Tuesday, April 23, 2024

BFA boots 4


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The Barbados national football team will be starting this season minus four familiar faces.

This after the Barbados Football Association (BFA) sent suspension letters to captain of the national team Mario Harte, Paradise striker Mario Williams, Barbados Defence Sports Programme (BDFSP) midfielder Renaldo Trim; as well as defender Ricardio Morris, also of the BDFSP, who was disciplined for his behaviour during national training.

BFA president Randy Harris confirmed the suspensions yesterday at the opening parade and ceremony of the domestic season at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex.

“FIFA has shown an interest in the national team, and will be working with them this year. We cannot have players going against the rules and doing as they please,” he said.

A source close to the situation added that the players were disciplined for playing in the New Orleans and Gully Hill tournaments after they were warned about it, as well as neglecting national duties.

Last Thursday, during a media briefing at the association’s Wildey headquarters, general secretary Edwyn Wood hinted that disciplinary action was taken against a number of players.

“I don’t want to say this is the first time we have taken action, but the players have to realise this is a serious issue . . . . I think at the moment there is an unsanctioned tournament going on and we’ve had to discipline some national players . . . . With the new club licensing regulations, a player is obligated to his club for the entire year, meaning he cannot play for two clubs within the same calendar year. The rule is not from the BFA, but from CONCACAF and by extension FIFA,” he explained to the media, adding that he would not elaborate on the matteras it was “fresh”.

In an effort to give players the opportunity to play out of season football, Wood said the BFA had asked tournament organisers to invite clubs, rather than create teams with members from various clubs across the island, to participate in any out-of-season tournaments.

“We’ve asked the organisers to invite clubs to their competition as opposed to just inviting teams, which would help with the problem. We know that the problem is not going to be solved overnight, but if we can get them to have more structured and organised competition; where instead of a team named “Black Water” going into the competition with made-up players, you can get Notre Dame, Wales or Empire competing, which is more in line with what the regulations are,” he said.

“It will take a little time, and the BFA, in its efforts going forward will try to organise competitions that are meaningful for the players. We don’t want to totally eliminate out-of-season tournaments; if they are done properly,” he said, adding that while youth clubs like Whitehall, Kickstart, and Pinelands had caught on, the seniors were yet to fall in line.

Wood, however, reminded all footballers there was a penalty if they did not follow this rule.

“It is not a BFA rule; this is a rule by the governing body and the confederation. The BFA acts as the agents for these people. If we want to receive funding we have to stay in line with what these people are asking for.

“Again we don’t want to stop players from playing football, but do the right thing and operate within the rules. If you have a competition, come to the BFA, and get permission,” he said.

He added that while some players may see it as a deterrent to play the game, it was in fact a dangerous practice that could lessen their chances of making it to the “big leagues”.

“Now we have insurance for all the players. If they play in a tournament that is not sanctioned by the BFA, they put themselves at risk because the insurance will not cover that . . . . If they have a chance for a scholarship, or maybe a semi-professional contract, and they put themselves in a situation where they will lose the chance . . . . They have to understand the importance of what we are trying to do,” he said. (RA)


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