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Leacock vents his frustration

Leacock vents his frustration


St. Claire Leacock, president of the local Football Federation is worried, and his frustration is growing every day. He is fed up with the response his Federation is getting to requests for use of Victoria Park as a home for soccer.

Early this month, the Federation commenced the Guinness Inter-League competition at Victoria Park, located in Capital City Kingstown. But as fans were warming to the matches, the authorities blew the final whistle. And it seems unlikely that football would reappear at Victoria Park for quite some time. The Federation finds itself in a terrible situation, as outlined by the president.{{more}}

The nation’s senior squad is scheduled to take part in the CFU Digicel Cup in three weeks’ time in Jamaica.

The current League championship has been put on hold.

“I was made to feel that we were accommodated,” Leacock pointed out.

In addition to this championship, preparation for various squads has been a problem to the Federation owing to the absence of suitable surfaces.

“Once they stay in love with the field, football would always be left out,” Leacock noted.

That’s the big part of our problem,” the Federation president declared.

He acknowledged that Football was an “all weather game.”

An opposition Senator in this nation’s Parliament, Leacock added: “I don’t think the effort to accommodate football is good enough.”

Leacock admitted to having to choose his words “carefully.”

He pointed out however that “It is important that the game progresses.” He also admitted that there were some problems with the multi-purpose use of the facility, and expressed doubts that the cricket pitch would develop.

Leacock stressed that “Football has to have an income stream. I can’t run football on FIFA money alone.”

Leacock detailed the Federation’s expenses which included $11,000 to bring home foreign-based players to take part in the Digicel Cup, $36,000 for the Under 17 squad, $38,000 to help the Under 20 team, and the senior squad had to come up with $19,000 for a friendly in Antigua last weekend.

“We (are) in a bad way,” Leacock outlined.

He confessed that he did not give up easily, but that he was “getting frustrated.”

The Campden Park Playing Field is used for competitions as well as practice.

The CFU Digicel Cup has caught the senior national team short of practice according to the president.

“We are going in without enough football,” he declared. Leacock projected towards the 2010 World Cup and said that qualifiers were scheduled to start in 2007.