All is not well with the Barbados Football Cup which goes into its final stages tomorrow.
And director George LasCaris has attributed the problems experienced over the past few days in the tournament to the “dark side” of some of those on whom such an event would have depended.
The longtime football organizer and administrator has had to conduct this year’s competition without linesmen and Lascaris has complained that these football officials have basically been trying to overchrage organizers.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY LasCaris said this was the first time this situation had occurred and was due to local linesmen deeming the 2014 Barbados Football Cup an international meet and thus requesting additional moneys.
“The linesmen felt this was an international tournament and they wanted to be paid a rate that was not commensurate with their ability or experience and we refused. We had eight referees last year’s tournament who were paid over $285 for refereeing the under-13 and under-15 matches and two referees who were paid $340 for refereeing the under-17 and under-19 matches.
“The linesmen this year decided that this was not enough for them and some of them don’t even get that for a whole year in the BFA [Barbados Football Association] competition but I guess because we have international teams coming that they felt this was an opportune time . . . ,” LasCaris said.
WIBISCO manager and parent of one of the players in the tournament Clifford Gooding-Edghill told Barbados TODAY that for a competition called the Barbados Football Cup to be played without linesmen was very poor.
“This is very poor and embarrassing and for a cup which bears the name or is labelled as the Barbados Football Cup. The officials should be wearing identification cards so that the players and even the parents could know who they are. And yet still we say we want our football to be better but we need to look carefully at these things,” he said.
However LasCaris said the show had to go on and organizers did not intend to let the unavailability of linesmen adversely affect the longstanding tournament which has been in existence for 27 years.
“All the games are being played to their natural conclusion and the referees who have turned up I thank them sincerely because they have done a good job under trying circumstances. Every coach wants to win and they try every trick when they are no linesman to put pressure on the referees
for him to call it their way. But the referees have been professional, hard-working, and abused, but they have stuck to their guns,” LasCaris stressed.
Even though the BFA is not affiliated with the tournament in any way, LasCaris said he had received tremendous support from the National Sports Council which had used its coaches to coordinate the tournament.
He noted the Barbados Football Cup was the longest running football tournament on the island and had come a long way. He said he was very pleased with the progress made but added they still need some much needed assistance.
“I am very pleased because we started with eight teams in two age groups at one venue when the tournament first started and now we have sixty teams in five different age group for boys and one for women at six different venues. However we still need help because the finances have escalated,” LasCaris said.
Looking ahead to next year he said that the committee would be looking to limit the number of Barbadian teams.
“The committee is recommending that we limit the number of Barbadian teams so that if you place first to fourth in the local BFA competitions you automatically get the opportunity to play in the Barbados Football Cup which is the qualifying bar. We are trying to get more teams out of Canada and the United States so that you can’t just come and play in the BFC. You have to earn your play. That would only become a reality if we get the finances
to continue next year,” LasCaris said.
Please see also Pages 44 & 45 of our 17/04/2014 digital ePaper at http://epaper.barbadostoday.bb.