President of the SVG Football Federation, Venold Coombs, says he is not aware of a call by First Vice-President, Kenton Olliverre for a vote of confidence “up or down” in the executive.
Ollivierre, in a communication with General Secretary of the SVGFF Trevor Huggins this week, called for “An executive vote of confidence in an up or down vote in the leadership to lead a rescue effort both nationally and with FIFA”.
“I am not aware of that,” Coombs told I-Witness News on Wednesday, adding that while he and Ollivierre spoke that day, they did not discuss any such issue.
“The point is, we talk from time to time and we talk quite a lot of things other than football. During the course of the discussion, you will have discussion about a whole range of things,” he said.
Sources familiar with the workings of the Football Federation told I-Witness News that the confidence vote will be on the agenda when the executive meets today — Thursday.
“We normally meet on a regular basis on Thursdays,” Coombs, however, said, adding that today’s meeting is a regular one, but the agenda had not been finalised.
In his communication with Huggins, Ollivere said there have been media stories that implicate the executive “in financial and administrative mismanagement”.
He said these “revelations” pre-dates his accession to the office of 1st Vice President, but “are of a serious nature”.
“Already, two news outlets have carried a story hinting of possible sanctions and other penalties. In this regard, I am reminded of my own elections just months ago and the promises that I have made to the affiliates and the general membership who have placed their trust in me to help steer the ship”.
Ollivierre further said that concerned expressed by Football world governing body, FIFA, are “legitimate and should be taken seriously with much haste and due diligence.
“I am aware that the deadline was not met and an extension has been [sought],” he said in an apparent reference to the date FIFA gave the SVGFF for submission of supporting documents for the use of some US$78,000 and EC$170,000 moved among bank accounts.
“My overwhelming concern rests solely with the clear mandate from the last general meeting, which expected us to put these matters to rest. Further, I am wary that with confidence level in the management of the association at an all time low, further appeals to the general membership for patience may bring the organization into further disrepute,” Ollivierre said.
He called for an emergency session of the Executive “to address the fall out from the media reports” and also for the vote of confidence.
Ollivierre also wants a “consensus on a media statement to put the matter to rest”, and a date for a special general meeting if determined necessary.
“Whatever is decided, some form of concrete action is needed. I am utmost against plastering festering sores,” he said.
But Coombs said that the agenda of today’s meeting is expected to include “general football matters”, such as members attending the FIFA congress, and the Under-20 team traveling to to Cuba.
Asked if he was satisfied that his presidency is secure, Coombs told I-Witness News “it all rest with the membership.
“I was elected by the people and it’s the people will have to determine that. If there is an executive and they want us to go back to the people, we go back to the people….
“There is no poor performance where my leadership is concerned. People create and magnify problems, the slightest thing, they call in on radio.”
‘nothing to do with me’
Ask if a vote of no confidence is tabled if he would resign or contest it, Coombs said, “I really don’t understand what you are talking about, because I am not seeing how my position become a vote. I have not done anything wrong.”
He said that the issues raised in the audit report are not connected to him.
“The issue with the garnishing of the account, it has nothing to do with me. It’s from a previous thing. I have not accumulated one debt,” Coombs told I-Witness News.
He said a travel agency had applied to the court to garnish the Federation’s account in an effort to recoup EC$60,000 it was owed by the federation.
“But because of the good management of finance, we had money to pay our debts in December and January and February.”
“The multitudes of positives for football, people know about it, the public know about it. But, as I said, you always have problems. It’s a matter of solving them and people magnify things out of basically nothing.
“It is because of the fact that certain people feel you put out some information and you throw it out as if it is an indictment.
“The FIFA audit with regards to what happen is not an indictment on me. People are satisfied with what I am doing; our international partners are satisfied with what I am doing. That’s why the CONCACAF
president came here and visit to identify with my presidency,” Coombs told I-Witness News.
He said he did not know of any clandestine or explicit efforts to unseat his executive.
“I don’t know of any guerrilla war. What I do know, you will always have critics who will criticise.
“Ever since I know football, there are always things that are being hyped in the media.”
Coombs showed I-Witness News a document that FIFA sent asking questions about US$145,000 from during a previous administration.
“Had it gone into the public, people would have responded the same way, saying US$145,000 unaccounted for,” Coombs said.
“FIFA, every two years, they come and ask questions, and they refer to their regulations. It is just a matter of how the press give that out,” he said.