No Webb of deceit here

 Jeffrey Webb’s imminent appointment as the president of CONCACAF, the football organisation that governs the North and Central America and the Caribbean is a significant one not just for the Cayman Islands’ football fraternity but for the territory generally.

Webb was the only candidate nominated last week for the post and he will run unopposed in the election on 23 May in Budapest, Hungary. That means he will also become a vice president of FIFA, football’s governing body, automatically making him one of the most powerful men in sport. Football is a trillion dollar business and Webb’s decisions in all aspects of budgets, endorsements and policies will have an enormous bearing on the success of football in this region.

The fact that he was unopposed by the 40 CONCACAF countries indicates the respect and confidence colleagues have in him. Webb’s integrity is what they value most after the debacle of recent years. For such a small jurisdiction that does not even have a professional football setup, this is a fantastic achievement. Whether the job is too big for him remains to be seen but it is unlikely he is out of his depth having worked his way up the FIFA ranks for more than 20 years and held positions of huge responsibility.

Webb, 47, was a capable goalkeeper in his playing days and always had an interest in raising Cayman’s standing in football through better organisation and administration. When he first became the local football president, Webb fondly remembers inheriting the whole of Cayman football history in a shoe box. Now there is the magnificent Centre of Excellence in Prospect. Yes, he has his critics.

All leaders do. But with a limited budget, the Cayman Islands Football Association has worked wonders recently. That includes the women’s Under-17 national team reaching the latter stages of the World Cup qualifiers, youngsters like Sebastian Martinez getting contracts at professional clubs in England with plenty more to follow and numerous students – girls as well as boys – gaining full soccer scholarships to US colleges. Even Cayman Islands referees are widely respected and only second to Jamaica in overall standards.

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