The football family is gearing up for another election and qualifications for Nations Cup and World Cup 2010.
First, let me take a look at the qualifications that Leone Stars will start to play next month. Well I may not be residing in Sierra Leone now, but I do know the problem that is facing the football world out there.
I still believe that Leone Stars will not be competing but instead participating. Why, because the football association has still refused to solve the football problem from the root level.
Football as is played now is one of the biggest industry in the world and is very profitable. For the association to be always begging for funds and the limited funds from the government coupled with the many less than average players available cannot put Leone stars in the competitive stage, but the participating stage to make the counts.
The SLFA is bankrupt, it cannot raise funds because nobody trusts the members within and they do not know how to restructure the entire game. The national team will only succeed when the clubs are prospering. There is no country in the world that has succeeded at national levels without good clubs; be it in Europe, America or Africa.
Egypt won the nations Cup back to back because they have one of the best leagues with several successful clubs. Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, South Africa etc. all can boast of successful clubs that have been exporting quality players throughout the world and this accounts for their national teams to be always competing at the highest levels.
In Sierra Leone, I’m sure no club is paying a player $100 a month and also I’m sure 99% of the players in the league do not have medical coverage.
Until I left Sierra Leone, no club had an office or bank account, if even they have, it is just for formality.
Years back I wrote a succession of articles dubbed ‘playing football for profit and success’ and advised the FA that the money received from FIFA as development fund, should have been used to restructure the clubs with conditions laid down that they should adhere to, or will not receive a penny.
Alas as the saying goes all of that was ‘water on a ducks back’.
By Austin Thomas (Sports Editor) in China