Basseterre, St. Kitts – Anthony Johnson, the president of the St. Kitts Nevis Football Association (SKNFA), touted the achievements of the organization ahead of its Congress, set for June 25.
In a media briefing Tuesday, Johnson announced a full slate of candidates who will make up his Putting Players First ticket: Don Grant, first vice president (VP); Corneil Williams, second VP; and executive members Keithly Pemberton, Jamir Claxton, Alistair Williams, Dwyer Edmeade, Louis Williams, Tonya George and George Nolan.
Johnson added that he was pleased with his team and was very confident the member clubs of the SKNFA will give the support his ticket.
The SKNFA president spoke about the diversity of his ticket, indicating that it involves females, someone from Nevis and representatives from 10 different clubs.
“Each of those individuals come from a different background and from different clubs,” he said. “Each of the candidates come from 10 different clubs, and there are 25 clubs eligible to vote in the elections. It is clear that we have put together a team that is wide ranging, broad based and includes people from both islands and both males and females.
“We are not simply relying on the qualification of the [players]…because [during] the last four years, the SKNFA has put quite a lot of effort into the development of football in St. Kitts and Nevis,” he said. “We have accomplished some of the major tasks we set out to do.”
He highlighted some of the achievements of the association under his leadership, including ensuring players in the Premier League are covered by insurance. “We have done [that] in the last two years,” Johnson. “It is [now] mandatory you cannot play without being covered by insurance.”
The football official added that going forward, they intend to extend the coverage to all of the leagues.
“[During] the last couple of years, we have had an improvement in our national ranking,” he said. “For the very first time, we achieved a ranking below 100 in the FIFA list and we intend to continue to strive to improve. The ranking helps to provide opportunity to our players.”
He also touted taking the national team to Europe as a major accomplishment.
“About a year and a half ago,” he said, “we went to Europe [as] the first Caribbean team to defeat a European country on European soil. In another few days, our national team will be departing on another tour of Europe against Armenia and Georgia.
Looking forward, Johnson stated that they intend to invest heavily in technical development.
“As far as our technical development is concerned, we believe it is important in order to achieve the kind of excellence that we want,” he said.
He promised club development, saying there have been calls to share the gate revenue with the clubs, but it was impractical at this time due to operational costs putting on games. He, however, made a promised to provide funds to each member club.
“We believe in substantial benefits to be given to the clubs,” he said. “That is why our proposal is to give a specific amount to the development of each of the member clubs.”
Though he did not specify how much will be given, he indicated that it will be substantial and can be used for whatever they choose, including buying uniforms or equipment, or engaging in public relations.
In a press release, the SKNFA named Dr. Garfield Alexander as Johnson’s challenger for the post of president.