Thu | Jun 20, 2024

Down but not out

• Garel disappointed with eight-month wait to have case heard • BSJ boss still confident of overturning JFF election

Published:Wednesday | April 24, 2024 | 12:14 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Pat Garel
Pat Garel
Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

HEAD OF Beach Soccer Jamaica (BSJ), Pat Garel, has filed a claim for the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) election to be ruled null and void if she is successful in her bid to have the court rule on behalf of her organisation when the matter regarding who is the affiliate to represent local beach football – BSJ or Beach Football Jamaica Limited – in pillar three of the Jamaica Football Federation voting block is heard.

Yesterday, the court set a trial date of January 20-22, 2025, for the matter to be tried and Garel, who is also disappointed that her organisation will have to wait eight months before their case is heard, remained as determined and confident as ever, that justice would be served.

“I figured it (trial date) would have been earlier. The other side (JFF) claimed they had clashes of other dates that were offered. We, out of protocol, agreed to the next best possible date. (This would mean) they would be in office one year. But my basic position is that the race is not for the swift but those who can endure. Beach Soccer’s hope is that justice is served, because it is an unjust situation,” said Garel.

She continued that. “We want it (election) null and void. It may be a little ambiguous, but what it allows my lawyer to do is to adjust the affidavit to put that in, since they went ahead and had the election (before trial). Because we were saying that the election should not be held until we got the two votes (allocated to Beach Soccer). But they let the election go ahead, striking down our injunction appeal. So now that that has been done, our position is that in the event we win, our application is for the election to be ruled null and void.”

Garel said the claim to have the election results thrown out was also approved by the court judge and she believes that is an indication that there is a chance of that possibility coming to fruition.

“We are prepared to see it to the end. We know without a doubt what the facts of the case are. So it is up to the JFF to prove or explain why they did what they did, which I am really interested in. But the laws of the land overcome the constitution of the Jamaica Football Federation, which we must adhere to, and the people who were entrusted to see truth and rights prevail, did not. So I am prepared to see it to the last day, and we are absolutely confident. We think we have been disenfranchised like so many others, but we are prepared to stand up for what we believe in,” she stated.

JFF general secretary Dennis Chung, chose not to comment on the BSJ’s claim to have the election nullified, but maintains that they are confident they did things the correct way.

“They amended their claim to say that they will be seeking damages for not being able to participate in the election, and also they will be seeking to declare the election null and void. We have our position but I will not comment on that. I would have to see how something like that could happen. But we are pretty confident about our situation. We think we have done the right thing. The injunction has been turned down and the appeal twice. So we will see how it goes. But we are pretty confident that we have followed the constitution and done what we needed to,” he said.