Sunday 27th February, 2005


Warner calls WI ‘Mimic Men’ for agreeing to host World Cup

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The REGION is not ready to host the Cricket World Cup in 2007.

In fact, says CONCACAF chief Austin “Jack” Warner, who is also vice-president of FIFA, soccer’s governing body, the event could be a communications catastrophe and we would be better off not hosting it.

“What we are doing is trying to be mimic men as far as cricket is concerned, so to say India hosted, South Africa hosted and we must host too.

“Guys, we aren’t ready yet. I know I will get licks like hell for that, but so what, I will take the licks,”

Warner expressed his views while in Barbados for the Digicel Caribbean Cup Football Finals which ended Thursday, with Jamaica beat Cuba 1-0 to take the tournament and T&T edging the host 3-2 for the bronze medals.

“I didn’t come here to attack cricket, but I look back at cricket and I sometimes wonder if we are still suffering from the legacy of colonialism,” he added.

The Caribbean Football Union’s president revealed that only last Friday, Keith Look Loy, CONCACAF’s technical director, left Port-of-Spain to come to Barbados for the congress and he landed here, but his luggage was in London.

“This can’t go on. Now what are you telling me? Would all this be corrected in time for 2007, and if by some miracle, at what cost?” Warner asked.

“But it would have been better for us to skip 2007 and help to develop a foundation of footballers through primary and secondary schools.

“We haven’t been able to put our house in order in terms of communication.

In the last month, every single flight to come to these countries, almost every one, has been delayed by two hours, sometimes by a day,” he said.

Warner also claimed that his Caribbean Professional Football League, which he started in the mid-1990s,folded because “we could not depend on the vagaries of the airlines in the region”.

He said that while governments should give financial help to cricket, there were far greater benefits supporting football.

“I say this not facetiously; I am very serious. Any government must give to cricket and if they believe that, of course they have that amount of money that they can dispense with, fine. But I don’t think if you compare cricket and football, that it is value for money,” he said.

“It is an obligation they have for the sport of cricket. Cricket is a West Indian thing.

“There is no Barbadian cricket team at the international level,” Warner said.

“If any flag is flown at all, you have a West Indian flag for the Caribbean, but the flag of your country is flown always on the field of football.”

©2004-2005 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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