For all of the years that we have employed a professional coach one is yet to hear from him any deliberate development strategy for the game in the country. That may well be outside his remit. If this is the case then we need to know who bears the responsibility for this critical aspect of our football.
There is a sense in which having recognised that there is no shortage of talent among our people for sport and particularly for football and given that there is no decline in the popularity of the sport in the State, we need to have clearly delineated development plans that include a strategy to take us beyond the second round Preliminaries of the quadrennial World Cup.
There is a sense in which the expectations raised by the performance of the senior team are such that all of the other national teams should make it beyond the first round of any regional competition in which they are involved. This is not the case in practice however and many are disappointed.
Recent weeks have seen the emergence of the single most destructive component of national football. We have witnessed what amounts to the old-style communist approach – a feeling among a certain segment of the populace that the leadership of football must be loyal to the governing regime. Indeed it is a common feature of undemocratic countries to have it suggested that the leadership of a sporting organisation be somehow virtually a member
of the governing political party or at least loyal to the regime that holds the reins of Government.
We may well have grown accustomed to non-governmental organisations becoming the replacement for socialist or left-leaning political parties of socio-political organisations. It is the reason why in the case of the Caribbean, for example, NGOs have essentially become the almost exclusive purvey of former socialist/communist advocates who, having failed in the open realm of national party politics merely shifted locale to a more surreptitious existence. It is also the reason why so many NGOs declare themselves pressure groups when the governing regime suggests a penchant for democracy and why they go into high-level, vocal and organisational support for regimes that are left leaning or socialist/communist.