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CFU ‘ready’ for Pro league


CFU ‘ready’ for Pro league

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 THE PROPOSED Caribbean professional league can’t come fast enough for the region’s soccer chief.

​Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president Gordon Derrick wants the start of the pro league to happen within two years. He believes his body is currently prepared to stage professional football right now, if needed.

Derrick issued the deadline while addressing one of Wednesday’s closing sessions of the Soccerex Americas Forum at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

“If we get the word tomorrow then we’re ready to start the whole show,” assured Derrick in a one-on-one segment with journalist Lance Whittaker.

“We’re pushing it, and the task force has to do its job but we definitely need to do this [because] we need a sustainable league so that our future generation of kids will always have something to aspire to and develop their football [through].

“Realistically I would like to see this by 2016 at the latest but that’s not for me to say as we have to wait for the task force when it makes its presentation,” he added.

It’s been the talking point around the Caribbean ever since CONCACF head Jeffrey Webb appointed a ten-member task force – which includes local boss Randy Harris and Grenada Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell – in March to examine the possibility of creating a pro league.

However, there have been several questions circulating about the league’s feasibility, from funding right down to fan appeal and travel costs.

But Derrick believes a lot of those issues will easily be mitigated once the region’s governments buy into the league and give their full assistance.

“Governments have to be involved [as] they have to be critical facilitators of such a move,” said the CFU president.

“They have to give us all the necessary legislation and provide some funding but we can’t rely on governments to be the main funders because it will not work.

“You will need the corporate Caribbean to get involved. There are so many large corporations across the CFU who I believe know football, enjoy football, understand its contribution to society and would be willing invest in a pro league,” he added.

Derrick went on to vindicate the league’s need through World Cup qualification, saying that the Caribbean’s national teams can’t expect “to bring amateurs to play professionals”.

​“We cannot prepare in the Caribbean to beat the world’s best in the same way the US does,” said Derrick.

“So the issue is a desire and we have to think outside of the box.”