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BFA accused of sabotaging Bahamas’ 2018 World Cup campaign

A SENIOR Bahamian soccer international has accused the national federation of sabotaging the country’s 2018 World Cup campaign and issued an apology to supporters for the debacle of the 5-0 defeat by Bermuda last week.

In a letter to The Tribune today, the experienced player criticises the Bahamas Football Association (BFA) for its preparation of the team before the regional qualifying tie, calling it the worst in his 16 years with the squad, and claims that the emphasis being placed on beach soccer is misguided and killing the grass game.

The player - who signs himself ‘Concerned Bahamian national team member’ - also questioned the appointment of Dion Godet as head coach, saying he lacked experience.

The Bahamas were without many of their best players for the World Cup tie due to a clash of commitments caused by CONCACAF scheduling the regional beach soccer championships at the same time. They performed better in the second leg in Bermuda but went out 8-0 on aggregate.

Meanwhile, on the beach, the Bahamian team has reached the quarter-finals in El Salvador.

The player thanked people for coming to watch the March 25 match at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium - and apologised.

“I apologise that you paid your hard-earned money, likely at the behest of myself and my teammates, to witness what can only be described as the culmination of a campaign of self-sabotage,” he wrote.

“Having been involved with the national soccer team setup for 16 years ... I can safely say that the run-up to the game against Bermuda was by far the worst I have experienced in those 16 years.”

He questioned why preparations were so poor, why investment in the players was minimal, why an inexperienced head coach was appointed and why some of the best Bahamian grass players were encouraged to play beach soccer instead.

“Given all the benefits there are to The Bahamas playing beach soccer, the truth is nobody cares about beach soccer internationally,” he wrote.

“Success in beach soccer would result in fleeting recognition. The true barometer will always be grass soccer. Moreover, you won’t get young players going to college on scholarships from playing beach soccer and professional beach soccer is not lucrative enough to reward the effort and investment required to be put into a youth player to get him to the necessary standard to be a professional.”

He claimed the reasons beach soccer is being encouraged were “purely financial” and that popular tourism destinations like The Bahamas would boost the appeal of and increase revenue from competitions. The Bahamas will host the World Cup finals in beach soccer in 2017.

He also called for the BFA to be held accountable for “the millions of dollars” it will receive next year from FIFA, the world’s governing body, towards preparations for the beach World Cup finals.

• SEE Death of grass soccer letter HERE

Comments

ThisIsOurs 7 years, 5 months ago

Hmmm I suppose you want them to do as well as possible but do we expect the Bahamas to get to the World Cup finals? I know that sounds bad but it's true, maybe the powers that be saw possibility of advancing further in beach soccer. Just continue to work hopefully one day we'll get the cup

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