It is always been good sense to view unsuccessful situations carefully before deciding to make drastic changes. This statement goes for almost anything area in life, where times have changed and the call for adjustment and sometimes complete change processes, should enter our minds.
The CONCACAF has just taken a decision to restructure the format of the long reigning Gold Cup competition in a manner which seem superficially adequate, but somewhat complex when viewed from all aspects of the original formula of many years ago. The increase number of qualifying teams will not be challenged.
Originally, the venues for tournament finals were often directed towards the USA and Mexico, until it appeared to bring success to the Mexicans more regularly than expected by the Americans.
Then the host country has been the USA alone, leaving the other countries to have to strategise ten times more, in relation to travel arrangements, time changes, climate conditions and in some unusual situations where the inability to get some selected players from some Caribbean countries deprived through Visa permission, from travelling to the tournament.
It is not surprising that the two major countries USA and Mexico have always been victors of the Gold Cup. Admittedly, the input from other countries have improved considerably and names like Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica, Haiti, and T&T, challenged profusely, not consistently, to keep the dream of winning the Gold cup sometime in the future.
Because of my method of studying changes carefully before a reply one way or the other, I shall bring the details of my observation so that readers can make their own decisions.
Pending U-16 Pro League campaign
I wish to discuss the recent decisions of our Under-16 national squad members which are preparing for age group competitions later this year.
My information through the media is that these young selected players have been asked to sign forms to play in the youth division as members of a youth arm of a Pro League team.
Reports are that parents are challenging the decision of the proposal, especially since their sons have been asked to sign forms even before some of the parents were aware of same.
In the first place, in International football, there is a rule which calls for parents to be the signatories for their children when it comes to legal documents and this falls into that category.
This is a practice which the ruling body (The TTFA) must pay close attention too, especially when these youngsters are still at school and their future participation in obtaining football scholarships in North American universities can be affected because of operating within the professional ranks of competition.
It also appears to invite these youngsters to leave their commitment to their schools in order to enter this decision for the U-16’s to play elsewhere.
These extraordinary decisions need to be addressed seriously by taking all aspects of movement into consideration in a manner which does not conflict with the association’s constitution or even the academic and football educational rulings which may be unfair to the students and schools or even unethical to parents and children themselves.
I will seek to examine the value of such a move and try to document the reasoning positively or adversely for the benefit of the sport itself and also the students.