We should have defeated Jamaica in the Kamperveen Cup in 1992 when we led them 3-0 at one stage in the game only to see the lead diminish, ending in a draw. That we were able to defeat them at home this time around by a 2-1 margin speaks volumes for the performance of Vincy Heat. This is strengthened by the fact that we were the first country to defeat Jamaica at home in many years.
We broke the record established at home by the renowned Reggae Boyz. We defeated them in their own backyard.
The success of the football team alone, despite the many odds that should otherwise have militated against them, should have been enough to stave off just the type of comment made in the Parliament.
To suggest in the Parliament that there would be no money coming for football is to fly in the face of this countrys reality.
The Game of the People
Basil Bung Cato it was who made the saying, Soccerthe game of the people so very popular. It resonated with all of St Vincent and the Grenadines if only because it is so fundamental a truth.
Cato merely captured the quintessential importance of a particular sport, football, to all Vincentians.
As a Vincentian, the Prime Minister should by this time have come to the realisation that football is by far the most popular sport in the country. As such, the fortunes of our football team are always closely followed, second only perhaps to those of the West Indies cricket team.
The unfortunate statement made in Parliament seems to suggest that he does not quite understand sport and its importance to a people, especially Vincentians. He does not appear to have understood the importance of football to the youths in particular.
Some may recall that on the day that Vincy Heat was playing Nicaragua at the Arnos Vale Playing Field the Comrade was not there at the beginning. It seems that he only arrived there after Vincy Heat had scored and the roar of the crowd could have been heard all across the Kingstown area, especially Sion Hill.
Vincy Heat has qualified to go on to the next round of the 2006 Digicel Cup. This is a major step forward for our football and not just for the footballers. It is a major source of pride for all football enthusiasts, and all Vincentians, especially the countrys leadership.