Football: Interview with SFF members Roch Henriette, Georges Bibi, Justin Mathiot and Danny Poiret-Officials question SFF boss’ leadership style


“Chairman Joel Decommarmond has a ‘divide-and-rule’ leadership style as he pitches people against one another,” SFF executive committee member Georges Bibi told Sports Nation this week in an interview in reply to the SFF chairman’s comments made in his interview.

The interview, entitled ‘The federation is to be blamed for transfer scandal’, was published in the Saturday November 17 issue of Seychelles Nation.

Mr Bibi was accompanied by SFF vice-chairman Roch Henriette, treasurer Justin Mathiot and member Danny Poiret for the interview and they all agreed that “there is very little or no truth in what Mr Decommarmond said in his interview”.

Regarding the transfer scandal that has rocked the SFF, Mr Bibi said he moved the motion in June to investigate the issue of non-compliance regarding the transfer of players.

According to the chairman, the federation is to be blamed for the transfer scandal, but I told him then that it’s the secretariat’s fault as it registers players.

Mr Poiret added it was decided that the legal committee should investigate the matter and a decision was taken in June.

“On June 21, 2012 the executive committee endorsed the recommendations made by the legal committee regarding the transfer scandal and the chairman wrote to all first division teams and informed them of the outcome of the investigation and even told them what measures were to be taken. This information and the new league table as a result of the deduction of points were to be sent to all media outlets. But nothing has been done and only the chairman and the secretary general know why, as they never came back to us (the executive committee) to clarify the situation.

“This resulted in one of our members – Clive Delorié of the Northern Dynamo club – taking the SFF executive committee to arbitration. The executive committee knew that if the secretariat had been instructed to follow the legal committee’s decisions, the aggrieved teams would have had recourse to arbitration and at the same time they would have had enough time to try to recover from the shock as it would have still been early in the season,” said Mr Poiret.

Mr Henriette added that during almost every executive committee meeting it was asked what was happening to the legal committee ruling. Mr Henriette noted that Mr Bibi even told the committee that if nothing was done the blame would fall on the federation.

“Secretary general Jemmy Adela even told me that he cannot give the information to the media as he had been instructed by the chairman not to do so,” added Mr Henriette, who explained that the secretary general takes orders from the chairman and in his absence with the vice-chairman and treasurer.

“It’s ironic then that the chairman said ‘the federation is to be blamed for the transfer scandal’ when he took the decision not to come out with the information,” said Mr Bibi.

Mr Bibi added that since Mr Decommarmond was elected chairman during the federation’s annual general meeting on Saturday February 25, he has been taking unilateral decisions and when some people go against these decisions, he says he has ‘not earned the respect of all executive members and has not received their full support’.

“We only support matters that are discussed during executive committee meetings. The chairman has been asking the treasurer to sign cheques for large sums of money without the executive committee’s knowledge. And when the treasurer refuses, he says that some of us are not giving him our support,” said Mr Bibi.

Mr Henriette, for his part, noted that even though some people described former chairman Suketu Patel as a dictator, there was never an instance when he took a unilateral decision.

“We could agree or not with his (Mr Patel’s) decisions but in the end it was the members who voted to accept or reject the decision,” said Mr Henriette.

“Some of the expenses incurred and which were not voted by the executive committee include R36,000 for decoration during the Confederation of African Football (Caf) conference here, R18,000 for a musical band to play at a gathering for guests who attended the Caf conference, and bills for cars rented on Praslin after spending weekends there not for non-football activities,” said Mr Mathiot.

Mr Bibi also said that chairman Decommarmond did not agree to a motion he passed during last Tuesday’s executive committee meeting asking for the whole executive committee to resign instead of letting a team representative asking for a vote of no-confidence.

“He did not want to heed my advice and said ‘I won’t jump into the open sea, but rather struggle ashore’. And the next day (Wednesday November 14, 2012) without the knowledge of many executive committee members, he regrouped all first division teams’ representatives and asked them to get rid of the members so that they can elect a new committee with whom he will work.

“According to feedback from the meeting, the teams’ representatives did not accept the proposition and wanted second and third division teams representatives to be included in the discussions. From my understanding the meeting will be held on Wednesday (November 21, 2012),” added Mr Bibi.

The former St Louis and St Michel coach is right about today’s meeting as SFF secretary general Jemmy Adela yesterday morning informed Sports Nation of today’s meeting scheduled at 5pm.
It remains to be seen what will come out of this afternoon’s meeting which is surely to be a heated affair…

G. G.

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