We the members of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Senior Men’s Football Team appreciates the public’s outcry and understand what
football means to Vincentians. Football and representing our country is also important to us, and so for that reason we want to use this Press Release to outline a number of issues and discontentment we the players have had to deal with over the last few months.
The Member of this team and SVG football on a whole have been faced with ridicule due to the on field results and performances during the World Cup matches.
We accept that our performances were not up to par, however we must say that for better performances to be achieved, a lot of things must change. Far too long our cries have gone unheard. Please see below a list of the issues that we have had to deal with while we are expected to produce match winning performances:
1. No adequate international practice games for us to use as preparation.
2. No proper health maintenance plan nor balanced meals while on camp to provide the nutrients required to sustain the standard of performances were are being asked to produce.
3. No provision of body building supplements and vitamins to enable the players to maintain the standards required, to attend training twice a day while on camp, nor to aid in the recuperation from injuries.
4. The absence of a physiotherapist or a doctor on camp or while travelling to help the players deal with the numerous knocks we receive during sessions. Players now revert to assisting each other in this process.
5. No psychologist to work with the player and help us to deal with issues like the negative comments from the public as well as other personal issues that may occur from time to time.
6. No set system of play or identity for the Senior Men’s football team.
7. No real goals set for the team’s participation in the competitions. We seem to be used to enable the SVG Football Federation to draw down the funds available, which are not eventually used to provide us with the best possible conditions to prepare.
8. There is poor publicity of the team. Our Gold Cup qualifier is the biggest thing for SVG football in a while, yet it seems as if we are preparing for a friendly match. Since returning from Grenada we have been training at the incomplete Brighton Field where we are only allowed to training on certain parts of the field as they are still doing grass work.
Players are continually victimized when they speak out in their own interest. The players are not comfortable with the ongoing tension surrounding the team between all parties. It is clear and obvious that the Coach and Manager are not on the same page when it comes to team issues and decisions.
11. The communication between the overseas based players, their clubs and the SVG Football Federation is poor. The office of the SVG FF always contacts us and our clubs late, last minute arrangements are made and information to us is always indecisive.
12. A balanced blend of young and experienced players must be looked at as the currentt structure has hampered our progress.
13. SVG Senior Men’s footballers are required to sleep on bunk beds, or mattresses on the floor, in overcrowded rooms with only one fan and no AC while on camp.
14. Players who are adults and in some cases fathers are being told to hand in their phones after dinner while on camp or on tour.
15. The SVG Football Federation knew months ahead that players would need to obtain Visas to travel to the USA for the Gold Cup Qualifier, but yet waited until the last week to scramble to do so. Because of this last minute attempt, some players named in the provisional list where left behind and were not able to travel to Barbados for visa appointments.
16. The SVG FF seems to have no organizational structure as well as late and poor planning practices.
17. 18. 19. The Technical Committee had not proven to be able to advance football in SVG. The players believe that the SVG FF do not have the players’ best interest at heart. There are clear division between the SVG Football Federation Executive, the coaching staff, the manager and the Players.
20. We believe and feel strongly that the SVG Football Federation Executive do not respect the efforts of us the players. 21. The SVG FF Executive do not ever come to a point of compromise with the players. It is always the SVG FF’s decision or none at all.
22. After threatening the players to “take it or leave it”, the payment offer from the SVG FF for the World Cup matches, no new negotiations have been done for the upcoming Gold Cup qualifier.
23. The SVG FF disrespected us and our teammate Dwaine Sandy by not making a much greater effort for us to attend our teammate’s funeral, not even virtually.
24. The extreme poor way that the SVG FF dealt with the VISAS needed for the team to travel to the Gold Cup qualifiers. This last minute scramble is not fit for a national governing body, when they had over a year to prepare for this. Their incompetence has left the team with only thirteen available players for the match of the twenty who were to travel.
25. As we had said before, the current Manager of the Senior Men’s team is not fit for the job, as he does not have the players best interest at heart and do not understand his job.
We the members of the SVG Senior Men’s Football team, without a doubt, love playing football and love representing our country. We also promise that any and every time we are given the opportunity to step on the field of play in national colors, we will give of our best. We however must note that our best are based on preparation and whether things are put in place to ensure our best possible chances. Although we will put our best foot forward, we and the Vincentian public must also be realistic given the various negative circumstances surrounding our preparations. SVG Senior Men’s Football Team Representative Committee
Cornielus Stewart Captain
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