Sun, Aug

Vernetta Flanders (left)

After two deaths and as many resignations, women’s football is back on a stable footing with the election of Vernetta Flanders as the new president of the T&T Women’s Football League (T&TWoLF).

Flanders who now holds the position of manageress of the country’s Under-17 girls team was elected unopposed, thereby replacing Susan Joseph-Warrick who resigned in 2020 from all football in T&T, inclusive of her position as second vice president of the T&T Football Association and president of the T&TWoLF.

Joseph-Warrick called an end to her involvement in local football in September 2020 when FIFA appeared to have won a battle through the local courts to have its Normalisation Committee replace the legitimately-elected football administration of which she was a member of the executive.

That year, FIFA also suspended T&T from all FIFA sanctioned football tournaments.

From 2020 to now women’s football endured a rigorous existence, not only because of Joseph-Warrick’s resignation but also due to the deaths of Claire George, the then assistant secretary of tournaments and competitions and Jameela Mohammed, the then general secretary of the organisation.

But at a virtual TTWoLF Annual General Meeting (AGM) and elections on March 31, Flanders, who took over the position of general secretary following Mohammed’s untimely passing last year, was elected unopposed as president of the organisation as Hoyte opted not to contest the elections, and Marie Mouttet was chosen for the vacant assistant secretary of tournaments and competitions that was left by George who also died last year.

Also joining Flanders’ executive was Mohan Ronnie Persad who was uncontested for the public relations officer; Annleyes Collette- first vice president; Carel Percy- ordinary member; Keidi Brathwaite- ordinary member; Samantha Kissoon- assistant secretary operations; Patrice Superville- assistant secretary administration; and Christine Rose - who got the better of Ikenna Joseph for the position of treasurer six votes to four.

Meanwhile, Jenelle Nedd is the lone newcomer to the women’s football administration following her appointment as general secretary by Flanders soon after.

Flanders in an interview yesterday said her objective is to ensure that women’s football is restored to the position it once was and that there is a league this year. “ I have been involved in women’s football for a very long time so I am very much aware of the task ahead of me. I know it’s going to be an arduous task if I can get a bye-in by all the stakeholders.

I understand the task ahead of me as well so it’s just to promote or propel women’s football so that we can get back to where we once were.

The women’s team actually is the foundation for the national programme, there is where the players develop, this is where they’re supposed to come from, so if we do our jobs correctly and feed into the national programme then we can only strengthen the national team.”

According to Flanders: “ The first thing we want to do is get a league going before the year is out, but after that, WoLF has to have a bit more presence in the national landscape.

We’re trying to not make WoLF seasonal, WoLF shouldn’t exist only for a few months out of the year, but there should be stuff happening all-year round if we’re serious about development.”

The new women’s football boss said she also wants to add a few age-group categories to the WoLF competitions and tournaments this year.

SOURCE: T&T Guardian