After a two year hiatus, former vice-president of the T&T Football Federation (TTFF) Raymond Tim Kee will seek to climb his way further up the executive board following his nomination for presidency in the upcoming November 11 election.
The TTFF has been without a president since the resignation of long-standing executive Oliver Camps over a year ago, and will likely see a new leader in either Tim Kee, or the other nominee, Colin Murray.
In recent months the federation has struggled to deal with a lack of funding from the Ministry of Sport, with the Minister of Sport Anil Roberts stating earlier this month that the body would remain without funding until an election is called, citing a lack of accountability as his primary reason.
Speaking at a media conference at the VIP Room, Hasely Crawford Stadium, yesterday, Tim Kee, who was introduced and endorsed by Bryan Layne, president of the Central Football Association, was adamant that he was the right person to bring T&T football back to the “glory days.” He said, however, that the public should not expect miracles in its early stages.
He opened, “On assuming office of president of the TTFF, my first major objective will be to restore the confidence and credibility (that) the federation has lost in the eyes of most of our supporters,
corporate citizens and indeed the Ministry of Sport,” said Tim Kee. “In fact, rebranding the federation will be engaging much of the organization’s time.”
Tim Kee served as a vice-president since the early 1990s before stepping down in 2010 after what he described as pressures from political affiliates. However, according to Tim Kee, after being approached by certain associations for the prospect of his return to the federation, he neither accepted nor disregarded the idea, but after careful thought decided to return for the sake of football’s administrative revival in the country.
He insisted that his main objectives upon assuming office would be to rebrand the association, build a collaborative relationship with the Ministry of Sport and build on the structure of local clubs in communities.
Tim Kee said following the election he would make every effort to meet with the Ministry of Sport in order to regain the confidence of all parties. He said that his intention was to introduce a collective approach for all stakeholders of the sport in T&T. “I do not see title and power,” said Tim Kee, adding, “material things do not excite me any more.”
The position of president, according to Tim Kee, “is an opportunity to serve the owners of football...the public of T&T.” Tim Kee, a former chairman of two state boards, said that the TTFF under his guidance would operate on the basis of process and principle. “I am confident that with my leadership skills, business acumen, hard-working executives and support administrative staff, we will take football back to its glorious heights,” he said.
Tim Kee was passionate when he spoke of the need for the federation to develop the community and club level, in order to bring a proper level of structure and involvement from the public. He suggested that the Ministry of Sport should work together with the federation for the development of coaching academies and the assistance of regional associations. He also elaborated on the federation’s need to respect and work with fan support groups, saying “fan affiliations is what we need.”
On the topic of accountability, Tim Kee, who insisted that he would “never compromise his integrity” added that the new-look federation would have the services of an internal auditor who would work with external auditors.
Tim Kee revealed that he is a member of the Veteran Footballers Foundation of T&T (VFFOTT), an organization which has publicly questioned the validity of the TTFF, along with the structure, administration and management of the sport in the country.
When asked if he felt that the players of the 2006 World Cup campaign were justified in their appeal for money promised to them, he responded, “In principle, I think if you make a promise, you should keep it.”
The election will comprise 44 votes, 30 of which come from six associations: the Northern Football Association (NFA), the Central Football Association (CFA), the Southern Football Association (SFA), the Eastern Football Association (EFA) and the Eastern Counties Football Union (ECFU). The other 14 votes are divided between seven organizations which include the T&T Pro League, the Women’s Football League and the Secondary Schools Football League.
EFA President Wayne Cunningham, who was present at the conference said that he has not made any decisions yet. “The EFA will be democratic. We want to hear both sides before making a decision.”
The deadline for endorsement of the candidates is today.