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TTFF withdraw World Cup appeal

By ANNA-LISA PAUL Tuesday, May 17 2011

THE Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation was yesterday granted leave to withdraw their appeal of the lawsuit concerning outstanding payments to the majority of the national football team who participated in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

Attorney Derrick Balliram appeared on behalf of the TTFF when the matter was heard yesterday before Justice Paula Mae-Weekes in the Court of Appeal Chamber Court, while attorney Dave De Peza appeared on behalf of the players.

Although sources said the TTFF had withdrawn their appeal in good faith, they declined to reveal any further information as they said the matter was confidential and at a delicate stage.

The players who filed the lawsuit against the TTFF were Brent Sancho, Marvin Andrews, Shaka Hislop, Kelvin Jack, Atiba Charles, Cyd Gray, Ian Cox, Avery John, Chris Birchall, Aurtis Whitley, Collin Samuel, Evans Wise, Anthony Wolfe, Cornell Glen, Kenwyne Jones and Stern John.

Andrews, Cox and Birchall later withdrew from the suit and were ordered to pay their own legal costs.

The players initiated legal proceedings in the Port-of-Spain High Court against both the TTFF and special adviser Jack Warner in 2007, claiming their share of the US$88 million which the TTFF claimed to have received as World Cup commercial revenue, based on a verbal promise made to them by Warner.

In May 2008, the London-based Sport Dispute Resolution Panel ruled that, according to a contract agreed to by Warner, the players were owed half of the total World Cup commercial revenue.

But the TTFF claimed that the players indulged in a breach of confidentiality and, as such, they (the TTFF) were not obligated to pay the group of 16.

In November 2008, the players instituted proceedings at the Port-of-Spain High Court to enforce the Sport Panel’s ruling and, in 2010, Judge Devindra Rampersad ordered that the Federation honour its agreement with the players.

The Federation appealed that decision but it was dismissed by the Appeal Court Judge Rajendra Narine on November 15, 2010.

While notice of the withdrawal was filed on April 29, sources said yesterday’s ruling by Justice Weekes gave no orders as to costs.

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