Football boss ‘more important than premier’

| 21/02/2014

(CNS): The president of the Chamber of Commerce said that, as president of CONCACAF, Jeffery Webb is arguably in a more important job than the sports minister or the premier and if he were them he would be sitting down with the football boss and asking him what they should do about sport. During the much anticipated panel debate on the impact of sport on youth, education and crime, Johan Moxam said the government needed to do more to invest in sports, but he felt that the corporate community was already picking up too much of the tab – a point which his panel colleagues all disagreed.

The importance of sports to everyone had been highlighted during the conference when it was revealed that recent tournaments and conferences hosted by CONCACAF that had taken place in Cayman had generated more than $5 million dollars for the local economy.

Slough Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden was absent from the panel on the day, Colin Anglin, the director of sports, was left to defend government’s record on its investment, management and polices regarding sports. He pointed out that although there are a number of corporate sponsors that are fantastic supporters of many local sports, it was still only a limited number of businesses and many others are not involved at all.

Jeffery Webb, who is president of CIFA as well as being president of CONCACAF and vice president of FIFA, said if he were president of the Chamber he might have said what Moxam did. However, he said, while some corporate citizens were doing a great job, many others were hiding behind those that do give. But Webb’s main concern about the state of sport in Cayman was the lack of leadership and organisation to coordinate and drive programmes, especially at the grass roots.

Grizz Adams from the local rugby union agreed with Webb about the need for leadership and for much more clarity regarding grants and coordination of all the schools, as well as using the facilities more effectively.

Adams described how the soles on students’ running shoes melt on the asphalt that they are expected to play on at John Gray High School and lamented the lack of resources to pay for a bus to bring the students to his field so they could play there.

Tackling the myriad issues, Webb acknowledged that things in Cayman had improved over the years since his discussions back in the 1980s with ministers who told him that spending money on sport was a waste of money. He said things began to change when McKeeva Bush was sports minister and he began investing in facilities, which has continued ever since but a lot of work and investment was still needed.

Anglin promised that things were improving with the creation of a national sports policy and the key goal for his department was to now implement that policy.

Category: Sports

Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Is Johann really the President of the Chamber of Commerce? How did he come to the conclusion that the corporate sector was picking up too much of the sports tab? In one breath he says that government needs to cut spending and in the next he says government must spend more on sports. If he really understood the private sector that he figuratively leads, he should know that ALL of the money they give to sport is done VOLUNTARILY.

  2. 4Cayman says:

    When since the cc president  role became a spring board  to enter the political arena? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously you do not know the history of the chamber and some of the previous presidents

  3. Anonymous says:

    there are hundreds of people in cayman more capable than any of the mla's……unfortunatly they are not allowed to run for election…or even vote……

    welcome to wonderland

  4. Keep it simple stupid says:

    If Grizz Adams was in charge we could make a change!  He and Moxam were spot-on…and Govt dragged it's feet and made the same old excuses.  Moxam did not say he thought the private sector already did too much, he SAID there were some great companies that did a lot, an awful lot!….and Mr Webb agreed there should be tax benenfits or some kind of benefit beyond the feel good factor to aiding sports in the community. 

    Our problem is Govt red tape and everyone being involved with all of our at-risk youth.  Grizz pointed out he was raised in a youth home and overcame his at-risk youth through sports.  It does take a village and we have the willing people to make the changes.  We need a comprehensive PLAN not more rhetoric from Govt.  All panel members seemed to agree that LEADERSHIP WAS LACKING.

    I loved it when the Govt sports rep said he was going to "Call a meeting" in MAY 2014 to "discuss" opening up the private – public schools to integrate in sports leagues….and Grizz called BS!  Just DO it.  Better than a Nike commercial I tell ya!  There were cheers of hear, hear!!

    Great panel discussion.  Visibly missed (shameful) were Govt reps who could actually make a difference. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    How disrespectful of the Chamber President! Even if  he doesn't personally like the Premier, respect is due. Mr. McLaughlin is Premier of a nation. A small one, but a nation all the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, he is not the Premier of a nation. He is the Premier of a colony with a fancy name of Overseas Territory. A nation would be in charge of its own destiny, dependent or independent. We talk a good talk, but do not have a national vision or outlook. When we mature to the point of having a national identity, culture and vision, then we can talk about being a nation.

      And, Moxam was correct. Premier or not, he is not as powerful or as important to the Cayman Islands as Webb, but you are correct, and Moxam should not have said it. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Moxam qualified every statement as his personal opinions not the views of the Chamber.

      • Anonymous says:

        He was only there because he was representing the Chamber. If he had only his personal views to present he should not have come.

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      umm – actually,no.  Not a nation.  A territory. 

    • Anonymous says:

      He is right though.  A senior position in FIFA is much more important than being effectively the Mayor of a small town.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am proud of Jeff and all that jazz, but I do not agree that Cayman should spend or invest anymore in sports. Sorry, just do not agree with that. Too many millions already spent. Music, art, theatre? Perhaps? Cater to all not some….just my honest opinion.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Johan was very candid and logical whilst clearly understanding the pressures corporate Cayman is facing. His honesty was refreshing and represents some hope for the future leadership of  your country. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Honesty gets you nowhere in Cayman. People just want to hear what they want to hear: Caymanians are great; the expats are taking your jobs; we're a Christian nation with Christian values; corporate Cayman doesn't do enough; we don't need expats to be wealthy nation; we were fine before the expats came and we'll be fine if we make them leave; etc. etc.  Johann Moxam is, unfortunately, a traitor in the eyes of many Caymanians, who would crucify him for saying the truth when the lies of other politicians are so much more conforting to a very fragile national self-esteem. 

      Refreshing yes, but Johann is an endangered species that probably sealed the fate of his political aspirations with what he said at the conference. And that is truly sad.

  8. Anonymous says:

    He said potentially Jeff Webb becoming the President of FIFA is a more powerful and important job than being Minister of Sports or Premier of Cayman. Given the global significance of the role Mr. Moxam is 100% correct.

    • Actually says:

      So when is Jeff Webb going to balance Govts budget, lower the cost of living and fix unemployment? Johann is simply supporting his old UDP cronies and using his new position to help the UDP regain power.

    • Anonymous says:

      What Johan has said might have some merit but he does not need to be stirring the $hit in this manner.

      He could also be accused of a certain amount of bias, being the son of Cayman's greatest-ever footballer, Renard Moxam and himself, a former player.

      I played for his father and with him and football's connection to Jeffrey Webb in Cayman is an unbreakable link that can bear much fruit now that Webb is a powerful position to do a lot but…

      Johan does not need to aleniate Alden McLaughlin or make him an enemy…that serves no useful purpose and puts Webb in a very precarious position, especially when he needs the Government's support in using football to its best advantages.

      Johan needs to learn to zip it when he has nothing positive to say.