The World’s governing body FIFA has confirmed that the ban on Venold Coombs, former President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) has been lifted.
In a letter to General Secretary of the SVGFF Devron Poyer and dated November 16, 2023 and signed by Carlos Schneider, Director of FIFA Judicial Bodies stated that: “We can confirm that Mr Coombs is no longer suspended from any football activities. This without prejudice to the potential eligibility requirements of your association.
Coombs was on July 3, 2018 given a two-year ban and fined US$40,000 after being found guilty of breaching rules of ethics relative to bribery and corruption, conflict of interest and loyalty pertaining to the sale of tickets for the 2014 World Cup.
In August 2022, a further six-month ban was imposed on Coombs which was expected to expire in March 2023.
The letter from FIFA comes after one local football club, SV United slammed the operations of the SVGFF secretariat citing what they said was ‘suppression’ of information regarding Coombs’ eligibility to participate in football related activities.
A representative for the club, during a press briefing on November 13 contended that Coombs was in fact free to be part of any national footballing activities.
This although Coombs’ nomination to represent SV United at a meeting back in October had not been accepted by the SVGFF.
Poyer stated in a letter that the SVGFF would not get involved in any activity as it related to Coombs unless proof was provided that Coombs, or FIFA would have paid the fine in full and that unless that was done, Coombs would not be able to attend any SVGFF sanctioned activities.
However, the FIFA letter indicated that that organization was “following closely the recent developments in St Vincent and the Grenadines concerning the eligibility status of the subject (Venold Coombs) individual to participate in footballing activities.”
“In view of the above, we have identified that our communication dated 18 September 2023 may have contributed to create a degree of ambiguity in interpretation,” the letter stated.
It went on to indicate that the SVGFF was not provided with details that may have assisted it to have a more adequate understanding of the matter.
It went on: “In particular, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee accepted a payment plan which resulted in the lifting of the ban imposed against Mr Coombs.”