Warner’s on his way

President of CONCACAF Jack Warner tops the list of specially invited guests of the Cayman Islands Football Association this week.

He will be here for the inaugural opening of the Centre For Excellence on Thursday and the Dinner For Excellence at the Ritz-Carlton Cayman on Friday

Warner joins FIFA president Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter and other distinguished guests from the world football body in this historic occasion.

At the dinner, there will be an auction to raise funds to continue the next phase of the Centre For Excellence. Warner leaves on Saturday. Signed jerseys will have signatures from such illustrious names as David Beckham, Pele, Ronaldinho and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Warner has held the position of president of CONCACAF, since he was first elected in 1990. He has also served on FIFA’s Executive Committee since 1983 and is the longest standing member of that body. He has also held the position as FIFA Vice President since 1997.

A politician too, in November 2007 Warner was elected to the House of Representatives in Trinidad & Tobago following a nationwide general election held there.

This was his first standing for election to the House. He won his constituency seat of Caguas West with the largest popular vote of any candidate in any of the seats contested.

CONCACAF is the The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. It is one of six continental confederations of FIFA and serves as the governing body of football in that part of the world.

The confederation is composed of 40 national associations, from Canada in the north to Guyana, Surinam and French Guyana in the south.

The Centre For Excellence comes under the FIFA Goal Project and is one of the most influential yet initiatives of Blatter’s presidency.

It is a charitable arm to FIFA which provides infrastructure, equipment, and education to smaller nations such as Cayman with the aim of raising standards of international football.

The Centre for Excellence is a long-term vision of CIFA president Jeffrey Webb to provide Cayman with state-of-the-art training facilities, raising the standards of local football and providing young Caymanian with world class facilities to develop their technical and tactical ability.

Ground was broken last June by Alden McLaughlin Jr, who was then Minister for Sports. The first phase of the project will provide CIFA with a designated home for the first time in its history.

In December, construction began on the first of three playing fields. The FIFA Goal Bureau has partnered with CIFA in the development of both projects, and Blatter has taken considerable personal interest in the project due to his close ties with Webb.