a position to run football effectively in a fact-finding mission and decided to break up the TTFA hierarchy and form a normalisation committee to take over. Among the reasons FIFA gave to break up the TTFA was the massive debt facing local football, which is said to be $50 million.
Wallace was only voted into office in November, 2019 and inherited the debt from the previous administration, led by David John-Williams.
Local businessman Robert Hadad was chosen as the chairperson of the normalisation committee, after former TTFA finance manager Tyril Patrick declined the offer.
FIFA said the mandate of the normalisation committee will include establishing a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA.
The normalisation committee’s job will end when the assigned tasks are complete, but it would not last more than 24 months.
In early April, the former Wallace-led executive decided to fight the decision by FIFA to appoint the normalisation committee by filing an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Nakhid, who unsuccessfully campaigned to become FIFA president five years ago, said the move by the world governing body for football was an aggressive one. “We are looking at a situation where FIFA, who with their high-handed manner…did move in a bullying fashion (and) can hold TT to ransom. They can ban national teams and I think that is something that we need to look at. I hope they (TTFA) go the distance (in fighting the matter), but I don’t think they can. I think FIFA in the end will prevail.”
Asked whether he thinks TTFA and FIFA could have attempted to meet halfway on the issue, Nakhid said, “I would have liked them to have met halfway before. I would have liked the Wallace administration to have reconciled with the John-Williams (administration) and found a way that FIFA did not have to intervene.”