Home / Volley / Global Football / John-Williams loses CFU bid; Derrick thwarts TTFA boss’ controversial challenge

John-Williams loses CFU bid; Derrick thwarts TTFA boss’ controversial challenge

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams today failed in his bid to wrest the post of Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president from incumbent leader and Antigua and Barbuda FA general secretary, Gordon Derrick, in a regional football election in Miami, Florida.

Derrick got 18 votes while John-Williams received 12 and there was one abstention.

It ended a controversial campaign by the Trinidad and Tobago administrator, who was barely seven months into his term as TTFA president. Incidentally, John-Williams turned 54 years old today.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams and new FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the TTFA headquarters on 27 January 2016. Infantino was the UEFA general secretary at the time. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams and new FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the TTFA headquarters on 27 January 2016.
Infantino was the UEFA general secretary at the time.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

John-Williams’ bid benefitted from a CFU workshop last month, which was partly funded by CONCACAF and, according to the Trinidadian, UEFA. He had promised to introduce a Caribbean Professional Football League (CPFL) with FIFA support, which would net regional clubs US$23 million in “guaranteed income” within the first three years.

But, according to well-placed anonymous sources, many Caribbean delegates did not warm to his brash style and were wary of his record on his own island, where John-Williams has clashed with coaches and the media and circumvented the TTFA’s constitution to suit his purposes.

Bills for his CFU workshop, for instance, were paid with TTFA funds although John-Williams did not seek permission or even notify the local football body’s board of directors, as he was constitutionally obliged to do.

In a radio interview on I95.5FM, John-Williams and his vice-president Joanne Salazar justified making decisions without board approval and promised to attempt constitutional reform which would allow them to do so legally.

Yet, a regional media onslaught in the build-up to today’s CFU election attempted to paint Derrick as corrupt and dictatorial and John-Williams as a potential reformer. The Caribbean delegates, though, remained unconvinced by the Trinidadian, who also owns local Pro League club, W Connection.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Stephen Hart (left) and Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams enjoy each other's company during a press conference at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port of Spain on 19 May 2016. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Stephen Hart (left) and Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams enjoy each other’s company during a press conference at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port of Spain on 19 May 2016.
(Courtesy Wired868)

John-Williams’ defeat follows on the heels of an electoral spanking for Salazar on 12 May 2016, as she lost 27-8 to Turks and Caicos Island’s Sonia Bien-Aime for the post of CONCACAF Female Member, which carried an automatic FIFA appointment.

John-Williams must now turn his attention to local business as the TTFA reconvenes an extraordinary general meeting on 30 July.

The TTFA president initially called the meeting on 16 July and failed to reach a quorum. However, he was forced to redo invitations after his mid-July assembly was deemed to be illegitimate by delegates.

At regional level, Derrick will remain the head of the Caribbean body for the next four years, although the new FIFA, headed by president Gianni Infantino, appears hellbent on putting its own bosses in place.

On the surface, the proposed changes have nothing to do with better performance or greater transparency. For now, the Caribbean has resisted as the CFU electorate voted decisively in favour of the status quo.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (right) collects the 2014 Caribbean Cup trophy from CFU president Gordon Derrick. (Courtesy Jinelle James/WOLF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (right) collects the 2014 Caribbean Cup trophy from CFU president Gordon Derrick.
(Courtesy Jinelle James/WOLF)

For the position of first vice-president, incumbent Cheney Joseph (Grenada), who has been a vocal opponent of Derrick’s, won 18-13 against the Dominican Republic’s Osiris Guzman.

Curacao’s Rignaal Francisca held on to his post as second vice-president in a 16-15 result over Anton Sealy of the Bahamas while St Lucia’s Lyndon Cooper also staved off a challenge from St Martin’s Fabrice Baly 18-13.

Ironically, the only VP to lose his post was fourth vice-president Hillaren Frederick (USVI) who was defeated by Aruba’s Richard Dijkhoff. Frederick, who earned notoriety in Trinidad and Tobago by destroying David Nakhid’s chance to contest the FIFA presidency, initially put himself for CFU president before withdrawing on the eve of the election.

Frederick’s miserable day was complete when he failed to land any of four CFU executive member positions at stake. Instead Bruce Blake (Cayman Islands), Eric Labrador (Puerto Rico), Randy Harris (Barbados) and Jeaninne Wong Loi Sing (Bonaire) got the nod.

