SVG part of Islands Cup Football Competition
St Vincent and the Grenadinesâ Arnos Vale Playing Field is among four venues to host the inaugural Islands Cup Open â a professional football tournament.
Arnos Vale is set to see action July 16 this year, as the group four convenes.
The other host venues are the Windsor Park Stadium in Dominica (July 6), the Andre Kamperveen Stadium in Suriname (July 9), as well as the Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia (July 13).
This inaugural season will be one of promotion, with the competitive action set for realization in 2018, when eight franchises are listed to enter in two groups.
Five franchises: Combine Islands, Trinbago Oilers, Barbados Challengers, Suriname Gladiators and the Jamaica Ruffnecks will be part of this yearâs test run.
It is expected that within five years of operation, 12 franchises will be established.
A host of big name footballers have been identified as players or coaches. Among them are Clarence Seedorf, John Barnes, Russell Latapy and Everald âGallyâ Cummings.
Meanwhile, the likes of Rivaldo, Florent Malouda and Ronaldinho have been fingered as marquee players/managers.
The undertaking is the work of Caribbean Football Trust Limited (CFTL), with Vincentian businessman Michael John, a board member.
CFTL is a Barbados registered company, which has offices in Orlando, Florida, as well as in Toronto, Canada.
John told SEARCHLIGHT âIt is a huge eventâ¦ This will give Vincentian footballers a great opportunity to earn some income, as they will be paid handsomelyâ¦ It will also be an opportunity for them to play football at a very high standard.â
John revealed that whilst the Combine Islands is essentially for players in the Windward Islands, it does not prevent Vincentian players from being contracted by other franchises.
âIt will be a big tourism boostâ¦ It will help in our economic development,â John envisaged.
He said that a great deal of planning is still in the works and hopefully all of them will soon come to fruition.
The brainchild of Trinidadian Chris Anderson, the Islands Cup Open has a charity component attached to it, called âKICK OUT POVERTY.â
This campaign is aimed at youth and families in the Caribbean, to empower them to lift their hopes and aspirations in life.