No More Football idolatry
On Target
January 19, 2024
No More Football idolatry

Football in St Vincent and the Grenadines will have its day of reckoning just over a week from now, when affiliates of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF), will decide the executive to chart the way for the sport over the next four years.

The Electoral Congress takes place on Saturday, November 2024, at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown.

Such has been the interest and intensity of the new electoral process that an unprecedented thirty-three (33) persons are offering themselves as candidates.

The distribution of the lot shows five vying for the post of president, four for the position of first vice- president, with five listed for the position of second vice-president, and three for the third vice-president post.

And, there are a whopping sixteen (16) slotted in for the five committee members.

Indeed, this is the largest pool of persons ever in the history of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ football to avail themselves to serve nationally.

Amongst the configuration are five distinct slates in the ranks of presidential candidates- Carl Dickson, Otashie Spring, Wayne Grant, Marvin Fraser and Renson Haynes.

This column will not question anyone’s motives for seeking the respective offices but admit that all thirty- three, have football at heart.

This is a good start as the sport needs such people.

Additionally, one has to commend all the campaigning teams who showed high levels of seriousness, as they presented their manifestos, had one-on-one with affiliates and have been using the media to good effect thus far.

However, as the date draws closer and closer, one is getting the feel of blind loyalism.

This, as it is evident that come what may, some persons are eternally indebted to others who may have done favours for them decades ago.

Unfortunately, that unbridled loyalty may work counter-productive to the best interest of the sports.

One may say it is the democratic process in train and we have to live with it. Fair one.

But, as a consequence, football in St Vincent and the Grenadines could be robbed of the best combination of persons who can really advance it.

Therefore, it is opportune that we move away from the promises, hand outs and vindictiveness that have pervaded previous elections.

Affiliates, it is high time that you dissect what have been presented by the various slates and individual candidates before making your choice.

It should be about those who have the best plausible and effective programmes that can extricate St Vincent and the Grenadines’ football from the place where it had found itself.

As of the December 31, 2023, rankings St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Senior Men’s Team sits 27th on the Concacaf list, 18th on the Caribbean Football Union’s (CFU) rankings and 173rd on the Fifa listing.

The tale is similar on the women’s side, with St Vincent and the Grenadines dangling at 163rd on the Fifa rankings; 13th on CFU and 22nd at the Concacaf standings.

This does not speak well for us when we are stacked up against the others in the region, namely among the CFU territories.

So, it cannot be just voting for voting sake as the 53 affiliates have the power to elect the men and women who are best suited for this juncture of football here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Nothing should be taken for granted when persons are required to exercise that right to place the sport on a better footing.

Hopefully, wisdom will prevail and the best team or the best individuals with the best ideas are the ones who are given the nod.

Caution though for the next eight days, civility, humility and poise will prevail as candidates and their supporters get set for that day of reckoning.