Deposed Trinidad and Tobago Football Association president, William Wallace, has lamented the lack of widespread discontent with the way football’s world governing body, FIFA, has treated the Caribbean nation.
The country’s FA was last week slapped with an international ban over what the Zurich-based powerhouse organisation termed “grave violations of the FIFA Statutes”, following Wallace’s decision to challenge his removal as president and the subsequent appointment of a normalisation committee, in the local high court.
Now under pressure to bring an end to the long-running saga and limit the negative fallout from FIFA’s ban, the embattled administrator said he and his team would make a decision “over the next week” on the future of the ongoing impasse.
“I’m hurt that on Republic Day in Trinidad and Tobago [last Thursday] that we could stand by and accept that organisation [and its decision],” Wallace told i95FM here last weekend.
“Basically if we understand the meaning of republic, you would understand how that impacted us as a nation, and that is happening and we are not having enough people speaking out.
“Some of our people are speaking out and making powerful, powerful statements … but what is sad is that many more persons cannot see this matter is bigger than football.”
With FIFA warning of an imminent ban earlier this month due to the court action, Wallace withdrew the case in the high court last Wednesday following consultation with the TTFA members the following day.
But while announcing a withdrawal of the matter on Wednesday afternoon, Wallace and his team missed the stipulated deadline, resulting in FIFA proceeding with the ban the following day.
In a stunning turn of events, Wallace then instructed his legal counsel to “continue with the claim” against FIFA in the local courts, contending that FIFA always intended to suspend the TTFA regardless of whether or not the court matter had been withdrawn.
Wallace and his team have also filed a case with CAS to dispute the suspension.
With T&T football braced for a massive blow if the action against FIFA drags on, Wallace said there was no intention on the part of his team to cause further harm to the development of the sport in the country.
“We will make the right choice over the next couple days. We’re already in the state of doing that but we will make the right decision over the next week,” he explained.
“We have said whatever action we take, at the end of the day it must not harm Trinidad and Tobago football. FIFA announced a ban … we acted immediately overnight, we found money … and we filed with CAS to be able to make sure the Trinidad and Tobago national senior team would be able to participate in that [Gold Cup] draw [on Monday].
“The matter is still in our hands and we will decide over the next couple days as to what action we will take, consistent with what we started off with, that we would not want Trinidad and Tobago football to be harmed by this action.”
Continental governing body, CONCACAF, announced Friday that T&T would continue in the Gold Cup preliminary round draw but would be replaced by Antigua and Barbuda if the suspension was still in place by December 18.