Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) presidential hopeful Raymond Tim Kee has been given a glowing recommendation from a former Trinidad and Tobago football captain ahead of the November 11 election.
Clayton Morris of 1989 "Strike Squad" fame endorsed Tim Kee for the position, saying the former TTFF vice president had his heart "in the right place" and the understanding that T&T football is in dire need of reform to overcome the wave of problems it currently faces.
Speaking to the Express yesterday, Morris, former teammate Brian Williams—once a sturdy figure in the T&T defence—and Selby Browne, vice president of the Veteran Footballers Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFOTT), all called for the restructuring of local football in order to change the national team's fortunes.
But Morris—who previously worked with Tim Kee on the national futsal team—felt T&T needs "a new face" and that the veteran administrator, who is currently running opposite Carib Brewery sponsorship and events manager and cricket pundit Colin Murray, has qualities necessary to do the job.
"When I heard he (Tim Kee) is going up, I really felt there is hope for betterment for football in Trinidad and Tobago," Morris said. "His heart is in the right place because he knows players are the main stakeholders in the game of football."
Morris pointed to the current funding woes of the TTFF, where Minister of Sport Anil Roberts has declared his Ministry will not fund the Federation directly, or its marketing committee led by Anthony Harford, due to queries over spending of funds provided in 2011.
He also listed football development as another issue the new TTFF president will have to deal with, but said that to make progress on these matters, restructuring of local football is first needed.
"They can't continue the same way," said Morris. "What I can say again with Mr Tim Kee, we worked together on the national (futsal) team. We brought these guys out from the ghetto so to speak, most of them had never been on an airplane, sit at a hotel and dine with knife and fork and we were able to bring them together.
"I think Mr Tim Kee understands bringing them down to the grassroots where we want them to go. I think he has the knowledge of what that would take."
Williams also wants to see restructuring of football, and said that local football needs a "new light".
"This presidential election this time will be a very interesting one to the extent to see what will be done with football given its present state," Williams said. "We need some type of new approach. It will be interesting to see who will be the president."
The dreadlocked former T&T defender said that the local leagues need to be united, with direct promotion and demotion between first and second divisions, and the zonal clubs feeding the second tier.
He also stressed that the current disagreements between the Ministry of Sport and the Federation over funding need to be worked out as quickly as possible.
"The (new) president will have a job on his hands to bring back the faith of the general public in football and put T&T back in the place we used to once enjoy as one of the leading teams in the Caribbean," stated Williams.
And Browne, who has in the past as a member of VFFOTT questioned the legal standing of the TTFF, restated VFFOTT's position that it recognises only the T&T Football Association (TTFA), the predecessor of the Federation.
"Our position from VFFOTT is abundantly clear. It is our view that the legal entity to run football in Trinidad and Tobago is the TTFA."
He revealed that VFFOTT had requested and attended a meeting with the Federation, last week, and there was an acknowledgement by TTFF officials of the football body's legal status.
Fixing this should be a priority, said Browne, followed by changing the structure of local football.
"The other thing is establishing the proper structure to run football in T&T...to place the footballers as the priority or major asset in football.
"In the past football was all about Jack Warner. The reality is that Jack Warner (now) has nothing to do with football."
Browne said he did not know much about what Murray would bring to the table, but credited the current TTFF executive for trying to "put things right". He added, though, that more is needed.
"I do not know how (the withdrawal from the election of interim TTFF president Lennox Watson) augurs for the workings of the new president with the executive in place," said Browne.
"That would have to be with a new person trying to get his executive to move in the direction that is best for football, and not best for individuals as we have had in the past."