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Are we selling ourselves short?


The current Guinness National Inter League competition organised by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) is getting the anticipated support from the football public.

Though not a novel idea, the night fixtures at the Victoria Park are well attended.

But there is a developing trend especially on Friday nights that could brew into an undesirable affair.{{more}}

The enticement of “specials” on drinks to woo persons to the venue does not attract the patrons whom you really want to view the matches.

The marriage of sports and alcohol is an incompatible duo.

Whilst one understands and accepts that both the sponsor and the SVGFF are benefitting from the exercise, what is the cost?

The SVGFF pre-sold the tournament as “a family package” but can we say that the goings on for the past two Friday nights fit into this sort of package?

How can we ask our sportsmen and women to lead healthy life styles when they are provided with option to the contrary, aided and abetted by the parent body of the sport?

A similar exercise a few years ago ended in a fracas, with two of our national footballers part of the unsavoury conduct.

The selling of alcoholic beverage to minors, as was evident last Friday night, smacks of irresponsibility.

One may argue that the sale of alcohol at football matches is a common feature worldwide. This is so but it is done with strict adherence to age limits.

But then again, at times anything goes here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

If these sideshows are left to flourish, football matches at the Victoria Park, could well become the reincarnation of activities of Heritage Square.

The SVGFF must realise that it has a moral responsibility to the youths of the nation.

The SVGFF should not allow any sponsor in exchange for its funds to dictate the format of activities at its matches, especially if it contravenes core values.

What then is the underlying cause? The SVGFF is desperately raising funds, to offset many debts, but is it selling itself short? Undoubtedly, the coffers of the SVGFF swell whenever these added attractions are put on, and the temptations are palatable to stage even more outrageous forms of entertainment.

The Inter-league competition by far, is the most enterprising local football showpiece.

If extravagance and misguided approaches are left to hatch, then we could find ourselves killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

Let prudence be the watch word in future planning.