Friday 13 October 2023, 23:00

Gianni Infantino praises Turks & Caicos Islands FA at inaugural Awards Gala

  • Turks & Caicos Islands Football Association (TCIFA) held their inaugural Football Awards Gala to raise funds for youth development

  • FIFA President addressed the attendees via video message

  • Gianni Infantino became the first FIFA President to visit the archipelago in 2018

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has congratulated the Turks & Caicos Islands Football Association on hosting their inaugural Football Awards Gala, and praised TCIFA President Sonia Fulford and her team for their work in developing football in the archipelago.

The TCIFA held the event to recognise and honour their outstanding stakeholders on and off the field. All funds generated from the sold-out event, which counted President of Concacaf and FIFA Vice-President, Victor Montagliani, former Arsenal vice-president David Dein, and ex-Manchester United and England striker Andrew Cole as special guests, will be reinvested into youth development and national programmes.

In a video address shown during the ceremony at the Shore Club Ball Room on Friday 13 October, Mr Infantino congratulated the award recipients and acknowledged the progress and football development that has been made in the region.

“I would like to congratulate all the award winners, players, coaches, referees, football officials, fans, stakeholders for all what you do for our beautiful sport in the beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands,” said the FIFA President. “The Awards Gala is a fantastic initiative from the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association, especially as the funds generated will be reinvested in youth development and national programmes – an example for everyone to follow.”

The Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association became a full member of Concacaf in 1996 and a member of FIFA two years later. The men’s national team have entered qualification for every FIFA World Cup™ since the 2002 edition, claiming their first qualification victory in a match against Saint Lucia in 2008.

Mr Infantino became the first FIFA President to visit Turks & Caicos Islands when he met with football officials and locals during an official trip to the archipelago five years ago.

“I had the great pleasure of becoming the first FIFA President to visit your beautiful islands in 2018 and I know that since then, great progress has been made, thanks to the great work done by [President] Sonia [Fulford] and her team at the federation,” said Mr Infantino. “The national teams are more active than ever before thanks also to the creation of more competitions at the regional level, and I have great admiration for the effort you have made in developing football at youth level.”

All the award winners

Match Official of the Year: Mackey Julessaint Match Commissioner of the Year: Damona Taylor Employee of the Year: Candia Ewing  Youth Player of the Year (Male): Kristen Howell Youth Player of the Year (Female): Rosario Talbot Coach of the Year (Male): Aaron Lawrence  Coach of the Year (Female): Dr. Yunelsis Rodriguez Baez Female Player of the Year: Chenille Butterfield Male Player of the Year: Billy Forbes Special Award: Bengt Soderquist