THIS?YEAR could be the last for the prestigious Barbados Cup.
Tournament director George Lascaris says a dire lack of sponsorship might force him to red card the competition now in its 27th year.
Speaking to NATION?SPORT after the opening ceremony, the former national player and president of the Barbados Football Association said the recession was the reason given by businesses why they couldn’t assist.
“Colgate is the only major sponsor and it means we will have to redouble our efforts because we have to do it for the youth,” Lascaris lamented.
According to the director they were working with a $50 000 budget and were even forced to trim some essential services, including medical personnel, which had been a feature at every game in the past.
How are they planning to cope with this challenge?
“The Red Cross is giving their services voluntarily but there are some others we have to pay for, but we have to pray to God nothing goes wrong.”
Lascaris said that every time he thought of calling it quits, teams inquired about plans for the following year so that kept him going.
“I didn’t have this chance when I was younger but somebody has to create opportunities for our youth,” he added.
There are 56 teams competing this year, including four new ones from neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago.
Acting director of sports at the National Sports Council, Neil Murrell gave a short address at the opening which also included cultural performances from the Cadet band and Haynesville Community Group.
This was followed by exhibition matches featuring the Barbados senior women’s team versus the Trinidad Ministry of Sport and Barbados Under-19 men against Naparima of Trinidad.
The competition concludes with the finals at the Stadium on Good Friday. (AT)