For the very first time since our first entry into the FIFA World Cup in 1992, St Vincent and the Grenadines has exited after playing only one round of matches against Canada. The Canadians cooled the local team, dubbed Vincy Heat, first here at home at the Arnos Vale Complex and secondly in Canada.
St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Vincy Heat was drawn against Canada in what was a second round match-up in the 2010 World Cup Preliminaries in the Concacaf Zone.
For the first time since we have been involved in World Cup Preliminaries we were allowed to bypass the first round. This meant that we were in a death-trap in so far as once we lost at the end of the home and away matches that is it. Kaput!
This country’s many football fans were never really treated to an explanation as to why we were placed in this unenviable position. One understands, however, that we had climbed the ladder in the Concacaf region and were therefore among the fancied footballing nations.
The price for our success at the Concacaf level pitted us in the so-called big league. The only problem was that we were really not ready for this level of the game as evidenced at Arnos Vale on Sunday 15 June 2008.
Imagine that the region’s representatives at the 2006 World Cup, Trinidad and Tobago, ended up with the lowly ranked Bermuda as their second round game while we had the more highly fancied, Canada.
The preparations of the Vincentian team left much to be desired.
The change of leadership of the Federation should not really have been the target of any criticism of the team’s performance under the normal scheme of things. In a normal situation there would have been a smooth transition as the leadership changed hands and hence the programmes of the former regime should have flowed seamlessly into the incoming one. None of this occurred here in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The change of leadership came with what was perhaps the most acrimonious General Meeting in the history of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation.