On Target
April 29, 2022
Football under reconstruction

As St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) returns to some semblances of normalcy after two years of stipulations, protocols, vigilance, dodging and being extra meticulous about the threats of the coronavirus, sports too is slowly but surely reclaiming its pride of place.

Over the last two years, there has been limited national competitions for most of the sports and for some, not at all.

Unfortunately, football has been severely hit with no National Club Championships per se for 2020/2021, as after a promising start, that edition had to be aborted because of a spike in COVID- 19 cases here, following the 2020 festive Christmas season.

The situation worsened and there was none for 2021 to 2022.

Regrettably, this prolonged period of inactivity has hit the sport some undue injustices.

As it stands at this juncture, our football would have regressed even with its ready done mass participation, albeit it is still the most popular sport in the country.

Therefore, there must be that concerted effort to get the sport going full throttle, as it is no gainsaying that football is the “ Game of the People”.

It however, must take redoubled input from all to reset, restart and rethink the way we do things as it pertains to overall football development.

As such the pandemic has taught us the harsh lessons of the need to erect solid foundations and formidable reinforcements in case of unforeseen eventualities.

This may require us to again begin to build from the ground up, as we have found out that the structure has several defects and substandard building materials.

Critical to all the refurbishing plans must be the availability of skilled artisans and builders who are metaphorically speaking, our coaches.

But the overarching component of the exercise are the contractors and architects whose designs have to fit into the Vincentian landscape, in order for us to see the new home for football.

In the rebuilding process, there will be injuries, fall outs, short falls and mishaps, but the greater good of seeing St Vincent and the Grenadines’ football regain its position on the regional scene, will compensate for the travails experienced in the process.

Are we prepared to suck some salt and wait for the rewards during the long haul? Are we willing and able to make the cultural changes needed to ensure true football development?

Can the balancing act be had between results and the arduous development process?

Ironically, when St Vincent and the Grenadines was regarded as a Caribbean powerhouse in football, we were not blessed with the infrastructure, ready- made funding from FIFA and CONCACAF.

Then , the entire country was behind the sport, as our national teams then provided the results that engendered passion and unwavering support.

This is not to say that we would not get the occasional good results from our current representative teams, but they are not guaranteed.

It will be fool hardy for many who follow the sport to expect that each time our senior men’s team goes on the field, they will walk over our opponents.

Obviously not, as admittedly, others are ahead of us on their development pathway, as well as other contributing variables, such as larger economies of scale and resources.

In all of our deficiencies, St Vincent and the Grenadines has the natural raw materials to reconstruct a football house that is sturdy, aesthetically pleasing to the eye and more so, durable.

This column is aware that a re-designed house for football is under construction. Needed urgently are the prospective occupants to buy into the design.
Despite the aforementioned propositions, a house needs more than just the structure, but its upkeep is paramount.

Year after year, time after time. there has been the hue and cry for a Home for Football, and moves are closer for its realization.

But having a place to call home without a properly constructed house, things are destined to go awry.

Hence, getting the best suitable structure to fit into the grander scheme of things, should take precedence.