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Football is serious business!

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Football is the Game of the People! Yes, in the Vincentian context, it surely is. But has this belief been translated into reality?

Talk abounds about the potential of Football, and we often say that sports is an arm of national development and a vehicle for social transformation. However, it remains mere talk and can be categorised as plain blarney.{{more}}

Yes, there is a fall off in spectator interest in sports, as there are other attractions or distractions to occupy people’s time. But another reason is because we are not really serious about sports.

The National Lotteries Authority National Club Championships, which are nearing completion, point to a need to really take the business of Football with greater passion and ownership by the keepers of the sport as well as the players.

The championships, one must say, will end and there will be a prize giving ceremony etc.

However, an analysis of the entire affair shows that it was just another set of competitions. From my vantage point, there was definitely no significant change for the betterment of the sport and otherwise.

There was no rush to get to the matches; there was not that buzz or craving for the titles.

Teams/ clubs still turned up late for matches, so, too, did some match officials. Matches were also defaulted. Kudos to clubs like Predators and Zodiac for their ‘stick ability’ in this respect, despite being up against it.

The distinct disparity in terms of abilities between the different teams/clubs in the Premiership was exposed by some of the score lines.

Additionally, some just went through the motions and were glad to get it over and done with.

A case in point was last weekend’s First Division title match at the Victoria Park. It was an occasion not worth viewing as no sense of competitiveness existed.

Whilst some blame must be placed on the shoulders of the teams/clubs, the Executive of the SVGFF at times seemed to have thrown its hands up in the air and surrendered when the tough got going.

It was this Executive’s first major test in administrating competitions, but they failed miserably in some areas.

They failed to make that extra effort to get patrons to the matches, after the planned promotional incentives of door prizes, among others, seemed to have crashed in bureaucracy.

When you speak to most footballers here, they will often tell you that they want to secure a professional contract, or even more ambitious, be like one of the many stars seen on La Liga, the English Premiership or Series A.

Likewise, the holders of offices of the SVGFF will also tell you that a wish is to get this country at the World Cup level, clubs competing at the Caribbean club championships, then on to the CONCACACAF .

Therefore, professionalism is key all round.

Additionally, the pronouncements by the Executive often point to its Youth Development Programme being its pillar.

Was the start of the National Under-17 competition, which kicked off last weekend, reflective of that approach?

There was almost a hush by way of information of the competition. It seems as if there is again a disconnect; as if it is to each his own among the elected, selected or appointed officers of the SVGFF’s Executive. Moreso, its Public Relations since the departure of Larry Bascombe is almost non existent, although, there is such a mouthpiece in place.

It is widely known that the successes of other countries’ Football Programmes germinated and flourished with the emphasis on youth.

The interest or the lack thereof we show in the youths will be our recompense on the day of harvest.

Unfortunately, we do not get a second chance to make a first impression.

It is my hope and that of others that those in place will take the handle of the Under-17 competition and make something of it.

Likewise, I hope that serious evaluation of the National Club Championships be done in time for the next one, as the nation’s premier Football competitions must correspond with its status.

It is also serious business when this column continues its call for the removal of the “Mound” at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

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