Trinidad & Tobago are free to return to international football.
The sport’s World governing body, FIFA lifted its suspension of the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association (TTFA) with immediate effect on Thursday.
The lifting of the suspension was confirmed by a letter to the TTFA from FIFA general secretary, Fatma Samoura.
She said the recent decision of the T&T Court of Appeal to reverse the ruling of High Court judge Carol Gobin against FIFA, and the recognition of the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee by members of the TTFA, led to the decision to reinstate the two-island republic.
“Under these circumstances, the Bureau decided on (Thursday) to lift the suspension of the TTFA with immediate effect,” she said in the letter.
“This means that all of the TTFA’s membership rights have been reinstated, as defined in Article 13 of the FIFA Statutes, with immediate effect.”
She added: “Consequently, TTFA’s representative and club teams are again entitled to take part in international competitions.
“This also means that the TTFA may benefit from development programmes, courses and training provided by FIFA or the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), or both.”
The TTFA was suspended by FIFA this past September, after the executive at the time, led by William Wallace, took the World governing body to court over its decision to appoint a normalisation committee, headed by business executive Robert Hadad, to temporarily manage the sport in the two-island republic.
FIFA claimed the TTFA, under Wallace’s leadership, “had engaged in various acts of serious mismanagement”.
The World governing body said it “found that extremely low overall financial management methods, combined with a massive debt, have resulted in the TTFA facing a very real risk of insolvency and illiquidity”.
At the time, FIFA said, “such a situation is putting at risk the organisation and development of football in the country and corrective measures need to be applied urgently”.
The suspension had put in jeopardy the Soca Warriors’ participation in qualifying competitions for the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Samoura said the members of the TTFA normalisation committee, who were installed by a decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council this past March, can now proceed with their duties.
“The two members yet to be appointed will be required to undergo an eligibility check carried out by the FIFA Review Committee in accordance with the FIFA Governance Regulations,” she said. “Their confirmation will be contingent upon the outcome of the eligibility check.
“Furthermore…the FIFA administration, in consultation with CONCACAF, reserves the right to revoke the mandate of any of the members of the TTFA normalisation committee or to appoint further members at any time, or both.”
Samoura said FIFA regretted the stances and actions taken by the members of the TTFA executive committee, which was removed.
She said this negatively impacted all aspects of T&T football and hindered the work of the normalisation committee.
“It is worth mentioning that FIFA never recognised the pretensions of the former executive body of the TTFA, which was properly and permanently removed by FIFA on March 17, 2020,” she said.
“Such actions, taken by the removed TTFA executive committee, greatly misdirected the attention of the normalisation committee and hindered its work and execution of its mandate, as the efforts of the normalisation committee in the past months had to focus on countering such actions.
“FIFA is, however, confident that the normalisation committee will now be able to focus on the execution of its assigned tasks.”