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TTFA election tentatively set for Nov; Wired868 examines new constitution

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) hopes to elect its first president under the new constitution by November 2015, after the vital new document was ratified by delegates for its membership on Sunday evening.

Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee (centre) gestures to an Ecuador player while Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (right) has a word to her grandson before kick off of the FIFA Women's World Cup Play Off second leg on 2 December 2014. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee (centre) gestures to an Ecuador player while Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (right) has a word to her grandson before kick off of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Play Off second leg on 2 December 2014.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Former West Indies Players Association (WIPA) CEO Dinanath Ramnarine, who also served on the Constitutional Reform Panel (CRP) and Independent Reform Committee (IRC) will head the Electoral Committee for the upcoming elections.

“The election should take place around November,” Ramnarine told Wired868, “but before we do that, we have to sit with the member associations and all the members and consult with them on this constitution.

“This has to now go down to every single level.”

Thus far, current TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee has been coy about whether he would stand for re-election. However, there is no indication that he will bow after a controversial two-year stint.

Tim Kee, who is also the Port of Spain Mayor and PNM treasurer, was elected unopposed in November 2012 to complete the term of outgoing president Oliver Camps. His tenure should have ended in November 2014 but, controversially, FIFA gave him a seven-month deadline until a new constitution could be passed and adapted by the relevant bodies.

That June deadline was also missed. And it now seems likely that Tim Kee would spend 12 months in office beyond his 2012 mandate.

Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, who is a member of the FIFA Futsal Committee, tries out the furniture at the global football body's Zurich headquarters.
Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, who is a member of the FIFA Futsal Committee, tries out the furniture at the global football body’s Zurich headquarters.

However, Ramnarine hailed the football president for fulfilling his promise of delivering a new constitution, which takes the TTFA closer to its roots of “one club, one vote.”

“Tim Kee has to take credit for  putting together a formidable (constitutional reform) team and allowing the process to be truly independent,” said Ramnarine, who worked alongside Senator Elton Prescott, TTOC president Brian Lewis, archivist Patrick Raymond, former 2006 World Cup player Shaka Hislop, MATT executive member Dr Sheila Rampersad, former referees head Osmond Downer and Raoul John. “Not once did we feel any pressure from (Tim Kee) or any other member of the executive.

“To see the clubs now have a huge say in the election of the president… It is a step in the right direction that the key stakeholders can now have a major role to play.”

In the end, FIFA and the IRC agreed on a compromise between the ideal of one club, one vote and the former structure that placed the balance of power in the six zonal associations.

For the upcoming elections, all 10 Pro League clubs will have a vote as well as eight representatives of the 15 Super League teams. So clubs will directly account for 18 of the 47 potential voting delegates or 38 percent of the electorate.

Photo: W Connection owner David John Williams (second from left), coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier (centre) and defender Joel Russell (far left) say a prayer of thanks after securing the 2013/14 Pro League trophy at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection owner David John Williams (second from left), coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier (centre) and defender Joel Russell (far left) say a prayer of thanks after securing the 2013/14 Pro League trophy at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

In contrast, the previous constitution allowed for just two votes from the Pro League and none from the Super League out of a potential 78 ballots. It meant that clubs had just 0.02 percent of the electorate under the previous constitution.

The other 29 voting delegates for the 2015 TTFA presidential election are as follows:

Three delegates each: the Central, Eastern, Eastern Counties, Northern, Southern and Tobago zonal bodies;

Two delegates each: the Women’s, Referees and Futsal associations;

One delegate each: the Primary School, Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), Beach Soccer, Veteran Players and Trinidad and Tobago American Soccer Youth (TTAYSO) associations.

There is provision in the constitution for one delegate each for a players and coaches association, once active, which would mean a total of 49 delegates.

Photo: Former 2006 World Cup player David Charles (far right) watches as TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee (second from left) embraces 2006 teammate Kelvin Jack in May 2013. Looking on are teammates Brent Sancho (far left) and Cyd Gray. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Former 2006 World Cup player David Charles (far right) watches as TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee (second from left) embraces 2006 teammate Kelvin Jack in May 2013.
Looking on are teammates Brent Sancho (far left) and Cyd Gray.
(Courtesy Wired868)

A presidential candidate does not need to have working experience in football and must only be nominated by one delegate.

Voting will be conducted by secret ballot and, for the post of president, successful candidates must get more than 50 percent of the valid votes cast. If there is no majority winner, the candidate will the least votes will be eliminated and a vote retaken until, if necessary, there are two candidates remaining.

The post of president will have a limit of two full terms.

In the case of the vice-presidents and ordinary member, if there are more than three candidates, the three candidates with the most votes from the first ballot will proceed to a second ballot.

If there are three candidates or less for one position, whoever obtains the most votes shall be elected.

The TTFA general secretary, who is appointed by the Board of Directors—formerly referred to as the Executive Committee—on the advice of the football president, must provide all delegates with a list of candidates by no later than 10 days before the election.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips. (Courtesy SPORTT)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips.
(Courtesy SPORTT)

Current general secretary Sheldon Phillips praised Tim Kee, FIFA official Primo Corvaro, the reform commission and the various member associations for their collaborative effort in creating the new constitution.

