English football legends coming
Those local English Football aficionados who have always dreamt of seeing the greats of Manchester United, Arsenal, or Chelsea live and in living colour will have the opportunity on Friday June 10 and Saturday, June 11 when the British Airways International Football Legends Tournament will be held at Kensington Oval.
The likes of Andy Cole and Dwight York of Manchester United, Zola from Chelsea, Trinidad and Tobagonian Shaka Hislop and Alan Shearer of Newcastle are just some of the former professionals who will be competing in the six-a-side games.
The teams are: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle, Blackburn, Liverpool and an All Stars squad.
Two fields will be set up, one in front of the 3Ws Stand and the other in front of the Greenidge & Haynes Stand. Matches will be two ten-minute halves with the action beginning at 7 p.m. both days.
In a link-up at the Barbados Tourism Authority Friday, president and CEO David Rice along with Petra Roach, UK vice president marketing, Devon Chase, business development officer and Christian Smith football professional manager said that the footballers were giving of their time which would normally carry a price tag of £10 000.
According to Smith, it was a no-brainer when the footballers were approached and told they would be going to Barbados.
Roach also added that the promotion of the tournament was already reaping tremendous benefits for Barbados and she hoped that making the event an annual affair would help Barbados to unearth someone like Dwight York who would carry the promotional value of a Rihanna.
Rice said the aim was to get the event on Barbados’ annual sports calendar and that would tie in with the BTA’s drive to get even more visitors here. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the National Sports Council to assist the schools’ football programmes.
“We anticipate that this will be a very successful event with full houses every night as we are touching people at their personal point,” Rice concluded.
It was estimated that staging the event would be $4 million. However, BA donated 80 first class tickets to the players and those players will be accommodated free of cost by participating hotels.
That strategy is already paying dividends as more than 100 friends and family will be flying in with the footballers and some local players will also get a chance to compete against the third and fourth placed teams on the Saturday before the finals. (KB)