Frederick apart, Vernold Coombs (St Vincent and the Grenadines), Alain Mijdt (French Guiana), Maurice Victoire (Martinique) and Wayne Forde (Guyana) also failed in their bids to get a CFU executive berth.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

Check Also

TTFA bungle keeps Pro League teams out of Concacaf again, disqualification ‘hidden’ from clubs

Interim Pro League chairman Brent Sancho said he was ‘thoroughly disappointed’ that local top flight …

65 comments

  1. Congrats to the new Executive…they have their work cut out!

    • Definitely. FIFA wants its own people and tried to bully the Caribbean into selection a man that is barely seven months into a highly contentious term in Trinidad.
      Shows the level of disrespect that FIFA has for the Caribbean.

    • Lasana, it is only we who can change the order of things. In life as in football or vice versa, many things have gone unchallenged and continue to be so…fear, self interest, cliques, ‘pardoner syndrome’….all remain features of how we debate, support, debunk and resolve or determine outcomes or positions. Let’s hope the lessons of the last few years have a positive impact with the new Executive having the balls to see about our business without being pawns in someone else’s game.

    • The Caribbean is starting from ground zero. Again. Fully agree with you about what is at stake.

  2. Lasana Liburd so you telling me that is the best picture u could have gotten with gordon Derrick lol

  3. Ah weak with this picture! Maylee Johnson

  4. nah he aint have enough money and he is not corrupted or is a smart man that is the 3 main requirements for president

  5. Mango…..Mr Livewire for president.. lol

  6. The questions here are:
    Does the end justify the means?
    When you play fair on an uneven playing field how do you win or even compete?
    T and T would never have gotten to the WC without Jack Warner. Didn’t see anyone crucify him then. Australia went half way around the world to play Uruguay. While they were in our backyard
    Mr. Williams uses the same pattern. Wants the very best but wants total control. Noble gesture but very dangerous. Especially as we’ve already seen what total power can do.
    But the armchair pundits (like myself) who talk a good talk should also know that there are plenty talkers, who do nothing for the sport and smart men who would do the same thing if given the chance (and they don’t pretend to have noble intentions)
    At the end of the day guess who suffers the most. The players who dedicate their lives to this game.
    So on this link there are people who can make a difference. Mend your fences and do something positive for the players, the sport and the people.

    • Lasana Liburd

      Thanks for the feedback Randy. But are you saying that some people have noble intentions but are merely going about it clumsily? That might be true. But would you also accept that some politicians have no noble intentions whatsoever and are motivated purely by self-interest?
      If you agree this is also possible, you can truly scrutinise with an open mind.

  7. And the victory goes to Mr. Live Wire meh friend and wired 868 eh, and if he was around back in the days of the Strike Squad eh, when the corrupted Jack Warner and his cronies sold out the November 19th game eh, his investigative skills and reporting wudda be exposing him a very long time ago eh, and some of these nowadays wanaby’s corrupted Jack Warner eh, they still not getting the message eh, well they will just continue to be exposed Steeuuppss. Them really good yes.

  8. I could take ah wine for that news!

  9. If Lasana was invited to a DJW buffet banquet, he’d be better of bringing his own lunch in a bag …

  10. Amen to that. Should take him down a peg or two.

  11. It seems that Alyuh Trinis eh realize as yet they won’t be giving anymore “Trickydadians anymore big post to run with respect to the football in the CFU nor FIFA eh, after all what meh corrupted uncle Jack Warner did eh. Alyuh really good yes hahahaha

  12. Or they just thought it ridiculous that he was going up for three positions! Lol

  13. How ironic lol maybe the voters were getting payback for the Nakhid scandal?

  14. Isn’t life a bitch, just when ya think you’ve cracked it? Don’t count ya chickens comes to mind?
    Never underestimate the small man, never underestimate the power of the pen and don’t underestimate the love and knowledge of people and their football!
    It’s time for change, maybe this resounding defeat of DJW in Miami today will have him reflect and analyze his decisions, appointments and his disregard for rules and regulations. The clear embarrassment of this new TTFA administration over only eight months has to be corrected. Expertise, experience and confidence to positively plan, prepare, action and deliver programs and direction in OUR football has to be installed rather than the same old “crabs in a barrel” appointments of voters and comfort colleagues. Smh
    FIFA, CONCACAF are running for cover, TTFA could be cut off, the stigma of the past remains, WE game and WE appointments must change to professional competent appointments. REAL men panicking now, no more easy jobs up the Islands, imminent reshuffle to accommodate close friends/colleagues coming, more “crabs” disappointed and bitter! Smh
    2016, technology and information, time to wake up, pull together in the same direction and provide our youths with opportunity through smart work and solid programs delivered by experts!

  15. Ironically, the only VP to lose his post was fourth vice-president Hillaren Frederick (USVI) who was defeated by Aruba’s Richard Dijkhoff.
    Frederick, who earned notoriety in Trinidad and Tobago by destroying David Nakhid’s chance to contest the FIFA presidency, initially put himself for CFU president before withdrawing on the eve of the election.

