Fri, May

Is it fair to stop playing for your country?

The answer to that question is Yes. It is fair to stop playing if you get injured, or too old to compete or if you wish to change your profession. But the reason for refusing to play for the national team should be carefully studied before making the decision.

Please understand that there is no historical past which today’s players can review in search of a solution. The question of playing for a living is vital, especially when players have their families to enjoy the benefit of their spouses’ hard work.

The better they play, the greater the fans will respect and support them and the team, and the possibility of obtaining increases in their salaries will also be supported.

However, let us not pretend that the arrangements made by the administration have not been done in a manner which resembles the work of a well-organized business.

The truth is also based upon a picture which has been adversely affected by the predecessors, leaving the administration to correct the wrong of the last decade, but has to accept the demand for competence without the financial tools available.

I was very impressed when our Captain Kenwyne Jones commented that he is not even concerned about the current “cut in pay” which he may be facing in the near future. He says that his focus is getting the Club into the Premier Division, after which the financial issues can be addressed.

I wish to draw an analogy regarding players of Chelsea whose pay packages are ready week after week, and yet still they are failing to produce the quality of play which is needed for victory and which today we are all well aware have cost the coach his job.

These world class players are struggling with maybe attitudinal problems among themselves and maybe their coaching staff, to the point that many rumours are in the air for some to leave the club.

However, they have continued to play, but way below the quality which brought them into millionaire status, hence the reason why a champion club seem shaken, not by money, but apparently something which is clearly affecting their natural talents. 

These two situations leave us all with the difficulties in multi-tasking, especially when physical and mental focus are all under tremendous strain.

That is the reason why I am suggesting to the national team players to continue to give service to your club. Country and your profession, leaving the issues which are all legal, to be handled by their agents, or attorneys, all of whom are professionals in their own right.

Playing sport is a behaviour which in many instances, should not be compromised, regardless of the problems which appear in the midst of the performances of the player.

If anything, the strength of one’s character is a major factor in the life of a sportsman. Those who follow all types of sport on the TV will admit to some silly behaviour displayed by some of the outstanding players of our time, yet still they rant and rave over minor issues with an opponent, or an official.

So to increase the bad relationship between players and administrators off the Football field makes both parties losers, especially when they both know that the matter will be solved, even if it has to reach the court.

Our footballers should have learnt the lessons from our recent West Indian cricketers who walked away from performing their highly gifted talent because of a faulty piece of contract and a response by persons who seem not to understand how to deal with labour issues. 

The result was a financial loss of 41 million dollars which the WICB has to pay. Just think of the January 8th 2016 one hour after the Warriors complete their match against Haiti in Panama, and look carefully to recognize how significant the result could have impacted the teams and in how many ways.

Two weeks from now, when the monies are paid (hopefully), how difficult will it be to renew the relationships among the stakeholders and then to the performance levels on the field, will all be divulged positively or negatively dependent upon the maturity of all concerned.

We all want you to be paid and certainly do not want you or the country to suffer because of the absence of dialogue among the participants. The game is bigger than the player. Which one do you want to be?