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Confident Coates Says Call The Election Now, Believes Overdue Vote Can Be Held

By Neto Baptiste

Barbara Coates, a floor member within the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) executive and the only known intended challenger to incumbent president Everton Gonsalves, is of the view that the body’s postponed electoral congress is being unnecessarily delayed.

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Coates said there are venues large enough to accommodate the constitutionally due vote and that efforts should be made to convince the health authorities to allow the congress to proceed.

“Our elections can be held. The president has called meetings with the Premier Division [clubs] and the First Division [clubs]. We have the Multipurpose [& Exhibition Cultural Center] where we could very well have our elections there while maintaining our distance so I can be held. I haven’t written to the president on this as yet but I plan to,” she said. 

Coates believes she has the support needed to dethrone Gonsalves who will be seeking a fourth term in office, stating that she continues to share her plans with the body’s membership in hopes of drumming up additional backing.

A member of the Concerned Parents Teachers Sports Association (CPTSA) Wings organisation, Coates said she and others will continue to advocate for change from within the ABFA as she has no intentions of heeding the calls by those who mad not support her to leave the executive post.

“We’re not going to resign. We have to sit and have discussions and let people understand that this is what it is. It’s a democracy and if you resign then that is your right but I am not going to resign, I don’t need to resign. I need to challenge the situation and let persons understand what is happening so that we can come and change and improve,” she said.

The ABFA’s electoral congress was constitutionally due in May this year but was delayed because of Covid-19 restrictions.

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