OECS could learn lesson from Brazil in World Cup Finals
July 31, 2014

OECS could learn lesson from Brazil in World Cup Finals

The governments and citizens of the Organization of East Caribbean States (OECS) could use a lesson or two from the recent FIFA World Cup finals.

Governor of the East Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Sir Dwight Venner noted that the region can take the same advice {{more}} given to Brazil in a Financial Times article, after the former world bosses crashed out of World Cup contention in the just concluded 2014 World Cup Finals.

Brazil suffered a 7-1 drubbing by Germany, in the semi-finals, and then lost three nil to the Netherlands in the third place play-offs.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony of the chairmanship of the East Caribbean Central Bank Monetary Council here last week Friday, Venner said that the advice given in the column was pertinent to the region’s financial situation today, and in some cases, the suggestions are being implemented in various forms by some of the region’s leaders, including Prime Minister and Chair of the East Caribbean Currency Union Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

“1. Never let a crisis go to waste. You will never have greater consensus to rethink everything in your football than now. In German parlance, this is “zero hour.”

“2. Your past is irrelevant. Brazil’s five world titles mean nothing today. They serve only to kid you that you are still good at football. Your aim must be to play like Germany 2018, not Brazil 1970.

“3. Don’t blame individuals. Brazilian fans on Tuesday night were jeering poor, hapless Fred, but it is not his fault that he was arguably the country’s best striker. The system has failed. Fred is only a symptom.

“4. The most important thing in football is the pass. It is not the dribble, or passion, or psychology. The Germans obsess about the geometry of passing. Brazil, by contrast, no longer thinks seriously about tactics….

“5. Learn from the best countries. Accept that you no longer know how to play football. The Germans from 2004 learned passing from the Dutch and Spaniards, pace of play from the English Premier League, minority recruitment from the French, and fitness from Americans.

“And finally, you will not immediately become good, but you can almost immediately become professional. Germany leads football in nutrition, statistics, physical preparation and so on. Brazil must aim to match that.

“These lessons are very appropriate for us in the Caribbean as well. We are an extremely talented people, but talent is not everything. The same thing that was said of Brazilian football can be said about the West Indies cricket team, as we see our beloved team languish at the bottom of the international table for a long time.”

Venner said that the same can be said for Caribbean economies, as they continue to operate at low levels of productivity, and called the current situation the region’s “zero hour.”

He said that just like the revival of German football, the region has the ability to move upwards financially, if the same discipline, vision and perseverance are applied, as the Germans did over the past decade.

Venner said that the outgoing chairman of the OECS, St Lucia’s Dr Kenny Anthony, had brought the region thus far, providing wise council and a deep understanding of the circumstances under which the Monetary Council was operating.

“We look forward to the leadership of Dr Gonsalves, an experienced leader, whose role, I anticipate, would be to gather the troops together and launch a resurgence of our economies and financial systems along the path of sustaining growth and development,” Venner said.(JJ)