Minister Anthony impressed, aiming for stronger partnership with football
Guyana’s Minister of Sport Dr. Frank Anthony has described the inaugural CONCACAF Sports Summit as a resounding success. The event was held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands on October 22.
Such was the significance of the event that not only Presidents, Secretaries and Technical Directors of the 41-member associations of CONCACAF were invited, but Prime Ministers and Ministers of Sports of the CONCACAF nations.
Anthony, while lauding both FIFA and in particular CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb for the initiative, said that he was happy that the bodies have recognized the need for partnership and collaboration noting that no one sector can go it alone.
“To achieve successes in sport, you need that collaboration and I think its based on that recognition that this activity was organized. The Summit itself would have been quite successful, we listen to many panelists sharing their experiences and perspectives on the business side of sports, the politics of sports and how sports can help the economy”.
The Summit was not just about the game itself, it also centered on all the possible benefits that can be derived from football and the contributions it can make to the development of individuals, community, country and the world by extension.
Much thought went into the selection of persons for the panel which included Heads of States, successful businessmen, past players, CEO’s, Doctors and Professors, among others.
Minister Anthony who took over the Sports portfolio since 2006 believes that positive benefits will flow but it will only work with solid partnerships at every level from FIFA to the clubs.
“We can benefit more from the technical resources that are available through CONCACAF; we’ve been able to talk about that not in the Summit directly, but outside of it with the key officials from CONCACAF and I’m very pleased with those discussions.
So I envisage in the near future that we’ll have more benefits flowing from the Technical side”.
Touching on infrastructure, Anthony acknowledged and complimented FIFA and President Blatter for his initiative of the GOAL Project which has seen the world governing body investing in infrastructural development in its Member Association’s.
“While I think that were one of the first countries to start a GOAL Project, we’ve had our own difficulties in seeing it realized. However, after a series of meetings in Cayman Islands with the relevant officials from FIFA, CONCACAF and the GFF, we’ll be able to reboot that process and see our project being realized. We’ll have to play catch up though since many countries have gone ahead and completed in some cases, their sixth project”.
Anthony said he is hoping that work can commence shortly and this will be at new location on the West Demerara.
“If we work hard I’m sure we’ll be able to catch up with the other countries and at the same time this will be very useful for us because it’s helping to build football infrastructure in our country which will benefit all our players and everyone involved”.
The Minister while reiterating the usefulness of the Summit noted that it also allowed governments to understand the processes and various mechanisms that are employed by FIFA and CONCACAF when it comes to the administration and funding of projects.
“It allowed us to understand up close and personal, the way they do business and its good when you can understand these processes, you know how to fit into some of them”.
Sports Ministers, Dr. Anthony said, do not get the opportunity to meet very often so he welcome the CONCACAF Summit which provided an avenue for meeting his fellow colleagues where they were able to chat with each other while also learning from each other.
“I had the opportunity of meeting quite a few Ministers here and were able to update each other on what’s happening in our respective countries and I think it was useful exchange; learning best practices from each other is always useful”.
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