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Shivnarine Chanderpaul

WIPA congratulates Chanderpaul on illustrious career

 
KINGSTON, Jamaica — January 25, 2016 – The West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) has congratulated Shivnarine Chanderpaul on a prosperous and illustrious international career that spanned more than two decades.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul

Shivnarine Chanderpaul

Former West Indies captain Chanderpaul is the only player of the modern game to represent the West Indies for over two decades. Presently, the 41-year-old is the highest ranked West Indian on the ICC Test Rankings. He also holds the record for batting the longest period without being dismissed in Test cricket.

During the almost 22 years of his career, he represented the West Indies 164 times in Test cricket, amassing 11,867 runs, with his highest score being 203 runs, at an average of 51.37. He represented the West Indies in 268 ODI matches scoring 8,778 runs, with a high score of 150, and an average of 41.60. In the shortest form of the game he played in 22 matches, scoring 343 runs at an average of 20.17.

Chanderpaul’s unorthodox batting style did not hinder his performances on the field of play, as he collected accolades throughout his career. Some of the awards he has received include being named one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year and ICC Player of the Year for 2008. He was also twice named West Indies Player of the Year, first in 2008 and then in 2014.

WIPA’s president and CEO Wavell Hinds, who played alongside Chanderpaul for the better part of a decade, said, “As a fan, to witness him play was to see a player of grit and determination. Having the honour of playing alongside him, I certainly saw a consummate professional who gave his all for West Indies cricket.”

He continued, “Shiv’s contribution to the game has been priceless and we wish him the utmost success in his future endeavours.”

 

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Blatter

FIFA president now under criminal investigation over deal with Jack Warner

Blatter

FIFA president Sepp Blatter

Switzerland, Friday Sept 25, 2015 – As the extradition process for former FIFA vice president and corruption accused Jack Warner remains in limbo, the head of football’s world governing body is under criminal investigation in connection with a TV rights deal that he signed with the Trinidad and Tobago football executive 10 years ago.

FIFA headquarters was raided, the office of President Sepp Blatter searched and data seized today.

And the attorney general subsequently announced that his office had opened criminal proceedings into Blatter, is due to step down from FIFA’s leadership next February, on suspicion of criminal mismanagement or, alternatively, misappropriation.

It is alleged that on September 12, 2005, Blatter signed a contract with the Caribbean Football Union, headed by Warner, which was “unfavorable for FIFA”.

“There is a suspicion that, in the implementation of this agreement, Blatter also violated his fiduciary duties and acted against the interest of FIFA and/or FIFA Marketing & TV AG,” a statement issued by the office of the Swiss attorney general said.

Additionally, Blatter is suspected of a “disloyal payment” of two million Swiss francs (US$2 million) to President of Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Michel Platini, at the expense of FIFA, which was allegedly made for work performed between January 1999 and June 2002. The payment was made in February 2011.

Blatter, 79, was interrogated today, following a meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee.

The attorney general’s statement said Platini was also heard “as a person asked to provide information”.

Posted in International, International Sports, Local, Local Sports, News, Regional, Regional Sports, SportsComments Off on FIFA president now under criminal investigation over deal with Jack Warner

Jeffrey Webb

Former FIFA Vice President pleads not guilty – under house arrest

Jeffrey Webb

Jeffrey Webb

NEW YORK, Jul. 19, CMC – Jeffrey Webb, the former head of CONCACAF, the region’s governing body for football, was granted bail amounting to US$10 million and placed under house arrest when he appeared in court here on Saturday.

Webb, also a former FIFA Vice President is accused of accepting bribes worth millions of dollars in connecting with the sale of marketing rights.

He was detained in Switzerland in May, along with six football officials before begin extradited to the US last week.

The New York judge who ordered to remain at home in a 20 mile radius of the court, also told the court that Webb’s movements will be monitored via and electronic tag.

He was also required to hand over his three passports.

According to court documents, the prosecutors allege that among the bribes Webb allegedly received was a US$ 1.1 million to award the marketing rights to a Miami based company for the 2012 CONCACAF Gold Cup and Champions league tournament.

