Fifa committee on no witch hunt, says chairman Hadad

Sport

Fifa committee on no witch hunt, says chairman Hadad

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Robert Hadad, chairman of the Fifa normalisation committee controversially set up to run Trinidad and Tobago's football, has shot down suggestions there was any sinister intent to use the body to target certain administration officials.

In fact, the Trinidadian businessman said there was no vindictiveness or malice involved in the committee's remit, stressing it had been established only for the purpose of overhauling the operations of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) and returning the organisation to sound financial and legislative footing.

Speculation here has been rife over the real purpose of the committee, especially with Fifa intervening to remove the TTFA executive which was only elected last November.

“We have a clear remit; it is to basically run the TTFA daily affairs,” Hadad told i95.5FM here.

“So the first order of business is to get in there and to get on top of the daily affairs of the TTFA — analyse the current financial situation, come up with a quick debt repayment plan and decide exactly how we're getting there [and] where we're getting this money to deal with all these people.

“I have to get into the office and work with all the employees, win them over and get them to all work along with me and see what we're doing here to get to where we need to get. After that, we'll be looking at the statutes and regulations so we can comply with Fifa's statutes — that's very important for me.”

He continued: “At the end of the day, we're not here to dig up any bones that have been buried over the years and go back and figure out who did what and what did who — we're not interested in that. We're really interested in taking a position of today and making a better organisation for us to be proud of.

“That [witch hunt] is not in my remit at all. In my remit is to basically…run the affairs of the TTFA and to work out a debt repayment plan for the debt that we have and to figure out exactly what that debt is. After that, we deal with the constitution of the TTFA, have an election and we're gone.”

Fifa's intervention has been widely criticised here with several pundits of the view that football's world governing body was not particularly in favour of William Wallace's election as TTFA president.

In the build-up to elections, incumbent president David John-Williams appeared to have the support of Fifa President Gianni Infantino and Concacaf President Victor Montagliani, both of whom visited the island for the grand opening of its Home of Football complex in Couva.

In taking control of the TTFA operations earlier this month, Fifa said its actions had been necessary following an assessment of the association which found “extremely low overall financial management methods, combined with a massive debt”, leaving the local governing body “facing a very real risk of insolvency and illiquidity”.

Hadad, an experienced accountant, said he was not interested in football politics, however.

“I have spoken to Mr Wallace and I told him we would be in touch in the near future. It was a very cordial discussion,” he said.

“I don't have anything much more to say about anybody in the TTFA at the present time. Fifa did what they had to do for whatever reasons they did. I am just seeing an opportunity to put Trinidad and Tobago Football Association back on the right track and give us a football team and many football teams — men, women, junior, senior — good football teams.”

He continued: “We keep talking about the debt repayment plan which is at the forefront of the problem here. You can't run an organisation in deficit for this long and expect to make good decisions.

“You can't be hiring coaches and [going] from one coach to the next, from one secretary to the next. You end up breaching the contract with that person and then you're ending up in debt, so we have a big debt repayment plan and we need them [Fifa] to sit with us and work out how we're getting to where we need to get.

“We need them to help us with our legalities and the statutes and the constitution of the TTFA to decide when we hire somebody and we put somebody after we finish, how do these people act in a manner that is of benefit to Trinidad and Tobago football.”


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