The game of football and Vincentian politics
The National Olympic Committee, NOC, convened such a meeting recently at which the stakeholders, for the most part, were involved and it was understood that the follow-up will entail the submissions of calendars by all users of outdoor playing fields for 2007 that would allow for greater coordination of usage.
However that still leaves the fact that the governing bodies for cricket and football are not always able to predict their regional and international needs until their respective International Federations (IF) have so determined.
The problem however is that there is a limited number of facilities and great needs. This has been compounded by the Cricket World Cup, CWC, 2007 requirements.
Incidentally, the CWC2007 has been given a major mandate over four playing fields that to this day has never been explained or discussed with any of the stakeholders.
At the end of the day the matter of determining which fields football can access for an extended period to facilitate fulfillment of their regional and international commitments is left up to the NSC and the NLA, both of which are yet to sit at the same table with the SVGFF.
That the senior national team must have access to the very best facility to keep themselves in readiness for the Digicel Cup cannot be challenged. There is no gainsaying this fact.
The NLA must prioritise and allow the SVGFF full access to the Victoria Park above all else. This must happen.
The other users should be brought in to discuss this situation and should readily agree that given where we have reached this is the best course of action.
At the same time, the discourse that has been initiated by the NOC must be continued and the appropriate Protocol regarding usage of the existing playing fields across the country be established, agreed upon and signed by all stakeholders.
This seems the most reasonable approach to take.
The NSC Manager, Osborne Browne, in delivering a presentation to the National Sports Seminar on 3rd October 2006 identified the NSC Protocol for the accessing of funds from the National Lotteries Authority via the NSC. The most important points of the presentation as it relates to the issue being discussed here are as follows:
In the Introduction the Manager outlined: Needless to say, as a prerequisite for such requests, National Sports Associations must be in good standing with the National Sports Council. That is to say, National Sports Associations must comply with the National Sports Councils requests for each Association to submit to the Council by the stated deadline, their programmes for the year in question. Calendars of events, audited financial statements, budgets, a listing of the current executive and a copy of their constitution where they have been amended or where none was previously submitted.