BY 3 p.m. next Tuesday the High Court will provide its ruling in a legal claim brought by William Wallace, ousted president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) and other authorities against their termination in March by the world’s football governing body, FIFA.
Presiding over the trial the other day was Justice Carol Gobin, who, prior to continuing with the matter, shot down an application by FIFA’s lead counsel Christopher Hamel-Smith, SC, for the claim to be adjourned pending the hearing of an appeal filed by his client versus among the judge’s previous judgments.
In dismissing the application, Justice Gobin stated FIFA was making “a mockery” of the guideline of law in Trinidad and Tobago.
Among the main bases for Hamel-Smith’s application was that subsequent to the last court hearing, when the judge set yesterday’s trial date, FIFA had actually taken the decision to cease all functional and management functions of the normalisation committee it had actually designated to replace the TTFA board.
As a direct result of this choice, the lawyer said, Williams and the rest of the previous executive members were now totally free to restore control of the TTFA if they so preferred.
For that reason, he said there was no requirement for the trial to continue with any seriousness.
The other limb of his application was that when the appeal shows up for hearing later on this month, the Court of Appeal might very well discover that the regional court was not the appropriate forum for the conflict to be heard and settled, as FIFA is arguing.
If this occurs to be the case, Hamel-Smith contended there would be no need for the claim to proceed to trial.
” The TTFA has actually achieved a large part of what they were seeking to accomplish which is, they have gotten the normalisation committee to down their tools and they have a clear way if they pick to do sh.,” Hamel-Smith stated, before Justice Gobin interjected.
” Are you major, Mr Hamel-Smith? The TTFA have gotten them to do that? The TTFA pertained to the court and got a limited injunction on the last event but even more to that and even as the correspondence of the sixth of October says, the problem as to who supervises has actually not been settled. It is clear that it is continuous for everyone else except for FIFA,” said the judge.
Pushed further by Justice Gobin, Hamel-Smith admitted that if Williams and the other former executives were to decide to re-take control of the TTFA, all of its football activities would have to take place only within Trinidad and Tobago considering that it would be happening outside of the FIFA system.
However, it would not be permitted to take part in any activities beyond the jurisdiction.
Authority of the court
In action, lawyer Dr Emir Crowne– one of TTFA’s lawyers– said the application should be dismissed.
He stated the court had currently made its decision for the trial to proceed on yesterday’s date.
” The modification in scenarios is one occasioned by FIFA. If I were to draw an example, it would be like self-induced aggravation in a contract viewpoint.
” FIFA themselves, it is like they do not understand what they want. They have actually occasioned this modification in scenarios and it is improper that they can indirectly or directly disrupt these proceedings through their own acts,” he said.
Crowne went on to say the latest modification of circumstances was an indication that “when FIFA does not understand what to do, it attempts every manoeuver it thinks is offered to attain what it wants.”
Justice Gobin continued to question Hamel-Smith.
She said one thing she has actually not been able to leave her mind was the truth that on two occasions, FIFA suggested it had no objective of acknowledging the authority of the court.
” Has there been any modification because position since it seems to me there is a disparity in pertaining to the court and asking the court to grant extravagances to use the over-riding goals when at the same time you are making it definitely clear and you continue to explain the fact that this matter remains for determination before this court truly does not make a difference to you at the end of the day.”
She stated a litigant can not on one hand reject the authority of the court and after that demand that the exact same court grant applications in its favour.
In response to her concern, Hamel-Smith said he did not receive any guidelines from his customer with regard to that issue.
Justice Gobin said there ought to never ever even be a question of the authority of the court.
” It makes a mockery of our system to be participating in this if a celebration will not validate that it is prepared to be bound by the guideline of law and to observe the guideline of law and to have regard for the guideline of law in this country,” she stated, before dismissing the application and permitting the matter to proceed to trial.
Given the ruling, Hamel-Smith said he had actually received guidelines from FIFA to not make any submissions at trial if the court had actually so ruled, since to date it has not filed any defence.
Due To The Fact That of this, just Crowne and the TTFA’s other lawyer Matthew Gayle were provided the opportunity to present arguments to the court.
Following the completion of those submissions, Justice Gobin stated she needed a couple of days to prepare her judgment.
She mentioned that on Tuesday, no behind 3 p.m., the judgment will be e-mailed to the attorneys for both sides.