Sat, Jul

Team Progressive's Kieron Edwards

EASTERN Football Association (EFA) president Kieron Edwards has confirmed his nine-member slate for the April 13 Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) elections.

With February 28 being the deadline day for the potential candidates to officially submit their slate to the TTFA general secretariat, Edwards submitted his slate to the TTFA on Tuesday and also issued a press release that promised a "paradigm shift" in the governance of football in T&T, with a focus on transparency and good governance.

T&T Premier Football League CEO Colin Wharfe made his intentions clear to Newsday to submit his slate before the midnight deadline on February 28. However, he stopped short of revealing the members of his slate.

On the flip side, Southern Football Association (SFA) president Denis Latiff and Veterans Football Foundation of T&T (VFFoTT) president Selby Browne both confirmed their decisions to pull out of the presidential race after expressing a strong desire to steer local football forward in the past few weeks.

The VFFoTT issued a press release on Tuesday confirming Browne's withdrawal from the race, with Latiff ruling himself out of the election running on deadline day after his slate unexpectedly went from nine members to seven before he could make his official submission.

"I'm not going up for the TTFA presidency again," Latiff told Newsday on Wednesday. "A lot of people are not willing to commit.

"I had a slate up until lunchtime today, but two people pulled out. I cannot take that hustling and rushing to (fulfill the slate)."

Latiff said he believes there may be something "sinister" behind the late withdrawal of his slate members.

"I will be a bystander (on April 13). However things are to happen, that's fine with me."

According to a VFFoTT release, Browne met with both Edwards and Latiff on Sunday in an attempt to convince them to tackle the TTFA election with one united slate.

However, by Tuesday, Browne decided to throw in his towel.

"In a final meeting today (Tuesday), the VFFoTT team agreed the VFFoTT slate (led) by Mr Selby Browne, will take no part in the TTFA election 2024," the VFFoTT release said.

Come April 13, though, Edwards will be aiming to ascend to the post of TTFA president when he leads his Team Progressive slate. Edwards' slate includes the trio of Colin Murray (first vice-president), T&T Football Referees Association (TTFRA) president Osmond Downer (second vice-president) and former T&T Super League (TTSL) president Jameson Rigues (third vice-president). Alicia Austin, Andrew Boodhoo, Allan Logan, Ryan Nunes and Shelton Williams will complete Edwards' slate as ordinary members.

With over 200 years of "football acumen" under their belt according to Edwards' release, Team Progressive promises to provide the "perfect mix of people who have the skill, the background, the experience and the years of dedicated service to others in the football fraternity, that will see our football experience a resurgence in excellence."

The release continued, "Team Progressive is committed to implementing sound financial practices. We will work diligently to ensure responsible budgeting, financial transparency, and strategic allocation of resources to support the sustainable development of football at all levels."

With the upcoming TTFA elections likely to be a two-horse race, the next key step will be when the TTFA's general secretariat circulates the official list of candidates to all TTFA members on April 3.

SOURCE: T&T Newsday