“Every Country should have the basics; Fields, Kit, Balls, Coaches and FIFA should be able to assist”
Those were the words of FIFA Vice President and Presidential Candidate, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein as he addressed the BVI FA Executive and Staff during a flying visit last Friday, April 17th, 2015.
On a tour of FIFA Member Countries ahead of the elections scheduled for May 29th, 2015, the Prince, in the company of BVIFA President, Andy Bickerton, BVIFA Vice President, Aubrey Liburd, Head of the Women’s Committee, Shereen Flax Charles, Youth Development Head, Avenell Morton, BVIFA Ag. General Secretary, Alfred Reid, Louie Oumeish and Pablo Mayorga, paid a visit to the site of the new football stadium in East End and also made a courtesy call on the Premier, Dr. Orlando D. Smith, before meeting with the FA Coaches back at the BVIFA Head Office.
In answering the many questions put to him about the way forward for football in the BVI and worldwide, the Prince noted that there were many areas that needed reform and clarification.
“Coaches” he noted “should be from the Country they coach, but it is not always possible to get them the necessary experience. So there needs to be a form of scholarship programme where Foreign based Coaches can be brought in to advise and Mentor. Gaining a license is fine, but to learn better skills a Coach needs practical skills, to see how others work and to be more involved in practical development”
He also commented on the need to look at decentralizing the funding process and create a Means Test to ensure Countries with greater need get the support when they need it “We need to change the Mentality of facilitating development. Cricket in the Caribbean gets more support than football does and we need to change that. We need to build a Regional structure to ensure a more localized focus and decentralization”
Whilst supporting the notion that FIFA has to ensure support so that everyone has the chance to play football, the Prince cautioned that Associations also need to look at how to become self sustained “There has to be a balance between the funding provided by FIFA and the levels of support from local Governments and Businesses. FIFA can’t give so much that everyone else feels they don’t have to support your initiatives.”
BVIFA President Andy Bickerton was thankful that the Prince had visited and had been able to see the efforts put into place by the FA to develop football.
The Prince was equally impressed with what he had seen and having heard the challenges and seen the enthusiasm first hand pledged support to help further development the game within the Territory, to assist with the issue of player eligibility and even set up an interchange of ideas between National Associations, especially considering many of the issue facing the Caribbean have been experienced in Asia and maybe a solution already exists.