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KEVIN MILLARD -
Following the defeat by Panama in the WCQ match I am disappointed to read such negativeness towards the National team. Surely with something as important as these matches the Barbados public should be fully supportive of the players, coaching and administrative staff. I have seen numerous comments, virtually all critical, on the various social media platforms from people in Barbados who simply refuse to support their team and prefer instead to lambaste them. Yes, we all would have liked to see a better performance than we did, and even a welcome, if unlikely, win against Panama. But the question has to be asked, on what grounds is this criticism based? The players have had a very difficult year with the Covid pandemic impacting greatly on the team's preparations. I watched the match live here in Spain and the players could not be faulted for effort and doing their best. Yes, they were outplayed throughout, but they only lost to a late goal and a 0 - 1 loss is nothing to warrant such criticism. Anyone who understands football must surely be aware of these things. With regard to the opposition, Panama are by no stretch of the imagination a footballing powerhouse, but they are far superior to Barbados and would be categorised just below Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Trinidad. Lest it be forgotten Panama are used to playing the likes of Serbia, USA and Japan in warm up matches whereas Barbados have been playing against other Caribbean countries. And for all those armchair critics who posted on Instagram that Barbados couldn't even beat a poor team like Panama, I would like them to understand that Panama have an abundance of professional players in their team who ply their trade in the Mexican, Uruguayan, Chilean, Argentinian and Spanish Leagues. In fact 2 of the Panama players who played against Barbados have played for my La Liga 2 club here in Spain and one of them is a regular starter earning around US 13,000 dollars each week. Compare that with what the Bajan players earn from the game. So the next time people feel like having a go at the team, perhaps it would be wise to be a little more understanding. In Russell Latapy, Barbados has an incredibly experienced player who has played at the very highest levels of world football and is the ideal person to use his vast knowledge to develop the players into what he wants them to be, but it will take time. In Randy Harris, Barbados is extremely fortunate to have the best possible person to not only administer football in the country but to take it to levels never before experienced. Clearly, Randy has a Board who share his vision for the future of the game in Barbados and together everyone involved in this project deserve the utmost credit, but even more importantly the support of everyone in the country. Starting right now. By supporting this group of players who will be pulling on the National colours again to make their country proud. So let's get supporting, and ditch the criticism. Thank you.