(CMR) Alfredo Whittaker has been named the new President of the Cayman Islands Football Association after beating out two other contenders.
Contested elections are a rarity as Webb had been elected uncontested in every CIFA election for the previous 20 years prior to his removal almost two years ago.
The membership of the association held their AGM earlier today at the Kimpton and elected Whittaker as the new president. He will now be the long term predecessor to disgraced former president Jeffrey Webb who has plead guilty to charges relating to the FIFA scandal.
The three contenders were Lee Ramoon, former national team captain and Webb's interim replacement, Renard Moxam, local businessman and former professional player and Whittaker, a senior match referee.
Lee Ramoon, a former national team captain, was elected to complete Webbâ€™s term after the long-time president pleaded guilty to involvement in racketeering and bribery schemes at world footballâ€™s governing body, FIFA.
Mr. Ramoon was elected in a runoff against Mr. Whittaker at a special election last May and insists significant progress has been made under his leadership in the last 18 months.
Presidents normally serve four-year terms, but Mr. Ramoon was essentially finishing the term for Webb and must face a new ballot at CIFAâ€™s.
The victory was not an easy one as it took three rounds for Whittaker to emerge triumphant. In the third round Moxam removed himself from the process when he was tied with Ramoon; leaving the way for a more clear cut decision from the membership.
This time Mr. Whittaker and Mr. Ramoon will reprise their closely contested 2016 battle, while Mr. Moxam, who was controversially blocked in an attempt to challenge former acting president Bruce Blake in 2015, has also thrown his hat into the ring.
Mr. Moxam said that despite significant changes on the CIFA executive committee, he was still concerned that the influence of a small coterie of officials on the game remained.
He said a completely new image was required to restore confidence and credibility to the game. 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.
â€śItâ€™s a great honor to be elected, and to get the confidence of teams, clubs and the football families in the Cayman Islands. The amount of work Iâ€™ve put in as a referee, as a coach, in assisting clubs.
This is a reward, and now itâ€™s time to return that confidence and get to work.â€ť
Whittakerâ€™s reign will begin with an enormous boost. According to sources within the Cayman Islands Football Association, FIFA recently lifted itâ€™s funding sanctions providing CIFA with $500,000.
Sources inform us that they will 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.
Government funding remains on freeze for at least the next two years according to the budget passed this week.
Whittaker says CIFAâ€™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.