TTFA general secretary, Kareem Paul, contests NFA post—then quits

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Kareem Paul’s first notable act was to contest a position in the Northern Football Association (NFA) elections—although it is unconstitutional for him to hold a second football job—and then resign the post within 24 hours.

Paul was announced as TTFA general secretary, which is a full-time position that oversees the running of the local football body, on 4 June 2024 with his start date given as 1 June 2024. However, he was nominated for re-election on the NFA executive as an ordinary member on 25 May 2024.

TTFA general secretary Kareem Paul.

Article 44.5 of the TTFA Constitution states that: “the general secretary shall not be a congress delegate or a member of any other body”. Wired868 made the football public aware of that clause on the same day as the TTFA’s announcement.

Regardless, Paul contested the NFA election four days later—on the informal slate of new president Akel Baig—and prevailed 12-7 against UWI lecturer Roger Watts. And that same weekend, on 9 June, he resigned.

His resignation effectively denied the opposing slate member, Watts, the chance of being elected unopposed, as was the case with Baig’s first vice-president Dennis Bristol.

Instead, there will likely be a by-election, which allows current NFA board members the chance to encourage a friendlier person to run.

NFA president Akel Baig.

Baig confirmed Paul’s resignation.

“That post now becomes vacant,” Baig told Wired868, “and we as the board have to decide a day when we would carry on an election for such a position, or at least put it up to the membership.”

Paul, a chief accountant at National Maintenance Training and Security Company (MTS), is also a director at the Terminix La Horquetta Rangers.

Rangers managing director Richard Ferguson is also the chief financial officer at MTS while TTFA board member Inspector Andrew Boodoo is also a director at the La Horquetta club and president Kieron Edwards only resigned his directorship in the build-up to the April TTFA election.

TTFA president Kieron Edwards (centre) is flanked by third vice-president Jameson Rigues (right) and ordinary member Inspector Andrew Boodoo at the Concacaf Congress in Guadeloupe on 25 May 2024.
(via TTFA Media)

Wired868 asked Paul to explain why he still contested the NFA post and whether he has given up—or plans to concede—his status at Rangers. He did not respond up until the time of publication.

At NFA, Baig says his new executive will push on with their own job, starting with “low hanging fruit”.

“The first order of business is structuring things so we can manage the zone efficiently,” said Baig. “There is a lot of detail in that, of course. We have to get our financial stuff sorted out, including our bank accounts. We also have to give board members their roles so they can function properly.”

RSSR FC winger Keron Alexander (left) skips past the challenge of a Guaya United opponent during TTSL action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 2 August 2018.
RSSR is a NFA member club.
Photo: Annalicia Caruth/ Wired868

The NFA has not used its bank account since 2020, with recently departed president Ross Russell supposedly unwilling to tangle with an inherited debt of allegedly $250,000 from the Anthony Harford-led administration.

Baig said his executive intend to address the debt and finally push the NFA forward.

Current NFA Board: Akel Baig (president), Dennis Bristol (first vice-president), Cedrick Hazelwood (second vice-president), Reginald Crichlow (assistant secretary of administration), Sheldon Moore Jr (assistant secretary of operations), Nevick Denoon (ordinary member).

Vacancy: Ordinary member to replace Kareem Paul.

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