Concacaf Member Associations have welcomed the news of a Caribbean Pro League, even in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 global pandemic.
Word of the intent came last week with Mexican FA president Yon de Luisa being named as chairman and Caribbean Football Union’s President Randy Harris as his deputy.
Also joining the fray will be former Trinidad and Tobago defender and former Sports Minister of the Twin Island Republic Brent Sancho and head of the Jamaica National Olympic Committee Christopher Samuda.
Operating as a subgroup of Concacaf’s Competitions Committee, the Working Group, as they will be called, will also showcase the likes of Dominican Republic’s club owner Cibao FC Manuel Estrella, Haitian Patrick Massenat, Curacao’s Florentino Marcha and a FIFA representative to be decided.
Concacaf’s president Victor Montagliani said where this particular group differed from other attempts at setting up a Caribbean League, was that this one had people who “lived and breathed Caribbean sport and have the experience of running clubs and leagues in the region”.
The initiative, funded by FIFA and Concacaf, would have the resources of Concacaf’s Competitions Department to assist. However, while Montagliani said there was no pledge of finance, he noted that was not to say it would not be considered. But the Working Group would have to properly implement measures so that the enterprise could function on its own.
The Working Group is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, once the green light is given in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, with an initial planning session on workflow.
Beginning with a blank slate, those earmarked to run the show will look at other models, like Canada and India as well as the pool of talent in their own backyards, for professional leagues.
Harris, who is also president of the Barbados Football Association has lauded the move as a step in the right direction, stating that it was time for all Caribbean nations to play professional football.
Moreover, the veteran sporting administrator said Barbados, and by extension the region, must take a serious approach to the game, from the Grassroots level up in order to be successful.
“The vision of the Barbados Football Association executive is to be able to implement professional football. It is needed more than ever now with the Concacaf Nations League coming into existence. As a Member Association, we can draw any of the biggest nations in Concacaf. If we are to compete, we have to be able to have the type of players to fit into our plans,” he said.
Since the announcement, presidents of the various Member Associations have stepped forward to lend support to the initiative.