KINGSTOWN, ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES; FRIDAY JULY 06, 2018 – “The executive at the time knew that we were going to get World Cup tickets, knew that we were going to sell the World Cup tickets. The executive at the time made the decision that we were going to try it for more than one reason.”
This was stated last Wednesday July 04, 2018, by newly appointed Acting President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation Marvin Fraser, to the assembled media at a press briefing, held at the conference room at the SVGFF secretariat.
In explaining that the executive members had authorised President Venold Coombs to handle the sale of the 2014 World Cup tickets, he Fraser added that the executive was unaware of anything which transpired afterwards.
Fraser was adamant that that the executive could not, and should not be blamed for the action of former president Venold Coombs. He explained that the executive had authorised the sale of the World Cup tickets be dealt with by then president Venold Coombs, and the general secretary at the time, Trevor Huggins.
According to Fraser, “Executive members knew that the World Cup tickets were being sold, but we did not get involved in how much they would be sold for, who would sell them, how many tickets the president would be getting as a committee member. We did not get into that issue. That is why FIFA did not do anything else but deal with the persons they deal with.”
The persons remaining from the 2014 SVGFF executive, are Dwight Roberts, Otnell Douglas, Dominic Stowe, and Marvin Fraser.
Following FIFA’s Ethics Committee imposed two-year ban of Venold Coombs plus a US$40,000.00 fine, effective Tuesday July 03, 2018, the executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation in an emergency executive meeting held on the very same Tuesday, voted Marvin Fraser to the position of Acting President.
Fraser moved from Second Vice-President position to Acting President, after First Vice-President, Otashie Spring, had declined the promotion as stipulated for in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation Constitution.
During that time in 2014, the SVGFF was facing cash flow problems with FIFA, because FIFA had queried the transfer of funds from one SVGFF accounts to another. Added to this the SVGFF had its accounts frozen due to an ongoing court case with a local travel agency.
According to Fraser, the executive decision was that “We decided that with the World Cup tickets and this pending case going on that the tickets will be sold. We will get the tickets and we will sell them.
“The issue came about because the executive at the time allowed that situation to be dealt with by the president and by the general secretary at the time.”
Fraser revealed that monies derived from the tickets sale, was used to send national teams on overseas assignments, including the Under-20 team to Cuba.
Responding to questions from journalists present, Fraser again reiterate that “the executive knew that those ticket monies what they were going to be used for. One of the things that FIFA has zoomed in on, and if you notice that they have decided to speak about is conflict of interest and so on, based on the tickets that Mr. Coombs sold as a committee member. That information, he dealt with that. That is his personal thing and that is why, I believe, that case went the way it did.”
The Acting President emphasised that his hands are clean in whatever went on in the sale of 2014 World Cup tickets. He added that he was not trying to distance himself from the executive’s decision.
“When I sat with FIFA, I could not answer a lot of the questions because I did not know about the committee tickets and those things at the time. All I know is what the Federation agreed on based on what was coming. That we had some tickets coming and we could sell them, and we gave the mandate to have those tickets sold.
“In fact, if you look at a lot of the meetings, minutes pertaining to discussions on the tickets sales and stuff, I was absent from those meetings.”
“I will never pull myself out, never, and say I was not part of the executive, because I was part of the executive that stated that we should sell the World Cup tickets. How much they were sold for, how many were sold, I really cannot tell you, because I do not know,” Fraser said.
Fraser informed the media that a meeting with affiliates have been scheduled on Thursday July 12, 2018 at which it is expected the affiliates to vote if to ratify his position as Acting President.