July 28, 2006
Football returns to Victoria Park soon

After a three-year absence, competitive football returns to the Victoria Park, but with some restrictions.

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) has been granted the use of the facility by the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) for its Inter-league Championship set to begin August 19.{{more}}

The privilege has also been extended to national teams preparing for regional and international competitions.

But the park will be out of bound for footballers wanting to utilise it for recreational and practice purposes.

The SVGFF will also have to give way to government and other functions from time to time.

Apart from the Senior League Competition, in which most of the leagues are expected to participate, an Under-17 Inter-league and a Women’s Competition are planned for the same venue by the local football body.

The SVGFF is hoping to maximise its use, as it is fitted with floodlights, that facilitate matches at nights.

Known as the local football Mecca, the Victoria Park underwent extensive re-grassing and refurbishing by the NLA, which took control from the Kingstown Town Board.

Its use became a political hot potato, engaging President of the SVGFF St. Claire Leacock and other parliamentarians in heated debates in this country’s House of Assembly.

Concerns heightened when it was evident that a cricket pitch was being placed on the park. This aroused fear of the demise of football.

The SVGFF had proposed the park as the “home for football”, with the National Sports Council (NSC) alternatively offering the Brighton Playing Field.

This suggestion was vehemently rejected by the SVGFF.

The SVGFF instead has purchased lands in the Quarry area of Kingstown, as part of its US$400 000 Goal Project offered by FIFA. Its plan is to erect an administrative centre, equipped with a gymnasium and a restaurant.