Approximately eight (8) months after retaining the presidency of the Grenada Football Association (GFA), Cheney Joseph has been “provisionally dismissed” pending the outcome of an investigation into a recently concluded court matter brought against him by the Commissioner of Police in 2013.
This decision was taken by members of the Executive Council of GFA last Saturday, during a meeting held at the conference room of the association’s headquarters at Queen’s Park, St. George.
The GFA Executive now comprises Vice President Allan James, who is serving as President in the interim, along with Directors Patrick Francis, Ken Martin Whiteman, Peter Blair, Jester Noel and Eric Peters.
According to Whiteman who holds the post of GFA General Secretary, the removal of Joseph took “immediate effect for a period of three (3) months in the first instance.”
However, the GFA executive member who was addressing reporters at a press briefing at the association’s conference room on Monday evening, was not in a position to say what is likely to happen at the end of the 3-month investigation.
“Well at this point in time, we have no idea as to what the conclusions or the findings of the investigation would be. We have not even arrived at the position of appointing a committee to begin that investigation. So, I believe that it is kind of early to speculate in terms of what would be the outcome. So, all I could say (right now) is basically that we would keep the media abreast with the developments as they occur”, said Whiteman, who remained very tight-lipped about the specifics.
Speculation is rife that opponents of Joseph within the GFA are hoping to remove him on allegations that he had a court conviction against him.
The GFA boss found himself in trouble with the law following an incident dating back to 2013, in which he allegedly assaulted Roderick “Rado” Griffith, a former national football coach.
The sitting Magistrate reportedly asked Joseph to apologise to Griffith and to pay him a small sum of money believed to be $400.00 in compensation.
A source told this newspaper that the investigation would seek to determine whether the conviction had amounted to a criminal offence that was put on Joseph’s record by the Magistrate.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the sitting Magistrate Tahira Gellineau, who handed down judgment in the case against Joseph at the St. George’s No. 2 Magistrate’s Court, did not record a conviction against the GFA boss given the nature of the incident.
Whiteman told reporters that the GFA Executive Committee has authority to “provisionally dismiss” any elected member but that the General Council has the final say in the matter.
“The executive cannot dismiss a member of a body previously elected by Council, so whatever final decisions must be a council decision,” said Whiteman, who was not in a position to say when the next GFA Council meeting would be held.
“Both Articles Q and R (of the GFA Constitution) speak to provisional suspension and dismissal, however, one is functioning on suspension until the Council meeting, recognising the authority of the Council and one must state that the authority is paramount in this process,” he added.
According to Whiteman despite the predicament of Joseph, the GFA Secretariat “continues to carry out its normal functions”.
He said: “The plans that were articulated and also those that are currently being articulated as part of the strategic planning committee, are plans entrusted to the GFA and I believe the Secretariat will continue with their implementation together with the Executive”.
The GFA General Secretary is hopeful that the Joseph issue “would be resolved as speedily as possible, so that it would not impact negatively on the continued execution of those plans.”
Joseph, who is into his third term in office, retained the GFA Presidency in May 2018 to serve for another four-year term.
Following the public announcement of his dismissal on Monday, Joseph took to the Whatsapp social media platform and posted a document dated January 28, 2019, which certifies that “there is nothing on the Police Criminal Records of the State of Grenada against “Thaddues Cheney Joseph.”
“God bless those who chose to maliciously malign my character. O trust the good Lord will guide them in their defense,” he posted along with the document.
Joseph is known to have some “powerful enemies” in local football circles who have been battling for years to remove him from the Presidency of the organisation.