First Vice-President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SCGFF), Lloyd Small had resigned.
The resignation on Tuesday comes ahead of the Federation’s general meeting this Saturday, which was postponed from last week Saturday as SVGFF president, Venold Coombs, and some members of the Federation met with the Federation’s auditors.
Small, in his resignation letter, gave General Secretary of the Federation, Trevor Huggins, some advise and 21 reasons for his decision.
“False friend is one who you cannot depend on,” he said, adding, “I also take this opportunity to remind you to attend your tasks with courage and conviction in [the] best interest of the sport.”
Number one on Small’s list of reasons for resigning his position was “the persistent disregard for the governance structure and mechanism, as outlined in the constitution of the SVGFF”.
He said he has been examining for several weeks “the way that the game of football has been administered” by the Executive.
“Having taken a thorough look at the performance of the Executive Committee and the current state of the game, I therefore tender my resignation with immediate effect…” Small said and gave his 21 reasons.
Among the reasons, he spoke of “micro-management by the President”, which he said, is affecting the practice of good corporate governance at the SVGFF’s Secretariat”.
Small also mentioned the establishment of a cash savings account at the St. Vincent Corporate Bank Ltd. “without a resolution taken by the Executive Committee, and without proper knowledge and approval of the majority of its members”.
Coombs told I-Witness News recently that he decided to establish the account in order to facilitate the receipt of fund from world football governing body, FIFA.
The football chief said the decision was taken since the Federation owes other commercial banks here and others yet were claiming that the Federation owes them.
Those commercial banks, he said, would have seized any monies coming the Federation’s accounts.
Small also said he resigned because of “the lack of documentation supporting disbursements” of $95,205 from the Federation’s account at St. Vincent Co-operative Bank.
He spoke of “the arrogant and blatant disregard, for several months now, by a member of our Executive Committee, to provide the Auditors with the relevant documentations” as part of audit procedure, in keeping with international standards for auditing.
He said the resignation was also premised on the “misappropriation of funds” specifically earmarked for “grassroots development” but used to send the nation’s Under-15 football squad to the Cayman Island to participate tin the CONCACAF U-15 championship.
He further said that FIFA’s Financial Assistance Programme (FAP) funds were misappropriated when they were used to buy airline tickets for persons to travel on non-related football activities and to provide “medical and welfare assistance to every ‘Dick-and-Harry’ who may visit the Secretariat from tome to time”.
Small said the leadership of the Federation rampantly violated FAP regulations and that there was non-return of per diems paid to some Executive members who did not leave the country to attend event on behalf of the SVGFF.
He said a laptop computer was purchased for a member of the Executive without the knowledge and approval of the majority of members of the Executive.
Monthly or quarterly financial statements were not presented at meeting of the federation’s Executive and there was non-disclosure of legal matters concerning or involving the Federation, Small said.
He further said there was disregard for the “ad hoc” committee setup by the Executive to advise and recommend on the most suitable real estate (land or building) to house the secretariat.
He said there were “dogmatic breaches” of FIFA’s Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct by a member of the Executive.
Small also said he decided to resign because of the “non-commitment by a leading figure in the Executive” to implement “the Arnos Vale Declaration”, signed in April 2012 between FIFA and the Federation, which deals with the administration of football clubs in the county.
There is lack of accountability of all equipment and materials procured or received from FIFA for training courses organised by the Federation, Lloyd further said.
Additionally, there is a lack of financial controls surrounding gate receipts at football games organised by the Federation, and the operations of bars at those games.
He said a loan was recently negotiated with CONCACAF without the prior knowledge and approval of the Federation’s Executive and that some individuals associated with the Federation are accused of match-fixing.
“The administration of the sport is laced with nepotism and a check list of conflicts of interest,” Small said.
“Some members of the Executive have compromised their principles positions in exchange of favours and monthly stipend paid to them,” Small said.
“Based on the foregoing reasons, it has become untenable for me to continue to be a member of the Executive Committee of the SVGFF, as it 1st Vice-President,” Small said.
“I will continue to give my unreserved support and contribute to the lovely game known as ‘Association Football’,” he further sated.
Meanwhile, Coombs, speaking on radio Saturday night apologised for the annual meeting not taking place a planned.
He said this was not the fault of the Federation.
“You have delays in regards to audited statements,” he said, but added the Federation has received drafts copies of the audited statements for 2011 and 2012.
The general meeting should have taken place since October 2012 and Coombs said that any misgivings about management of the Federation’s finances will be answered at this Saturday’s meeting.
The Coombs-led executive came to office on Sept. 24, 2011.