TTFA Members Adopt Financial Statements After Fifa Threat, UFCTT Accepted As Member

FIFA-appointed standardization committee chairman Robert Hadad sailed successfully today during the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) online extraordinary general assembly, as the 2019 financial statements of the local football organization were adopted by 27 votes to four.

Former TTFA president David John-Williams appeared dissatisfied with the auditor’s report at the September 26 general meeting and there were hints from his followers – the president of the Veteran Footballers Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFOTT) Selby Browne and AC Port of Spain Director Michael Awai – that they would force Hadad’s hand in refusal to accept the financial statement.

Photo: Robert Hadad, standards committee appointed by Fifa.

A FIFA dispatch from Friday, October 8 suggested the governing body was sufficiently concerned about a threat of a hold-up, as Christoph Suppiger, head of Fifa’s financial governance and oversight services, emailed to Hadad and the acting secretary general of the TTFA, Amiel Mohammed, with a gesture to his weapon of choice in these regions: money.

“We have taken note that the TTFA general meeting held on September 26, 2021 did not approve the audited financial statements,” Suppiger said, “and that an extraordinary general meeting is scheduled for October 10.

“Under the Fifa Forward Regulations, each member association has the obligation to submit to Fifa […] the latest annual accounts and the corresponding audit report drawn up by the auditor, as well as the minutes of the general assembly of the member association, appointing the auditor and approving the audited financial statements presented by the auditor to accounts.

“Failure to submit the relevant documents will result in restriction of funding to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association.

“In view of the above, we look forward to receiving the minutes of the extraordinary general meeting of October 10, 2021 approving the accounts for 2019.”

Photo: FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
(via Fifa)

It is not certain that the members of the TTFA were particularly convinced by the concerns of John-Williams, to the point of needing the coercion of Fifa. Either way, the result was an easy victory for the standards committee.

Hadad’s only concession, in the face of questions from John-Williams and Browne, was verbal assurance that Fifa did not intend to liquidate the TTFA, which would be a decision to be made by all members.

Hadad also reiterated that the normalization committee would address an issue with the lease of the football house of the TTFA.

“The NC reiterated that management decisions on the 2019 audited financial statements were all guided by International Financial Reporting Standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board,” a subsequent TTFA statement said, “and adopted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Trinidad and Tobago.

“The NC also pointed out that these standards were used to resolve the issue of accounting for the granting of the 17.51 ​​acres of leasehold land in Balmain, Couva, which was valued at TT $ 42.5 million.

Photo: (Right to left) FIFA official Veron Mosengo-Omba, Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe and TTFA President David John-Williams inspect documents relating to the TTFA Football House in Couva on 20 August 2018.
(Courtesy MSYA)

“[…] When the lease is perfect, the TTFA will determine the most appropriate accounting treatment, in accordance with good financial governance practices.

Two years after the disappearance of the old association of coaches by the general assembly, the standardization committee also took the decision to exclude it as a member.

After some discussion about what was needed to integrate the Unified Football Coaches of Trinidad and Tobago (UFCTT), the members finally decided to first “properly remove” the non-existent coaches association before accepting to join the team. The new coaching body, headed by interim president Jefferson George, was unanimously approved.

As a delegate, the UFCTT has one vote in the next TTFA presidential election, which is due to take place no later than March 27, 2022.

“The TTFA looks forward to working with the UFCTT for the improvement of the coaching fraternity and football in Trinidad and Tobago in general,” said the standards committee.

Photo: On September 2, 2021, UFCTT Acting President Jefferson George (right) and General Secretary Rayshawn Mars revealed a partnership with Sagicor, which will provide its financial members with a medical plan as well as benefits in the event accidental death and dismemberment.
(via UFCTT)

Fifa had a representative at today’s meeting. However, the official was never officially introduced to the members, never turned on his camera, and logged in with only one name: “Sophia”.

“I thought it was very unprofessional,” said a member Wired868. “It was too dark for my taste.”

If the recent past is any guide, FIFA probably doesn’t care what football players in Trinidad and Tobago think.

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Marianne R. Winn

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