It is as if I was not aware of the many chal­lenges which the great game of foot­ball has been af­fect­ed by here in T&T.

Hav­ing had a pe­ri­od of 1954 to this present day will have brought to my mind, var­i­ous lev­els of sport, foot­ball and crick­et specif­i­cal­ly.

Hav­ing said that, the de­sire to hear any­thing with ref­er­ence to de­vel­op­ment in ei­ther of the sport­ing dis­ci­plines and maybe sport gen­er­al­ly, has some in­ter­est­ing val­ues of learn­ing, or in some cas­es, rel­e­vant teach­ing prin­ci­ples of sports come to my mind reg­u­lar­ly.

Be­cause the com­pe­tence of both ma­jor sports in the coun­try was high qual­i­ty, or­gan­i­sa­tion­al sport­ing events were con­duct­ed by some of the finest sports ad­min­is­tra­tors. Any his­to­ri­an can sup­ply you with the names.

My anx­i­ety to hear the re­marks of the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tors in their ef­forts to iden­ti­fy with a pos­i­tive path for­ward is al­most like read­ing sign lan­guage with­out any les­son on the sub­ject.

A re­cent in­ter­view on tele­vi­sion with the T&T foot­ball pres­i­dent David John-Williams pro­duced one of the lessons which I was hop­ing to lis­ten care­ful­ly and un­der­stand the di­rec­tion which is tak­en to bring foot­ball up to the stan­dard which had been at­tract­ing hun­dreds or thou­sands of fans to the avail­able grounds to ac­com­mo­date club com­pe­ti­tion.

To every state­ment made by the pres­i­dent, my rec­ol­lec­tion of yes­ter­year's glo­ry days al­lowed me to re­live the joy of the foot­ballers and the fans, on and off the field.

The ini­tial light to­wards the end of a long tun­nel was the struc­ture of some sol­id for­mu­lat­ed clubs, whose main in­ten­tion was to pro­duce a high qual­i­ty brand of the game which caught the eyes and ears of the pop­u­la­tion and lit­er­al­ly urged the fans to spend al­most every af­ter­noon ei­ther walk­ing, rid­ing, or us­ing any form of lo­cal trans­port pos­si­ble to ar­rive at the venues to line the play­ing fields to be en­ter­tained.

As I lis­tened to the dis­cus­sion with the pres­i­dent I heard of the spe­cif­ic deals which would have im­proved the ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices and al­lowed the sport to be­come the own­er of a na­tion­al sta­di­um and a ho­tel at its - Home of Foot­ball - at the Ato Boldon Sta­di­um in Cou­va.

The Pres­i­dent shared with the na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty the fi­nan­cial prob­lems and chal­lenges which are se­ri­ous ob­sta­cles for the sport and how to ad­dress it. He did not for­get to blame pre­vi­ous pres­i­dents and high­light­ed the rea­son for the new leader a dis­mal start in of­fice, and be­moan­ing the cur­rent fact as to how much mon­ey and to whom they owed.

He made a quick jump to his achieve­ments - the sports' own­er­ship of the venue, ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices, and the soon to be opened ho­tel. Per­haps, this to him is progress to the great game, while very lit­tle was men­tioned about play­er de­vel­op­ment and the process which would leave a path to the stan­dard of foot­ball for which he may one day wish to en­joy.

He boasts of hav­ing 100% sup­port for each de­ci­sion which was tabled with his board mem­bers, many of which were be­ing re­port­ed in the me­dia end­ing in to­tal chaos.

He gave an ac­count of the fi­nan­cial in­debt­ed­ness to the na­tion­al coach­es which left the pub­lic to be­lieve that he was try­ing to “as­sist” them with small bits of pay­ments at a time and out­lined how much debt the sport had be­fore he came in­to of­fice in the seat of pres­i­dent.

May I say that I can­not re­call him stat­ing what his plans were to cor­rect that fi­nan­cial prob­lems of the which were al­ways high­light­ed in the me­dia be­fore he ac­cept­ed the job.

In amidst of some friv­o­lous items for which he could not have giv­en an ex­pla­na­tion or in­for­ma­tion that could not be di­vulged, up came a “de­fin­i­tive com­ment” from him - "Pro­fes­sion­al foot­ball is here to stay."

I wish I had the space to chal­lenge the com­ment be­cause I have not seen any ev­i­dence to back up such a state­ment.

For ex­am­ple, how can play­ers be trans­fer­ring from one club to the next in the same league, and the same clubs can­not af­ford to pay play­ers their month­ly wages with­out go­ing to the gov­ern­ment to beg for as­sis­tance.

If that is the an­swer to "Pro­fes­sion­al foot­ball is here to stay" - then the ex­is­tence of the Pro League, then we can pre­pare a de­f­i­n­i­tion of pro­fes­sion­al­ism in the con­text of T&T foot­ball. That state­ment proves the ex­tent of our ad­min­is­tra­tors dis­tance from the re­al­i­ty of what is be­fore them.

Maybe an­oth­er ar­ti­cle will be worth of­fer­ing an ex­pla­na­tion.