NOC candidate questions voting rights of delinquent associations

President of the Antigua Turf Club, Neil Cochrane. (File photo)

Associations not eligible to cast ballot in the general elections for the National Olympic Committee (NOC) later this month, will be challenged when the body resumes its Annual General Meeting (AGM).

This is according to vice presidency candidate and President of the Antigua Turf Club (ATC), Neil Cochrane, who said that according to article 41 of the NOC’s constitution, those associations that have not organised competitions for the last two years should not be allowed to vote.

“It seems as if those organisations were formed mainly for the purpose of just when it comes to the electoral congress for voting, and we know that the people who are in charge of the NOC also sit in charge of those particular associations as well, so it continues to play well for them to just have them voting and not to operate so taekwondo can be there forever and don’t operate, handball the same thing and all the other organisations will be the same thing,” he said. 

According to article 41 of the NOC constitution “Any national association which does not organise annual competitions for the benefit of its members over a period of two consecutive years shall be suspended from voting at the General Assembly until it has fulfilled its obligations in this respect. All member associations must fulfill their respective IFs in this respect.”

Cochrane named the Handball Association, the Archery Association, Rugby and the Antigua and Barbuda Boxing Association as some of the bodies that may be in breach of this requirement.

The issue, he said, will be raised on resumption of the meeting as they strive to ensure that the process is free and fair.

“I am now in the fight, and a fight for the people and democracy within that organisation, and a fight for good governance in that organisation and that is the whole point why there is need for a change because the people who lead don’t seem to think that it is good enough to have people and proper management structures in place for the national associations that they are supposed to have some degree of governance over and some degree of support for and that is why we are fighting for the change,” he said.

The NOC’s general meeting was adjourned in December last year after the body could not agree on a matter involving the Antigua and Barbuda Fencing Federation (ABFF) and their nomination of Neil Cochrane for the post of president.

The nomination was deemed null and void by the E.P. Chet Greene led administration, as the NOC argued that the fencing federation had previously voted to support his drive for re-election.

Greene, who is also a minister of government, had previously said he would not contest the elections but later said he had been asked by several associations to contest the post once more.

Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, has also said that he will contest the elections for the post of floor member, stating he does not see the dual role as a conflict of interest.