  16. Congrats Cheney keep fighting the battle. ..

  17. I didnt realize it was such a joy for some at this lost of an international election…
    Lol smh woow!!!football people… they say ….some egos were badly bruised at djw wining the ttfa elections…woow didn’t realize the magnitude of all this, my goodness now !!woow…amazing …

    • You didn’t realise that I’m not a fan of administrators who ignore the constitution and do as they please with the funds of sporting bodies Earl?
      Now you know. 😉

    • Fight your demons bro…have some wine with the new presidente….we still awaiting the development of cfu…

    • I don’t sup with presidents Earl. That’s your thing apparently. My fight is always for the “small man”.

    • The day you find yourself under pressure and being unjustly treated. Let me know. 😉

    • ..Earl. Bro. The point(s) miss(es) you completely. Keep on believing the critique is personal and you will never get it..

    • Mr.look loy…my points are about the development of the game …it gave me a life and I support people that fight the right battles for that cause…nothing else…the same opportunities that I got I want for others…thats my fight whoever thinks its different well well….I live and die for this game…some people come for differ reasons…some dont give a damn…as long as we have amateurish mentality this game in the Caribbean will keep on suffering. …peopel talk and dont walk the talk….

    • Iask sometimes ….what do really fight for ??? Or do we fight only at certain things or at certain times…asking questions. ..I have been around football amd I know b…shitters pretend that they care !!!

    • ..So you alone in that? And because of that you take criticisms – not of you but of the actions of people you support – personal? That gives you a monopoly on football righteousness. Come on Earl. Come on man..

    • Well never said that…people have their own causes…whether honest or not…but I have my opinion. …because as you look through the years where has the football gone???who has been around at the successful clubs?who has thought for the survival for the game?just asking???whether its you or djw or bruce?? Or tony …what has football gotten???here or in the Caribbean just asking…are we the same place?

    • I don’t think that any of the comments were personal either. Like myself, some people felt that DWJ’s focus should be on TTFA (as stated in his election manifesto), we need him now, he has to set the tone as the new blood in the top national football administrative position, it is important that he acts in a transparent manner, respect the constitution and do what is necessary to propel the national football agenda. CFU Presidency position means that TTFA getting ‘horn’ lol. Personal?? Nahhh…

    • Any time you are in public life you are supposed to be ready for criticism. ….but give due when its deserved. .I see people criticize at every turn and not just to djw..speaking about football in general. ..one or two on the blogs never have anything positive to say…

    • Coaches being fired for asking about compensation. But you asking for more praise?
      If you find certain posters speak only negatives to say, would you also say that you speak only positives? And that makes you only the other end of the spectrum that you are criticising?
      Too much nonsense Earl. I try never to be distracted by people with tunnel vision.
      Better to have conversations with people who can see beyond their own agendas and pay checks and properly debate issues.

    • ..Focus on the priorities and handle them properly. The Derrick victory also poses the question: How could he have been banned from the CONCACAF election but be allowed into the CFU race? To clear the confederation track for ‘gouti to run is how. That should also tell DJW about the priority these people place on his survival..

    • Just a pawn in a global game Keith. No matter how much people try to fool themselves otherwise.
      The ‘new FIFA’ will come again to seize control of this territory. But, if Infantino is challenged in four years, he will know that he cannot count on the Caribbean. And rightly so.
      To be blunt: they do not care about us.

    • ..And THAT is ONE of my criticisms of DJW. Playing geopolitical games with these people and being their willing pawn. If we have problems in CFU – and we do! – solve them within the region! Don’t prostrate yourself on the altar of these people who couldn’t care LESS about the Caribbean..

  18. Fight the fight djw…do your work for football …Most important. ….success must come hold your head high…proud football man always!!!!

  19. To be a bug in the phone for that conversation with Infantino…

  20. Seriously tho, wasn’t it a bit too early for him to go for this? What kinda businessman is he?

  21. ..This is as it should be. Now DJW should turn his focus to local football, get the ship righted, pay some dues, and only then return to his CFU/CONCACAF/FIFA ambitions. Man must creep then walk. This is a set back for Gulati and Montagliani but Derrick will now have to play ball in their game. His record as CFU president is nothing to boast about. He also has to get to work..

  22. Earl Best

    If there are people who think that wired868 is anti-DJW, this piece will bring grist to their mill. To my mind, there is a certain glee underlying this report that really has no place in what is essentially a news report.
    Or is it just my imagination, long-time stalwart JAW supporter that I am?