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Sat, Mar

TTFA presidential candidate Selby Browne wants to 'put football first'.
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Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) presidential candidate Selby Browne wants to meet with members of other two contesting slates to bounce their ideas around in a combined effort to chart the best way forward for T&T football.

Browne, president of the Veterans Football Foundation of TT (VFFoTT), threw his hat into the presidential race after the penultimate goal of the FIFA-installed normalisation committee – to bring the TTFA’s statutes in line with FIFA’s – was achieved at an emergency general meeting on January 28.

Joining him in the pursuit of the TTFA executive are Eastern Football Association president Kieron Edwards and Southern Football Association president Dennis Latiff.

Browne confirmed that he has already formed his nine-member slate for the election and will launch their campaign and manifesto after a meeting with the VFFoTT executive, post-Carnival.

He said sharing potential ideas with other presidential candidates and their candidatures should bring the best out of each team as they all aim to wrestle the four-year reign away from the normalisation committee, and return the association’s daily operations to the membership.

“I have a full slate, and we are prepared to meet with the two other slates to come up with one slate to see who is best, and in the position, to take T&T football forward. That same quorum will review the plans.

“So I am proposing that we meet on a day for open discussions and disclosures, release our manifestos and then we determine a path. We don’t need an elections for that. It must be about putting football first, not individuals and finding what’s best to put T&T football forward,” he said.

Browne’s project name is called TTFA Reset 2024. He told Newsday that it’s taken four long years for the membership to come within reach of regaining control of the TTFA.

The election was suggested, by FIFA Director of Strategic Projects Nodar Akhalkatsi, to be held on April 13. The normalisation committee agreed and issued a statement on Saturday, informing members of the set election date.

Despite the normalisation committee’s tenure set to conclude on March 31, a decision will be facilitated for a short extension of their mandate, until April 13, to ensure the elective congress is held on the set date. The normalisation committee acts as the electoral committee for these elections.

Browne’s team has been burning the midnight oil in the lead up to elections.

He added, “We’ve been planning this for a long time, the restructuring of TT football. Having our own seminars, quorums and open discussions. We’ve already have identified a path forward for the restructure and development of TTFA.”

“We waited too late, in my view, because we’ve wasted four years when it should have been tackled and dealt with during that four-year period in preparation for 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

The national senior team’s first major test this year kicks off three weeks before the election, when the Soca Warriors play Canada in a single-match play-in, for one of two available spots for the Jun 20 to July 14 Copa America.

After that, the 2026 Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers kick off in June. T&T are in Group B alongside Costa Rica, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and the Bahamas.