There are brighter days ahead for the Barbados Football Association as they look to 2019. With the local governing body for the sport closing 2018 on a bit of a downer due to a decision taken by regional confederation, Concacaf, the only way to go is up after the Senior Men's national team was dealt a blow in their opening campaign of the brand new Nations League.
Getting things started with a 2-2 draw against an at-home Guyana back in September before going on to lose 3-0 to El Salvador in the Central American country, Barbados was sanctioned for having played English players Hallam Hope and Krystian Pearce. Both players hold Barbados passports, however, a recent rule-change which requires players who have suited up for a nation at junior level to go through an additional set of permissions before representing another nation at the senior level. With both having played for England at youth level, letters would have needed to be sent to the English FA as well as FIFA to be in the clear.
Speaking recently, Barbados Football Association and Caribbean Football Union President, Randy Harris said that he was pleased that Barbados and the region has gotten a chance to play against a higher standard of player due to the competition but was a bit disappointed by the developments. “It is unfortunate what has happened in terms of the eligibility of the two English players but I look at these things differently. In the future we expect to be doing much bigger things in football and if these hiccups happen at this time, we have to use it as a learning experience. In the future as we go forward, we know everything that we have to look for before putting a player that doesn't have a history in Barbados on the team. So that would be a thing of the past for those coming in the future.”
With Barbados now in 23rd place in the standings after having been stripped of the 2-2 draw, President Harris, who is also Vice President of Concacaf, said that the local association was focused on making the most of the situation heading into 2019. “We look forward to next year in a positive way. Serbia is supposed to come to Barbados and we will be playing a tri-nation competition with St. Kitts and Nevis before we go into our final game against Nicaragua in March.” he said.