The executive of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) is throwing their full support behind incumbent president Raymond Tim Kee for another term in the upcoming elections.Yesterday, general secretary of TTFA Sheldon Phillips revealed that Tim Kee is interested in contesting the position he held for the past term and said a release stating his intentions was expected to be sent out to the media soon.
To date, Tim Kee is the second person to express a desire to contest the presidency of the embattled football association, following a release last week by W Connection boss David John-Williams that he will also be going up for the president's position when the election of officers are held at annual general meeting (AGM) on November 29.
However, Phillips said that neither Tim Kee or John-Williams have filed their nomination documents as yet and it is only when that happens then he will be certain who will be contesting the elections.The deadline for submission of nomination documents is Wednesday and this list will be sent out to the media some 10 days before the elections.
Meanwhile the football association will attempt to erase mistakes made in the past when it comes to dealing with finances. Phillips announced that a team of members will be appointed soon by the TTFA with specific responsibility to look after the financial affairs of the association.
"We believe that whatever happened we should not have to pay for what happened in the past and therefore this team will go out to corporate T&T and attempt to convince them to support the football association with a guarantee that there will be returns to gain," Phillips said.
There have been reports that in the past, monies gained from sponsors, specifically due to the performances and progress of the T&T Soca Warriors team, ended up in the bank account of one man.
Phillips made it clear the team will operate independently from the TTFA, but will function under the authorisation of the football association. The Tim Kee-led association has made tremendous strides with respect to the enhancement and development of football over the past three years but still grapples to win back the trust of corporate T&T in light of the negative reports that emanated after the 2006 World Cup in Germany, which the T&T team had qualified for.
Phillips said the concept is to have people who are independent from the association deal with these issues as funding is very critical for the team to be successful."If you look at any other country or any other successful team in the world and you would recognise that their achievements are due largely because of the corporate funding they receive and we are no different."
The general secretary did not name who the team will be made up of but said they will be responsible for seeking funding, not only for the World Cup team but also for all the teams in the country. These funds, he adds will be used to pay coaches and players, to fund programmes and send players on tournaments etc.
"At present we have all our teams doing well. The men's and women's teams, the youth teams, the beach football team as well as our development programmes will all benefit from funding received from this new team," Phillips said. "Sending a young player on a tournament does not cost less than sending Kenwyne Jones but it is important for us to maintain our youth development programmes because this is where we will be getting players in the future to make up our senior teams."
In expressing his views on the sport presently Phillips said, "Anyone who has looked at T&T football from 2012 to present will say that the sport is in a better position now. I think we have been through the worst and now we are seeing progress in football. Today there is hope that our women's team can beat the USA in the coming friendly matches...today there is hope that our men can qualify for the World Cup...our beach soccer team defeated Mexico recently, so we are seeing things that we didn't see in 2012 and before.
"Our biggest challenge now is to get corporate T&T back on board and this is why we are going to appoint this team very soon."