Football clubs in Barbados scored a major win last night when they voted 37-2 in favour of the nomination process for the Barbados Football Association’s (BFA) elections being restarted and hence a rescheduling of the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
During an emergency meeting held around 7 p.m. yesterday at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, the BFA board led by president Randy Harris and representatives for the concerned clubs agreed to put off this Sunday, August 9 AGM which was scheduled also for the Gymnasium.
Instead, the AGM and election will now take place on Sunday, September 6 while the deadline for nominations is Thursday, August 20.
Another positive from yesterday’s meeting was that both the BFA executives and the clubs put forward proposals for an independent body to oversee the entire election process. This is another victory for the clubs who have been pleading with the BFA to have this in place.
Former BFA council member and one of the founding members of Pride of Gall Hill Terry Sealy who is one of the spokespersons for the clubs was satisfied with how the meeting went. He explained that not only have the clubs been given sufficient time to hand in their nomination forms, but they also have a two-week grace period to canvas leading up to the big day in September.
A former national player, Sealy also thanked the clubs for coming out at such short notice. He added that last night’s meeting showed some deficiencies where the BFA executives were concerned and said that change was needed.
“Young Rasheed Belgrave and Omari Eastmond really put forward the case of what really went wrong, so that really helped top it off. The clubs who were present realised that what we are fighting is for football. We all were satisfied with the new dates, we understood the time frame. There is a lot going on that has to be done after the post-COVID, so we have to get cracking.
“I would really like to thank the clubs for coming out at such short notice. But the clubs understand how important it was to the future of football and they really came out. I really want to tell them thanks again for coming out,” Sealy said.
He added: “We now have to look forward to the election and it is definitely on the card that there must be changes on the make-up of the council. The evidence there last night showed the weakness in some of the members of the executive.”
Sealy said he wanted to see new and young blood on the BFA executive going forward. He emphasised that this was all about the future and asked the clubs to stay the course.
“I think honestly it is time for us to start to look to the future. We need to look at building and exposing some new people on to the executive who can make a significant contribution and who I think can be great assets to the president if he is re-elected. But there must be some changes at the football association, definitely.
“We the clubs must continue to send that strong message that we are not going to accept mediocrity in the organisation. We can not afford it, we had too much slackness over the last six or seven years, mistakes after mistakes and we need to correct that. We can’t allow people to sit in positions and make mistakes after mistakes,” he explained.
According to Sealy, this is not the first time a situation like this has occurred where the clubs were unhappy about the election process. He said president Harris was also surprised to find out the same thing had happened four years ago.
Sealy noted that those in positions and who were responsible for the recent problems that had transpired should do the right thing and resign.
“So, obviously, I believe some people in their positions should know the decent thing to do at this time. We cannot allow this to happen no more and this is at the local level. God knows how many mistakes we will continue to make at the international level. We would have made one two years ago which cost us again and we can’t accept this anymore, we would not be accepting this anymore. I just hope that some people know they must do the decent thing and they know what they have to do. Don’t let it come to the general body,” he said.
Sealy also thanked the new Minister of Sport, Dwight Sutherland, for his intervention in the matter. He said: “I want to thank the new minister of sports for meeting with us so early in his new portfolio and making sure that the clubs and associations, the executive work together and come up with a decision that would be in the best interest of the sport. So, I really want to give kudos to the new minister of sports and I hope he will continue to really be there to champion the cause for sport in Barbados.”
Harris was happy with how the meeting went and acknowledged that it was very respectful. “The meeting was very respectful, we had no problems. It was not a cantankerous meeting, we were civil and everything went well,” he said.