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Radio station puts SVGFF’s president on mute

Radio station puts SVGFF’s president on mute

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Before any speech or pronouncement made by president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation Venold Coombs is aired by Nice Radio, he (Coombs) has to first make an apology to the station.

This was confirmed to SEARCHLIGHT last Sunday by Nice Radio’s managing director Douglas De Freitas at the opening of the COMSPORTS/KPMG/Hairoun Brewery Arnos Vale Football League at the Arnos Vale Two Playing Field.

The opening ceremony was carried live on air by Nice Radio. However, when Coombs, who was one of the speakers, was giving his remarks, the station chose to play jingles and light music.{{more}}

When De Freitas was quizzed by SEARCHLIGHT, he stated it was “a management decision”.

Referring to Coombs as “disrespectful” and “out of his place”, De Freitas said that Coombs needs to have more respect for people and Nice Radio.

“As you know, Nice Radio, more than any other station in St Vincent and the Grenadines, carries sports… We run a Sports Highlights programme and people from time to time will criticize him, but Coombs does not want to be criticized,” De Freitas explained.

Sports Highlights is an interactive programme aired on Nice Radio Wednesday and Sunday nights.

De Freitas reiterated that his radio station is committed to sports and has to carry out its mandate.

De Freitas noted that he, along with his main host of the Sports Highlights programme Justin Douglas, held a meeting with Coombs last year.

Then, Nice Radio was asked to tone down some of the negatives which were aimed at the SVGFF and its operations.

But things came to a head recently and the strained relations between Nice Radio and the SVGFF reached boiling point.

And as a result, Nice Radio was not granted permission to broadcast matches in the Caribbean Football Union’s Under-17 competition, nor the recent World Cup qualifier between St Vincent and the Grenadines and the USA on Friday, September 2, at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.

The Nice Radio manager restated that in recent times a letter was sent to Coombs, seeking an audience with him to resolve the matters.

“The letter was hand delivered by Khalil Cato and he (Coombs) did not have the decency to respond,” De Freitas complained.

Before the fallout, Nice Radio and the SVGFF had arrangements for the live broadcast of matches under the aegis of the SVGFF.

Again, SEARCHLIGHT’s telephone calls to the SVGFF’s office on Monday afternoon to get clarification on the matter went unanswered.

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