Fifa rejects proposal to have single arbitrator in TTFA dispute


Fifa rejects proposal to have single arbitrator in TTFA dispute

Friday, April 17, 2020

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – A proposal that a single arbitrator be appointed to hear the dispute between Fifa and the ejected executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has been rejected by football's world governing body.

The proposal had been made by attorneys representing the TTFA in its appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to reverse Fifa's decision last month to appoint a normalisation committee to oversee the association's operations.

The lawyers had identified British sports lawyer Mark Hovell, who has been an arbitrator at the CAS, as the man for the job.

But according to a report on Sportsmax on the April 14 deadline to submit a response to that request, Fifa wrote to the head of arbitration at CAS, Antonio De Quesada, saying it preferred to have a three-member panel hearing the matter.

“We do not agree with the appellant's proposal to appoint a sole arbitrator in the matter at hand. Indeed, the present dispute concerns an exceptional situation that has led Fifa to take important governance-related measures in one of its members in accordance with the Fifa statutes,” Fifa said in its correspondence.

The president of the CAS Appeals Arbitration Division Corinne Schmidhauser or her deputy will make the final decision on how many arbitrators will hear the dispute.

The lawyers are expected to file their appeals brief by today.

Three weeks ago, Fifa announced it was replacing the TTFA with a normalisation committee after a joint assessment of the association carried out by itself and Concacaf, found “extremely low overall financial management methods, combined with a massive debt”, which left the local body “facing a very real risk of insolvency and illiquidity”.

The committee will have up to two years to carry out its work, which includes creating a debt repayment plan which the TTFA can implement, reviewing the local governing body's statutes and ensuring their adherence to Fifa regulations, and overseeing new elections.

The appointment of the normalisation committee was criticised by TTFA President William Wallace who said the decision was unconstitutional and took his challenge to the CAS.

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