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Tickets cancelled?

Tickets cancelled?


What can be more humiliating than trying to represent your country in sport while at the same time the ticket that was given to you to travel on was cancelled while you are on your way to the destination?.{{more}}

This was the horrible experience of two members of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Table Tennis Association – President Sean Stanley and this country’s Junior Table Tennis champion Kamal Hunte while travelling to Brazil to represent St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Latin America Major Qualifying League during the past week. According to Stanley, their troubles began while they were in Trinidad and had just obtained their Brazilian visas, which they admit took some “ups and downs” to get.

“When we reached the airport in Trinidad the following morning (after they obtained the visas) we gave the lady at the counter our tickets who told us that there was no reservation for us, but they tried and were able to put us on an airline,” Stanley told SEARCHLIGHT.

This according to him, was repeated each time they changed planes on the way to Brazil.

On the return trip, Stanley said they began encountering the same troubles that they had encountered while going. Stanley told SEARCHLIGHT that when he got back to Trinidad they were told that they had to buy new tickets for the St. Vincent leg of the journey.

“When they told us that we had to buy a ticket to return home, I decided to get on my cellular phone and contact the travel agency.” According to Stanley, the travel agent in St. Vincent told him that the airline tickets to and from Brazil had been cancelled by Keith Joseph,(photo right) General Secretary of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) while the duo was in Trinidad on their way to Brazil.

When contacted, President of the NOC, Trevor “Sailor” Bailey said that it was the first time he was hearing about the tickets being cancelled, and that the matter was news to him. The travel agency declined to comment on the matter, and Joseph was not available for comment as he was out of the country.

Stanley is one of the major players locked in an administrative squabble in the Table Tennis Association that required the intervention of the NOC.

Last September, Stanley and Secretary Julian Sutherland had been engaged in a verbal battle that became a public issue. Both were then told by the NOC “to stay clear of the media”.