After four rounds of voting and many tense moments, Alfredo Whittaker has been named the new President of the Cayman Islands Football Association. Whittaker says under his leadership the association and the sport can now move forward and focus on development.
“We cannot continue to look backwards, we need to look at the future,” said Whittaker. “Sometimes when you look back, all you have is bad memories. Now is the time to move forward, we are going forward. We will see our football association in our different direction. We will see great development in youth football in our island.”
With the association holding it’s annual general meeting, the vote began with incumbent Lee Ramoon receiving 6 votes with Whittaker gaining 5 and candidate Renard Moxam gaining 5. According to the CIFA constitution, election is granted with a 50% plus one percentage. A second and third vote were cast with Whittaker gaining 6 votes, Ramoon 5 and Moxam 5, at which time Moxam stepped to the podium to announce he had removed himself from the election. Whittaker says Moxam’s act was selfless.
“That proves to me and to the members that we share a lot of the same views, and different ways of doing things together,” said Whittaker. “We think alike when it comes to development of sports. It proves his character when he stepped down after being behind in the votes.”
In a fourth and final vote, Whittaker won by a count of 8-7. Whittaker says the election demonstrates the confidence members have in his abilities.
“It’s a great honor to be elected, and to get the confidence of teams, clubs and the football families in the Cayman Islands,” he said. ” The amount of work I’ve put in as a referee, as a coach, in assisting clubs. This is a reward, and now it’s time to return that confidence and get to work.”
Whittaker’s reign will begin with an enormous boost. According to sources within the Cayman Islands Football Association, FIFA recently lifted it’s funding sanctions providing CIFA with $500,000. Sources also tell Cayman 27 CIFA is in line to receive an additional $1.25 million dollars once their forensic audit is completed by accounting firm Grant Thornton, a process which began in July. Whittaker says youth development and national programs will get immediate attention.
“Right now we have the U20 National Team, we need to sit down and see the amount of money that’s coming in,” said Whittaker. “We need to speak to Coach Seymour and where he’s at, we need to look into our youth national teams. That’s where our priorities are right now.”
Whittaker added the association will not operate with an open hand policy.
“We are not going to sit back and seek FIFA or CONCACAF grants, we will go and seek extra finances that are needed,” he said.
Whittaker says CIFA’s Executive Council will also meet to discuss the future of First Vice-President Bruce Blake who has been suspended since June after his arrest in June for money laundering.
“I’ll be working with my committee members as early as next week to make a decision on what we need and what is convenience for us at this time,” said Whittaker. “We are looking for a full membership so we can operate. We need see what the situation is with our First Vice President and go from there.”
In a second vote, Dion Brandon was elected 2nd Vice President. Whittaker says Brandon is a huge asset to his team.
“Dion is a young, brilliant Caymanian that has been working for the longest time in football for a long time,” he said.
Former President Lee Ramoon, who was roommates with Whittaker while competing on the Cayman national football team, says he will not simply disappear from the sport.
“Lee is my friend for many years, we share a lot of thoughts together, we thank Mr. Ramoon for the job that he has done,” said Whittaker.