Presidential hopeful confident of chances in upcoming elections

Barbara Coates
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By Carlena Knight

Presidential hopeful Barbara Coates says she is quite confident of her chances in the upcoming Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) elections.

Coates has hosted briefings with the majority of the member clubs of the ABFA body where she shared the plans herself and her slate has if elected.

“It was well received. There were persons who said you can do a little bit more here or there and we liked that because we are not going to do all of the work; we will set the policies but it’s going to be a two-way street.

“The clubs were quite receptive. They are ready for the change. It’s been 12 years and they want to see something different,” Coates said.

Speaking exclusively with Observer media, the CPTSA Wings Football executive/coach disagreed with those members of the public who say that she has no experience in the sport.

“I think you always have to look at what a person brings to the table instead of fitting them into a specific category or lane. I have worked in so many industries and if you really just listen to persons, you would realise that everyone has a contribution to make, especially if they are at the frontline and experiencing something.

“I would have been in football for 15 years just starting out as a soccer mom and I’ve been with Wings now for 15 years. I was a national manager for a few teams so I am not sure where these critics are coming from saying I do not have a football background,” Coates added.

She also addressed the issue of being on the present executive but running for the top position.

Coates questioned the exact point of why it is persons are calling for her to resign, and said being on the executive does in fact help her chances.

“The bare fact that I have been in the forefront of these discussions means I have a first-hand experience with how to deal with things the right way as opposed to the wrong way. I see this as an opportunity for me to right the things and ensure that if I am elected certain mistakes that were made would not happen under my leadership – communication being the biggest one,” she stated.

Since announcing her interest in running for football’s top position in the country, Coates has been quite vocal on a number of issues to include the ABFA Technical Centre in Paynters, the Antigua Recreation Grounds and the female programme.

If successful Coates would make history as the first female president of the ABFA, joining Kebra Nanton who became the first female to hold the top position in basketball.

She will run against the incumbent Everton ‘Batow’ Gonsalves who has been president for over a decade. A precise date for the election is still to be confirmed.

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