Sat, Jul

New TTFA President Kieron Edwards (left) with outgoing Chairman of the Normalization Committee, Robert Hadad (right).

KIERON EDWARDS is the new Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president.

Yesterday, Edwards’ Team Progressive won by a landslide (38-19) at the local football association’s election of officers, held at the Home of Football, Couva. There was a 100% turnout of TTFA delegates, accounting for 57 votes.

Also elected were former national cricketer and Secondary Schools football coach Colin Murray, first vice-president; T&T Football Referees Association (TTFRA) president Osmond Downer, second vice-president; and T&T Super League (TTSL) president Jameson Rigues, third vice-president).

Meanwhile, Alicia Austin, Andrew Boodoo, Allan Logan, Ryan Nunes and Shelton Williams completed Edwards’ slate as ordinary members.

Confident going into the poll, Eastern Football Association (EFA) president Edwards promised to work with all TTFA members. “I’m happy. I’m humbled. I’m honoured to be the new president of the TTFA,” said Edwards. “After four years of (the) Normalisation Committee (NC), the members would have given me a bit of confidence with the vote and the number (margin) of the vote. I’m really happy with it and I’m ready to work.”

Defeated candidate Colin Wharfe suggested that some persons may have reneged on their commitment to his Team Transformation slate, but nevertheless accepted the results.

“You get commitments and understandings from individuals and it didn’t pan out. So, they may have changed their minds, I have no idea,” reasoned Wharfe. “But it is their democratic right to do as they wish. They, in the final analysis, made a selection, and we want to honour that selection,” he added.

TTFA delegates shied away from divulging who they voted for, but there were those who were brave enough to comment on the process.

Everton Alfred, the Tobago Football Association (TFA) president, is hoping that the new president lives up to commitments that both election slates had made to Tobago football. “When we met with both camps, we expressed some requirements for Tobago, in terms of getting some more support, technical and financial. So, I expect that it would before coming from either side which would have won,” Alfred revealed.

Meanwhile, former national defender and Central FC owner Brent Sancho believes the process went smoothly. “It’s good to see a young, vibrant person being in charge of the football,” stated Sancho. “So, the hope is that moving forward not just the slate that has won here today moves football forward, but more importantly, the membership move away from the politics that we have had over the last couple of weeks and come together and start to move football forward..”

The former Sports Minster added: “I think it’s a very experienced team. I like the collection of individuals in it. It represents not just people in the (TTFA) membership, but people with different skills-set, that I think the TTFA currently needs. I think its good for democracy in the TTFA... We have come a long way.”

Following a hectic three-month campaign, Edwards will rest today with family, but expects to begin work as soon as tomorrow when he meets with Robert Hadad, who had been appointed by FIFA and charged with running local football for the past four years as chairman of the NC.

“Monday, hit the ground running,” said Edwards. “Meet with the chairman of the former Normalisation Committee and work on the handing over; meet the staff and really start to engage, in terms of what we plan to do from Monday. We want to do a strategic planning exercise and those are the steps within the first weeks,” he intimated.

Edwards hinted that he will learn from past mistakes from the former regime, led by William Wallace, and will honour those that have legitimate contracts with the TTFA. He said the aim is to give the national team all resources they need to aid in qualification for the 2026 FIFA World Cup and will be seeking both government and corporate support.

“When it comes to our senior men’s team, we intend to give coach Angus Eve and the boys all the support to qualify for the next World Cup,” Edwards emphasised, adding, “We will honour contracts that coaches are under. We will work with them. It’s not a situation of moving this one. It’s about giving support to T&T, enhancing what we do, ensuring the correct development and ensuring that we do qualify for tournaments and we do well in the tournaments.”

The new TTFA boss also declared that the status of all TTFA employees—including general secretary Amiel Mohammed, who was appointed under Hadad—will only be determined after perusal by a Financial and Remuneration Committee.

“He (Mohammed) is the general secretary of the TTFA currently and I will work with him until further notice.”

SOURCE: T&T Express