Thursday, February 29, 2024

Harris pressing on


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Barbados Football Association (BFA) president Randy Harris says he is unfazed by the turmoil that has plagued his short tenure, and is pressing ahead with plans to transform the fortunes of the sport.
Elected in October last year, Harris has encountered a number of rocky periods throughout his first year, the most recent being the resignation of general secretary Chris Graham in controversial circumstances.
This followed an incident involving Graham, vice-president Al Walcott and junior assistant secretary Ashton Chapman which was reported to police.
However, Harris said he was focused on executing the BFA’s plans, and would not be distracted by other issues.
“I haven’t had any regrets [about taking up the presidency], not really. If people want to throw stones I believe some will hit me and I will catch some, but all the time I am saving them to build a foundation for football to go forward,” the veteran administrator said.
“Maybe it [turmoil] comes with the territory in football but I am focused on my vision for football development in Barbados and I feel if I do some positive things even those who would grumble at the changes would come around at some point.”
He added: “In the final analysis I will be judged by the performance of the football and the football association.”
The president said one of the major objectives was the completion of the FIFA Goal Project at Wildey. The first phase of the project, the AstroTurf, was completed and opened last year, while the building of the administrative offices is expected to comprise the second phase.
Harris said the spectator stands, which had been earmarked for the third phase, might now be approved faster than expected.
“We’re just waiting on the final OK from FIFA to finish the administrative buildings. We’ve already had discussions with FIFA, which I emphasized at the CONCACAF Sports Summit [held last week], about having stands but we might be even luckier in that the stands may go up even quicker if we can get the permission from the Town and Country Planning,” Harris revealed.
“We’re hoping that by July in 2014 that we should have it [the facility] completed. Actually the administrative building, if we can get the permission within another three weeks or so, we should be finished by March, April in 2014.”
Harris said the completion of the Goal Project would serve as a major boost for Barbados’ football, especially in the preparation of national teams.
“If we have our own infrastructure, our own facility, we have more control as to how we train and I can only see positive things happening,” he added. “FIFA has promised, because we are part of the performance programme, to help us with equipment and I think we should have everything to send us on our way to a more positive standard of football in Barbados.” (KP)


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