The non-selection of three players and the elimination of one senior player from the Barbados team for the upcoming Chess Olympiad in Batumi Georgia, from September 23 to October 6, 2018, is now heading for arbitration.
Barbados TODAY was reliably informed that members of the Barbados Chess Federation met sometime last night, and the majority of the membership present voted that a motion be passed for the matter to go before the arbitration commission of the Barbados Olympic Association.
This situation stemmed from Azaria Johnson of Harrison College and Kiarra Eversley from Queen’s College along with Kemp Lynch who was part of the 2016 Barbados Olympiad Chess Team, which put in the best performance by a Bajan team in the country’s 30-year history of the games, not being selected for this year’s Olympiad.
In addition, senior national player Terry Farley who is said to be the spokesman for the group of aggrieved players was selected and then cut from the team without any explanation given.
The source said: “There was a discussion [last night] where members queried some of the processes that would have occurred with the issue. You had some of the players highlighting why they believe they should have been given the opportunity to be selected. Those players would have been Kiara Eversley, Kemp Lynch and Justin Blackman. So, it was an open forum where persons queried: ‘how did we get to this point?’ Members queried the facts and then the president [Alan Herbert] sought to give an overview of things that would have transpired.
“One thing he kept saying was once the information leaves the selection committee that they go ahead and ratify, it’s a process. In other words, they don’t question the selection committee, they are bound by the selection committee and they cannot divulge the deliberations of the selection committee because it’s supposed to be confidential.
“There was also legal counsel present yesterday and he [legal counsel] indicated that now that the matter has gone over to arbitration, basically, the federation and the concerned group of players have now given up their right to deal with the issue and now it is in the hands of the arbitration panel. So both parties involved now must abide by the decision of the arbitration panel. There was mixed emotion, but it seems most of the people who attended [the meeting] seemed happy that the matter has gone to arbitration.”
Since time is of the essence with July 23 being the first registration date for teams for the 43rd Olympiad, the matter will have to be dealt with the utmost urgency.
If the local federation does not submit a team by the aforementioned date, Barbados TODAY understands that the organizers can enforce a penalty. But once BCF president Allan Herbert writes to the organizing committee explaining the situation, then a waiver can be made.
Herbert said it was regrettable that the matter had reached this stage and if it wasn’t settled by the first registration deadline, there was nothing he or the BCF could do because the team had already been chosen by the selection committee.
“The team has already been picked. So unless the arbitration commission comes back and finds a basis upon which the federation can legally without infringing on anyone’s rights, unselect the team, we have to sumbit [register] the team that has been duly selected. I think that would be the expectation. But otherwise, how else would we make the registration deadline?” Herbert said.
Barbados Olympic Association general manager, Glyne Clarke, who was also present during the meeting said he understands the urgency of the matter. In his explanation of how the arbitration process will work, Clarke said: “The two parties will have to agree that the decision of the arbitration commission will be final. And once they agree to that then the arbitration commission will go ahead and make a ruling based on evidence and information provided.”
Clarke added that the arbitration panel was made of up five individuals and any three could form a quorum, but it should not take more than a day for the commission to make a final ruling.