14 Sep 2011
- Written by Soca Warriors Online Editorial
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Even a casual scan of the current international environment reveals the impatience of people all over the world with political structures that restrict their development, and their increasing willingness to challenge their political masters.
No more globally than in Trinidad and Tobago. No less in football than in politics. It is widely known that the Soca Warriors Online (SWO) has for many years now called for fundamental change within the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation – to its organization, its political and financial culture and, most importantly, to its leadership.
The fact remains, however, that the SWO is not part of the TTFF. It is on the shoulders of the Regional Associations, the leagues and the clubs, which comprise the TTFF that responsibility for affecting the type of change we wish to see falls. SWO, therefore, notes with interest and concern the challenge being mounted to the established order in the Eastern Football Association of the TTFF.
The campaign being led by TTFF technical adviser Keith Look Loy, supposedly a TTFF insider, against the incumbent EFA president Lennox Watson, a TTFF vice-president, speaks volumes about the discontent with the established order that reigns within Trinidad and Tobago football, and crystallizes the issues that arise within the TTFF.
The incumbent EFA administration stands accused by the Look Loy campaign of flouting basic democratic norms in its relations with its membership, a lack of concern for the development of the game within its area of jurisdiction, and gross inefficiency in its administration.
This may be considered campaign rhetoric by Look Loy, who has taken the bold decision to challenge an established TTFF-insider regime, but the response of the Watson-led slate to the first serious challenge for leadership of a TTFF Regional Association in two decades provokes the concern of many SWO members.
The unilateral declaration by a TTFF-appointed official that the Look Loy slate was improperly nominated and seconded, on the basis of a letter produced immediately before the election but never shown to EFA members, and the attempt to reinstall the incumbent Watson slate into office as “unopposed” based on said letter, appear to many to be nothing short of an attempt at constitutional trickery intended to prolong the life of an administration that has done nothing for the sport in East-Trinidad.
Even worse is the refusal of the EFA and the TTFF to respond to the request by no less than thirteen of the EFA’s seventeen clubs for the election to be held. Both organizations have also refused repeated requests from the Look Loy camp for a copy of the letter which challenged the nomination and seconding of their candidates, and for a copy of the TTFF-appointed officials report.
The SWO considers this ongoing refusal to be arrogance of the highest order. An attorney's letter has been issued to the EFA and TTFF on behalf of the Look Loy campaign, which has indicated its intention to take the issue to FIFA.
The Look Loy campaign has indicated its intention to institute several administrative and developmental measures once in office. In a sense, the SWO considers the most critical among these to be;
1) The introduction of a limit of two consecutive terms for any Regional Association or TTFF office, and 2) the creation of an independent electoral commission of non-TTFF personnel to supervise elections at any level within the TTFF.
The SWO supports these measures as a means of preventing the political entrenchment of elites within the body politic of the TTFF. By themselves, however, they are not enough.
In the most fundamental way, real democracy within the TTFF and Trinidad and Tobago football demands that clubs defend their right to participate in the decision of issues at regional level, and insist on accountability from officials they elect to represent them at higher levels.
The SWO calls on the Eastern Football Association and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association to respect the principles of Democracy. The demand of the EFA’s member clubs for the election to be held must be respected. The EFA must call the election immediately.
The SWO also calls on the member clubs of the EFA to continue their fight for control of their Association and make sure it is run correctly.
We would also like to recommend that others who are not in any relation to the current TTFF and its entire board to step forward and challenge the other zones for Presidency as well, it's time for a change in T&T football and its dictated law and elected zones are the best place to start the rebuilding process.
Many names comes to mind, we believe can be viable zonal presidential candidates such as W Connection boss David John Williams, Terry Fenwick, Brent Sancho, Cyd Gray and or, maybe T&TEC chairman Omar Khan.
Finally, Look Loy is the only EFA candidate who has made his platform known to the fans of T&T football; and though the SWO represents a diverse number of supporters with varying opinions, it’s clear that the feelings of the fans are fully aligned with the ideals Mr. Look Loy has sworn to uphold in his EFA presidential campaign.