Sport

Waste of time!

Stephenson says challenging Burrell is pointless at this time

Friday, July 18, 2014    

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KINGSTON & St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) presidential candidate Stewart Stephenson has brushed aside talks that he is harbouring thoughts of a move on the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

On Wednesday, Stephenson officially launched his bid to become boss of the country's most powerful confederation, a decision that some argue is the stepping stone for a more ambitious objective.

But the former KSAFA boss was dismissive of the notion when the Jamaica Observer suggested the possibility.

"Presently, the focus for me is on KSAFA. I believe our hands will be full for the next two years, if I'm elected," he said.

Noting that current JFF head Captain Horace Burrell was earlier this year returned unopposed to the position, Stephenson reasoned that the time to the next JFF elections would rule out such a move.

He argued that the same could be said for another veteran administrator Carvel Stewart, the man who is running on Stephenson's slate to become the first vice-president.

"There'll be no JFF elections for the next four years, and I don't see myself challenging for any JFF position in four years. If it was that there is a vacancy then that's a different thing, but there's none.

"The Captain has sought (to continue), he has his loyalties there, and it would be waste of time for anyone to challenge him now. I doubt whether Carvel or I, in four years' time, would be around to challenge there."

He said, however, that younger members of his executive team could be in line by that time.

"If he (Captain Burrell) sticks around for another four years, then the youngsters that we are bringing will be able to take their place and their role in the JFF. We believe they will be properly experienced and exposed by that time to take things forward."

Stephenson, who was Jamaica's ambassador to Cuba for a two-year spell up to a decade ago, is challenging current KSAFA President Rudolph Speid at the elections on August 2.

Stephenson has questioned the association's management of the Corporate Area clubs and has criticised it for being weak and unable to bring any influence at the JFF level.

"If KSAFA is strong, then you will be able to advocate for the development of the JFF too. But if you are weak then you are going to have a challenge representing the interest of the football community in the Corporate Area," he said.

— Sanjay Myers

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