Sat, Jun

EFA President, Keiron Edwards

Keiron Edwards, the Eastern Football Association (EFA) president is giving up his position as president of the Eastern Football Association (EFA) to contest the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) and election of officers of the T&T Super League, scheduled for September 19.

Edwards, a member of EFA outfit Malabar FC which competed in the Super League back in 2012, 2013 and 2014, said he was asked to enter the Super League and assist in the progress of the competition and bring resources to the league, and he accepted.

His entry into the leadership contest comes after a proposal and a secondment from two of the powerful Super League contenders, Edwards said, but he stopped short of revealing the names of the teams supporting him.

"I'm now putting together a slate. It's not fully finished, we have a couple more days to put together the slate to run, but we're on the right track.

Four persons have already been nominated from the team and we're hoping to have the balance next two days to contest the elections," Edwards explained.

To date, only Ryan Ottley, the Defence Force football manager is down to contest the position of president as incumbent Clayton Morris has decided not to seek re-election and Jameson Rigues, the beaten candidate in last November election also decided not to contest the position.

The eastern football boss is now equipped with a manifesto which he promises to share with the clubs closer to the nomination date, said to be 14 days before the election date.

He told Guardian Media Sports on Wednesday that he has a clear vision to move the Super League forward, Edwards, who appears to have a clear path which has been made by the constitutions of both the EFA and the Super League said: "The constitution gives way for only fully functional members of the Super League to propose and second nominations and that was done by two clubs. The constitution clearly speaks for the EFA in terms of how that process would happen. There are no challenges with that. There is a clear process and we will follow the constitution. We are always guided by the constitution which governs the sport. There is a constitution here in the EFA and we will be guided by that too."

Ottley, two weeks ago said he will confirm his candidacy in the coming days. Edwards said his focus is not on Ottley or whoever else throws their hat into the ring, but rather the shortcomings of the league and its inability to progress.

Known to be outspoken on a number of football-related issues, including the United TTFA and FIFA court battle last year, Edwards said he will leave his case up to the Super League membership to decide.

Edwards said that the EFA executive has given him the clearance to contest the Super League presidency, and he promises that issues of club registration and compliance which have haunted clubs for many years will be a thing of the past if he's elected.

"The whole issue of registration for clubs is a major issue or tournament fees. The first thing I would do if I'm victorious would be to acquire support and sponsorship to remove registration for the next four years, so that would be one ease up. Usually, clubs would pay between $35,000 to $50,000 to register for the Super League, which will be no more. So clubs would be starting by keeping $35,000 to $50,000 in their coffers immediately. The next thing is the issue of compliance. Throughout the T&T Football Association, there is an issue when it comes to compliance. And being part of the east zone we would have been one of the few zones that would have had persons connected to the FIFA connect system, and that is where we really suffer as a nation when it comes to playing football, and that is being compliant. The Super League has had its own issues when it comes to compliance, there are a number of clubs suspended right now because of compliance.

Compliance normally happens at the end of March, so we will engage a team every year in February to assess and deal with compliance, probably get auditors, get persons to do seminars with clubs, walk them through the process and make sure that all clubs playing in the SL are compliant.

We will also treat with the issue of ensuring that clubs create revenue. We need to create revenue streams within football, whether it's via television, via sponsorship of uniforms, so that clubs can start off the league. If clubs could have $20, 000- $30, 000 based on playing in the league, we will have a more self-sufficient league," Edwards concluded.

SOURCE: T&T Guardian