Sports Editor's Diary

L. D. Roberts
Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Welcome, Trinidad

JAMAICA is happy, especially at this time with Federation in the nostrils of everyone, and the formation of a British West Indian Football Board of Control becoming a reality, to welcome another team of footballers from Trinidad for a tournament here.

Tournaments between these two Colonies over the years have always produced a good standard of football, and the players although striving hard for victory, have never failed to display that brand of sportsmanship and friendship that have contributed so much to the success of these tours.

Trinidad's young side come full of good football, and their president is confident that they will do well, although they will be playing under lights for the first time. The visitors will be at a slight disadvantage in this respect, but Jamaica's soccer is nothing near its vintage years, and the result of the series may not reflect a true indication of the strength of the Trinidadians. But this much can be said for the Jamaica team, the defence is good and if the forwards can supply the necessary thrust in their play, the team should confirm the opinion of those who claim that the selectors have done a satisfactory job.

The first time a team of Trinidad footballers came to Jamaica was in 1935, and the last occasion on which we had them was after the war in 1949.

This visit is history-making for the reason that it ties in with the formation at long last of a Control Board for football in the British West Indies.

It had long been felt that in the same way that there was a Control Board of cricket In the West Indies there should be a similar Board for football. And though men like Commander Hayward and Mr. G. M. DaCosta, have fought for its formation are not now actively connected with the sport they will nevertheless be pleased that their efforts helped in the formation of the British West Indian
Football Board of Control.

Tomorrow at Sabina Park, the delegates from the different islands will meet to finalise plans for the inauguration of the Board on Tuesday night at King's House.

The thought naturally comes to mind, who should be the top executives of this body? This is not likely to present any real problem, as it seems that Mr. Eric James, secretary of the Trinidad Football Association, is the logical choice as secretary of the BWIFBC. It seems too that the president should be in the same colony, for the convenience and smooth running of the Board; so that Mr. Ken Galt, president of the Trinidad Football Association, may be the first president of the Control Board.

His Brain-Child

Eric James is a name known and respected in football, for quite apart from his great knowledge of the game, he is, a hard worker, keen, and an able administrator. There could be no better choice as secretary.

The idea of a British West Indian Football Board of Control was conceived by Mr. Eric James many years ago and he has never failed to press for its formation year after year. He must be a very happy and proud man to see that his brain-child has become a reality.

The desirability of having the president and secretary of the Board in the same Colony cannot be over-emphasised, and the delegates to the conference should give very serious consideration to the wisdom of this view.

Our football leaders are to be congratulated that they have been able to come together and set, as it were, the destiny of football in these islands.

There can be no doubt that with the formation of an official Control Board there will be better planning for the development of the game, regular interchange of visits, and with this an improved standard of football in the islands, and ultimately the producing of a West Indian team capable of giving a creditable account of itself in international soccer, in the same way that our cricketers have done on the cricket field. One also looks forward to seeing intercolonial soccer tournaments arranged, perhaps on a knockout basis, and the champion colony getting some kind of championship award.

Next week then, will be a momentous one, not only in politics, but also in sport. While the delegates from the different islands meet to decide on the Federal Capital, our football delegates will also decide on the constitution and executives of the British West Indian Football Board of Control.

This makes the visit of the Trinidad football soccer team doubly important, and these young sporting ambassadors from Trinidad will always look back on this tour to Jamaica with the fondest of memories.