Monday, April 15, 2024

Pro way to go, says BFA


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THE PRESIDENT of the Barbados Football Association (BFA) believes that for the sport to achieve its goals it needs a professional league.
Speaking at the Nation Talkback town hall meeting on sport on Wednesday night at Solidarity House, Randy Harris said that it was unrealistic to believe that Barbados could compete at the international level without a professional setup.
“If we are talking about football, I don’t think that we will reach the levels that we aspire to unless it really turns professional,” he said.
“I think that in football we really are suffering from a belief that the sport can really reach certain heights in Barbados.
“But it is impossible for us to reach those heights if we continue to operate at an amateur level.”
Harris said that it was important for players and management alike to adopt professional attitudes in their respective roles.
As a matter of fact, one of the biggest issues with moving towards a professional league was the attitude of management, he added.
“The thing about it is that in a lot of our national associations, football included, we have a lot of administrators who do not share a vision for professionalism.
“They still see themselves as managing football in the 50s and 60s,” he added.
Harris revealed that unlike some of the other associations, football could consider itself lucky as it had the support of one of the most influential sporting bodies in the world, FIFA.
However, even with the assistance of the world’s governing body, he noted that the biggest obstacle was ensuring that players could also benefit, while at the same time developing their skills.
“I think that we have no other choice but to turn professional or we will never reach those levels to compete if players don’t start benefiting from the football,” he insisted.
Harris was quick to point out that better facilities were also needed to assist with the sport’s development.
He lambasted the outfield at the National Stadium, stating that as the home of football on the island, it was not up to par in terms of the quality of the pitch.
“The National Stadium needs to come up to par with the outfield at Kensington Oval. Right now, the two pitches are like chalk and cheese.
“You simply cannot have what is supposed to be our main football pitch, where our national players have to train, being in the condition that we are accustomed to seeing it in.”  
In response, Minister of Sport Stephen Lashley, who was also part of the panel, said that work was currently being done on the outfield at the National Stadium to ensure that it was of a high quality.


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