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Harris: Tighter security in store

Randy Bennett

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The recent switch to 4G isn’t LIME’s only proposed upgrade.
Looks like security is high on that list too.
Coordinator of the LIME Pelican Football Challenge, Randy Harris, has made it clear that any future tournaments would see an increased level of security to ensure that players and patrons are adequately protected from any reckless acts.
Speaking on the heels of the latest shooting incident which claimed the life of Damien Omar Mitchell during a football match at the Victor “Gas” Clarke Centre in Carrington Village on New Year’s Night, Harris told SUNSPORT that the security of players and patrons alike was high on his agenda.
He said the recent spate of shooting incidents at football matches was threatening to “ruin the face of football on the island”.
Harris added that what was of even more concern was that in most of the cases, the people who were involved in those violent acts were “neither footballers nor associated with football”.
“The safety of players and patrons is of utmost importance. Recently, the game of football has taken a beating and it is a shame because the people who are engaging in these ruthless acts are most of the time in no way associated with the game of football,” he said.
“Security should be a major focus in any sporting event which is held, and certainly we will try to replicate the success of last year’s tournament where there were no such acts at any of our games.”
The administrator added that most of the disturbances were fuelled by people “who had agendas” and tournament organizers would sit down and decide what measures they thought were needed to safeguard people who were in any way affiliated with the tournament.
In further discussing proposed improvements to the island’s most lucrative football competition, Harris said a partnership with the Barbados Football Association (BFA) was a “definite possibility”.
In acknowledging that the BFA was the only organization authorized to invite professional football teams to play in tournaments in Barbados, he highlighted that this could help to increase interest in the competition not only locally but regionally and internationally.
He said the participation of professional teams would help lift the standard of football in the tournament and on the island.
“It is definitely a possibility that the BFA and the organizers of the LIME Pelican Football Challenge tournament could become partners and stage a very successful competition,” he said.
“There are several advantages which can be reaped with a partnership, such as the chance to rent facilities at an affordable cost, as well as being able to invite professional teams to compete, which would help to raise the standard of football.
“A collaboration would certainly help to pique a lot of interest in a tournament such as this,” he pointed out.