The need for sincerity with our football
For a variety of reasons the dateline for the Dominica Football Association's elections has been postponed for one month to 1st August, and allows further shedding of light on the general search for veracity on the situation. Background to the elections involves a shake-up occurring some two years ago that resulted in the then president Mr. Patrick John coming under suspension by the world governing body for football, FIFA, for alleged improper practices pertaining to the securing of votes for the last held FIFA elections. Mr. John pleaded innocence and he alone of the hierarchy of the DFA was penalized by FIFA, even though many in the Caribbean thought there were others lucky to escape FIFA's censure.
Over and above all this, a group of persons knowledgeable in football matters and concerned with the acknowledged failure to halt a long continuing decline with Dominica's performance standards on the field of play, has come forward to seek to meaningfully address the position – one which has placed this country's image under grave ridicule in the region and elsewhere. The group titles itself as The Way Forward For Our Football.
Amazingly, one sports show host on radio candidly declared he wanted a particular personality for president of the association on the simple premise that the both of them are friends! Such indigestible pronouncement has run sordidly along with a ferment of awkward efforts by some football oriented individuals to openly attempt to obstruct the plans cogently documented by the WAY FORWARD GROUP led by Mr. Ibraheim Broheim.
Mr. Broheim's group is adamant the way forward is to avoid all backward movement with our football. All of a sudden, diverse parties who were completely void of ideas as to how our football could be improved have unashamedly jumped upon a brazen copying of proposals ushered in by the fresh and illuminating path finders.
This is a total lack of sincerity. After all, those in a position of trust over the last twenty years ought to have moved ever so long to save Dominica from utter disgrace. Sincerity is not just a matter of having a nose for opportunism. This has been too long the case and has put us in the ditch from which we need to climb out into the sunshine and fresh air. Let it be said coaching remains and will always be the only route to improve any standard of football. And this coaching must apply at all stages of player and team development. This is so in matters of skill, technique, tactics, strategy, fitness etc. Football coaching has to begin in "the cradle" and steadfastly exert its influences for sustained good and relentless elevation of personal character.
We apply the term coaching in its broadest scope for football development, and it certainly embraces upscale improvement for coaches themselves, referees, health officials and administrators etc! In this regard we entertain coaches – not as persons who have merely gained a coaching certificate, but individuals who invest themselves in actual football coaching activity on a sustained and continuing basis.
That's where actual useful foundations are laid so that high powered foreign coaches stand to be of use in furthering the development of our young players. That's where our young promising players are already sufficiently well moulded and indoctrinated so that their transfer to an attachment to a professional team overseas can reap non-traumatic benefits and lead to desired instant transformation to productive and elite stellar brightness.
Most cogently at this juncture Dominica needs to predicate an embarkation on a strongly applied reliance upon a well educated football coaching structure. Education here implies sustained practical approaches given a due start and maintained by strong on-going support. The type of support which will easily capture the imagination of young players and their parents that football is not merely a pursuit for the mindless and the unambitious but a potential vocation or career for youngsters willing to move themselves and their families forward.
When we look at the enlightened way forward for our football we can look no further than say, the instance of Didier Drogba, the Ivory Coast midfield player for Chelsea in the English Premier League. His advancement in the sport has afforded him the means to establish a foundation enabling him to construct a hospital for children in his homeland in Africa. We dare not pencil in each of our young promising players – boy or girl – as a new Drogba or Mia Hamm. However, the sky remains the limit for all who are truly ambitious and willing to work intelligently and hard. And that is the scope to be furnished.
To provide the wherewithal for the proper excitement of such dreams it will take much more than an administration which presided over a revived Windward Islands' Tournament at which our host team failed to be present for the prize giving ceremony after playing on the final day! Disreputable disregard for the sport and the Dominica public stands completely alien to the right way forward for our football. In every respect, too, the right way forward is totally incompatible with any potential administrative body showing linkages with previous editions of governing bodies, who may have sullied themselves through inclusion of doubtful personalities in their ranks, or those associated with them. All footballers and their team representatives should strongly note: Dominica very definitely deserves better!