By Neto Baptiste
Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) floor member and presidential hopeful, Barbara Coates, has sought to debunk claims by sitting president Everton Gonsalves that she and other executive members are appraised of decisions reached in their absence.
Gonsalves, while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, also accused Coates of being untruthful after claims she’s being ostracised by the president because of her decision to challenge him for the top spot.
Coates said she and other executive members were forced to write to Gonsalves in September regarding the issue.
“In 2021 we had a meeting that was scheduled for February the 28th and that was the first meeting for 2021 but we didn’t have that meeting until the sixth of March, it had to be postponed. All these things were still happening with no elections being called but please as the president that in September, if he received a letting in an email to remind him that the constitution says we’re supposed to have 12 meetings per year? Please ask him that because he received a letter that was signed by four executive members to remind him of the constitution he says he reads all the time,” she said.
Coates, who said she will attend next week’s executive meeting, reminded also that the president is well aware that an electoral congress is due this year.
“We have to have a congress in 2021 and the president knows that. What needs to happen is that this year, it has to be an electoral congress so let’s see how the president determines what happens and the clubs can be the ones to say this is what should happen,” she said.
The Wings Sports Club member also encouraged Gonsalves to run a clean campaign and speak on issues affecting the sport.
“Let’s speak about how we can try and make the leadership of the ABFA better so that everybody involved understand and raise the level of our discussions where that is concerned. Let’s talk about the programmes we want to implement and execute. Let’s talk about how we can be on time and follow deadlines and as I said to you guys, I am not really taking it personally but the only thing I can do is protect the little name that I have, Barbara Samuel,” Coates said.
ABFA elections were constitutionally due in March this year but has been postponed to an unspecified date due to the Covid-19 pandemic.