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Wired868 introduces the TTFA’s five presidential aspirants

Five persons have declared their candidacy for the post of Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president, although it might not be until November 19 that the football fraternity and the hopefuls know who they are for sure.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee (right) and former Sport Minister Anil Roberts at the FIFA World Cup trophy tour in 2013. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee (right) and former Sport Minister Anil Roberts at the FIFA World Cup trophy tour in 2013.
(Courtesy Wired868)

W Connection president David John-Williams, Veteran Footballers Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFOTT) vice-president Selby Browne, ex-2002 World Cup referee Ramesh Ramdhan and vice-president of the Trinidad and Tobago Referees Association Clynt Taylor all told Wired868 that they will contest the TTFA presidency on November 29. While incumbent president and Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee declared his own candidacy via a press release, through the TTFA media office.

However, there has been no official word yet from the TTFA Electoral Committee, which is chaired by ex-West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president Dinanath Ramnarine and includes Elton Prescott SC and Mervyn Campbell.

According to Article 34.2 of the new TTFA constitution, which was adopted and ratified on 12 July 2015: “Candidatures for the office of President and Vice-President of the Board of Directors must be sent to the General Secretariat in writing at least 40 days before the General Meeting where the election of the members of the Board of Directors shall be held.”

This coincided with the TTFA Electoral Committee’s deadline of October 20 for deadline for nominations for the post of president and first and second vice-president.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago players (from left) Mekeil Williams, Ataulla Guerra, Joevin Jones, Sheldon Bateau and Radanfah Abu Bakr look on during their penalty shoot out with Panama at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Copyright AFP 2015)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago players (from left) Mekeil Williams, Ataulla Guerra, Joevin Jones, Sheldon Bateau and Radanfah Abu Bakr look on during their penalty shoot out with Panama at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
(Copyright AFP 2015)

However, thus far, the Electoral Committee has said that it would not officially reveal its accepted candidates until it is mandated to do so under the constitution.

Article 40.3 states: “The General Secretariat shall notify the Members of the names of the proposed candidates at least 10 days before the date of the General Meeting.”

The phrase “at least” has caused some consternation from more than one of the self-declared candidates for the position, who suggested that the incumbent might have an advantage due to a presumed access to information.

Ramnarine said the Electoral Committee would consider releasing the information earlier than the November 19 deadline, by which time a public announcement must be made.

“It is constitutionally due to officially announce candidates at least 10 days before the elections,” Ramnarine told Wired868. “I will be discussing with the Electoral Committee next week.”

Photo: A Trinidad and Tobago football fan waves his flag during their 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup fixture against Cuba in Phoenix. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: A Trinidad and Tobago football fan waves his flag during their 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup fixture against Cuba in Phoenix.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Two of the five self-declared candidates, Taylor and Browne, said they had not selected any potential vice-presidents for the November 29 AGM.

However, John-Williams named Phoenix Park Gas Processors vice-president Joanne Salazar, former SSFL president Ewing Davis and Tobago businessman and contractor Allan Warner, who is said to be unrelated to disgraced ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner.

And Ramdhan chose businessman John Sabga, part owner of Trotters Restaurant and Bar, as his vice-president.

Tim Kee could not be reached for comment on his own picks. However, he is believed to have named Carib Brewery sponsorship and events manager Colin Murray, Guardian Holdings vice-president of human resources Keston Nancoo, Eastern Football Association (EFA) official Kamau Bandele as his vice-presidents.

Wired868 cannot confirm Tim Kee’s “slate.”

All three current vice-presidents, Lennox Watson, Krishna Kuairsingh and Rudy Thomas, are believed to be stepping down from their posts and will not seek re-election.

Photo: Carib Brewery marketing and events manager Colin Murray announced his TTFF presidential candidacy and resignation at the same press conference in October 2013. (Courtesy Photos868)
Photo: Carib Brewery sponsorship and events manager Colin Murray announced his TTFF presidential candidacy and resignation at the same press conference in October 2013.
(Courtesy Photos868)

According to Article 34.6: “Any candidate that wishes to become a member of the Board of Directors (whether president or vice-president) shall fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

“Candidates shall have been active in football for at least three years during the five years preceding the election. This activity must have been performed in a managerial or a similar position in the territory of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

“Candidates may not have previously been found guilty of an indictable offence.

