The new man in charge of Cayman Islands football says change is on the way and may include a shakeup on CIFA’s Executive Committee.
Lee Ramoon Saturday (28 May) was voted in as the sixth President in the history of the Cayman Islands Football Association during CIFA’s Extraordinary Congress.
Ramoon takes over for former President Jeffrey Webb, who was booted from the role after pleading guilty to several counts of fraud in the US related to the global football corruption probe.
“Everybody wants to see a change and change is about to happen,” Ramoon said after the Congress, where Wendy Fisher also was elected as CIFA’s Deputy General Secretary. “But, like I said, in all the programmes that we have, we’ve got to take baby steps in getting there. It can’t happen overnight, but changes will come.”
In particular, Ramoon says he hopes to help the organisation right its finances and reputation.
“Also in terms of trusting that the public and Government and private sector have faith back in CIFA,” he said. “So that’s the first thing in terms of improving the image of CIFA and getting the trust back.”
Reputation and finances go hand-in-hand.
FIFA and CONCACAF cut a majority of funding to CIFA in the last year after Webb pleaded guilty and former CIFA Treasurer Canover Watson was found guilty of fraud in another matter.
CIFA leaders have said it has been tough to secure private sector sponsorship since their respective arrests.
The Sports Ministry also cut nearly $130,000 of annual funding to CIFA. Sports Minister Hon. Osbourne Bodden said last week the Ministry won’t resume its funding following the 28 May Congress because elections for only two positions were held and Government won’t see that as a new Executive Committee.
“I understand his point of view,” Ramoon said. “However, the way CIFA is structured, it’s presently difficult to get rid of some members that the Minister is alluding to.”
Ramoon says opportunities to shuffle the Executive Committee members are on the way, however, as there are a few spots up for election when CIFA holds its next Congress, in August. He also says that meeting presents an opportunity to press other members to step down.
“Those are things that we’ll look at seriously in regards to having those positions addressed properly,” Ramoon said.
Ramoon’s successful bid to become CIFA President seems to be well received by the Cayman public, at least if posts on the Cayman 27 Facebook page are any indication. The post received 128 likes and was shared more than 80 times, drawing nearly 11,000 views. Many viewers posted congratulatory messages.
Ramoon is a former Cayman Islands National team player who, in 2004, earned a FIFA Order of Merit. He made his National team debut as a 13-year old and played professionally in England for nearly seven years.
His tenure as President will last one year and three months, the duration of Webb’s original length of service.