A directive issued by FIFA, the governing body for world football has led to the reinstatement of Cheney Joseph, as President of the Grenada Football Association (GFA).
Communications Officer at GFA, Neisha Peters confirmed to THE NEW TODAY on Tuesday, that the official letter informing Joseph of his reinstatement was sent out “last week Friday,” by 1st Vice President Allan James after receiving the FIFA directive the same day.
This newspaper understands that in spite of FIFA directive to reinstate Joseph, the five (5) Executive members who controversially voted for his dismissal are standing by their decision, and the belief that it was done within the realm of the GFA constitution.
Joseph was forced to step down in light of an assault conviction at the level of a St. George’s Magistrate in a case brought against him for assault by former national football coach, Roderick “Rado” Griffith.
However, the sitting Magistrate did not issue instructions for the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) to record the conviction as a criminal offence against the embattled GFA President.
1st Vice President of GFA, Allan James, who held the position of acting President of the association for the last couple weeks, told reporters at a Press Conference at the GFA headquarters at Queen’s Park in St. George’s last week Friday, that FIFA continues to recognise “Joseph as the duly elected President of the GFA” and expressed the hope that the five who spearheaded the move against the President would adhere to FIFA’S decision in order to avoid any actions against them.
Under the GFA’s General Provision rule, it is clearly stated “GFA is a member of FIFA, CONCACAF and CFU.
Accordingly, GFA is itself obliged to respect the statues, regulations, instruction, directives and decision of FIFA, CONCACAF and CFU and to ensure that those are likewise respected by members and any other persons subordinated to the GFA.”
Speaking at a press conference at the National Cricket Stadium last week Wednesday, four (4) out of the five (5) Executive members, who voted to controversially dismiss the GFA President, expressed the view that he should be appropriately disciplined for his actions.
The representative for Women’s Football, Renae Samuel, who moved the motion to provisionally dismiss Joseph, sought to explain her reasons for doing so.
“Of course, at the time of the incident, I wasn’t a member of the Executive; however, in my quest to seek information on behalf of myself and those involved, I thought it (to be) not only fair but appropriate to dismiss Joseph as the President because based on my understanding the incident is a football related matter, which stemmed from an executive meeting”, she said.
She stated that attempts “were made during the meeting on January 26 to obtain information (relating to the incident) and pertinently discuss the matter to see where we go from here…in the interest of obtaining clarity and doing due diligence”.
However, she pointed out that a heated and lengthy debate ensued and after “about an hour, Mr. Joseph walked out of the meeting without giving any information”.
The embattled President commenced legal action against GFA following the January 26 meeting, in which five out of nine (9) members voted to “provisionally dismiss” him as president, pending the outcome of an inquiry into the assault matter involving himself and Griffith.
Joseph was convicted on a summary Assault charge, which resulted in the court ordering him to apologise to Griffith, and to compensate him in the amount of EC$400.00 forthwith or spend one (1) month behind bars at the Richmond Hill Prison.
In addition, the GFA President was reprimanded and discharged on a summary charge for insulting language in connection with the same incident.
GFA’s 2nd Vice President, Patrick Francis told reporters at last week Wednesday’s press conference that those who moved the motion against Joseph “are moving to have the matter go before the next council meeting” of the GFA, when it is called on a date to be decided upon.
Francis indicated that a move four years ago to change the GFA Constitution might have been done to the advantage of Joseph, whose matter was still pending in court when the amendments were made and adopted by the Council under his watch in 2015.
“The old GFA Constitution was in 2010…this incident (between Rado and Joseph) happened in 2013, and the new Constitution was in 2015…the old Constitution says, any candidate to be elected to the Executive Committee as president or vice president…must not be previously found guilty of a criminal offence…the new Constitution says he (the candidate) must not be previously found guilty of an indictable offence”, he said.
“So, what I am saying is that we moved from criminal offence to indictable offence…we as members, we are not talking about indictable and criminal offence, what we are saying is that the offence committed is enough and is unbecoming of somebody who sits in that position”, he added.
Attorney-at-law, Ruggles Ferguson, who was retained by Joseph in his legal battle for reinstatement, expressed the following sentiments in an interview with THE NEW TODAY on Monday.
“We are pleased that this matter has finally been resolved and that the duly elected President has been returned to office. We are disappointed that this matter had to drag on for so long as some took the opportunity to cause as much reputational damage to Mr. Joseph, which was unfortunate. In our view the matter should never have reached the stage and once the errors of those who took the decision were pointed out, the matter should have been addressed,” the attorney said.