BFA elevates standard of sports administration
Published: May 15, 2013
The recent FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) Beach Soccer World Cup Qualifier in CONCACAF (Confederation of Central American and Caribbean Association Football), for The Bahamas, was much more than the competition.
Team Bahamas finished sixth and is now firmly established as an advancing element in world beach soccer. More so for the country however is the prestige associated with the local sport because of the excellent hosting job done by the Bahamas Football Association (BFA).
The FIFA directorate now knows that this country is well beyond just having one of the finest beach soccer facilities in the world. The BFA, its official teams and volunteers proved without any questions, the collective capacity to be exceptional hosts. BFA President Anton Sealey is now being approached about other FIFA beach activities. This is testimony firstly, to the primary sports administration in the country. Sealey heads a list of names such as Fred Lunn, Millicent Smith, Stan Darville, Arthur Taylor and Daria Adderley that resonate within the FIFA family.
Those are very capable members of the soccer institution and they continue to raise the sports administration standard in the country. Something interesting is evolving in the BFA. The level of play is gradually catching up to the first class administration style. In recent times, we have had a young group of ladies advance to the World Cup regional round of eight. The men’s national team advanced also, and there was the likelihood of going further until the financial demands could not be met. Now there is this beach soccer revolution in the country. Sealey is heavy on the beach version of soccer.
“I make no bones about it. Our very environment can cater much more to us becoming a noted country worldwide in beach soccer than soccer on grass. I tell my people this all the time. Let’s think about it. What are our chances of being able to compete, even in our region, on the same level with the countries that have such a huge head start, along with much more focused financial resources than we do? I don’t think there are many real opportunities for us to advance to the top level at this time, in grass soccer. Beach soccer is another story altogether. I persisted in getting this perspective in the heads of our guys. Now, you see what is happening? We are going to have a serious world rating now for the first time,” said Sealey with supreme confidence.
Beach soccer indeed is a viable forum in The Bahamas. We need to recognize this and put efforts forth for the beach soccer potential to be realized. We can’t afford to waste time. The great nations of the world are paying a lot of attention to beach soccer. It is huge in the United States for their team to win the CONCACAF Qualifier.
Here is an opportunity for USA soccer to become even more prominent, at least on the men’s side. Certainly in The Bahamas, this moment in time must be seized. Congratulations to Sealey and his associates in the BFA. Best wishes, going forward.
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org
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