LAS VEGAS, Nevada --- President of the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association (TCIFC) Sonia Fulford says her emphatic re-election as Female Member of the governing Concacaf Council spoke volumes to her “hard work and dedication”.
At the 34th Ordinary Congress of Concacaf held at the Cosmopolitan Hotel here on Thursday, Fulford convincingly turned back the challenge of Bonaire’s Jeaninne Wong-Loi-Sing by 34 to 7 votes in the only contest on the day.
The other five positions --- that of President (ex officio FIFA Vice-President) Victor Montagliani; Vice-President – Caribbean, Randolph Harris; Vice-President – North America, Yon de Luisa; Member – Central America, Jorge Salomon; and FIFA Council Member – Central America, Pedro Chaluja --- all went to the electorate unopposed.
Fulford, who created history by becoming the first Female Council Member (with voting rights) at Concacaf after being co-opted in 2013 and then officially elected by Congress in 2015, said the membership’s show of confidence in her ability is a fillip for her going forward.
“It was a resounding vote of confidence that I am doing something right… I am very passionate about football, not just women’s football, but football in general and I am committed to the task as I am a hard worker who works continuously, and not just at election time… I think the members recognized that and that’s why they gave me another platform for another four years,” she told concacaf.com immediately after the proceedings.
Fulford, a former Turks and Caicos Islands player and current Fifa Council member, said the challenge from Wong-Loi-Sing demonstrated fundamentally that the culture of democracy inside Concacaf remains healthy, but also that there is no room for complacency on any top-level servant of the game.
“Democracy is good because it keeps you on your toes because nothing is owed to us and what we have we have to work hard to keep… challenge is also good because it lets me know that I am not just sitting as someone is always out there for the spot, so I have to keep doing what people elected me to do,” noted Fulford, a reputed gladiator for women’s football.
Fulford was the first female to be elected President of the TCIFA in July 2014 after previously serving her country’s governing body as General Secretary.
A former captain of the Turks and Caicos Islands women’s team, Fulford has served on the Fifa Women's Football Committee, the Organising Committees for both the Fifa World Cup and Fifa Women’s World Cup, as well as on the Councils of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the Caribbean Football Union (CFU).
Meanwhile, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation, David John-Williams, represented the common view of the Concacaf membership, when he gave the entire proceedings the proverbial thumbs up.
“It (Congress) went very smoothly and was very well organized, plus the information was very forthcoming and Concacaf seems to be in a very good place and we can only hope it continues to progress the way it has been progressing,” he said.
John-Williams said the fact that all the top positions were reconfirmed unopposed, tells a story that the all-powerful Congress has bought into the direction of the new Concacaf.
“It (unopposed positions) says that the team is doing well... there was only one election and the incumbent won overwhelmingly anyway, so that says that person is also doing well,”he ended.