I always say that the only certainty in life is that nothing goes exactly according to plan and the strength of a person is the ability to react in a positive way to all changes.
My plans to present last night to all of the delegates in a separate meeting room did not work out. The AGM zonal meetings overran and instead of finishing at 6pm finished at 8:30pm. I waited in an empty meeting room for over two hours and then gave in for the day. Cest la vie!
People who have worked with me over the past 30 years know that I do not give up easily. I did not give up when fighting to introduce a combined ranking in the ITF Junior circuit in 2004, I did not give up in the 10 years it took me to change the rules of tennis for 10 and under and I will not give up now. I have today set up my “Dave Miley campaign” office in the lobby of the Hotel and I’m pictured here in my “office” with Kamil Patel, former highly ranked ATP player and current Mauritius Tennis President. Yesterday I met with over 10 Presidents and all of them were appalled at the way the CAT President, Tarak Cherif, has excluded the three Presidential candidates opposing Dave Haggerty from this important meeting.
Like me, they cannot understand why the CAT President took this decision when the ITF code allows our attendance. Yesterday, Dave Haggerty and his team of six people were able to spend time at each of the five zonal meetings and they will present again today to the formal AGM. The Presidents here are keen to hear what the other candidates and myself are proposing for the ITF so that they can make a more informed decision in September. The fact that a number of the CAT Board members wrote to me to say that they did not support the decision made it even more confusing and difficult to understand the reasons for this decision.
On a positive note, I was able during the day yesterday to lay out my ideas and vision for the ITF to the Presidents that I met and, whilst it’s not the same as presenting in the formal AGM with the benefit of translators, as Dave Haggerty will do today, I will try to meet with as many of the other Presidents today in my makeshift office. It was heartening that all of the Presidents thanked me for making the trip to Madagascar and showing that I care about African tennis.
I wonder what must the Ethics commission and its Chairperson Sandra Osborne think of this behaviour and this apparent bias towards the incumbent? I have been requesting to meet or to speak by phone with Miss Osborne since early March and am still waiting for the opportunity. As I shared a glass of wine last night with my good friends Jean Claude Tallon, Cedric Babu and Mohamed Traore, the Presidents of Benin, Uganda and Mali, I had to ask myself where is the fairness that this new code of Conduct was supposed to bring to the campaign. I certainly have not seen much of it in Madagascar or in my efforts to campaign over the past 3 months.