Randy’s the man
DIMINUTIVE BICO SALES MANAGER Randy Harris stood tall yesterday when he was elected as the new president of the Barbados Football Association (BFA).
Harris defeated fellow long-standing football administrator Charles Husbands, who was his main challenger, by 74 votes to 47 when the BFA held its annual general meeting at the Deighton Griffith School.
The other candidates, Mark Armstrong and Ricky “Laker” Williams, mustered only eight and seven votes respectively.
Minutes after he was declared winner, Harris, 57, a former BFA general secretary during the 1980s and mid-1990s and council member, told NATIONSPORT his first task would be to uplift the game of football in Barbados.
“I’m glad that the members gave me a chance to finally lead the association. I have taken a lot of licks before I reached this point,” said Harris, who was defeated in his bid for presidency by Ronald Jones in 2004 and was subsequently banned for four years by the sport’s governing body
FIFA after taking a dispute over the voting process to court.
“I’m quite happy and I believe my experience and knowledge about the game here in Barbados will serve me well,” Harris said.
“Developing football here in Barbados is the area which we will be concentrating on and really working more with the game of football instead of the persons and personalities around it.
“I am really hoping that I can bring all the different people within football together to move the game forward in Barbados,” added Harris, who takes over as BFA president from Jones.
Jones, who held the position since 1998, did not seek re-election.
Harris, a product of The Lodge School who first sat on the BFA’s council in 1977, lamented that football in Barbados had been left behind while other areas had been developed by successive governments in a grand way.
“What we need to do now is to try to catch up with the other areas of Barbados’ development as far as football is concerned,” he remarked.
“I have to manage the association well so that people can have confidence in the association. But apart from that, I’m so happy to be able to work along with the Football Association in this specific area of helping young people to develop themselves.
“Over the years, I’ve found that a lot of youngsters are being raised in areas where there is no structure and I feel through football we can set up some programmes for elite players and work with them and help them academically (and) financially.”
After failing in his presidency bid, Husbands was also beaten 62-59 by the relatively unknown Captain Al Walcott of the Barbados Defence Force in a close race for senior vice-president but rebounded to defeat Ashton Chapman 52-43 to be re-elected as senior assistant secretary, a position he has held since 1984.
Basil Gittens also retained the junior vice-president post he held during the last four-year term, polling 59 votes to 52 by Jabez “Jack” Bovell.
Chapman, however, won the contest for junior assistant secretary, defeating Sylvia Darlington 43-37.
Long-serving treasurer Curtis Hunte was swept aside 68-22 by graphic artist Edwyn Wood, who will have former FIFA referee Barney Callender as his assistant after he edged senior team manager Fabian Wharton 43-42 for the position.
Wharton, former Barbados coach Thomas Jordan, Sasha Sutherland, the assistant women’s team manager, Darlington, Hally Haynes, Bovell and former national defender Terry Sealy were elected as the seven floor members to serve on the executive council in a battle among close to 20 delegates.
The meeting was adjourned around 6:25 p.m. with the election of the disciplinary committee being deferred.