Football should take the lead
On Target
April 17, 2020

Football should take the lead

Football, undoubtedly the most popular and widespread sporting discipline here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, should first put its hand up, and begin to restructure.

We have all come to accept with the ongoing health pandemic that when the dust is settled, there will be changes to the way we do things here in sports.

So with the prolonged and uncertain break in football activities locally, the executive of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation should already be framing a new chapter for the reconfiguration of the sport.

This is against the backdrop that what we presently have, can and will only get St Vincent and the Grenadines only comparative to some countries in the Caribbean and no more.

Unfortunately, this has been the norm for many years now, and successive executives have just blown hot air on the matter, made promises, yet the status quo remains in place.

Instead, the national administrators of the football here, for many years, have been relying on a host of competitions at all levels.

The plethora of competitions and the various community leagues, have made the sport a sustained reach and sorted out some social issues.

Added, the policymakers of football have ensured in some way that several development courses were hosted. These courses covered administration, medical, refereeing, coaching and others.

But such activities, when bundled, have not advanced the sport where it ought to have reached, given the funding, the opportunities and what is available technically to our administrators.

Truth be told, the sport has not developed at a pace that is commensurate with the amount of financial resources that have been pumped into this country.

So this is the time for stocktaking, as one envisaged that from here on in, it will be value for dollar, when the international and regional football bodies, FIFA and CONCACAF, respectively, hand out their financial support.

The current administration of the SVGFF, under the headship of Carl Dickson, should be looking seriously and with some expediency, at a complete overhaul of SVG’s youth football programme.

This column dare to suggest that we start from scratch.

Yes, there is some semblances of work being done at the youth level, by clubs, community groups and by the SVGFF’s technical department.

Again, what is in place has not worked, as there are some fundamental flaws in what takes place.

In the resetting of such a programme, it may be prudent to have the established clubs given the responsibility for youth development, either individually or in zones.

This must be coupled with strong and knowledgeable technical personnel to provide the guidance, programmes and evaluation apparatus to see the process to fruition.

In making the re-adjustments, we need not re-invent the wheel and try to come up with any sophisticated plans, as history is there to guide us.

Our past experiences should shape us, as from evidence, whenever St Vincent and the Grenadines’ football was at a high point, was as a result of when there was some homogeneity.

The top local teams, some of our most successful national outfits, all had some commonalities in them.

Therefore, in re-modelling what we do with our football programme, would also mean an empowering of clubs, a reduction in the number national competitions and the number of football units under the aegis of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation.

Critical to the anticipated new dispensation of our football, as well, must be the retooling of the persons who are in the administrative seats of the sport, as football today calls for persons with greater acumen.

In doing so, there will be casualities, as some units will have to go out of existence, or collapse and merge with others, while some administrators either shape up or ship out.

Anticipating that there world be changes worldwide, the SVGFF cannot wait until the inevitable unfolds, and has to be proactive in all areas, to face the what can only new challenges and new frontiers to be erected.