High Court judge, Justice Carol Gobin, has ruled in favor of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) in its long-running dispute with FIFA, world football’s governing body.
In a decision emailed to attorneys late Tuesday evening, Gobin found that FIFA acted unlawfully, when it disbanded the TTFA executive – led by William Wallace and installed a normalization committee in March of this year.
Gobin said the removal of a duly-elected executive was illegal, null and void and of no effect.
She also declared that the appointment of a normalisation committee to “interfere in the affairs of the TTFA” was also null, void, and of no effect and that the FIFA statute which allowed the appointment, was inconsistent with the provisions of the TTFA Act of 1982.
Wallace and his team were removed by FIFA back in March, because of the TTFA’s increasing debt.
Gobin declared the decision of FIFA to appoint the normalisation committee was made in bad faith and “for an improper and illegal motive.”
She said: “I find that he (Robert Hadad), in his role as chairman of the normalisation committee, deliberately engaged in conduct that was calculated to subvert the adjudication of the claimant’s claim. His actions prompted the claimant to seek injunctive relief. FIFA did not resist the application.”
This ruling comes as the Appeal Court is set to hear a challenge by FIFA next Monday, against a preliminary ruling by Gobin. She held that the High Court was the proper forum for the dispute to be heard but FIFA has insisted that the TTFA’s dispute should be heard before the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
If the Appeal Court rules in favor of FIFA, then this latest decision will be quashed.