Former Trinidad and Tobago International David Nakhid today wrapped up his visit to Guyana – his recent stop on a Caribbean tour – in an attempt to muster support for his bid to become the next President of football’s world governing body FIFA.
A meeting was held with the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) where his plans were outlined in detail on how he intends to not only change the face off football, but also bring tangible support to the region.
Nakhid, who is based in Lebanon where he runs a football academy, would need the backing of five national associations; a requirement which has kept other outsiders off the ballot in previous elections.
The incumbent Sepp Blatter will be stepping down in 2016 following the corruption scandal that engulfed the organisation earlier this year.
A number of former players including Brazilian legend Zico and current UEFA president Michel Platini have already signalled their intention of running for the office that Blatter held on to since 1998.
Nakhid came to Guyana, running on a platform that Caribbean in its entirety is too important to not have a voice in the affairs of the governing of the game internationally.
The 51 year-old Trinidadian; the first from his country to play professionally in Europe, believes that Caribbean countries should not only seen as a reference for vote in CONCACAF and FIFA, but one that should be seen where people come for meaningful consultation and respect their majority seat in the confederation.
The ‘Caribbean Man’ as he is now called internationally, Nakhid said “no one from outside our region can truly reflect what is needed in the Caribbean. The needs of Guyana is unique to Guyana and it not necessarily the need for someone else like Martinique. To be specific, I understand that Guyana at least for the last 15 years, have been trying to establish at least a field that’s football specific and these are things that one particular grouping from FIFA would not address”
With the latest Caribbean official, Jeffrey Webb, being embroiled in controversy, Nakhid, who was asked how he will change the perception of people from the region being corrupt related to the media during his press conference in the Demerara Room at the Marriott Hotel, that “we don’t need to define by what has happened in the past”
“The outside media, precisely being Eurocentric – because that’s what FIFA has been since they’ve only had one leader from outside Europe and they’ve been crafting in highlighting that – what we need to do is become pro-Caribbean, rather than pro-UEFA, it doesn’t mean we are anti-anyone, but it means that we (Caribbean people) understand our true value in this global game of football” Nakhid said.
FIFA has confirmed that they are investigating whether a member of soon-to-be-departed President Sepp Blatter’s staff wrote a dossier on Platini with the intention of discrediting him.
Platini once was one of Blatter’s closest confidants, but their relationship has soured to the point where UEFA now alleges that Blatter’s office initiated a smear campaign against him.
“Only yesterday, the Washington Post had an article about Platini being tainted and as we go on, all of them in the past might possibly be implicated in something and we’re saying, take someone from outside of that Football circle, that dominated FIFA and the confederation and then we have someone who comes from a position of integrity and development because we have none in the Caribbean” said FIFA Presidential hopeful said.
“I played on the same fields when I’m home in Trinidad and Tobago, that I played on 25 – 30 years ago. No matter how hard Clinton (Urling) and his committee are trying to change things, you need fields/infrastructure for players development to happen, that’s what we need a Caribbean person there to push the interest of our people at FIFA” Nakhid noted.