Tennis Association Head Challenges Voting Clause

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The Antigua and Barbuda Tennis Association (ABTA) has challenged the claim that it does not have a national championships, urging those making the allegation to provide credible evidence to support it.
President of the orgnisation, Cordell Williams while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, said the claim is baseless as the association hosts several local tournaments each year.
“I don’t know how they can say the tennis association does not host national championships, Peter Quinn, has organised local tournaments that he could play in and it’s open to everyone. Since we’ve had the National Tennis Centre, Miss Ephraim, the manager down there had done three tournaments so I don’t know who goes around or lobby to see whether you do tournaments or not,” he said. 
A number of associations, tennis included, were fingered by members seeking election as executive members of the Antigua and Barbuda Olympic Association (ABOA) as ineligible to vote.
The claim was based on rule 41 of the Olympic association’s constitution which states that any association not hosting national competitions for two consecutive years would not be eligible to vote at the next elective congress.
A number of other associations including the Antigua and Barbuda Table Tennis Association (ABTTA), handball association, Antigua and Barbuda Netball Association (ABNA) and others were said to be in breach of the requirement.
Williams disagrees with the practice however, adding that the rule is antiquated and should be removed from the constitution.
“You can’t tell me that boxing doesn’t have a vote when, this year, you spend money to send boxers to Australia, you can’t tell me that shooting doesn’t have anything when this year, you spend money [on shooting] so whatever the little internal issue is, you need to try and fix it and not that you just come out and go against because as you do that you continue to divide and if you divide you can only continue to go down,” he said. 
The former national tennis player said he believes efforts to invoke the clause was politically motivated but did not serve the bigger picture.
“For me personally, I spoke to Dr. Benjamin and said to him that you cannot do this because if you are going to go against the associations and saying they are not functioning and stopping them from voting, how are you going to mend that when you get there and everybody should have the right to vote?” Williams said.
“I think that is a clause in the constitution that needs to be removed and I say this because my association is governed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and if there is any dispute at all, it has to be settled by the International body. The NOC cannot settle it, government cannot settle it, it has to be done amongst your international body so that clause in the association to me, needs to be removed because the NOC does not have any power over the national association,” he added.
E.P. Chet Greene was returned as president of the Olympic association when the vote was held October 21. He defeated former vice president and lone challenger, Dr. Philmore Benjamin by a count of 22-14 votes.

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