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Newly elected TTFA President Kieron Edwards talks to the media at the Home of Football, Couva on Saturday, April 13th 2024.

“It is far better to be free to govern or misgovern yourself than to be governed by anybody else.” —Kwame Nkrumah

Kieron “Bo” Edwards is the new president of the T&T Football Association (TTFA). Edwards defeated Colin Wharfe at the Elective Congress 38-19 on Saturday at the Home of Football in Couva.

The TTFA last held elections for executive members in November 2019. William Wallace defeated David-John Williams to become TTFA president. FIFA removed the Wallace-led executive from office in March 2020 and appointed a normalisation committee to run the day-to-day affairs of the TTFA. It was alleged that FIFA’s pick in that race didn’t win. Yet again the perception is that FIFA’s preferred slate didn’t win on Saturday.

While there are those who with good cause will feel apprehensive about FIFA’s relationship with the newly minted TTFA president, his biggest challenge will emanate from within his own camp of supporters as he will have to manage their expectations and sense of entitlement given what they may consider as their contribution to his landslide win.

Many will seek to shape his agenda and fulfil their personal ambitions under the guise of being his closest and most trusted ally. Be wise president Edwards, you had the courage to take on the challenge. Be careful of those who aspired to be the leader but now fashion themselves as king-makers or the real power behind your throne. Temper your words. Give everyone a fair start, regardless of what you may have heard about them. Two wrongs never make a right. Nor can you right a wrong by committing another wrong.

The enormous potential of “Soca Warriors” football and its players need no repeating. Football globally is said to be the beautiful game and is acknowledged as the number one team sport in terms of participation. Here on the twin-island Republic, it’s no different. Football is numero uno (number one) in terms of participation. Track and field is the number one sport when it comes to international achievement be it World Championships and the Olympics. However, football captures the interest of the citizens every day. The Olympics gains wider public interest once every four years. Cricket some will argue generates similar interest as football. But it certainly will run second to football in terms of participation.

That being said, long story short, president Edwards has his work cut out for him. To my mind, it’s important that he has a successful tenure. His life experiences—good, bad and indifferent prepared him for his turn as leader of T&T football. The neutrals and all those who have the best interest of football will support him and give him a chance.

Like all local sports—football has to be entrepreneurial, future-thinking, marketing and brand development-oriented and innovative. In respect of good governance, transparency and accountability are non-negotiable with zero tolerance for corruption including illegal gambling. “Bo knows” what needs to be done. The strategy adopted over the many years that has led to this point in time, may not be an effective strategy in his new role. The first test he will face is stepping out from the shadows and ghosts of the way things were done.

The pendulum and momentum has swung in his direction.

T&T football is in for interesting and exciting times.

All eyes are on “Bo”, because Bo knows.

“I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and do things that I would never, ever do.”—Bo Jackson.

SOURCE: T&T Guardian