So is there anything else to talk about today? Does anyone
care about life outside of football?
If only because it is one of the things these days to give
us hope and provide adequate distraction from the slow painful
death of rotten governance in sweet and sour T&T.
Happy as I am that the Soca Warriors have been such a unifying
force, it strikes me as a little sad that sport and art will
succeed where politicians have consistently and successively
Perhaps we should just demolish the Red House and let all
the county councils come to decisions about the future of
the nation on a football pitch.
It would certainly be a more beautiful and eloquent execution
of our democracy.
On a field the Soca Warriors battle for our sense of who we
are. Artists and visionaries creating a dance that will define
It remains to be seen whether we will dare to follow their
lead. To turn up for the battle and put on the war paint and
take the ball and win the fight.
Because this is a time of change. But it is also a time of
distraction. But the optimist in me is reawakened and I want
to believe that we wont take our eyes off the political
football. We wont be so Germany bazodie that we stop
minding our collective business.
Because as sure as red blood flows through these here veins,
surely I am nervous and excited and overjoyed and terrified
to see my Soca Warriors take the field.
But more than that I feel energised too. Inspired to see that
there are some Trinis who know what it is to fight for a dream.
To see it through to the bitter end. To not despair when the
doubts of others threaten to betray our best intentions.
And I feel that the mere show of defiance is a victory in
So whether we are playing against England or Alutrint, the
passion and the drive must be similar.
It is no accident of the universe that so many interesting
happenings are colliding.
The West Indies cricket team stands tall again. The Soca Warriors
take the world stage. More and more people, regular normal
people in T&T, are standing up and saying enough is enough
to those in power who are making attempts to abuse it.
For every negative there is a positive show of defiance to
make you say, ooooh goooud, this place sweet.
That late great Jamaican prophet Robert Nesta once said that
football is freedom.
Freedom is a concept that we have not fully understood. Which
is why a Prime Minister can say that his hands are tied and
he has no power to get out of a big deal with a big stinky
Freedom is a thing that we fear in a place where marauding
developers who have yet to be given environmental clearance
destroy trees for no apparent reason.
Freedom is the thing that we often confuse with freeness.
Freeness and enforced anarchy on the streets, in the shops,
Freedom, or the lack thereof, is the thing that keeps us from
getting together. Because we fear each other. An artist bredrin
pointed out the other day that Trinis are always talking about
we. But who is this we when every day the divides
get wider and more pronounced?
Football is freedom. But in this here time, football is also
big big business. Football is capitalism and politics. It
is the beautiful game with many ugly undersides. Racist football
hooligans, fascist fans who take pride in their national team
to bizarre levels of hate.
And womens groups in Europe ask those who are football
supporters to bear in mind how many women will be trafficked
into Germany to satisfy the urges of too many men in too small
Its little children in Asia going blind working in sweat
shops to sew us perfectly crafted balls. Hope that their freedom
comes soon and that justice follows.
Football is more than freedom. It is life. A reflection of
all our hopes and fears. In all of us there is a Soca Warrior
struggling to come out. Wanting to come out and play. Kick
down prejudice and run ragged all efforts to keep us from
Let today be the beginning of all our football ambitions,
on the field and off.