Raw Deal. Henderson Williams, the chief organiser of the Henderson Williams City Soccer Classic says he is disappointed that national captain Mario Harte has been suspended from taking part in his out of season competition.
“I have witnessed the punishing of volunteers and players for an effort which is supposed to ignite the community, the youth within the city and the surrounding areas and districts,” said Williams during a press conference at Hilton Barbados yesterday.
His tournament, which started on December 31, was not sanctioned by the BFA.
Williams explained that the hindering of these tournaments being staged was an act of stepping on the determination of public practitioners who were toiling for the development of a community.
“From the time we were having the meetings to deal with the tournament there were whispers in relation to people saying that this is not supposed to succeed . . . . We could bet you that there will be an intervention at some level to ban or stop this tournament.
“This particular organisation is supposed to be the governing organisation that is supposed to be perpetuating sports, development and culture in this country.”
Williams, who is the ruling Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) candidate for the City, said they wrote to the BFA in an attempt to receive sanctioning but did not receive a response in writing.
“We wrote to the BFA. To date, we have not got a response back in relation to the tournament. On two or three occasions Mr [Hamilton] Lashley went and sat in that organisation to await a response on the tournament. None has been forthcoming but yet you can hear the whispers of the tournament not being sanctioned, letters being written to the referees indicating that same thing to them but you didn’t have the decency to go and say to the person who wrote to you to say for whatever reason we were not able to sanction,” he said.
Lashley, who is a member of the organising committee said after the tournament was conceptualised he took the letter to the association explaining their unawareness of the deadline but were still asking for it to be sanctioned since they had a late tournament approved before.
“We have not received a written response from them, but we wrote to them. I was told by the general secretary of the BFA [Edwyn Wood] that the tournament would not be sanctioned. But it is only natural that if I write to you . . . I expect a response in writing. We insisted that we wanted the writing because that puts it in a clear perspective,” said Lashley.
He too believed that the staging of this tournament, as well as the other out of seasons was a response to solving a number of societal problems.
When contacted yesterday, Wood told the MIDWEEK NATION that Lashley sent in a letter on January 2 for the tournament which began on December 31, implying that the tournament began before sanction was requested.
“Lashley was told the last tournament that our sanction ended in December and the cut-off date was December 15. I said for clarity I will consult the board, but it is not likely to be sanctioned and I came back and told him we are not going to sanction the tournament,” Wood said. (RG)