The ABFA is in receipt of a letter dated the 5th March 2013 and received by fax at our offices on the evening of Thursday 7th March 2013 from the World Governing Body of Football (FIFA) indicating its decision relating to the Antigua & Barbuda Football Association Executive Committee elections.
This letter, allegedly, stems from a written complaint made by the Hon Paul ”Chet” Greene and the Hon. Asot Michael to FIFA on their club’s (Parham FC) behalf which we understand allegedly states their discontent with the procedures leading up to and the conduct of the recently held ABFA elections which took place on the 20th December 2012.
FIFA wrote to the ABFA indicating that they had received the complaint from Senator Chet Greene and MP Asot Michael coupled with certain newspaper articles from the Daily Observer, Caribarena and AIM which spoke to apparent misconduct of the 20th December 2012 elections. They requested from the ABFA a copy of the minutes of the said election and a copy of the ABFA’s constitution. This was supplied immediately to them.
Following this, the ABFA then received further correspondence from FIFA indicating that two gentlemen, Mr. Marco Leal and Mr. Samir Gandhi will be making a courtesy visit to the ABFA to meet with the Executive Committee to discuss the state of football in Antigua and Barbuda, a courtesy visit to the Minster of Sport and to meet with the allegedly aggrieved individuals mentioned in the Parham FC letter. This they did.
During the meeting with the ABFA it was asked specifically to the gentlemen if they were conducting an investigation to which they categorically indicated NO but simply gathering information to see if there was any merit to the complaint of Hon. Asot Michael and Hon. Chet Greene. At this point President Gonsalves requested sight of the said complaint issued to CONCACAF and FIFA by Chet Greene and Asot Michael. Up until this writing, the ABFA Executive Committee has not received a copy of this complaint despite also seeking the same through a written request.
It is therefore with absolute shock and amazement that we read in the FIFA correspondence that the elections for the ABFA Executive Committee must be re-organized as a result of six (6) unsubstantiated allegations. The re-organization shall be as follows:-
- The electoral process shall be conducted under the strict supervision/auspice of a three person independent electoral committee appointed by FIFA;
- Such electoral process, “election”, shall be concluded by 15th April 2013;
- The decisions of the independent electoral committee shall be considered as final and binding;
- FIFA and CONCACAF will closely monitor the re-organization of the ABFA electoral process.
The ABFA Executive Committee shall immediately appeal this decision and/or seek further clarification on the implementation of this re-organization process as we are of the strong opinion that the constitution of the ABFA was completely adhered to and that the competent and supreme legislative body, which is the congress, of the ABFA decided on the conduct and result of the 20th December 2012 elections.
The ABFA Executive Committee regards this as a serious matter which, from the face of it, does not preserve the principles of democracy, due process, political neutrality and integrity.