Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 4th 2016 Contents A47
Thursday, February 4, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Having had the opportunity to
follow the trend of the FIFA gen-
eral elections which are held every
four years, the procedure has
always been adopted in a manner
which seemed to invite an expan-
sive input from all of its 209 mem-
ber associations which are affil-
iated to the organisation when it
conducts the business of football
the world over.
The competence in which these
elections are held, are ample proof
in the past 20 years, that the bench-
mark for the reputation which was
built by the administrators who
were trusted to lead, implement,
and build the structure of football
in our region, turned out to be
embarrassing and shameful.
History would have been record-
ed by the excellent contributions
from past presidents like Sir Stanley
Rous, Dr Joao Havelange and until
proven guilty or otherwise, Sepp
Despite the fact that the details
of their efficiency were not easily
recognized by the world observers,
simply because it was transparent
enough and brought to the fields
some phenomenal performances
from national teams across the
However, sometimes, there were
hints of mismanagement which
were not easily understood and
more so, not challenged by member
associations, if only because of the
financial assistance which were
handed out to them.
Like so many changes in world
affairs, there appeared to be countries which saw the
desire to become part of the leadership, not only to
improve the quality of the game, but also to be part
of the financial possibilities which may come their
Then suddenly, a few clear mistakes among the
executive committee hierarchy which controlled every
aspect of management for many years, started to
emerge in what was considered shady transactions,
especially in the business of marketing, TV rights,
subventions to national associations, all of which
appeared to provide some leakage towards the pockets
of some dishonest participants.
If this summary is clear enough, then the past few
years will have brought a new dimension to the levels
of dishonesty, which have brought the FIFA into dis-
repute by way of some guilty acts by persons who
were elected to lead.
This is the reason why the race for the FIFA elections
over the past year has been tainted with some of the
ugliest forms of mismanagement, causing a number
of persons to be arrested for their financial sins.
Unfortunately, the Concacaf produced its portion
of the sinners and the paint brush was passed over
each Confederation, leaving a stain which may take
decades to be removed.
That is why the present battle for the presidency
needs to be of paramount importance to the Caribbean
and T&T especially, seeing that the area was targeted
through the doings of two presidents of Concacaf,
both from the Caribbean.
So when Gianni Infantino, UEFA s general secretary
made the trip to T&T to make his pitch to gather
support from the region, I was very surprised to hear
that a snap decision was made to offer him support,
overlooking the need for background checks which
T&T did not perform and had caused the quagmire
which emanated and destroyed the image of many
others who some suspect may still be investigated
and possibly charged with similar crimes.
It is a pity that our new president did not see the
need to dig deep into his decision to support anyone
just yet, until the TTFA takes the time to carefully
scrutinize all the nominees.
This is not a question of any president making uni-
lateral decisions without seeking the input of the clubs
which form the national association.
Why would one meeting with a stranger have been
so convincing that he could have gained the nod of
T&T. UEFA has been accused of match fixing over
the past few years and Infantino is the general secretary.
Does that not ring a bell, which should encourage us
to think before we act?
The larger countries in the other confederations are
spending hours meeting first as individual countries,
then as a Confederation, before deciding on the person
who would correct all the wrongs of their predecessors.
Don t all these contenders need some form of con-
sideration? Some of those persons are not known.
Neither was Infantino, hence the reason why our
people in the region should spend more time enquiring
about the historic contributions which may be attached
to their names.
Maybe we can first examine the promises of each
individual very carefully, seeing the political behaviour
of the contenders in the past has been nothing short
on invitations to gain the right to lead, but our gullible
leaders grasp at their chance to get something for
themselves and their country.
Is it not surprising that one of these contenders
has promised that if he wins the election, he will take
away the world cup from Qatar and give it to the USA.
What a miserable and politically motivated statement
for a contestant who is aspiring to lead 209 countries
in the world greatest game!
Does he not respect the democratic process which
must be the route to such a decision?
But why are we encouraged to support such a claim?
Simply because we practice the disregard for democracy
in our own football elections, believing that it is correct.
It is my hope that we pay more attention to the selec-
tion of the person to rule the football world.
FIFA presidential election is no joke
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