JFF presidential hopeful Anderson launches 27-page manifesto ahead of January 14 elections; reaffirms RSA team's commitment to lead with integrity, transparency

By December 15, 2023
Raymond Anderson Raymond Anderson file

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) presidential hopeful Raymond Anderson reaffirmed a commitment to lead with integrity, transparency and efficiency, as he believes his Real Solid Action (RSA) team boast the capacity to fulfill the objectives they have pledged to pursue, if elected on January 14.

In fact, Anderson, during the launch of his 27-page manifesto on Thursday, outlined a wide-range of plans to not only improve, but also to move the country’s football product forward.

To achieve this, he pointed out that his team will rely on eight key points –rebranding football, establishing a youth development programme, restoring financial stability, developing women’s football, regaining stakeholder trust, investing in fields and infrastructure, establishing local senior elite squads and facilitating qualifications –as their guiding light.

Anderson, a current vice-president said the decision to challenge incumbent Michael Ricketts, who has been at the helm since 2017, stems from the fact that he hasn’t been able to effect real change from the back seat, where decision-making is concerned.

"My association with the Jamaica Football Federation spans well in excess of three decades. This period includes the last six years with the current administration. The question therefore arises as to why am I challenging for the leadership of the Jamaica Football Federation at this time?

“My answer is simple: my association with the JFF has provided me with a comprehensive view of the challenges with which the JFF has been grappling. However, I have not been able to act on what I know is needed. I need to be in a position to make the decisions to make the difference required,” Anderson said during the launch at the Courtleigh Hotel.

Anderson revealed that chief among the challenges the JFF has faced over the last six years, is the fact that they have been operating under a restricted funding mandate from world governing body FIFA.

“Please recognise that this restriction is due primarily to poor reporting and accountability over the period. This has imposed enormous constraints on the JFF to pursue meaningful developmental objectives. In fact, the federation has been unable to meet some of its basic obligations which has resulted in unseemly public disputes with some of our key stakeholders, most notably, the players,” Anderson stated.

On that note, the former St Mary FA president argued that a lack of trust has been a feature of the current administration and, as such appealed to the 56 delegates across the three pillars to assist his RSA team to regain stakeholder trust, and more importantly, engage corporate Jamaica’s return to football.

“This current administration enjoys very little trust among its various stakeholders. Trust is essential to the efficient running of any venture. The JFF is no exception to this rule. Trust lost is often hard to restore.  Rebuilding trust is almost akin to putting Humpty Dumpty back together after the fall. We therefore have no alternative but to replace this regime,” Anderson declared.

He continued: “We neither have the time nor the resources to do otherwise. This administration needs to go, not because it is comprised of evildoers, but simply because Jamaican football cannot continue in its current state. Trust impinges on everything we do. Corporate sponsors will not support our programmes if they don’t trust us. That is why the administration has failed to garner any substantial support from corporate Jamaica.

“The public will not stand behind our teams unconditionally in the absence of trust, and our players will not be able to perform to their very best levels when they have no confidence in the administration. Under the current administration, we have qualified twice for the Women’s World Cup, but we have done so by overcoming unnecessary obstacles which were brought about by inefficiency, incompetence and lack of trust in the administration. This continues even up to today, four months after the last World Cup.”

Anderson’s RSA slate includes Keith Wellington, Jacqueline Cummings-Martin, Donald Beckford and Orville Powell, as vice-presidents, while Carole Beckford and Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron would serve as ordinary directors.

Meanwhile, Ricketts’s slate has Gregory Daley, Elaine Walker-Brown, Raymond Grant and Baron Watson as vice-presidents, with Rudolph Speid and Bruce Gaynor as ordinary directors.

“There is much to be done, but we are up to the task. There will have to be a considerable amount of cleaning and rebuilding, but we promise to retain those policies which have worked for football, and which we believe will be in the best interest for us to sustain. I extend an arm of friendship to you all, mindful of the possibilities which exist for the beautiful game and Jamaica land we love. I urge voters to join my team in the journey to achieving that dream,” Anderson ended.

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

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