The re-elected president of Yei Local Football Association John James Wani has pledged to work closely with football clubs and sports officials to strengthen the sport in the county.
John James was re-elected on November 24th this month after his four year-term as association president expired.
He said the association will strive to strengthen the capacity of coaches and referees.
(Above, centre) John James Wani, the re-elected president of Yei Local Football Association, standing with referees at Yei Freedom Square playground in November.
“If we get strong members to work in the association, Yei football association will fulfill its mission,” said James Wani, who is now starting his second term. “We will work together. We will always talk to each other to do our work.”
James Wani was contesting against Wilson Ali Elijah. He won 18 votes against his opponent who got eight (8) votes.
James Wani had been facing criticism from players and coaches who had long disagreed on his work, citing the premature end of leagues, few tournaments for under-17 and slow response by the association to challenges faced by clubs.
The clubs and James Wani reconciled in a meeting held mid-November, witnessed by state officials from the ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and officials fromYei River County.
Clubs and officials identified that overloading in activities triggered slow run in activities.
“In my previous term, I was doing most things alone because I was alone in the office,” he told TCT after his election. “I want to thank all the clubs that showed their trust by voting for me,” he said.
James Wani said his priority is to establish a strong board of directors from all clubs, which including members from both first and second division clubs, to make up a team of fourteen members.
He has been credited with uplifting the standards of football in Yei, resulting to establishment of Lainya and Maridi football associations.
While outlining his priorities, James Wani expressed readiness to look for funds for local football leagues, namely, Premier, Champions and South Sudan Cup.
Speaking to TCT, Stephen Lado Onesimo, State minister for Culture, Youth and Sports, said the government will continue to hold regular meetings with associations and clubs in order to strengthen them.
Yei Football Association has twenty football clubs for boys, with eight teams in the first division league and 12 in the second division league.