By Neto Baptiste
Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) presidency hopeful, Barbara Coates, has welcomed a communique from the sport’s world governing body FIFA, reminding that the local elections must be held via secret ballot as stipulated by the constitution.
Speaking with Observer media on Wednesday, Coates said that her team, which also comprises former national players and coaches Derrick Edwards and Ivor Luke, will continue to lobby support from clubs until the proper authorities grant permission for the electoral congress to be held.
“The elections have to be held face to face via secret ballot and it also states that as soon as it is possible that the elections ought to be held, so if by the time May 22 comes around and the Ministry of Health approves it and the COVID protocols are in place that we are allowed to meet, then we will have our elections that time,” she said.
In the communique that was reportedly distributed to all member clubs, FIFA highlighted that the ABFA constitution does not allow for the hosting of virtual elections.
The missive also highlighted the efforts of the ABFA over the past year to “in moving forward the review process, despite the great difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” where it regards to the body’s statutes.
FIFA, in light of the said process not being completed, said the FA should host the elections based on its existing statutes. The world governing body however stipulated that the process must be completed by December 31 this year.
When contacted, ABFA President Everton Gonsalves was not in a position to comment on the development.