October 29, 2012 – Kingston, JAMAICA: It’s the dawning of a new day for the Caribbean Football Union as new vistas are being shaped for women’s football in the Caribbean. Gordon Derrick, President of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) in his efforts to take the game to another level announced the introduction of an all-woman Women’s Football Committee consisting of eleven members drawn from eleven countries affiliated to the CFU.

According to Derrick, “it takes revolutionary thinkers who are bold enough to appoint a Women’s Committee such as this…the first of its kind to consist of all females. I am just elated that we have been able to find capable women in the region who can be given a fair opportunity to make a contribution to the development of football among girls and women.”

This Committee is the first of its kind in the history of football where Women Football at a regional or international level is being guided by all women and both the CFU President and the Committee Chairperson, Mrs Sonia Bien-Aime (Turks & Caicos Islands) agree that there is lots of work to be done to promote and develop women’s football in the region; but they are convinced that with support from all stakeholders, progress will be evident in the not too distant future.

There is representation from across the four languages (i.e. English, Dutch, French & Spanish) of the CFU and from the varied women’s football development levels within the region, thereby strengthening the richness of the Committee and making it truly reflective of the CFU.

In accepting the appointment, Bien-Amie who is also a CFU Executive Committee Members underscored the historic nature of the appointment and the composition of the Committee. She said, “I have accepted this position with great enthusiasm. It will be my privilege to serve as Chairman on this Committee with a great panel of women that endeavours to make an incredible impact on Women’s Football in the region.

In addition to Bien-Aime, the other members are Diana Claxton-Carty (Anguilla), Sharleen Hengeveld (Aruba), Gwendolyn Salmon (Antigua & Barbuda), Elaine Walker-Brown (Jamaica), Monique Andre (Haiti), Ana Rabell (Puerto Rico), Jinelle James (Trinidad & Tobago), Chantal Bird (USVI), Bernadine Andrew (Grenada), and Shequita Parson (Bermuda) while the CFU General Secretariat will serve as the Secretary of the Committee.
All committee members will be appointed for a period of 4 years and are all actively involved in football at the local and National level, possess sufficient level of footballing knowledge, Laws of the Game, and are expertise at women’s football development.

The goal of the Committee will be to advise the Executive Committee of the Union by undertaking financial planning and oversight responsibilities by monitoring, reviewing and providing advisory functions in the areas of budget and finances. The Committee will exchange views on current women’s football topics, in particular, the CFU women’s competitions and the CFU Women’s Calendar, including coordination with CONCACAF and FIFA competitions. Draft recommendations regarding possible modifications to the existing competitions and the regulations governing these competitions, as well as on the implementation of development programmes for women’s football.

It will also assist in the process of selecting the host association(s) for the final round of the CFU Women’s U-17 Championship, CFU Women’s U-19 Championship and any other women’s competitions that the CFU may create and conduct a cost benefit analysis and report to the CFU ExCo on the establishment of CFU Senior Women’s Competitions.

The committee will assist with the programme content for women’s football conferences and courses, monitor the CFU Women’s tournaments that serve as qualification tournaments for CONCACAF and FIFA tournaments as well as assisting in defining the draw principles and monitor the preparation and conducting of draws, make recommendations on the CFU calendar, including proposals for the coordination of CONCACAF and FIFA national teams competitions and help in drawing up and implementing girls’ and women’s football development strategies and programmes.

The Committee has the Jurisdiction to make any recommendations with respect to the development of referees within the Caribbean region, and source an annual budget which will be presented to the CFU Executive committee for approval