The action came a from recent court order in which the TTFF was ordered to pay players monies owed to them from the 2006 World Cup Football campaign. The ruling will also hamper the embattled football federation-the country’s governing body for football, from functioning properly in its own home.
Despite the court order however, Newsday understood that the federation will still receive an annual grant of US$250,000 from the world governing body for football, FIFA. Sources said the federation has been using the grant to pay its salaries and other expenses although the FIFA funding is supposed to go toward the development of football.
A top football official, who asked not to be named, explained that the court ruling cannot prevent the football federation from functioning. “When FIFA hears about this new development then they can decide on the best way forward for football in TT.”
TTFF president Lennox Watson confirmed the federation will continue to operate as the legally recognised organisation in charge of football in TT. He explained the federation will continue to raise funds to pay its workers and other expenses as they have been doing in the past.
The ex-prisons officer declined to give details of how his federation would function, from where and how it proposes to raise funds. “There will be no job losses because there is a lot of work to do and we will need all our workers to do it.”
The local football boss also dismissed talks that his federation used the grant from FIFA to pay its expenses, saying, “That grant is to be used for development and that is what we will use it for.”
Former national footballer Brent Sancho explained yesterday that a lot more people face being affected by the seizure. It is understood that staff members from the senior team wrote to the Ministry of Sports last month to complain they were not paid salaries for the qualifying period. According to Sancho, former national player and coach Russell Latapy is also considering taking legal action against the federation for monies owed to him.
To date the ex-players are unable to state exactly how much monies are owed to them since the football federation was unable to find its books. The money stemmed from all commercial deals made during the 2006 campaign. Apart from a whopping $88 million from Government, there were also sponsorships from corporate citizens such as Carib Brewery, TSTT, KFC, Adidas, Puma and ebay among many others. Monies for the players were also expected from TV rights.