MoBay's Powell announces bid for Jamaica Football Federation presidency
Having attained much success with Montego Bay United, businessman Orville Powell is now setting his sights on bigger goals. He desires to unseat Captain Horace Burrell as president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).
Speaking at a press conference at the Blue Beat Bar and Lounge in Montego Bay yesterday, Powell said the time has come for fresh ideas, stopping just short of calling the Burrell administration of the island's football as shabby.
"We are now at a place where I call it decision time; time to change the direction of the JFF. Without saying anything further, this is my decision, I will be making myself available for the presidency of the JFF," Powell said.
His challenge comes at a time when world football is facing a raft of changes in the aftermath of the bribery scandal that has hit the sport's governing body, FIFA, and which has resulted in several arrests of top officials, including CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb, and, more recently, the suspension of its president, Joseph 'Sepp' Blatter, among other leading players in the game.
"The work, for me, begins now and I will be engaging all the parishes to have meaningful discussions. I believe the future is with us," Powell said. "They are saying the same thing that I am saying.
"This decision was a timely one. A couple months ago, I would have never thought I would be sitting here. I have always been urged to do so, but what impacted me was that game against Nicaragua at the National Stadium. I saw how far our football would have been impacted had we failed to move on," outlined Powell.
With the JFF elections due in December, Powell has a relatively short time to secure the number of delegates needed.
A former Western Confederation chairman and a JFF director, Powell gave a long list of woes besetting the federation, including a whopping $200-million debt burden.
MORE IN DEBT
He said that more than $500 million passed through the JFF, with an average $400,000 going to the parishes.
"How is it that with more monies coming through the JFF that we are more in debt?" he asked.
He said there must be change if the overall health and development of local football is to be realised.
"Travelling around the Caribbean, I've realised that Jamaica is not respected no more. There needs to be a healing process. We have seen a steady decline in fortunes since 2009; Jamaica has gone from being a powerhouse to a lackey, in footballing terms.
"I think that the JFF can support the parishes and not a person doing so," Powell stated, in a veiled reference to Burrell's near-blanket sponsorship of several parish leagues through his Captain's Bakery enterprise.