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Harris urges support for Bajan Tridents

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President of the Barbados Football Association (BFA), Randy Harris, is calling on the public to give the senior men’s national team greater support.

He was speaking during a post-game press conference this morning following the first leg of the Bajan Tridents FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Panama last night. The Tridents held the Panamanians at bay for 81 minutes in Group D before the opponents secured a lone goal.

“I am surprised seeing some of the comments. Obviously, people will see things from their perspective. When you are around the team and when you’re around football [only then] you understand certain things,” he explained.  

Describing some of the naysayers as “football professors”, Harris said they rarely saw the team in training, nor were they aware of what was going on, but always had an opinion after a game.

“Even senior people are talking negatively. Those things are not nice. We have to support our team. When they play badly, yes there will be criticism, and everybody has their own opinion on everything, including me. But the players see the comments and they are human beings, many of them young and still inexperienced. We need to support them and uplift football in Barbados," he said.

But Harris, who is also president of the Caribbean Football Union, said he was satisfied the BFA’s board took the decision to allow the team to travel to the Dominican Republic two weeks ahead of their scheduled games, and engage in a training camp at Cap Cana.  

“Now I understand from everything that has gone on, if we didn’t come for these two weeks, we would be in a very sad state. Panama is number five in the region and a team that even the top teams are wary of playing. We did not play as we were not training because we weren’t given the chance, but the players did not give up which is a good sign. They tried, they did their best, they dug deep and I think they should be commended,” he stressed.

Harris noted a lot of the players for this roster were selected based on their last training sessions.

“There were some who worked on their physical ability and some who did not work as hard. Last night against Panama we could see the difference. Panama played a team full of professionals who have been playing football all the while that we were crippled in Barbados. Our players must be commended,” he said.

Moreover, Harris, a long-standing sporting administrator, said before arriving in the Dominican Republic, Panama played quality competition against Japan, Serbia, and the USA.

“Obviously, they would be in a better position and match fit than the Barbados team would be. We were struggling to get time to train. As Coach [Russell Latapy] indicated a lot of our players are still working hard during the day and giving of their time. We are all going to fall down at times and we’re going to accept when we make mistakes, when we make decisions that did not work out, and we will pick ourselves up and move forward,” he said.

Harris said he understood criticism was normal but urged all to gather their information from an informed position.

“When you make your deliberations they will be well thought out, coming from the information you have gleaned from the people that have that information at hand, so that we cannot question any statements that are made,” he said, as he thanked the local media for their support.  


1 Comment


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.


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