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Our football is in ruins

Friday, March 23, 2018
Alvin Corneal

The silence is deafening these days regarding the the aborted Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the TTFA last week.

At this point in time, the variety of confusing issues could make the image of the local game become more difficult to accept and it can even push away the start of the upcoming season for all the Football leagues in the country.

My understanding is that the AGM which was scheduled some time ago and was postponed because of the absence of a quorum.

A restart was attempted and while the original number of participants did not reach the quota stage, the ruling indicated that the meeting must continue with the number present.

Nevertheless, my question is: why was the original meeting date did not bring the participants together, especially when the substance of the meeting was the financial statement, one which need to be addressed by all key stakeholders on the TTFA.

FIFA has committed itself to a large sum of money which literally covered the various areas of the administration, the national programmes, the youth development, the women's' senior and junior teams.

We are all aware of the poor management skills of the TTFA over the years and the current administration should be more than careful as to the request by the general council to display the figures where the FIFA contributed, and where the moneys were disbursed.

The request turned into turmoil because the request for the document could not be made available by the executive committee.

Cross talk followed the refusal to carry on the meeting by the leader ignited a “he say, she say” exchange of words, few of which referred to the spent funds. From what was said in the news, it was clear that the floor members were upset over the desire of the hierarchy to terminate the meeting.

Whether this was so or not, surely the reasons should have been explained to the gathering and maybe share some thoughts on the next move forward.

This apparently did not happen and the meeting turned itself into an environment which more resembled an unruly fish market.

It would appear that some preferred to go the route of personalisation among the group which had the responsibility to conduct the business of Football and none could have request for the financial statement examined.

And almost simultaneously. Another group called the “Proleague” executives, some recently resigned their positions, decided to ignore the august body for Football and went straight to the Minister of Sport office in search of special grant of funding for their league, which is a franchise oriented league.

This was confusing to my own mind, simply because I was always of the belief that the Government's subvention to sport in the country must be shared through the national associations whose duties in turn must provide a budget which will identify the direction of the funds allocated by the TTFA..

This is not the case and immediately, the thought of this process of funding to a “Private” body which calls itself the professional league is tantamount to a number of business who invested their money in the game of football with the hope of making a profit on same.

The poor performances on the field provided them with concrete evidence that better quality football is the answer to earn a profit and continue with the investment.

If the government accepts the request to hand out monies to the Proleague, then they will have to continue their precedent and finance the clubs affiliated to the northern, eastern, central, southern and the Tobago leagues.

These are the leagues which need the financial support most, especially as they do not have gate receipts, they have to pay their referees, and they have to pay registration fees for club.

Their community grounds are not well kept, a factor which invites postponed games because of uncut grass and sometimes two teams scheduled for the same field.

This quagmire has to stop and the clubs must make their present felt in the midst of serious dialogue regarding the restructuring of all football in the country. There were successful methods used in the past and the fans supported the game. To return to a successful past is not unproductive, but rather more intelligent.






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