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TTFA faces incurable debt
DAVID JOHN-WILLIAMS, president of T&T Football Association and the sport could face severe consequences if a report on the status on the construction of the Home of Football at Balmain in Couva is not tabled later this month at a scheduled statutory meeting.
At a hotly contested AGM over two weeks ago, Keith Look Loy, the T&T Super League president led a call for an update on the construction work currently taking place as he believes the Board has been left in total darkness on everything related to the project, such as its budget, the contractors involved, the scope of works and if the works were feasible.
Yesterday, Look Loy said he was reliably informed that work of this magnitude could cost the cash-strapped association in the region of $50 million at a minimum.
"The football association is already in debt of $20 million and a project of this magnitude could saddle us with terminal debt, as we would have to borrow money to ensure it is completed. I'm not prepared to support that," Look Loy said.
The Super League boss said he is willing to work with the money available to them in the TTFA's coffers, which is in the region of about $16 million provided by the FIFA. "I am prepared to vote for the construction of fields for futsal, beach and 11-a-side football, and dormitories for players to stay, and that's it for now," Look Loy explained.
Work was allowed to continue on the home of football at the reconvened AGM meeting last month, but Look Loy said he intends to take more severe actions if the report is not produced by John-Williams at the statutory meeting, to take place at a date to be announced this month.
Look Loy said that while the Board supports the construction of the home of football, it wanted to ensure there is transparency.
John-Williams, who was contacted yesterday said, "I have nothing to tell the media".
The Board is also expected to meet this weekend and among the issues to be raised is finding a replacement for TTFA's second vice president Allan Warner of Tobago, who was ousted at the last AGM, for breaching the TTFA's constitution by missing four consecutive Board meetings. A reliable source close situation and spoke to Guardian Media Sports on the condition of anonymity said Warner had deliberately stayed away from the meetings as a form of a "Silent Protest" against the way the affairs of the sport is being managed and that included the construction of the home of football.
Calls to Warner's phone for a comment went unanswered yesterday.
The Board is also set to deal with a replacement for Sharon O'Brien, the Women's football body president who was a representative on the Board and also an employee of the TTFA.
O'Brien's decision followed last month's AGM in which the members asked O'Brien and Wayne Cunningham, the East Zone representative on the Board as well as a Communications Consultant for the TTFA, to chose a position, as their double roles constituted a conflict of interest with in the organisation.
But while O'Brien has already given up her Board position, Cunningham remains reluctant and he has made it clear that he's not an employee of the TTFA and merely receives a stipend. He said, "I do not receive any benefits, etc, I am a consultant." However, the source said that the Board members will reject Cunningham's explanation.
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