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FIFA orders fresh elections for Antigua FA

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St.John’s (Antigua), March 9 (IANS/CMC): FIFA, the world’s governing body for football, has ordered fresh elections to choose a new executive for the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) following last December’s controversial poll.

FIFA says it will approve an independent three-person panel to supervise the elections which must be held no later than April 15, reports CMC.

The order comes two weeks after a visit to Antigua by FIFA and CONCACAF officials investigating allegations of irregularities in the contentious elections that retained Everton Gonsalves as president.

Gonsalves was elected unopposed when challenger Veron Edwards was controversially disqualified as Gonsalves’s lone challenger on the grounds that he submitted a Police record late to be eligible to contest the vote.

Edwards, who was nominated by his club to run against the incumbent, said his disqualification was a deliberate attempt by Gonsalves and his general secretary, Gordon Derrick, the president of the Caribbean Football Union, to stave-off his challenge.

He had questioned the validity of the election and wrote to regional governing body, CONCACAF for redress.

FIFA is reported to have listed a list of concerns regarding the disputed Dec 20 ABFA elections.

They include questionable interpretation of statutes, requests for submission of unwarranted documentation from candidates, and also disputable deadlines set for these submissions.

In a letter to the ABFA general secretary Gordon Derrick, FIFA says the decisions of the independent committee are to be considered final and binding.

FIFA and CONCACAF have said that they will monitor the next ABFA executive elections.

–IANS/CMC

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