No end in sight to the legal battle between the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFA) and the world governing body, FIFA.
According to Guardian Media Sports on August 13, the High Court in Port-of-Spain ruled against FIFA in a case brought by the TTFA, and then made it clear that the Court of arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland will be the jurisdiction for the TTFA.
In a landmark 24-page ruling, Madam Justice Carol Gobin concluded that arbitration was not the “appropriate forum” for the settlement of the ongoing dispute between FIFA and TTFA.
The ruling was a blow to FIFA’s bid to have the dispute with the TTFA heard by the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.
However, the Court made it clear, “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”
In the words of Justice Gobin, FIFA now threatens to “take its ball and go home”. But by doing so however, FIFA would be accepting and confirming that the Normalisation Committee it claims to have appointed lacks not only moral legitimacy, but legal legitimacy too.
In an article published in Guardian Media Sports, President of the Barbados Football Association, Randy Harris told i95FM Sports that the ruling would resonate among member associations especially since it impacted the established system of governance enforced by FIFA.
Harris said this is a big, big decision in the football world because all of the MAs (member associations) affiliated to FIFA, is at this time believing they play under the FIFA statutes and their governance,
Noting, “…this plays a different tune so we will wait and see what FIFA has to say. I hope that everything runs well for Trinidad and Tobago” said Harris.
The dispute was triggered last March after FIFA disbanded the TTFA executive and appointed a Normalisation Committee to run the association.
In another response to the issue, Guardian Sports reported that former national player, Brent Sancho called on the members of the United TTFA, president William, Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Joseph Sam Phillip to cease the fight against the FIFA immediately, until they can prove that they have the majority support of the Board of Directors of the TTFA, as well as the support of many players who are in the latter part of their careers.