INSURANCE EXECUTIVE Raymond Tim Kee promises to restore the confidence and credibility the local football federation has lost in the eyes of most supporters, corporate citizens and the Ministry of Sport.
At a press conference at the VIP Lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, yesterday, the former Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) vice-president announced his candidacy for president of the organisation which he quit three years ago.
The long-awaited TTFF elections will be held on November 11 and will see Tim Kee contesting the post of president against senior vice president Lennox Watson, who has been interim president since the resignation of Oliver Camps last year. Unconfirmed rumour has it that Carib Brewery executive Colin Murray may also contest the position.
The TTFF election will see a total of 44 votes cast. Each of six regional associations cast three votes, while affiliates such as the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), Women's Football League and Football Referees Association have two votes each.
Tim Kee, a deputy chairman of Guardian Life Insurance Limited, is a past president of the Port of Spain Rotary Club; former chairman of two state boards; and a member of the Veteran Footballers Association. His nomination papers were filed yesterday.
"I throw my support behind Mister Raymond Tim Kee," declared Bryan Layne, president of the Central Football Association (CFA) for the last 14 years, who added that in the past 18 months local football had hit rock bottom and needed a viable candidate to move it forward.
Although out of football recently, Tim Kee said he remains a viable candidate due to his involvement with Malta Carib Alcons. Tim Kee twice previously tried to win the TTFF presidency from Camps, who had the backing of former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, then the third most powerful man in world football. After being approached recently, Tim Kee decided to try again. He said money and power was never a consideration since he had reached a state in life where he needed nothing, and had five grown children who have all gone through university
"I was approached by some of the regional football association presidents and asked to enter the football fight, so to speak, for the office of football president," Tim Kee said. "I will like to see football in Trinidad and Tobago rise to the heights it deserves," Tim Kee said. "I intend to maintain the integrity I have earned over the years. I understand that when the people select me as president, they select me to serve them. We at the TTFF must develop a culture of truthfulness, accountability and transparency," he said.
Tim Kee did not elaborate on his reason for leaving football, but said he felt alienated. However, inside information is that he was forced out after a clash of ideals with a high-ranking and powerful former "agent" of the TTFF. Asked about his current relationship with former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, Tim Kee replied: "None".
He added, however, that should Warner ever assume the office of Sports Minister, he will give that office the respect it deserves and work with everyone for the good of football. Tim Kee also promised to work with current Sports Minister Anil Roberts.
"I will ensure that the TTFF re-establishes an effective and collaborative relationship with our main benefactor, the Ministry of Sport," said Tim Kee, who also argued that it was important to restore the credibility of the TTFF. "We will have on board an internal auditor who will work with our external auditor. There will be no interaction between administration staff and external auditors."