Cayman Islands football picks new prez

Grooming young players is a focus of Cayman Islands Football Association.
Grooming young players is a focus of Cayman Islands Football Association.

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – Local footballer Lee Ramoon has been elected as the new Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) president and promised to regain the trust of the members, sponsors, the public and government, but he said it would take time to turn the association around.

“Everyone wants to see change and it is about to happen, but it will be baby steps,” he told the press in the wake of Saturday’s congress and his election to office.

Ramoon said he was thankful to the membership for placing their trust in him to tackle the challenges ahead for the cash-strapped association.

CIFA has been mired in controversy since the arrest of former president Jeffrey Webb in the FIFA scandal and the revelations during the recent corruption trial of former treasurer, Canover Watson.

Ramoon acknowledged the problems and challenges ahead but said he would be focusing on transparency and rebuilding the trust lost by the scandals. He said that the CIFA treasurer had given the membership a detailed review of what was happening and that FIFA had agreed to give CIFA emergency funding to keep the national teams going.

Facing a real struggle for cash, Ramoon said he was already talking to government about the return of the annual grant. However, Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden has previously made it clear that he will not agree to reinstate the grant until the entire executive changes and all of the individuals associated with the previous regime resign.

“I understand his point of view but it is difficult to just get rid of the members that the minister is alluding to, but we will have another congress in August and we will look at this between now and then,” Ramoon said, as he explained that he would be discussing the future executive line-up with members and planned to have more talks with Bodden.

In addition to the vote for the new president, members elected Wendy Fisher as the deputy general secretary. The congress also included a presentation from the treasurer, Armando Ebanks, who told the media that CIFA was in an exceptionally challenging position when it came to cash.