Despite word that former national goalkeeper Ross Russell was elected as its new president on Boxing Day (December 26), the sitting executive of the Northern Football Association (NFA) is slated to hold its annual general meeting (AGM) which has on the agenda, the election for a new executive today.
The AGM and elections to replace the existing executive led by out-going president and well-known businessman and media personality Anthony Harford is carded to take place at the St James Youth Centre, Fort George Road, St James from 5.30 pm.
Rayshawn Mars, the general secretary of the NFA told Guardian Media Sports on Sunday that his executive was actually in the midst of preparing for tomorrow’s election which is expected to see the Anthony “Dada” Wickham-led slate go up against the slate led by football administrator and national team manager, Richard Piper.
Wickham said that the clubs who attended Saturday's meeting were Trendsetter Hawks, Elements, Seekers, Laventille Utd, RSSR, and Partner Village. Real West Fort, the club of former national standout Ron LaForest, was also present but without voting rights.
Wickham's slate comprises Russell (president); Wickham and Rodney Stowe (vice presidents), Michael Thomas (assistant secretary - Admin) and Nevick Denoon (assistant secretary - Operations) with Kareem Paul and Dexter Harris as ordinary members.
Meanwhile, Piper’s slate also includes Derek Edwards and Triston Charles (vice presidents); Marvin Small (assistant secretary - Operations); Hellwyn Junior Maxwell (assistant secretary – Admin) and Mark Benny (ordinary member).
However, there is some doubt as to whether Wickham and his team will be attendance at today’s meeting. It is understood they held their own elections on Saturday and Russell was voted in as president to replace Harford.
However, according to Mars, a former national youth goalkeeper, Saturday's meeting which was reconvened from December 12, failed meeting was not convened by the general secretary according to the zone's constitution.
Mars said as far as he is concerned, Saturday’s elections were illegal and no correspondence has been forward to any member of the current executive.
“We heard there was an election of some sort and I was told that Russell was elected, but that meeting and election was not constitutionally called.
When the first meeting was called by Wickham and his supporters on December 12 there were numerous flaws according to NGA constitution stated Mars.
Back then he said the time frame for instance did not allow for the constitutionally recommended amount of time to lapse to have a legal meeting.
The December 12 meeting which had on its agenda the election of officers did not have a quorum and was then rescheduled for December 26.
With regards to its rescheduling Wickham, the Trendsetter Hawks coach, told Guardian Media Sports then that only seven clubs were present in which six had voting rights, so we had no quorum, so the meeting will now be held on December 26 (Boxing Day). The constitution says the reconvened meeting must take place 14 days after which is Boxing day. It will be held at the same venue at 10.30 am."
But a few days later, Edwards said that Wickham's team was attempting to go against the date set by the NFA executive, which is December 28.
In addition, Harford told Guardian Media Sports that, "The Northern Football Association (NFA) executive met following a petition from several clubs in the North Zone and set December 28, 2020, for the Zone meeting according to the constitution. This date was sent to the TTFA normalisation committee which has agreed to this date and will be sending adjudicators for the meeting."
He said he will not be standing for re-election and will be standing down at the AGM on December 28. He said he had no knowledge of any other meeting and if the clubs have a meeting planned among themselves, he has no information about that. He said if anyone needs any information on the AGM, they can contact Mars, the NFA general secretary.
Mars said, "The executive and by extension the NFA is not against change that's the only thing that is constant. On the 28th the parties that are running to hold office have an opportunity to participate in a 'free and fair' election.
Upon request from interested parties, Robert Hadad, chairman of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) Normalisation Committee (NC), interjected in the matter and confirmed that he had received correspondences from the NFA.
However, he said, "The Normalisation Committee is not here to take over or run any of the affiliates but we will assist them and provide advice because we must make football attractive and workable for all stakeholders."
Regarding the annual general meeting (AGM) issue in the NFA, he said, "The Board of the NFA has convened an annual general meeting (AGM) for December 28, 2020. Once a meeting is called in accordance with the constitution, the Normalisation Committee will be willing to send representatives as per any official requests for such."
Asked if the NFA executive communicated to the NC about the NFA AGM he replied, "Yes, and the date the Normalisation Committee is aware of, is December 28, 2020, and we will do what we can to assist."
The NFA elections also caught the attention of Eastern Football Association president, Kieron Edwards who had been accused of interference and violating the constitution of the T&T Football Association (TTFA).
A board member of the Ascension Football League and a UNC alderman in the Arima Borough Corporation, Edwards was accused of writing to Fifa-appointed Normalisation Committee chairman Robert Hadad, on Saturday 28 November, requesting a TTFA observer for an NFA extraordinary general meeting on December, 12 to which Mars said, he Edwards had no business getting involved in.
Team Russell: Ross Russell (president), Anthony Wickham (first vice-president), Rodney Stowe (second vice-president), Michael Thomas (assistant secretary admin), Nevick Denoon (assistant secretary operations), Kareem Paul (ordinary member two), Dexter Harris (ordinary member two).
Team Piper: Richard Martin Piper (president), Tristan Charles (first vice-president), Derek Edwards (second vice-president), Hellwyn Junior Maxwell (assistant secretary admin), Marvin Small (assistant secretary operations), Mark Benny (ordinary member two), Russell Bristol (ordinary member two).
Outgoing NFA Board: Anthony Harford (president), second vice-president Glenford ‘Beetle’ Waines (St Francois Nationals), Marvin Small (Police), and Peter Rampersad (Malvern). (First vice-president Ruthven Charles (RSSR FC) passed away last year).