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Friday 13 December 2019
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Commentary

Football change must be now

Gerard Homer

Who is to blame for the state TT football?

Many of us, if not all, know that most of the sporting entities have been struggling to produce quality teams, players or athletes. Reasons we have come to accept are mismanagement and lack of funding. However, since football has been my life and it is one of the major sports, I will stay in that lane. Who is to blame for the mediocre performances of our national teams now and the past years? Me and most of the administrators (members of the now United TTFA) of past administrations.

Why me? I did not get involved because I did not want to be belittled or subjected to the dictates of anyone. Since the eighties one man ran the whole show which seemed to benefit oneself and not the association. Where were you, your United TTFA and others then to seek the interest in the development of youths?

You were all happy singing for your supper waiting to take to the skies whenever the opportunity arises. At one time I thought that the Concacaf Centre of Excellence would have been a place for youth development football for the region. Wrong again. What did we get? After making it to the World Cup in 2006 with much help from the then demigod of TT football, I again thought the development of the sport would have been a major thrust of the association with all the funds received for reaching the finals. Where was Mr Keith Look Loy and a united TTFA?

I could go on and on with all the alleged irregularities that dominated the association (or whatever name it was changed to for business activities) then. No one wanted change. The players now were youths of those administrations who seemed to have little interest in providing the best environment and facility for our youths. So do not blame it on the present players, coaches or administration. We are now getting what we sow, and you and I were the farmers then. Blame it on us. This situation together with the finance aspect is now being address and you appear not too interested in this effort. How sad.

I would like to provide added information for the football affiliates of the association. I was made to understand that the United TTFA has nominated candidates for the AGM. I was totally disappointed for the choices including Mr Wallace for president. The operation of the association is much more complex than the running of a league that lasts a few months. Also, can someone tell me what new dimension has Mr Wallace brought to the SSFL? Some colleges do not have home grounds; what about the situation where players are not attending classes, what incentives are given to players for life after school. All I am seeing are sponsors. How are they helping? If wasn’t for the past students’ alma mater attachments to schools the attendance at games would mimic that of the pro league.

Football is still poor. Association football must run as a business enterprise. A choice of a young forward thinking, vibrant entrepreneur would seem more prudent. My past teammate Sam Phillip, what difference has he made when in administration of the pro league? Your guess is as good as mine. I could have counted the attendance at some games on my hands. I do not know much about the rest of the slate. What I do know is that birds of a feather stick together. All underperforming opportunists.

I must add. It appears that Mr David John Williams (DJW) is doing a great job. If after 30 or more years he can get the members of the United TTFA to wake up on the sinking ship and find a rescue plan for the future of football, that is a great thing for the game. I say “find”, because I strongly believe that the plan that they presented is not their doing but one Xeroxed from some other country’s development plan.

I say to the clubs’ members who are about to vote in the AGM to let good sense prevail and give DJW – whose heart is for TT football and not for himself – some more years to implement his plan. His new constructive vision we all must embrace. At the end of it all TTFA stands to gain. If no results after such time, then I will recommend it would be time to make the change.

Gerard Homer is a former national football player.

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