Mon, May


A few weeks ago, there was an interview in the Sunday Guardian where a member of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) general council and former national coach was speaking about the state of football in T&T; more specifically, with reference to the performance of the president of the TTFA David John-Williams, and he was quick to note that he was a friend of his and one of his campaign managers for the 2015 TTFA elections. I suppose he was trying to convince us that the interview ought to be impartial.

Today, I wish to tell you that Keith Look Loy is not my friend and I have not, and will not campaign for him if he was going up for a “tiddlywinks” post. I first encountered Look Loy when he was playing centre back for St Mary’s College. I was a speedy left winger for Fatima College. Look Loy was the skipper of his team but was hard as nails and looked like a beast - just how a centre back should be.

I next encountered him when he was coaching Malick and I was coaching Fatima. Our paths crossed again when he was the coach of Joe Public and I was the coach of Carib. We have never been on the same side, therefore, no one can accuse me of being supportive of him and against someone else in his favour.

So much so that when the 2015 TTFA elections rolled around, no one from any Association or League called me to ask if I was interested in any position. I kept my distance until Raymond Tim Kee, who I was to oppose in 2013 for the TTFA presidency (I should write a book about that), called me and asked if I would run for vice president and after long deliberations I accepted. I am not quite a slate person.

I honestly believe that if a person is good enough for the post, he should be installed so I was a little disappointed when I saw the late John Sabga on another slate running for vice president and backing an opposing candidate. As friends, we spoke about it and I even said to him that if we win, we will bring you on board in some capacity as you have so much to contribute.

Now, Look Loy was not supporting our slate but that’s his democratic right. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I was out of the country when the elections were called and apparently when the voting came around, I finished second to Ewing Davis. Then, there were two more rounds of voting and I came second on each occasion to John-Williams’ candidates and so both John and myself were booted out. What a blessing in disguise. Sadly, John has since passed away and I certainly would not have lasted in that regime.

The reason for this background is to show the different paths of my destiny and Look Loy’s. However, as fate would have it, the chairman of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) football section asked me if I would stand for election as a board member of the T&T Super League (TTSL). He told me Look Loy was running for president which did not bother me because I wanted to help football and the League. Subsequently, I found out I was on Look Loy’s slate; something I did not even know but more than that, there was an obvious power struggle. Eventually, Look Loy won but the trouble only then began.

His opponents attacked at every opportunity and Look Loy’s personality is one to never back down. When I read some of what his opponents write in trying to remove him as TTSL president, I genuinely wonder whether these persons love football and wish to see it progress. I am not for one moment saying Look Loy is a ‘’Saint” but the reason to remove him is because he begs for transparency with the TTFA and keeps asking the relevant questions.

People tell me he has a hidden agenda. So what? Wouldn’t he have a democratic right to fight for any position he desires and can be rejected or supported? The TTSL has no sponsors but not for lack of trying. Sponsorship, especially in T&T football nowadays, is difficult to obtain. Sponsors don’t want to be associated with confusion and bacchanal so when Look Loy’s opponents threaten legal action etc, which sponsor in their right mind will come on board? The TTSL has its books in order and financials up to date; a wellrun League that finished on time and with no problems 2018 with officials and match commissioners.

It is even rumoured that it is the only League to pay match officials in advance, something I have never heard before in T&T. To me, what should be of paramount importance to those Super League clubs is how well the League is being run and how it can be improved.

Look Loy and a few others are representing the interest of the entire footballing public and clubs of T&T by demanding the TTFA play fair, show transparency, accountability and good governance.

If those TTSL clubs were really interested in football, they would ask the same questions rather than seemingly having a personal agenda.

Editor’s note: The views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of any organisation of which he is a stakeholder.

SOURCE: T&T Guardian