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Sheldon Phillips, former general secretary of the T&T Football Association (T&TFA) and Justin Latapy, director of sports at the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), are front runners for the position of general secretary of the TTFA.

The duo is among a shortlist of eight candidates selected from a field of 57 for the post. The Guardian learnt that two international candidates, including one from Europe will be in the toss-up for the top job, expected to offer a salary of between $25,000 to $30,000 monthly, along with a vehicle and other perks. The other six candidates are from T&T, it was said.   

The candidates will  face a rigorous interviewing process from a three-member panel that will comprise an independent consultant, a member who does work for the world governing body for football- FIFA and is known locally, and a member of the Board of Directors of the TTFA, said Joanne Salazar, third vice president of the TTFA.

Salazar refused to divulge the names of the candidates or the committee to conduct the interviews, but said the football association will ensure that the person selected will be able to withstand the scrutiny which the Association expects after the choice is made.

Phillips, who held the position under the previous Raymond Tim Kee-led administration before being sacked for his failure to follow directives, could hold the upperhand due to his knowledge and experience in the past, but Latapy, who is the brother of T&T’s midfield maestro Russell Latapy, has worked in sports for his entire life and is considered an excellent administrator in the field.

Azard Khan, who has been interim general secretary since the inception of the David John-Williams-led administration assumed office in November last year, has withdrawn his application for a more lucrative offer in one of the five positions up for grabs over the next month or so.

Surprisingly, Anthony Moore, president of the Tobago Football Association (TFA) who made it public that he intended to contest the position did not apply.

Contacted Moore said he did not apply as he has too much on his plate presently. “Because of my commitment to Tobago, I decided against going up for the position, as I am part of a foundation to have embarked on a project to offer remedial classes to children in the sister-isle, which for me is also part of giving back to the island.

“Apart from that, I am also actively involved in farming, while at the same time, have to do my job as president of the TFA, so I think I have my plate full,” Moore explained.

He noted that since the Association was making the transition to the new FIFA constitution, it was imperative he remained in the sister isle.

In addition to the general secretary, four other positions are being contested.

These include manager of finance and administration, public relations and communications manager, marketing and commercial manager and manager of national teams.

Salazar said a total of 370 applications were received for the five positions.