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BFA president to appear in court June 26

Last year’s highly publicized impasse between former Barbados Football Association general secretary Chris Graham and the president of that association, Randy Harris, has reached the law courts.

Chris Graham demonstrating how he was held. (FP)

Chris Graham demonstrating how he was held. (FP)

Harris is to appear at the District “A” Magistrates’ Court on June 26 on a charge of assault. The charge brought against Harris by summons, stems from an incident that allegedly occurred on September 10, 2013, while a number of BFA members were at the association’s Fontabelle, St Michael headquarters.

The incident is alleged to have also involved other members of the BFA’s hierarchy.

Graham had been on the job fewer than 18 months after replacing the previous general secretary David Hinds.

But Graham’s court action could have professional repercussions for him and his company CG Sports Management.

Graham had sought to take the FIFA Players Agents examination through the BFA but has had this request rejected.

In a letter to Graham from Harris, dated March 28, 2014, the BFA president informed him that the association could not accede to the request since there was an outstanding court matter involving Graham and three senior BFA executive officers.

Harris reminded Graham he was in contravention of Article 68 Obligation Item 2 of the FIFA statutes which prohibits the recourse to “ordinary courts of law” among members unless specifically provided for in FIFA regulations.

“Recourse to ordinary courts of law for all types of provisional measures is also prohibited,” Harris wrote.

Graham had made the approach to the BFA after striking up a deal with Costa Rican sports club Deportivo Saprisa.

In correspondence to Graham on February 24, general manager of the club Galliano Luconi Callan informed him that the club would allow three footballers to train with his organisation’s minor league from March 1 to May 20 this year.

Callan told Graham that expenses such as airfare, room and board, insurance and transportation would be the responsibility of CG Sports Management and Saprisa would make all necessary efforts to provide adequate training.

Ironically, this is the second occasion within ten years that FIFA regulations have been in conflict with BFA members’ attempts to bring court action against each other.

Nine years ago the BFA was suspended by FIFA after Harris went to the Supreme Court with a matter involving then BFA president Ronald Jones.  FIFA’s action was prompted by an impasse between the two when Harris, then general secretary, contested Jones’ win in the September 2004 BFA presidency elections.

When FIFA arbitrators ruled in favour of Jones, Harris took the issue to the Barbados High Court prompting FIFA to suspend the BFA.

FIFA said then it took action against the BFA because Harris had violated the FIFA statutes.

This is the latest controversy to hit the BFA following revelations by Harris of inherited financial infelicities when he assumed the office of president. FIFA has since instituted a forensic audit into the affairs of the BFA.

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