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A rethink is a must

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Rethinking, re-energizing and reviewal of the National Inter Community League Football Championships must be part of the agenda of the tournament’s planners, the executive of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation.{{more}}

These activities are mandatory, as some persons might be quick to look favourably at the fact that the championships have been completed; there were large crowds from the quarter-finals to the finals; the winners are known and everything has been declared honky dory.

Interestingly, it is usually the club competitions, not the inter community football league, which is traversed with gusto.

However, it is accepted that national football administrators viewed the inter community league championships as a means of bringing back the crowds to football.

The 2013 championships did not produce scintillating football; in fact, this year’s exercise fell below last year’s mark. Despite some of the units being replete with players who have played at the national level, many of them were shadows of what they displayed previously.

This further throws the purpose of the championships into a quandary, as it was supposed to showcase the “best”.

Again, this is despite the fact that at least six or seven current national players are plying their trade in leagues in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.

Unfortunately, most of the eggs were placed in the one basket, because of the possibility of drawing crowds, especially at the Victoria Park.

The organizers so often get caught up in the senior competition, that the Under-13, Under-17 and women’s divisions get the crumbs, with little attention paid to the overall administration of the developmental components.

So, we continue to spin our football tops in mud, and when the silt comes out at the end of the cycle, the seniors, we then make a hue and cry about the state of the local game.

What then should the technical committee of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation make of the championships, as much of the focus was placed on the senior male division?

But how long will these championships be the most focussed national football exhibition, as there must come the time when the saturation point will be reached and the stalemate becomes ominous?

We seem not to understand how quickly Vincentians get fed up; their acceptance levels dissipate with each passing day.

So, the inter community league championships, with all the trappings, needs to be reviewed, if it is to be productive all round.

First up, there are too many teams in the senior division – twelve may be an ideal number to work with, but what mechanism will be employed to restrict that quota, when the mark of “plenty teams” has been set.

Also, there must be a review of the second round of the senior male competition, as that phase is met with a lull and general disinterest.

Patrons tend only to be aroused when there is something at stake, in this case, a team being eliminated.

Therefore, the introduction of the home and away format from the quarter-final stage, may be the replacement for the second round of competition.

Also, every effort should be explored to have an independent committee to administer the competitions, in an attempt to negate the perceived biases and control of proceedings, as several of the current main organisers have a vested interest in the very teams which participate.

Whilst this may be difficult to attend to immediately, at least the SVGFF should employ a games secretary to run the various competitions.

Likewise, greater attention must go towards the marketing of the matches, from the preliminaries to the finals.

Additionally, the decision to have four finals on the same afternoon, turned out to be counter-productive, as no one should have to spend in excess of eight hours at the Victoria Park to witness the outcomes of titles.

Surely, it was not a good selling point for the sport, as patrons were required to leave the venue after 11:30 p.m., this is unacceptable.

What if all the finals had ended in draws and needed extra time or kicks from the penalty spot? Then, we could have left the park early Monday morning.

Also, having the Under-17 division decided just before 9 p.m. is another no-no.

So, do not again let us hear your good be evilly spoken about.

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