It appears the Barbados Football Association (BFA) has given in to the requests of concerned football clubs who have been asking for the nomination process for the upcoming Annual General Meeting to be restarted.
After weeks of speculation and rumblings from a number of clubs on the island, a total of 24 registered clubs signed a petition which was delivered yesterday morning to the BFA’s office in Wildey, St. Michael.
Recently on the programme Penalty Spot hosted on Starcom Network, the BFA president Randy Harris stated that the clubs needed only 13 signatures to call for an extraordinary general meeting. Therefore the clubs have more than adequately surpassed that requirement.
This petition was signed by representatives of clubs who have publicly expressed their dissatisfaction with how the election process slated for this Sunday, August 9, is being handled.
The two main contentions the clubs are concerned about relate to the BFA general secretary Edwyn Wood having total control over allocating nomination forms and on many occasions not being available to do so. Additionally, the clubs believe that it is unreasonable to have council members who themselves are candidates determining whose nomination forms were valid or invalid. The clubs have stated that this is a clear case of a conflict of interest.
The BFA board met last night and it would appear that they decided to listen to those concerned clubs and have invited them to a meeting tomorrow, Thursday, August 6 at 7 p.m. at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
The letter signed by BFA general secretary Wood and sent to the clubs for tomorrow’s meeting said: “The purpose of this meeting is to address concerns raised by some clubs regarding the nomination process for the upcoming Annual General Meeting and seek to bring clarity to the situation.”
While this meeting has been called and will take place over the next 24-hours, the clubs believe it is a form of disrespect to give such short notice.
Former national player and BFA council member Terry Sealy has been one of those persons that have voiced concerns over how the nomination process is being handled.
Sealy and several other representatives from various clubs have been appealing to the BFA for weeks to start over the nominations. They made this request based on a couple of irregularities and ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, Sealy said the clubs’ position on the matter still stands.
“At this eleventh hour, we cannot guarantee how many clubs would be able to attend the meeting because people are only being notified today. But we will make every effort to attend but our position is the same. We will go and hear what the association has to say but we are not getting into any robust debate. Basically, it is up to the association about the way forward.
“We are not coming to the meeting looking to move any resolution, any motions to take any votes. We are just coming to a meeting to hear the association’s side and if they have any questions, see if we can answer them. But basically, this is our position as we have outlined in our letter, what we are looking for and what we would like done,” Sealy said.
He added: “We are willing to work with the association. We don’t want any problems going into the AGM, so that is the whole reason behind it. We don’t want an AGM that is full of controversy. So, that is why we are asking the association to put the meeting off and start the process all over again and that would be the most sensible thing to do.”
In addition, there are two outstanding letters addressed to the BFA from lawyers which according to Sealy have so far gone unanswered. He said: “You cannot go into the AGM with two letters before the association from lawyers pertaining to the AGM, and the BFA has not replied yet to those letters. So, how can you even think about going forward with the AGM without replying to the attorneys? Those are serious matters.”