Trinidad & Tobago’s football in the last few months has been in a state of chaos after it was made known that a possible ban from FIFA was very much a reality. The ongoing saga of infighting, allegations of corruption, power struggles just seemed to continue and there looked to be no positive outcome for the fans of the game in Trinidad & Tobago. It now appears that the Normalization Committee has made some progress with FIFA and the suspension will be lifted which will allow Trinidad & Tobago to participate in international competitions.

Below is an official statement from the assistant to Robert Hadad, Ameil Mohammed about the suspension being lifted.

The Normalization Committee recently held fruitful discussions with FIFA and we are pleased to deliver the good news that the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s suspension will be lifted and its membership rights in FIFA will be reinstated in time for Trinidad and Tobago to compete in the 2021 Gold Cup and the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. This could not happen without the decisive contributions by numerous T&T stakeholders in signalling their desire for a new chapter for football in our country.

However we have a long way to go and there is a lot of work to be done to ensure that this return to competitive action, in all age categories, is sustainable. The Normalization Committee is committed to that undertaking.

The Committee was appointed to:

• run the TTFA’s daily affairs;

• establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA administration;

• review and amend the TTFA Statutes (and other regulations where necessary) and ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress; and

• organize and conduct elections of a new TTFA Executive Committee for a four year mandate.

We have already made some positive headway over the last few months through dialogue with the players and coaches and are committed to strengthening these relationships. This is one of our first priorities. The financial and governance issues of the TTFA are looming large, but we believe that together, we can put Trinidad and Tobago football where it needs to be on and off the field. We look forward to meeting with the various constituencies to work towards a structure that ensures that we begin winning again. It is even more imperative now that we work together. Football is a family, a community. We must heal together. Trinidad and Tobago football needs the help of all of its stakeholders working together shoulder to shoulder – the players, coaches, administrators, corporate supporters and our loyal fans. We look forward to your continuous support in exchange for our commitment to deliver growth and success in Trinbago football.

Also taken directly from FIFA’s official website the following was stated: The members of the TTFA normalisation committee, which was installed by decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council on 17 March 2020, will proceed with their duties. FIFA regrets the stances and actions taken by the members of the removed Executive Committee, which negatively impacted all aspects of Trinidad and Tobago Football. Such actions greatly misdirected the attention of the normalization committee and hindered its work and execution of its mandate. FIFA is, however, confident that the normalisation committee will now be able to focus on the execution of its assigned tasks.

So it could not be stated any clearer, Trinidad & Tobago are now allowed to officially participate in FIFA competitions again. However, it is regrettable that this news is being treated with a sense of scepticism by many jaded and disenchanted fans of the game. It is no secret this is not the first time we are being told this is the beginning of something new and this is where the change for football begins, the problem is that this is not an unfamiliar tune for Trinidad & Tobago fans. Many false dawns and self-inflicted destruction by those entrusted to take our sport forward has created a sense of numbness and disinterest by the fans is a very real reality that exists at the moment. Time will tell if this is just another false dawn like we all have heard before where somehow the same individuals who were responsible for the state of things are reinserted or if it is in fact and actual true new beginning that many fans have been waiting for.

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