BELMONT, Westmoreland — Former football referee Ian Myles will be challenging long serving Westmoreland Football Association's boss Everton Tomlinson for the position of president at the association's Annual General Meeting (AGM), scheduled for Saturday at the Belmont Academy in the parish.But Tomlinson, who is apparently undaunted by the challenge for the post, is urging his opponent "to bring it on."
Already, the highly anticipated AGM, which is being held for the first time in four year, and the impending challenge, have sparked controversy.
A group of delegates led by Myles, who is also a radio personality and a teacher, had called for the long overdue elections, arguing that the present body led by Tomlinson, is "unconstitutional."
Additionally, they have charged that Tomlinson and his executive have tried to hold onto power with "a number of shady moves trying to restrict the nomination of those who will oppose them".
The group has since written to the Western Confederation, seeking their intervention. When contacted on Tuesday, however, Western Confederation chairman Linell McLean confirmed that the confederation has received correspondence from the disgruntled affiliates, but declined to go into any details.
He also refused to comment whether the Confederation was the proper body to adjudicate on the impasse. Meanwhile, Tomlinson has hit back on those who are seeking to unseat him from the position he has held for nearly a decade, citing the reasons for the challenge as "grudgeful and nothing about football."
"I am always for democracy," he told the Jamaica Observer West, adding that a number of the persons who are seeking office on the executive are not affiliates of any clubs, or organisations in the WFA, and as such would not be eligible to be elected come Saturday night.
He stressed that he was "100 per cent confident" of his chances of re-election, emphasising that he stands on his record of performance at the youth level in the parish over the past few years. He explained that the reason for not having the election that was due in 2011, was as a result of "an incident at the time."
"The elections were due, but the incident caused its postponement and after meeting with the affiliates I was given the mandate to go ahead "with the business of football in Westmoreland."
Meanwhile, Myles told the Observer West that it is time for Tomlinson to go, charging that he is hindering the growth of football in the parish by trying to hold on to the presidency by any means necessary.