Burrell looks set for another 4-year term as JFF president
BY all indications, Captain Horace Burrell looks set to return unopposed as president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) for another four-year term.
As this newspaper prepared for press last night, just hours ahead of yesterday's midnight deadline for nominations, there was no foreseen challenge as Burrell and his election slate were said to have received unanimous support from 12 of the 13 parish associations.
The powerful Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) did not back the only candidate and his slate, neither did it put forward one of its own.
In keeping with JFF statutes, for a candidate to stand for election the individual would have to be nominated by at least three parish associations. With Burrell receiving the endorsement of the overwhelming 12 of 13 member associations meant he would face the football electorate at the voting congress slated for Sunday, July 20, without a challenger.
The other members of the Burrell slate who were expected to be elected unopposed are the Western Confederation's Bruce Gaynor for first vice-president; Eastern Confed's Raymond Anderson (second vice-president); South Central Confed's Michael Ricketts (third vice-president); St Catherine FA's long-serving Peter Reid as executive officer and business executive Garfield Sinclair for treasurer.
On the recommendation of Burrell, Raymond Grant received the full backing of the JFF board of directors to continue as general secretary.
Gaynor, who serves as second vice-president in the current administration, is set to make the step up, replacing Dale Spencer, who vacated the first vice-president position some time ago.
At the last voting congress, Burrell retained the JFF presidency unchallenged.
Meanwhile, Burrell told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that the convincing support for him and his proposed slate of officers is a humbling display of confidence.
"I am deeply humbled by the confidence reposed in me by my colleagues. But this is not a moment to gloat, but a serving of notice that we have been entrusted to carry on the work in a new and exciting future of the country's football development, and this to us, is a serious business," said the long-serving football boss.
"I will continue to do all I can to enhance Jamaica's football at all levels, starting at the grass roots with our kids aged six to 12 years old, and at all stages between, and to the senior programme...we are indeed determined to establish a solid platform that will lend itself to overall growth of the game," said Burrell.
Looking ahead to his new mandate, Burrell cited as among the key planks the restructuring of the JFF board, the development of a club franchise system, partnership with government and corporate Jamaica to improve playing surfaces and infrastructure, introduction of a club licensing system, and the continued development of coaches, referees and administrators.
"These are initiatives, old and new, that the incoming executive and membership intend to press on with. We know that when change is impending there are usually pockets of resistance, but we intend to dialogue and sit together as a family to arrive at a consensus in this regard.
"I know that at the end of the day that we all want the same thing and that is to see the growth and development of our sport and our players, and with that in mind, there's no doubt we will find the traction to move forward in one accord," noted Burrell, a CONCACAF vice-president.
The proposed club franchise system announced following a JFF retreat in Montego Bay recently has been met with measured resistance from some quarters of the football constituency, but Burrell vowed that in due course the benefits of this new direction will be realised by all.
"What I know is that the vast majority of us believe that going the franchise route is best for our football and our footballers... it will ensure in part better facilities and much better salaries," he told the Observer.