Digicel congratulates ICC U-19 World Cup championsPeople usually remember the extraordinary ones – the hard workers and inventors, the movers and shakers. But most of all, they remember the history-makers.Digicel congratulates the members of the West Indies Under-19 cricket team, who have now joined the ranks of the history-makers with their outstanding performance at the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.For the past few weeks, the entire region has been focused on the team’s progress throughout the tournament, and its momentous performance has indeed been a source of inspiration and motivation for everyone.In our support for youth and sport development, we constantly repeat the mantra, ‘from grassroots to greatness’, to encourage our young athletes to aim for the highest in all their pursuits. We are sure that this achievement by the team will also serve as encouragement for Caribbean youth who aspire to cricket beyond national borders.On that note, we also extend the heartiest of commendations to our local players Michael Frew, Shahid Crooks and Odean Smith for their outstanding performance, while representing Jamaica. We are especially delighted to see the growth and development of Michael Frew, who was a member of the winning team in the Digicel/ISSA T20 Tournament last year.The success of the team has no doubt set the stage for the exciting 2016 Caribbean Premier League season, which is fast-approaching. This accomplishment has helped to create renewed passion and pride in the sport for Caribbean people and promises a bright future ahead for West Indies cricket.
Jerome Champagne 1 Jerome Champagne has announced his decision to run for the FIFA presidency, saying the events of recent months have renewed his determination.The Frenchman tried to run against suspended incumbent Sepp Blatter at the last election in May, but was not nominated.However, after the recent collapse of FIFA’s structure – which has seen Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini suspended pending an investigation into a £1.35million payment to Platini – Champagne has put himself back in the running.His announcement comes ahead of Monday’s deadline for the February 26 vote and he joins Platini (subject to his suspension being lifted prior to February’s vote), Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, former Trinidad and Tobago player David Nakhid and Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman al-Khalifa in standing.In a statement released on his website, former diplomat Champagne said the corruption scandal that has engulfed FIFA helped him decide to run.He wrote: “At a time when FIFA, our FIFA, needs more than ever an open debate about its future, its reform and the reform of football, we are witnessing the first months of the electoral campaign being dominated by controversy and deals made behind closed doors.”Champagne has also called for all candidates to take part in a series of televised debates and says he will commit to achieving eight goals over the next four years, if elected.The goals include: “Continuing what has been done well over the past 40 years”, “applying the highest standard of transparency and ethics” and “modernising the FIFA administration”.To aid those goals, Champagne adds in his seven-page manifesto that he would publish the salaries and benefits of FIFA executives in an annual report.Champagne has worked for FIFA before, serving the governing body between 1999 and 2010. He worked as an advisor to Blatter from 1999 to 2002 before holding the positions of deputy secretary general, delegate of the president and director of international relations.Since leaving the governing body he has occupied a number of advisory roles with various football federations and clubs.His announcement comes on the day footballers’ union FIFPro published four “vital criteria” it believes the next FIFA president must meet if the game’s governing body is to repair its reputation.The global body has said Blatter’s replacement must meet certain standards if football is to “climb out of the toxic pit which continues to produce serious accusations of corrupt behaviour on almost a daily basis”.FIFPro said the new FIFA president must have a proven capacity to drive reform of a democratic and politically complex global body; a governance record; a human rights record; and an understanding of the game as a sport and business.Salman’s potential candidacy would not be without controversy, given a number of questions he faces about human rights abuses in his native Bahrain, specifically related to the pro-democracy uprising in 2011. Salman has denied the allegations.FIFPro’s statement said the new FIFA president must be able to show “a body of work based on social wellbeing, fairness, democratic values on human rights”.“The future leader of FIFA has to be a proven reformer, an impeccable figure who passes the most stringent integrity tests (underpinned by the highest standards of ethical behaviour and honesty), carried out independently, possibly by more than one external body,” the statement said.