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What should be the new JFF president's focus?

Published:Friday | September 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMRachid Parchment

Jamaica will know whether Ambassador AB Stewart Stephenson or Michael Ricketts leads its football forward for at least the next two years, after this evening's Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) presidential elections. Three of Jamaica's most respected football officials have weighed in on what should be the focus of the new JFF president, going forward in his term.

Current JFF interim president Bruce Gaynor: "One of the most important things that we need to do at the JFF is to invest heavily in our clubs and in our youth. It is to that extent that I have started some programmes that are going to do that also. We need to invest in our fields and the JFF, I can tell you, within the next two years, will try to engage with the government and the private sector because we plan to invest approximately US$1.5 million that we will be getting through our Forward Programme."

But what if the new president has different ideas and strategies from the JFF on how to take Jamaica's football forward?

"Who wouldn't want a vision where we're going to invest in our fields? Who wouldn't want a vision where we're going to invest in our clubs and our youth structures? Who wouldn't want that? We must also realise that this is a board and I am also a vice president on the board and I will have my say and I will have my voice. When we make decisions as a board, it's democracy."

Kingston and St Andrew Football Association president Wayne Shaw: "I know there's the big thing about the money and how you're going to cut down the debt, that should also be one of the focuses. But youth development, we're not going to qualify for a next World Cup if we don't start from the youth and build a team up. This thing where we just focus on the senior players is not going to work."

St Ann Football Association president Danny Beckford: "It should be control of the football, for the football; meaning, over the years we had some people whose stamp of approval have been put on them by the previous administration's president. It is more of what they do, instead of what they do for the football. So we would hope that with the scarce resources that they have, it would be put into the football itself, especially youth football in the parishes."