Tue | Aug 4, 2020

JOA, JAAA in tit for tat over Pan Am Games bill

Published:Tuesday | July 14, 2020 | 12:30 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
Blake
Blake

Though they have been waiting for almost year, the Corporate Area-based travel agency that made arrangements for some members of the Pan American Games delegation that travelled to Lima, Peru, last year, will have to exercise more patience, as they seek compensation for their services.

This as the hierarchies of Jamaican Olympic Association (JOA) and the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) are pointing fingers at each other, as to who should pay the over $2 million owed to the agency.

When The Gleaner contacted the president of the JOA, Christopher Samuda, he directed the news team to the JAAA.

“I understand that it is a matter between the travel agent and the JAAA. I suspect you should call the JAAA,” Samuda said.

However, the JAAA president, Dr Warren Blake, redirected The Gleaner to the JOA: “The Pan American Games are under the purview of the JOA and they are the ones who are always responsible for the bills and everything associated with the Pan American Games. The JAAA’s job is to select the team and hand it over to the JOA.”

PROTECTING BRAND

The tit for tat has left the travel agency frustrated, but its handlers, in order to protect their brand, are not ready to take legal action against the parties.

“We would like to receive payment but I don’t want it to get to the point where we are going to court to sue anybody,” said a representative of the company, who asked for anonymity.

The Gleaner understands that there was an agreement for the JOA’s member federations to foot a percentage of the airfare for teams that exceed a certain number.

“We also arranged for the footballers to travel to the Games. The JOA has paid their portion and the JFF (Jamaica Football Federation) is paying the rest. They haven’t finished yet but we are receiving payment for the footballers,” the representative added.

Nonetheless, Blake is adamant that the athletics federation made no such arrangements with the travel agency or the JOA.

“We didn’t make any agreement with the JOA or the travel agent and I will not be saying anything more on the matter,” Blake noted.