June 6, 2014
Coombs facing internal pressure from executive

Embattled president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation Venold Coombs, who has been facing pressure from the sport’s world governing body FIFA, was set to answer his executive members last night at the organisation’s weekly conclave at the Federation’s office on Bentick Square.{{more}}

Expected was a vote on his leadership, tabled by first vice-president Kenton “Biter” Ollivierre.

The vote of confidence was initiated by Ollivierre in a letter dated Monday, June 2, addressed to general secretary of the SVGFF Trevor Huggins and copied to Coombs.

In calling for a special meeting of the executive, Ollivierre demanded “an executive vote of confidence in an up or down in the leadership to lead to a rescue effort both nationally and with FIFA.”

Ollivierre’s stance came following expression of FIFA’s discontent with the handling of the SVGFF’s finances, as stated in the 2012 and 2013 audited reports.

Among the irregularities listed by FIFA’s general secretary Jerome Valcke, are the transfers of monies from accounts of the SVGFF and the failure to respect the obligations of the budget and disbursing amounts of money without FIFA’s approval.

“The concerns of FIFA are legitimate and must be taken seriously with much concern and diligence…My overwhelming concern rests solely with the clear mandate from the last general meeting which expected us to put these matters to rest,” Ollivierre stated in his letter.

He continued: “Mindful that the extenuating circumstances to fix something that is broken is an arduous task, yet I am led to conclude that the failure to address issues surrounding the 2012 and 2013 audit reports in an efficacious manner supports a clear charge of dereliction of duty”.

Ollivierre, who was installed on January 11 this year, following the resignation of Lloyd Small, in unreservedly declaring his impression of the present impasse wrote: “Further, I am wary that the confidence level in the management of the association [is] at all-time low, further appeals to the general membership for patience may bring the organization into further disrepute.”

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday, Ollivierre agreed that the current happenings warranted such internal evaluation.

“Whether they want to vote yes or they want to vote no, so be it…. But I want to make myself clear to the membership of football,” Ollivierre told SEARCHLIGHT.

Ollivierre confirmed that he was not the architect of the moves outside of the executive to unseat Coombs.

“I am not a political animal so I wouldn’t send out such correspondence to all the affiliates, as if I am garnering support from anyone of them in that regard …. What I have done, though, is called them, let me say I have called most of them to get a feel of their position on the issue, so I would vote accordingly,” Olliverre said.

Support for such inside assessment also came from third vice- president Elroy Boucher, who told SEARCHLIGHT that two previous efforts to have the SVGFF redress its financial dealings have failed, hence it was a neccesity to look inwards.

“Whatever the outcome, we will have to deal with it,” Boucher contended.

Meanwhile, Ollivierre does not fully embrace the possibility of taking over the presidency in light of the present state of affairs.

“Anyone would be glad to be president, not given the current circumstances; it is not one that I would have liked, but based on the constitution, if a vote of no confidence against the president is to go through, then I think I would have to act in the capacity and then take it to the membership for ratification and we will move swiftly as possible to hold elections for a president or an entire executive,” Ollivierre proposed.

Reports are that if the internal vote against Coombs fails, mobilising affiliates to do the same will be option number two.

Coombs was voted into office in September, 2011.(RT)