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SVGFF willing but not able

SVGFF willing but not able

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The executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation is willing to pay outstanding monies owed to former Technical Director Zoran Vranes, but is not in a position so to do, at this time.{{more}}

The executive’s position was stated by President of the SVGFF Joseph Delves in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT last Sunday evening.

Delves admitted, “We are happy to pay Mr. Vranes and all other creditors, but cannot do this at this time”.

He said that the first of FIFA’s draw down to be received by the new executive is due soon, but Vranes’ remuneration was not part of the budgeting.

Delves further stated that his executive may be running afoul of the FIFA Statutes if it uses the FAP funds to pay off debts.

Holding the position for only four months, Delves disclosed that the former executive under the headship of St. Claire Leacock just prior to being voted out used the federation’s overdraft facility to incur $72,000 to pay Vranes, who left his post last October.

“My understanding is he was paid part that money and the remainder was to be paid by the end of December”, Delves said.

“They have left behind a host of debts for us to pay”, the local football boss said.

Delves acknowledged the federation’s receipt of correspondence last week from Caribbean Football Union’s President, Austin “Jack” Warner, informing them of their indebtedness to Vranes.

But Delves sees the timing of the receipt of the letter from Warner as “not co-incidental”.

Delves, however, couched his language and did not expound on the matter of its co-incidence.

It is common knowledge that Warner is a close friend of Immediate Past President Leacock and the Serbio Montenegro born Vranes. The former St. Vincent and the Grenadines Technical Director from 2004 to 2007, Vranes was appointed last month as Head of Youth Football in Trinidad and Tobago. The appointment was made by Warner, who is the Special Advisor to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation.

Vranes previously coached the Trinidad and Tobago senior team; that country’s Under-20 outfit and was Technical Director of Antigua and Barbuda. He also was Head Coach of Joe Public, a professional football club in the twin island republic, owned by Warner.

A sequence of actions by the CFU in the past week set up the pattern of play for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Antigua and Barbuda Football Association(ABFA) was given an ultimatum by the Caribbean Football Union’s boss to hand over $US177,000, owing to its former General Secretary Chet Greene.

The ABFA was given until last week Friday to compensate Greene in full or face suspension from all CFU activities under its aegis.

The ABFA has since pleaded its case with the world governing body FIFA.

Warner, who is also head of CONCACAF, and who holds several posts as one of FIFA’s Vice Presidents, also last week recommended the entire executive committee of the Dominica Football Association be disbanded and replaced by Interim Normalisation Commission with a 90 day mandate.

As a reaction, members of the DFA sought to have Warner probed by FIFA’s Ethics Committee, for what it termed “flagrant abuse of power”.

Like Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica is preparing for World Cup Qualifiers next month, and these agitations would effectively end their progress, without even starting.

When quizzed if St. Vincent and the Grenadines may suffer a similar fate, Delves, a practising lawyer said, “We have not made any decisions that warrant any suspension”.

“These decisions are out of our hands”, he said.

“Those who say they love football, why are they fighting to keep St. Vincent and the Grenadines down?” Delves questioned.

According to Delves, “We have been in for four months, just trying to get the debts organised”.

Apart, the federation is getting the national programme in place, with emphasis on preparations of the senior men’s team Vincy Heat match up with Canada in June in the 2010 World Cup Qualifiers.

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