“Candidates shall be nationals of and shall have permanent residence in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

“Candidatures for the office of President and Vice-President of the Board of Directors shall be supported by at least one Member. Candidatures for the other positions of the Board of Directors shall be proposed by the Member they represent.”

(Meet the TTFA presidential candidates)

Selby Browne:

Photo: VFFOTT vice-president Selby Browne (left) at the Wired868 Football Festival. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: VFFOTT vice-president Selby Browne (left) at the Wired868 Football Festival.
(Courtesy Wired868)

“(My) election to the post of TTFA President would be focused on placing high priority to footballers, the major asset of the National Association. It’s about Football for the next generation, it’s about ensuring national footballers are not distracted by off the field administrative blunders, it’s about providing better conditions for the footballers.

“It’s about ensuring accountability and transparency throughout the administration at the club, league and association level, it’s about embracing the development of primary school and community football to ensure the best football product on the field, and about inviting all footballers, clubs, leagues, associations and stakeholders to join with me, to restore Trinidad and Tobago football to its glorious past on the field, when five Trinidad and Tobago footballers can once again be selected to a CONCACAF (all-star) team.”

 

David John-Williams:

Photo: DIRECTV W Connection president and CEO David John-Williams.
Photo: DIRECTV W Connection president and CEO David John-Williams.

“I want to bring transparency, credibility and my experience of the business of football to create an environment that will encourage young people to make a career of it.

“Grassroots football is very important in my book… Our players are not properly schooled, managed or put in the right environment to develop.

“Most of all, I want to bring corporate Trinidad back to football and I hope my experience at W Connection will serve me well.”

 

Ramesh Ramdhan:

Photo: Former FIFA World Cup referee Ramesh Ramdhan.
Photo: Former FIFA World Cup referee Ramesh Ramdhan.

“My focus in vying for the position as president is not limited only to the field of football but expands beyond the field into the arena of national development.

My approach would be an all-inclusive approach where I would seek the input from all the relevant stakeholders. I would partner with the players, officials, supporters, associations, clubs, the media, the business community and government…

“So much people have lost faith in the administration of football. It is time to regain that trust and faith. Let’s leave the playing of games to on the field. As president of the TTFA, I would ensure that Trinidad and Tobago football achieves the heights that is evident in our potential. Unlike most of the other candidates, I don’t have a vested interest in football. This is for the love of the sport and country.”

 

Clynt Taylor:

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Referees Association vice-president Clynt Taylor.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Referees Association vice-president Clynt Taylor.

“The primary role for me as the president will be to be an advocate for the people of Trinidad and Tobago in restoring decency, and integrity in the Association by removing the alleged stain of corruption, greed and selfish gains that pervades our ‘footballing’ community…

“The issues before us continue to be who can bring fiscal responsibility, accountability, transparency with sound judgment, to the TTFA, I am a candidate who (has) a passion and heart for the game and without selfish gain will bring together all stakeholders to begin healing our game, and restore fiscal responsibility, ensure transparency by positive leadership in the Association.”

 

Raymond Tim Kee:

Photo: TTFA president, Port of Spain mayor and PNM treasurer Raymond Tim Kee.. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: TTFA president, Port of Spain mayor and PNM treasurer Raymond Tim Kee..
(Courtesy Wired868)

“I am ready and motivated to go for another term… As president I have a duty to serve all members of the association and like I have done during my first term, I will do my best to fulfil that responsibility without fear or favour, without discrimination. And with the sole objective of upholding the statutes and regulations of the TTFA, once given that opportunity for a second term.

“A new term in office gives the FA the chance to build on our successes to fix our shortcomings and to set new milestones to put the game on a stronger footing in Trinidad and Tobago.”

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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21 comments

  1. Clynt Taylor is the best candidate

  2. Bakes

    I like Taylor as a candidate, probably because I know the least about him. Tim Kee wouldn’t be the worst pick, but his irrational decision-making is a huge red flag

  3. Tim Kee needs to be removed ASAP

  4. A next query is the concerns raised about potential conflict of interest especially in the case of Mr David John-Williams if he were to win – concerning his position at W Connection.

