March 24, 2006
Pitch battle over Victoria Park

There seems to be a war brewing over what should happen at Victoria Park. As far as the local Football Federation is concerned, Victoria Park is the number one choice as a home for football. {{more}}

President of the local Federation, St. Clair Leacock stated that position emphatically at a press conference last Monday.

The offer of facilities at Brighton appears not to have attracted the Federation’s consideration. Leacock suggested that Campden Park would have been a better choice.

The Federation President, also a Senator in the House of Assembly with the opposition New Democratic Party, pointed out that the Federation was running out of time in securing a home for football. He outlined that the Stadium would not be ready for five years, and he was looking ahead to the 2010 World Cup.

Leacock mentioned that Football was bringing more money into the nation’s economy than cricket, and that the “national sport should be respected.”

Leacock lamented the absence of Victoria Park for football in Kingstown.

He decried the authority’s extension of sport facilities. “They have not been judicious,” Leacock observed.

There can be protests as a result of the cricket pitch at Victoria Park, but President Leacock would not be playing a “frontal view.”

He does want it to look like a “political confrontation.”

For Leacock, the cricket pitch at Victoria Park represents “a great insensitivity.”

Leacock observed that “it is a travesty of sporting justice to deny football a venue.”

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves had his version of the Victoria Park episode when he spoke to the media last Tuesday.

“I don’t understand why Victoria Park cannot be a properly managed facility to serve cricket, football, cultural activities and other functions,” Dr. Gonsalves said.

The Prime Minister defended the development at Victoria Park and described it as the “most comprehensive development for the last 25 to 30 years.”

“What is so wrong about putting down a cricket pitch at Victoria Park?” Dr. Gonsalves queried.

He assured that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a democratic country.

For him, the issue is not the cricket pitch, but designed to “pressure the government to turn over Victoria Park to football.”