KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Trinidad & Tobago’s revolt against the imposition by FIFA of a normalisation committee has been brought to a juddering halt by the local Court of Appeal.
Last March the debt-shrouded TTFA resisted the FIFA order. An attempt to complain to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was scrapped because of the one-sided, FIFA-favouring financial burden. So chairman William Wallace appealed to the local High Court.
The TTFA won an initial victory but this has now been overturned by the Court of Appeal, clearing the way for reimposition of the normalisation committee and end of an international suspension.
FIFA has indicated that the CAS route remains open.
A statement said:
FIFA welcomes the decision of the Trinidad and Tobago Court of Appeal, which ruled that the former leadership of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) had acted unlawfully by appealing to a local court to contest the appointment of a normalisation committee for the TTFA.
Among other relevant legal considerations, the Court of Appeal stressed that in accordance with the TTFA statutes and the FIFA statutes, the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) is the proper forum to resolve such dispute.
The ruling, which has been served to the parties yesterday, fully recognises the established global football governance structure, which relies on the CAS as the exclusive internationally recognised tribunal for the resolution of sports-related disputes.
A normalisation committee was installed in Trinidad and Tobago by a decision of the FIFA Council after it was established that the former leadership of the TTFA had engaged in various acts of serious mismanagement.
The former leadership of TTFA lodged a claim before the local Courts in Trinidad and Tobago in order to contest the decision of the FIFA Council. Yesterday’s decision of the Court of Appeal overturns the first-instance decision of the local Court and concludes that, should the former leadership of TTFA wish to dispute the appointment of the normalisation committee it should appeal to CAS.