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What is going on in our national football administration?

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What is going on within the chambers of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF)? Concerns have been mounting, not only among the local football community, but also in the wider society, following a series of events which are having the effect of bringing the SVGFF into disrepute.

The latest incident to reach the attention of the public is the suspension of SVGFF General Secretary Trevor Huggins by local football boss, president Venold Coombs.{{more}} Coombs this week used his authority to suspend the General Secretary “with immediate effect”, reminding him in the process that his (Huggins’) fate lies in the hands of the seemingly all-powerful president. Charges of undermining the authority of the President by sending out unauthorised correspondence formed the basis of Huggins’ suspension.

The suspension is the latest twist in a series of unsavoury developments in which the leadership of the SVGFF and President Coombs in particular have been involved. This week’s suspension follows closely on the heels of the widely-reported verbal abuse of third vice president Elroy Boucher at a recent meeting of the SVGFF’s Executive.

Coombs, who seems to have a penchant for controversy, has too frequently been at loggerheads with members of his administration and he is not afraid to let the public know what he thinks of them. Just one month ago, at a public awards ceremony, he made it plain that he is not willing to continue with some members of his team, expressing the view that “working along with those people is a problem”.

Since Coombs’ election to the leadership of the SVGFF in September 2011, there have been too many public rifts among the Executive. The termination of the services of committee member and former national football star Guy Lowe, the resignation of former vice president Lloyd Small and an aborted no-confidence motion readily come to mind.

This is not good enough! Leaders of sporting organisations must be accountable to those that they serve and to the general public. The SVGFF is not the personal fiefdom of any president, nor are its leaders beyond the pale of public accountability. The good name of the SVGFF and the image of football are being seriously tarnished in the process.

It is time for the SVGFF to clean up its act; for paranoia to be curbed to bring into play a sense of maturity and sound administration to rescue football adminstration from this apparent downward slide.

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