THE 2017 Windward Islands Football Association Men’s Tournament continues today at the Fond playing field in St. Patrick, Grenada. In the first encounter of a double-header, Dominica and Saint Lucia play each other from 5:30 p.m.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada will renew their yesteryear football rivalry from 7:30 p.m. in what is expected to be a thriller.
Matches continued last evening at the Fond playing field in the first encounter on Day 2. Barbados made its debut in the tournament, playing against Dominica while Grenada — following their 1-1 draw in their opening encounter — played tournament leader Saint Lucia.
On the opening night on Wednesday, the battle of the Saints continued as Saint Lucia defeated Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2-1 with goals from Danny Mullackey in the 74th minute and Kurt Fredrick in the 80th. For Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Chevel Cunningham scored in the 89th minute.
In the second encounter, Grenada and Dominica played to a 1-1 draw. Julian Wade put Dominica ahead in the 14th minute to take the match into halftime. But the Grenadians equalized in the 74th minute via a goal from Rickson Phillip.
Based on the FIFA Ranking as of June 1, Grenada is ranked 164th, Barbados 169th, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 176th, Saint Lucia 177th and Dominica 193rd.
The Saint Lucia squad in Grenada reads: Antonio Joseph, Quami Jones, Gregson President, MelaniusMullarkey, Zacherinus Simon, Lester Joseph, Ericson Magloire, Malix St. Prix, Aaron Richards, AlvinusMayers, Keeroy Lionel, Melvin Doxilly, Cassius Joseph, Nangee Phillip, Otev Lawrence, Shawn Lawrence, Vino Bartlett and Kurt Fredrick.
Meanwhile, this year’s men’s tournament included Barbados as an invitational team and there are plans to extend this collaboration, according to President of the Grenada Football Association, Cheney Joseph.
Joseph said, “The Presidents of WIFA are desirous of introducing the competition to include Under-14 boys and girls in order to have a two-year preparation for CONCACAF.” “Additionally, we are seeking to engage the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States member federations in discussion to expand the tournament to also include Martinique and Guadeloupe.”
Joseph said the absence of an OECS Sports Desk has created a void in competitive sports in the sub-region, which has affected the development of football. He added that there are no competition besides qualifying tournaments for CONCACAF and Caribbean Football Union (CFU).
“Once discussions are held with our colleagues in the sub-region, we believe it will provide an impetus for an OECS Invitational Tournament, possibly involving the French neighbouring territories. It’s merely a vision at this time to fill the gap left by the absence of an OECS Sports Desk,” said Joseph.