Sport

Speid remains head of KSAFA

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer Senior Reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, August 09, 2012    

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INCUMBENT Rudolph Speid dispatched Leon Mitchell and retained the presidency of the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) at the 47th Annual General Voting Congress last Saturday.

Speid, who was given his third mandate, secured 43 votes from the delegates compared to Mitchell's 31, while six ballots were spoiled.

Speid, who won unchallenged in 2008 when Peter Prendergast withdraw before nomination and was unopposed in 2010, said this victory was sweeter because the delegates spoke loud and clear.

"Democracy is always good as both times before I got no competition. So this particular time is satisfying because I know the delegates definitely wanted me rather than an election when nobody ran against you," Speid noted.

Speid, who took over from Stewart Stephenson in 2008 faced a powerful opposition led by Mitchell, the current president of the Jamaica Hockey Federation; Harbour View chairman Carvel Stewart; Carlton 'Spanner' Dennis of Santos FC; Tivoli Gardens' manager Brian Rose and former referee and KSAFA president, Richard 'Roots' Nathan.

In the end, Speid's team with first vice-president Ricky Chin of Waterhouse, second vice-president Jackie Cowan, also the team manager of Harbour View, retained their positions unopposed as their rivals saw it fit not to contest after Mitchell lost the presidential race.

"It is important for us to have elections because it puts KSAFA in the right direction where people want to serve and run the entity that we have. At the same time when you look at all the numbers and all that we have achieved, the delegates did the right thing," said Speid.

Speid, an accountant by profession, and the mastermind behind Cavalier's promotion to the Premier League, said based on his canvassing, he had expected to secure more votes.

"There were six spoilt votes and I had expected to get about 48 after canvassing. I don't know if the spoil votes were for me, I had known that even if it was close, I would have won," he told the Jamaica Observer.

Speid and his team have taken credit for turning KSAFA into a viable organisation securing telling sponsorships of $30m in 2009; $32m the following year and $40m in 2011.

He also boasts of increasing the club benefits from $4.3m to $19m, and has turned around a deficit of $259,000 to a profit of about $10m.

But in a clear show of good sportsmanship and a level of unity in KSAFA, the defeated Mitchell, an assistant general manager at Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), has offered to present his ideas to KSAFA, a move welcomed by Speid.

"Both of us will meet on Thursday and we are going to be looking at the ideas, because maybe he has some good ideas. If you remember I had invited Mr Mitchell to work on my team so he is not a bad candidate," Speid noted.

Other members of the KSAFA hierarchy are Peter Higgins as general secretary; Herman Cruickshank, the assistant general secretary, and treasurer Errol Howlett.

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