Latoya DaCosta seeks to take CFU to next level

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, May 27, 2013

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IT wasn't an easy decision, but Latoya DaCosta has left the Professional Footballers Association of Jamaica (PFAJ) and the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) and has taken up the top position of director of competitions of the regional Caribbean Football Union (CFU).


"It is never easy leaving any job. I joined the PFAJ at a time when important changes were being made in terms of how football was being governed on the island. It was a move closer towards professionalisation, and the clubs having a greater say in how things were done, and I wanted to be a part of that," said DaCosta, who was general manager of both the PFAJ and the PLCA since 2007.


Only recently, another Jamaican, Horace Reid, the former general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), was appointed director of competitions for CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) last year.


"The position that I have been offered with the CFU is one that gives me the opportunity to grow and contribute on a broader scale, which is something that everyone involved in sports desires," said DaCosta, who has over 14 years in the field of administration.


"Prior to joining the PFAJ, I worked with the JFF (director of Competitions), where I gained valuable experience, as the former general secretary Horace Reid provided the platform for growth... This, I believe, will aid me in being effective in this new position."


At the recent Red Stripe Premier League awards function DaCosta was given a warm send-off and a gift by former prime minister of Jamaica, Edward Seaga, the chairman of the PLCA.


"The relationship that I have with the members of the PFAJ, especially, the chair-man, Most Honourable Edward Seaga, remains strong, so I left with their blessings. With all of what I said, I have no ill-feeling about leaving," DaCosta told the Jamaica Observer.


"Football is a sport that I greatly love, and once I had played my role in that transition, I felt that I had done enough to move on. Additionally, the staff members who remain at the PFAJ are capable of carrying on the work that we did together, so I am comfortable that they are in a position to carry on.


"If I had the feeling that I was leaving them in a bad situation then I would have certainly had second thoughts," she added.


The CFU, which is the governing body in the Caribbean, was formed in 1978 and represents 31 nations. It was thrown into chaos in 2011 following a vote-buying bribery scandal that rocked the region and the footballing world, culminating in the resignation of Caribbean stalwart Austin 'Jack' Warner and Asian chief Mohammed bin Hammam from top FIFA posts.


There was also a shake-up in the Caribbean, with several members being suspended, hence the ascension to the presidency of Gordon Derrick of Antigua and Barbuda, and Damien Hughes of Anguilla as general secretary in 2012.


The secretariat has since then decided to relocate the CFU headquarters from Trinidad and Tobago to Jamaica, where they bought an office in New Kingston.


"This is an opportunity that I humbly embrace, and will grab with both hands as I seek to assist in taking the Caribbean Football Union to the next level. I will plunge myself into this job in the service of my people," said DaCosta.


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