On Target
September 30, 2011
Not an easy road

The precedent has been set for the conduct of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) Elections.

Without a doubt, the election of persons to the Executive of the SVGFF is the second most publicized and eventful election nationally, second only to the elections to elect a new government.{{more))

Such was its significance that it was the front page story of one newspaper last week Friday, and a side bar in another.

It can be safely assumed that Football is definitely the most popular sport here, and is truly the game of the people.

But as the popularity of the Football elections grows, we see an emerging trend of business houses and some politicians throwing their support behind their favoured team or slate, mirroring the way it is done in the national politics set up.

The abrasions were also evident at last Saturday’s election, as following the victory of Venold Coombs, the other candidates on the other slates either walked out or chose not to stand for election.

Kudos must go to Bert Francois for being the only one to stick it out and face the affiliates for the post of Third Vice President.

So, the newly elected Executive of the SVGFF, under the headship of Coombs, will soon realise that the administration of the sport is no easy road.

Therefore, the sooner they acknowledge that to whom much is given much is expected, it will be better for the sport and the administrators themselves.

Coombs and his slate received overwhelming support last Saturday, from 44 of the affiliates, but this must not be seen as an endorsement of the programmes and policies, as many voted against grouses meted out to them by members of the outgoing Executive, led by Joseph Delves.

The scene has been set for a guarded approach by the new Executive towards taking custody of the affairs of Football and not to be more preoccupied with satisfying the needs of those who gave them that stamp of approval, or those who worked behind the curtains in ensuring last Saturday’s success.

Coombs and his men need not go on a witch hunt and axe those who were employed under the former Delves administration, as it is clear that the new Executive is short on experience in some critical areas. Hence, carefully getting the right persons to fit the billshould be foremost on the agenda of the new national stewards.

During this honeymoon period, President Coombs should get intimate with the demands of the sport as the dynamics have changed since he last was at the helm, twenty one years ago.

Coombs, being out of the loop for some time, will accept that the sport has taken on a new dimension, a commercial look; and the politics of Football, both regionally and internationally, has certainly impacted, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines can become a pawn in the chess game for world supremacy.

Listening to the right people and being receptive to new ideas would not hurt your Executive as they map out the road to realizing the pillar of your campaign, i.e to bring back Football to the glory days.

Take control of your Executive, Mr. Coombs, but not in an autocratic manner.

It would also be a good practice, Mr. Coombs, to incorporate some of the ideas detailed by the other two other unsuccessful presidential candidates, Messrs Michael John and Patrick Horne. Indeed, you and your Executive should, as far as possible, incorporate some of these policies, whether wholesale, or tweak them to fall into line with yours.

Also, continuing with the existing programmes of the immediate former Executive makes good sense as over the past four years, there were innovations which were good for the sport.

Football at this time is delicately poised, as the economic situation worldwide and other social factors necessitate more creative thinking in order to sustain its viability.

The newly elected Executive alone cannot do it.

All who love Football and showed such enthusiasm leading up to last Saturday’s election, that unbridled fervour, and had the answers for Football during the recent campaign, now is the time when Football needs you more than ever.