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Joseph loses NACAC Presidency bid again

Joseph loses NACAC Presidency bid again

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Vincentian Keith Joseph failed to unseat Jamaica’s Neville ‘Teddy’ McCook as President of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC),{{more}} when elections were held last Thursday, July 14, at the Mayaguez Resort and Casino in Puerto Rico.

Mc Cook triumphed 25 to 6. It was the second occasion on which Joseph failed to defeat Mc Cook in the run-off.

In August 2007, Mc Cook edged out Joseph 14 to 3, in Osaka, Japan, as both sought to replace outgoing President Amadeo Francis, who was not seeking re-election. At that time, several countries were absent from the voting, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

At last Thursday’s elections, Joseph was also beaten by Barbadian Noel Lynch 18 to 13 for the post of Vice President. Joseph subsequently withdrew his bid to be the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Area Representative, as Mc Cook successfully retained that spot.

Joseph, responding to his defeat, told SEARCHLIGHT last Friday, via e-mail: “I am not in any way disgraced. I believe it is my valuable contributions to the sport in the region that has our people scared.”

Commenting on Mc Cook’s success, Joseph said, “This has to do with the fact that as the NACAC incumbent, he has been able to facilitate programmes in countries where he was able to persuade them to support him.”

Joseph also said that the President of the IAAF, Lamine Diack was in attendance. Joseph was of the view that Diack’s presence was as a show of support to Mc Cook. Diack was known to be in Mc Cook’s corner from the outset in 2007.

The perceived bias of the IAAF President prompted Joseph, in a letter back then, to describe the state of affairs as unsavoury.

Joseph claimed once more that the issue of the absence of a track in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and this country’s inability to host major track competitions for CAC and NACAC, may have worked against his second go at the candidacy.

However, he added, “They are aware of my administrative capabilities”.

In showing the inner workings of the NACAC set-up and how the politics of the votes went, Joseph, who is the President of TASVG wrote, “The Central Americans went in block with Mc Cook. This may well have to do with what he had worked out with them. There was a slate that was his.”

Holding a divergent view on the idea of going into such elections with a slate, Joseph added, “I do not believe in a slate, since it is the right of the affiliates to nominate and vote for people whom they consider competent enough to take the sport forward.”

Joseph, who also holds the post of General Secretary of the National Olympic Committee of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, gave another spin stating, “The region remains a very divided one and will continue for some time to come.”

The full NACAC Executive is as follows: President – Neville Mc Cook; Vice-President, Noel Lynch; Treasurer – Alain Jean Pierre of Haiti. The Council Members are Donna Watson from Bermuda, Geen Clarke of Costa Rica, Alan Baboolal of Trinidad and Tobago and Bob Hersh of the USA.

The elections were staged ahead of the 23rd staging of the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Senior Track and Field Championships, at the Estadio Jose Antonio Figueroa in Mayaguez.

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