The Antigua and Barbuda National Olympic Committee (NOC) and Volleyball Association (AVBA) is under heavy media fire after one of its top executives was suspended due to allegations of tampering with AVBA’s official funding, according to Sportcaraibe.com.
Wilbur Harrigan, Vice-President of NOC and President of the AVBA received his suspension letter from NOC after he reportedly failed to return money given to the AVBA in anticipation of the country’s hosting of the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association (EVCA) Women’s World Cup Qualifiers last September. The AVBA had initially received $15,000 towards the hosting of the event, which was cancelled due to Hurricane Maria’s devastation of the Eastern Caribbean. Requests asking the funds to be returned were allegedly ignored by Harrigan.
While his suspension came from NOC itself, other important members of the committee are supporting Harrigan, which clearly shows that the institution is undergoing a deep political struggle among its executive branch. Harrigan supporters state that if the original event was cancelled, it’s only natural that the money destined to its execution would be used in the future, when it’s possible to execute it, and that if there is to be a suspension, the organization itself should be the one to face it, not a single individual. They have written to the IOC relating the fact. The IOC is yet to manifest itself on the matter.