    Is there a FIFA rule that says a Federation president can’t have ties to a football club in his country?

    I recall the example of the England FA as well, where well known former Manchester United CEO under Alex Ferguson David Gill, was also a long standing board member of the FA & i don’t recall it causing to much drama if any

  5. I know some of the rules were mandated by FIFA. But which ones? I would love to go over some of the points in the constitution in truth.

  6. November 19th…. that’s significant….

  7. Why do you have until at least 10 days before the elections to officially announce the candidates? How can one run an effective campaign with such tight time restrictions? I’m glad that we finally have a slate of candidates for this position and we actually know the date of the election, but the rules regarding elections need to be overhauled.

    And yes, the requirement of having to be involved in a managerial capacity in football for at least three years prior to the elections is backwards thinking. Might actually be advantageous to get someone from outside of football.

    • Bakes

      “How can one run an effective campaign with such tight time restrictions?”

      There is no ‘restriction’… candidates are free to start campaigning from all now, there is no tight restriction on them. The Electoral Committee has until 10 days to release the slate to the public, but the public aren’t electors so it doesn’t matter what the public knows from what it doesn’t know 10 days from the election.

      As for the requirement that candidates for membership of the Board of Directors be active in football… people seem to forget that the TTFA is a private organization, and as such power is restricted to “stakeholders” within the organization. Why would they want to put someone who has had no involvement in football on any level, in such a position of power on the Board of Directors? There are many ways in which to satisfy the requirement, get involved in local football in some kind of leadership role, it doesn’t HAVE to be managerial, but they want people with some leadership experience. I agree that selecting the best possible Board should trump all concerns, but it’s not like there isn’t a clear and reasonable rationale for the requirement.

  8. Yes – agree. That’s a ridiculous requirement. One that prevents a very large percentage of potentially excellent candidates from ever holding the position. An amendment to the Constitution should be the first initiative of the new BOD.

  9. Hannibal Najjar

    While I understand the arguments against article 34.6 (that persons must have had at least 3 years of football experience of the immediately preceding 5 years) I tend to also understand the article’s intentions. I say this especially, since football organizations across the underdeveloped and undeveloped worlds are unable to afford a fully qualified staff and set of infrastructures, along with full benefits and accountability review board items and agendas, unknowledgeable persons regarding the ebbs and flows, connections and nuances, who do not see this as their only bread-winning job would tend to be severely handicapped in at least, their first year or two of their orientation – a long sentence, but I believe I got it right. Notwithstanding, what I believe we need is change, and unless we can make this a highly professional position, responsible to an equally qualified and futuristic-thinking Board and one with a Government-supported mandate to make this an institution for providing career futures, social and relational developmental opportunities, as well as, health and recreation needs, we would only be attracting “minors” for a, “majors’” job. The need to be familiarly connected to the culture and dynamics of football that has four closely tied and tiered arms is, of near-immediate and paramount importance for a sitting president.

  10. That requirement in Article 34.6 is nonsense. Take a look at the English FA. They went for people with major business experience. The assumption that you must have football experience is a joke. So technically Lasana, neither you nor I would qualify to run for President under this rule. What they have done is locked out everyone with business experience, which is desperately needed, from the TTFA.

    http://www.thefa.com/about-football-association/structure

    • Aye we like to think we bright and reinvent the wheel

    • Bakes

      Did you read the bios? Every single member of the Board, in addiiton to having impressive non-football credentials, also served in some management/leadership/oversight capacity WITHIN FOOTBALL prior to joining the FA Board. The truth is that people are critical of the requirement not because it doesn’t make any sense, but rather because we don’t like it.

  11. Confused… Article 34.6 speaks of candidates seeking to be President or VP – “shall have been active in football for at least 3 yrs during the 5 yrs preceding the election. This activity must have been performed in a managerial or a similar position in the territory of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.” Yet I see candidates who have 0 involvement in the game.

  12. On the basis of these “manifestoes,” I expect right-thinking people to clamour for a NOTA option. Where is the former Senate president when we need him?