Harris again, by seven votes

Randy Harris has been reinstated for his fourth consecutive term as the president of the Barbados Football Association, winning his showdown with Omari Eastmond by just seven votes at the annual general meeting held at the BFA Headquarters in Wildey, Sunday night.

Harris, earned 37 votes from the 67 clubs that voted, with Eastmond, a pharmacist and former national goalkeeper, collecting 30.

The returning chief explained why he once again threw his hat in the proverbial ring.

“Obviously, I put myself in the race because I want to complete my mission first of all by completing the facility. Then I want to look at mostly junior programmes because we have to look to the future of local football in Barbados.

“I want to thank the members for having confidence in me again and I want to say to the challenger that he put up a good fight, he has something to give to football, and I hope this loss wouldn’t cause him to feel he is not welcome to assist.

Harris also addressed the talking point that many were calling for him to step down from his post due to local football still leaving a lot left to be desired.

“At the end of the day, there is no local association that is responsible for the development of players, that is the work of the clubs. The results are not as good as we would want to expect, but I think that reflects the quality of football at the domestic level. We have to now assist the clubs with programmes for better development.”

“The thing is that many of the clubs do not have junior players and that is something we want changed. We have the FIFA talent development scheme, and we also have the programme with the National Peace Programme in the communities and I think these will all make differences but results will not be seen in the short term,” said Harris.

The president has been responsible for the establishment and development of the Wildey facility and has spearheaded various initiatives such as coaching education programmes. Both the Republic Cup and Capelli Cups were also implemented during his tenure.

Eastmond, who announced his candidacy late last year, had stated some of his intentions were to foster improved communication between clubs and ensure transparency in the allocation of FIFA funds. He also held the president to task for his part in the Barbados Tridents being relegated to League C in the CONCACAF Nations League along with the team’s world ranking dropping to an all new low of 177th. Harris was first voted into office in 2012, was re-elected in 2016 and ran uncontested in 2020. He is also currently the president of the Caribbean Football Union.

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