Wed, Dec

Anthony "Dada" Wickham steps down as NFA vice-president.

Outspoken Northern Football Association (NFA) vice-president Anthony "Dada" Wickham has resigned from his position with the regional football body with immediate effect.

This was cited in a letter to current NFA president and former national goalkeeper Ross Russell in a later dated December 21, 2021.

Back on December 28, 2020, Russell was legally elected as the next president of the NFA of the T&T Football Association after his slate won by a landslide to secure all seven positions that were at stake to manage the zone from 2021-2023.

Russell, the La Horquetta Rangers goalkeeper coach, was first elected president of the zone at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) arranged by Wickham and his supporting clubs at Cascadia Hotel, St Ann’s on Boxing Day (2020). The meeting was a reconvened meeting after the first meeting on December 12 failed to attract a quorum.

However, that gathering was deemed to be unconstitutional by the zone since it had no information about the meeting.

Nevertheless, Russell, 53, of Diego Martin, was elected unopposed in the presence of 16 clubs at the zone's annual general meeting which took place at the St James Youth Centre, Fort George Road, St James.

A former title-winning coach in the T&T Pro League with Defence Force, Russell was due to face off with national football administrator Richard Piper for the position, but Piper, who worked with recently deceased Anthony Harford for over a decade as operations manager, cited outside interference in the zone's elections and decided not to participate and withdrew his nomination form.

The meeting also had to address the issue of the nominations forms which were not completed according to the requirements of the constitution.

However, Wickham made a motion to have the forms accepted and he was successful with 14 clubs voting in support of it and two abstaining.

In addition to Russell, Wickham, the founder and head coach of Trendsetter Hawks which has produced a number of talented national senior and youth players, was elected as first vice-president via 10 votes to six over Tristan Charles.

The other elected members who were elected included Rodney Stowe (second vice-president), Michael Thomas (assistant secretary administration), Nevick Denoon (assistant secretary operations) and Kareem Paul, and Dexter Harris as ordinary members

However, in an email to Russell last December, Wickham cited his reason for resigning his position as due to a number of hindrances negatively impacting the ability to perform his role to which he was elected.

The letter added: "To further clarify, it has been a little over a year now since the new executive was elected and to date, we have not been able to accomplish anything that was promised to the members of the NFA.

"To date, outstanding payments to referees, as well as the 2019 league winners remain unpaid.

"Additionally, we are yet to make any headway with regard to the NFA's bank account and other important information that is required to be handed over to the newly elected executive.

"On being elected, I took a stand to bring about change in the NFA, however, if circumstances beyond my control hinder me being able to bring about change, I see no reason to continue in the position of first vice-president.

"Additionally and subsequent to the Ministry of Sports indication to have contact sports resume exclusively for vaccinated athletes, I regard this as a deliberate infringement of human rights, and as such, further supports my decision to make my exit from the NFA.

"Consequently, I am left with no choice but to tender my resignation with immediate effect. I, therefore, take this opportunity to thank the voting membership for the opportunity afforded to me to serve them, and to wish the Executive all success in their way forward," Wickham ended.

Reached for comment, Russell said the members of the NFA executive were yet to meet to discuss the letter of resignation by Wickham and also chart a way forward.