On Target
November 16, 2012
Fair or fear?

The decision taken by the executive of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation to have nine teams/clubs in the Super Eights of the National Lotteries Authority National Club Championships must go down as another of the faux pas committed by those charged with the duty of administering the sport here.{{more}}

At the core of the decision-making/bungling procedure was the legality of Marian Grant, who Je Belle FC deemed not to have been duly transferred from them to Bequia FC.

Both Je Belle and Bequia FC were contesting for the last of the Super Eights places and Bequia defeated Je Belle 2-1, hence the latter’s protest actions.

But the eventual outcome in the matter was considered the best in the interest of all concerned.

What was so incorrect for the arbitrators not to rule in favour of one team, instead of going the way of compromise?

In so doing, the goal posts have been shifted in the middle of the competition.

Maybe it is that same inefficiency which gave rise to the problem in the first instance.

This column understands that the management of Bequia had submitted to the secretariat of the SVGFF the transfer request for Grant ahead of the deadline, but the management of Je Belle did not affix the necessary signature to complete the process.

If this was the case, the matter should have been dealt with there and then.

But there are some unanswered questions.

Was it a cover-up for an episode of poor recordkeeping and lack of a data base of events and paperwork?

Or was a case of fear of the threat of a court injunction that they cowered and included both Bequia and Je Belle?

What if the other six teams that did not make it to the playoffs or Super Eights stage/nine team play-off, had then decided to file some complaints?

Could it mean that all could have also been included in this phase of the competition?

Additionally, have all the matches in the group stage been completed, which would have had a bearing on the final outcome of the placing?

Was it a case that the horse had already bolted that let us get the competition over and done with?

Whatever the reasoning behind the final outcome of the matter of the legality of the player in question, the executive passed up an opportunity to stamp its authority on the administration of the sport, amidst the barrage of accusations of its inefficiency.

But the case of Marian Grant is the most ventilated issue of the neglected transfer procedures in the national football set-up.

Many seem to think this is a non-complaint matter; hence, pay little attention to it.

Some management personnel of teams have become very disingenuous and allow to enter their units, players they know are not duly transferred.

But this shadows the malignant “free for all/do as you like” phenomenon, where players are blatantly ignoring the one player —one team/club ruling.

No one cares; neither are the custodians of the sport instituting the clamp of authority, as many of the current national players are evidently among those who flaunt the law.

The latest saga should be some teachable moments for the SVGFF.

It is an opportune time for the keepers to be more adept at their tasks, and where possible seek professional help from outside the precincts of the secretariat.

It may now be necessary that in future national competitions, a games secretary, detached from the executive, be employed to avoid some of the issues which are plaguing the current club championships.

The idea must continue to be sold that all affiliates are part of the SVGFF and all must endeavour to see the sport go forward in the manner that produces the best results on and off the field.

The executive of the SVGFF must always bear in mind that the world governing body provides the organisation with a regular funding for its day-to-day running, and, in reciprocity, there must be efficiency and some levels of professionalism.

Those at the helm must note that it is the same ones they bend over backwards for, who will incessantly punch them with criticisms when they err.