“Passage of this document is a powerful statement that the TTFA is committed to good governance principles,” said Phillips, “and ensuring all its constituents: players, coaches, administrators, referees and now clubs, have a say in how the FA will be governed and operate.”

Tim Kee and Phillips have had a controversial spell in charge of the local game. Among other things, they struggled with debt to current and past players and coaches, endured a fractious relationship with the Government, failed to account for money ferreted out of the TTFA under the previous administration and suffered through scandals like a mysterious $400,000 licensing fee for an Argentina friendly and a messy fund raiser for deceased player Akeem Adams.

But the new TTFA constitution was something that even Tim Kee’s critics on the Executive Committee eventually agreed to support.

“My experience is that sometimes you have to give new things a chance to see how they pan out,” said TTFA vice-president Rudolph Thomas. “I am prepared to give this new constitution a chance. It has provisions which will take us into new and progressive environments and I am prepared to support that.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Sheldon Bateau (centre) celebrates the opening goal against Guatemala with teammates Radanfah Abu Bakr (left) and Khaleem Hyland. (Copyright Jonathan Daniel/AFP 2015)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Sheldon Bateau (centre) celebrates the opening goal against Guatemala with teammates Radanfah Abu Bakr (left) and Khaleem Hyland.
(Copyright Jonathan Daniel/AFP 2015)

But there was a caveat.

“If you don’t have the kind of vision that sees the TTFA as a responsible, international organisation, then nothing will work,” Thomas told Wired868. “And you have to align that vision with the appropriate personnel… If all the right things come together, I am optimistic.”

In November, the opportunity will be there for candidates who believe themselves to be the right people to lead the TTFA into a new period of success.

The TTFA’s voting delegates

Ten delegates: The Trinidad and Tobago Pro League;

Eight delegates: The National Super League;

Three delegates: The Central, Eastern, Eastern Counties, Northern, Southern and Tobago FAs;

Two delegates: Women’s, Referees and Futsal associations;

One delegate: Primary Schools, SSFL, TTAYSO, Beach Soccer, Veteran Players, Players and Coaches associations.

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.

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33 comments

  1. If the TTPro League clubs are given 10 votes in the non profit and supposedly amateur TTFA, then why isn’t the Ministry of Sport which is non profit and amateur given 1 vote?

  2. :-/ Don’t go dey Brian! Lol

  3. I think it’s time for Liburd to throw his hat in de ring yes!!

  4. Yeah. Like I said. I was confused. Not an indictment on your reporting/writing skills at all.

  5. Lol. I said they eventually got a compromise and not the one club, one vote ideal they were hoping for.
    So the “elite clubs” get votes and the other delegates are shrunk, which is a start.

  6. The Pro League clubs develop most of the national players. So they are felt to be special stakeholders. The Super League is the highest level of club football under TTFA control so they get opportunity too.
    There are then six zones that all have club competition. But those clubs can only elect a zonal representative for the elections and won’t have voting rights themselves.
    Likewise the women clubs.

  7. Men’s clubs that don’t vote why?

  8. Well, there are lots of men’s clubs that don’t vote too eh. But fair point. Sheila Rampersad and Jinelle James what do you think?

  9. How many women’s clubs are there? And this new constitution doesn’t give each of the women’s clubs a vote? Am I understanding correctly?

  10. Someone please walk me through this…Are Professional League Clubs going to have a say in the presidency of the TTFA? Does this mean that the National Teams under the TTFA going to have a say in running the TTPro League? Aren’t amateur and professional different things?

  11. Lasana Liburd been reviewing the new draft myself but I don’t see any provision for audits and transparency in it..

  12. It’s definitely a step in the right direction

  13. Would be good to see a working draft. One should be posted on the TTFA’s Web site for public consumption/review/awareness. That should be done now rather than after being finalized.

  14. It has already been ratified. I have a final draft minus a few late adjustments. So perhaps I should wait for the final, tidier copy to post.

  15. Where can we get a copy to read/review/comment?

  16. Doesnthis now have to go to FIFA for ratification?

  17. I agree Nicholas, 4 years is a very long time…a lot of damage can be done then we back to square one. I hope he doesn’t pull a Blatter on us now

  18. Ent Savitri ??? Lol. Nite all.

  19. Lasana Liburd – is a copy of the new Constitution available somewhere? Can you provide the link? Will it be available of the TTFA Web site? I like the 2-term limit. Great idea. Would also like to see firm dates for elections.

  20. Haha! You like trouble yes…

  21. Savitri Uncle Earl still reeling from the shock win last night. Lol.

  22. 4 yrs is long esp if a group is corrupt or inefficient & IMO slates seem to discourage individual thinking & sometimes capable people who aren’t affiliated with the back ground politics.

  23. Earl Mango Pierre Dion Sosa Mark Anthony Scott Gordon Pierre. Time to wake up

  24. Yes, Nicholas. Four year terms. No way to stop slates as far as I know. What is the problem with slates though? Every one has to stand for election for him or herself.

  25. Don’t get too excited just yet Nicholas Lochan afetr all is Tim Kee we dealing with.

  26. Great news & hats of to the TTFA Executive for this! Two things Lasana Liburd; 1. Is election every 4 years? 2. Any way to stop slate voting?

  27. Bruce Aanensen, I tried to pick out a few points in the constitution that deals with the election at least.