Lasana Liburd of the Trinidad and Tobago Sunday Express has a sobering stock-taking of the state of Caribbean football up at PTG. The piece shows just how far-reaching the consequences of FIFA reform will have to be -- arguably change is already underway.
Here is an excerpt:
The system of power that allowed 25 Caribbean nations with a total of four World Cup final berths between them—one each for Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba—more clout than South America always seemed incongruous. Democracy irked the more established football nations.
Arguably, the greater sin was in the fact that the Caribbean’s elevated status on FIFA’s political ladder rarely translated into tangible support for the regional teams.
Trinidad and Tobago came within a point of the 1990 World Cup and then went a step further in 2006, Jamaica qualified in 1998 while St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis and Barbados enjoyed periods of relative success in between. In almost every case, the financial rewards for their positive showings was not administered in a way that would benefit the island’s football structure or never made it into the coffers of the respective associations at all.
Islands pocketed millions from FIFA grants and developmental programs without properly accounting for its use.
Nearly half the member associations charged with improper conduct in relation to the Bin Hammam bribery scandal have not played a single international game in this calendar year. And yet there they were with hands out for oil money as they mused over the possible identity of the next FIFA President.