Fri | Jul 30, 2021

TT impasse continues

Published:Sunday | December 13, 2020 | 12:13 AMLivingston Scott - Sunday Gleaner Writer
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The signing off of the delegates list for the long-delayed Jamaica Table Tennis Association (JTTA) elections hit another snag last weekend, when the incumbent Godfrey Lothian insisted, at the last hour, on not signing the document until the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is removed from the listing.

One member of the Lothian team, who spoke to The Sunday Gleaner on condition of anonymity, made claims of a breach of registration protocols, charging that an unauthorised civilian had paid the affiliate fee for the army team.

“We are not saying the JDF is not an affiliate, but because of the actions of the personnel they used, their action is not in good standing. So simply put, they must be removed,” the source declared.

However, a member of the challenging Andrew Lue team, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, due to the gag order placed on both teams by the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF), the body mediating the matter, insists that Lothian is simply trying to keep hold of power.

The source rebutted that it is common practice among members to ask fellow affiliates to pay membership fees on their behalf, and that it had never presented a problem in the past.

“If I am in Trelawny and you are in Kingston and you are my friend, I will ask you to go to the JTTA to pay my affiliation fees and they will allow it. The important thing is to pay and be in good standing with the association,” the source noted, before also revealing that The Friends of Table Tennis group has retained legal counsel to explore their options, but that they will be going back to the DRF for more mediation.

Meanwhile, DRF chairman Anthony Davis, in a letter to the JDF, asked for clarification on their status as an affiliate of the JTTA.

Davis confirmed that the JDF was included in the final list of 46 that was to be signed as confirmation of their legitimacy, and that Lothian raised issue with the paying of JDF’s affiliation fee, and noted that no one was authorised to participate in the AGM as a representative of the JDF.

TWO ISSUES

“So there are two separate issues: one, JDF status as an affiliate; two, who is authorised to pay the affiliation fees on the behalf of the JDF,” the letter read.

“Lothian is contending that unless the JDF is removed from the list of legitimate affiliates, he will not sign. Based on the sequence of events outlined, please advise how I should treat the matter of the affiliation status of the JDF,” Davis requested.

A response from Lieutenant Colonel Dameon Creary (Acting Colonel General Staff) declared that the JDF intends to maintain its affiliate membership status with the JTTA and is prepared to pay any membership fees due or may become due.

“The JDF has not authorised anyone to act on our behalf. We will advise the association in writing of the serving members of the JDF, (and) who is authorised to act on our behalf,” read Creary’s response.

The impasse started in 2019 when Lothian won a third term against Karen Sinclair-Lym, but his victory was ruled null and void by the courts.

Lue took up the mantle for the opposition at the start of the year, but despite five months of mediation by the DRF, the matter is heading into the new year still unresolved.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com