Federation barred from Victoria Park
The recent past has witnessed the ups and downs of football here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
While there is plenty of blame enough to be spread all around this country and among the different organisations involved it is necessary to reflect on what is happening in the sport and suggest ways in which we should proceed.
Football – most popular sport
There is no doubt that here in St Vincent and the Grenadines like so many other Caribbean countries Football is easily the nation’s most popular sport.
There was perhaps a time when Cricket held that prestigious and enviable position. There was also a time when it seemed that Netball had risen to the status of being the nation’s most popular sport. Today, the nation’s most popular sport in Football.
What does it mean to be the most popular sport in a nation?
For us here it seems that it does not mean much. Given the numerous problems confronting the football fraternity in St Vincent and the Grenadines, being the nation’s most popular sports counts for very little, if anything at all.This columnist has already stated that the political leadership merely pays lip service to sport and fails to establish a confidence corps around him in respect of sound advisors in respect of the role of sport in national development.Indeed, if the leadership ever came to an understanding of the popularity of football and its impact on national consciousness he would have ensured that he made political capital of this fact.
The organisation of a football match anywhere in St Vincent and the Grenadines brings out the masses in their numbers. It does not matter the quality of the game.
The popularity of Football here is such that people everywhere throng to venues at any time, day or night, when football is being played to give support to their respective teams and also to the game itself. They are all enthusiastic participants in any football game and they go home following its conclusion a most sated lot.
Vincy Heat is the name given to this country’s national Football team.
Over the years the team has met with relative success.
In the run-up to the last World Cup, Vincy Heat impressed at every stage by giving good account in every game, especially against the leading forces of the sport in the CONCACAF region.
Against Mexico Vincy Heat showed class and pressed a nation in which Football is a professional sport. Few could believe that we are still at a stage where only a few of our players have been able to access professional contracts and as yet not one has been able to enter the really big professional leagues in the world.
Against Trinidad and Tobago, a nation that eventually made it through to the World Cup Finals in Germany, Vincy Heat showed determination and grit to back up the outstanding skill of the players. The Vincentians put the Trinbagonians to the test pressing them through to the end and impressing the footballing fraternity.
Despite not making it through to the World Cup Finals Vincy Heat nonetheless did enough to let the world know where we are located and the stuff of which we are made as a sporting nation.