On Target
July 9, 2021
Another nine days talk?

For the past months, March to be exact, many football aficionados, critics and those with a platform, had a lot to say about the performance of the senior men’s team in the World Cup matches.

The discussions’ decibels were raised last month, when the team suffered the 10-0 defeat at the hands of Guatemala.

Things got worse two week ago, when an administrative faux pas, resulted in seven members failing to obtain the necessary visas for the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifiers in Fort Lauderdale. Thus, St Vincent and the Grenadines had only 13 players to field versus regional football powerhouse, Haiti. More followed when the team was beaten 6-1 by the Haitians last Friday.

That basically ended the road for the flagship, but the restart and intensification of the open-heart surgery of this country’s football.

There were many persons who had a lot to say; some had the panacea to save Vincy football. The loudest call was for a change in the administrators, while others bellowed for the removal of the national coach. Down the line, there were few who pointed to the team’s management and some want a reshuffling of players, inclusive of greater effort of recruiting more eligible overseas Vincentians.

Many huffed and puffed, hoping that their actions would blow the house down.

Critically though, what unfolded over the last three months or so, was that deep scrutiny of our football, which was very much welcomed.

Using the various forums, the ideas, plans and proposals were fleshed out by all and sundry, with some accompanying plausible suggestions.

Among the common recommendations was a comprehensive youth football programme. Many see this as the foundation which must be dug and solidified, before any football structure can be built.

Too, there have been calls for a better system of recruitment of coaches, along with a stronger effort towards equipping coaches with the necessary education and technical know-how.

However, those who have been following the sport over the years, would acknowledge that the norm has continued, as this has been the after effects whenever St Vincent and the Grenadines exits a tournament.

The difference this time around, is that the discussions have been more intense and with no holds barred.

So, what we were basically doing is rehashing the issues, but in a more forceful and declarative manner.

But the proof of those who made the comments, offered the worthwhile suggestions and provide constructive criticisms of our football, the time is now to be part of the reconfiguration and corrective processes.

Obviously, those who took the time out to show the concerns about St Vincent and the Grenadines’ football, would indeed have a vested interest. Of course, their interests are not confined to selfish agenda, but a genuine concern to see St Vincent and the Grenadines’ football rise from the state that it is in.

Your contribution must be realised in active terms, rather than the passive criticisms and participatory role in the many discussions, whether on radio, or on the very popular and seductive social media.

You would be encouraged to align yourself with one of our football units here and make your mark.

Similarly, affiliates have to be more forceful and demand more of those who have been elected to serve and administrate SVG’s football.

Affiliates have resigned themselves to four–year relevance, only functional whenever there are elections of a new executive.

But as this column is calling out those very concerned football pundits and supporters, the same holds for the executive of the SVGFF, to take the suggestions on board, and not to look at the messengers with contempt, but filter the messages.

Those elected officials must man-up to their responsibilities, whilst accounting for their stewardship.

Football administration goes beyond balancing the books and hosting tournaments, as the acumen of those in charge is measured by the development strides made.

Hopefully, the loud notices which rinsed out the ears of the football loving public within recent times and the postings that consumed many persons’ attention, must be transformed into decisive action.

This column does not want to believe it will just be another page being turned in the football rhetoric, neither is it another nine-days talk.