CONCACAF Juvenile Football Champs Are Abandoned

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

THE CENTRAL AMERICAN and Caribbean Juvenile Football Championships, in progress in Mexico, have been abandoned by the Confederation of Central American and Caribbean Association of Football.

The decision was taken by the Federation at a meeting held in Mexico's Aztec Stadium in the presence of Sir Stanley Rous, President of the FIFA.

The meeting was presented with an objection regarding the non inclusion of Jamaica and Trinidad in the competition.

Eric James, secretary of the Trinidad Federation presented Jamaica's mandate after being briefed by local authorities' cheif Dr. Ron Gordon (President) and George Abrahams (First Vice President), at the Palisadoes Airport on his way to the conference.

Dr. Gordon told this reporter that his Association took the decision to ask James to represent Jamaica since Trinidad were in the same position as Jamaica.

At a conference held in Guatemala on March 31, 1964 delegates to CONCACAF decided that Jamaica would be the site of the third Juvenile Soccer Championship in 1966 and Trinidad would be the first alternate and Mexico second. The team which represented Jamaica Association — then Jamaica Football Association, was comprised of George Abrahams then President.

Almost the same time Jamaica was granted the 8th British Empire and Commonwealth Games, which will be held in August 4 to 13 this year. So, Jamaica had to turn down the Championship because facilities were at full stretch for the Games.

The second alternative country for the Championship, Trinidad, also had to turn it down as it would have clashed with their Carnival. Mexico was then called upon to hold it.

After that, plans for the tournament became a bewildering muddle.

Jamaica sent an entry for the competition but there was no reply from the secretary of CONCACAF, Fredico Fortin in Spanish Honduras. There were complaints form most of the participating countries that Fortin never acknowledges the arrival of mails or answers them.

Eliminations for the tournament had been going on for sometime and the abandonment must come as a blow for the competitors, Jamaica's claiming it was the fault of the secretary of CONCACAF.

In many quarters it was felt that Trinidad and Jamaica were given the cold shouldering, being treated to an angry silence be a sulking CONCACAF because the two countries were unable to hold the championship.

Sir Stanley Rous, who opened the Aztec Stadium in Mexico — venue for the Olympic Football Games 1968 — passed on news of the abandonment of the competition to Gordon and Abrahams last week as he passed through on his way to England from Mexico. He was met by the pair and discussed Federation matters at the Airport.

The juvenile championships have only been abandoned for this year, although the venue for next year has not been decided.