Webb, 50, was banned by FIFA after he was indicted in May in the United States.

He entered a plea of not guilty to charges of money laundering, wire fraud and racketeering.

 

Posted in International, International Sports, Local, Local Sports, News, Regional, Regional Sports, Sports4 Comments

Montserrat Under-23 Netball team - 2015

Six teams to vie for 25th OECS/ECCB Under-23 Netball Tournament Title

netball banner

This year, six teams will vie for the championship title in the 25th OECS/ECCB Under-23 Netball Tournament, which will be hosted from tomorrow by the St Kitts Netball Association in St. Kitts at the Pamela Tyson Netball Complex, Basseterre.

The tournament which runs from Saturday, July 18 to Thursday, July 23, 2015 is sponsored by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) official sponsor of the tournament since 1991, in collaboration with the OECS Commission.

Montserrat Under-23 Netball team - 2015

Montserrat Under-23 Netball team with their Coach – 2015

The Montserrat netball girls team which left here on Friday morning by ferry to Antigua with an onward flight to St. Kitts, will compete and mingle with teams from The Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

 

Collaborating with the OECS Commission to stage this regional competition, the ECCB says in a release that its “continued sponsorship of the tournament demonstrates the Bank’s vision of fostering regional integration and its commitment to the overall development of the region’s young women through sports.

President of the St Kitts Netball Association, Mrs Juliet Hanley-Liburd, says the tournament will begin with an opening ceremony and a parade of the teams, while she encourages persons to come out to witness the games and be treated to talent, fun and excitement.

The ECCB release on the tournament also informs that “In keeping with its commitment to the overall development of the region’s young netballers, the ECCB incorporates a development session into the tournament. This year, Adviser in the Corporate Relations Department, Sybil Welsh, will engage the netballers in discussion on the topic: ‘Effective Communication’.”

 

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Montserrat Under23 Netball team prepares for OECS tournament

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Under 23 Montserrat netball sqad

Netball coach Miss Valerie Samuels has announced that the Under 23 netball sqad continues in training for the upcoming 25th annual ECCB/OECS Under 23 Netball Tournamen to be held in St. Kitts.

The Team is due to leave on Friday July 17, 2015 to return home the following Thursday 23rd July.

Coach Samuels said: “This is our 4th year of competition after being out for 16 years due to the volcanic crisis.

The Montserrat team comprises:

Valencia Allen (captain)

Amika Osborne

Tiffanny Skerritt

Zenique Leonard

Juana Osborne

Tezinia Woodley

Stevika Rodney

Davika Crichlow

Robyn Yearwood

Beanka Chambers

Kenisha Trotman

Shantial Campbell

Valerie Samuel (coach)

Mrs Sheryl White (manager)

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Untitled-8

The Easter Monday relay – Conscious Vybz ascends, following the rules

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Untitled-9Untitled-10A good following of spectators, officials and supports watched Main rival Conscious Vybz (CV) relay men team turn the tables in the popular annual Easter Monday Relay (cross country) by taking the winning position in both men and women sections, finishing at the Little Bay play field.

Firstly, the CV men beat rival men from Fire, last year’s winning team, by running the correct route, snapping victory from disqualified Police who had imported some champion runners from a neighbouring island. Fire then took 2nd spot, while MSS team 1took 3rd.

The female Conscious Vybz team took the first spot beating the MSS Team 1 who put in a well below standard because of two sick runners on middle 2nd and 3rd connecting legs. The ladies CV team took a commanding lead which they never let up in spite of MSS Samantha’s best effort on the final leg. Conscious Vybz did beat their last year’s second place time of 50:28. MSS clocked 49:17 over their record time of 48:15. The officials mentioned that even with slight variations in the route, the female race was slower than last year, a clear result of the MSS sick team.

CV team won in 1hr 35:9 after police had sprinted in first running a shortened route which created much discussion. Fire clocked 1 hr 37:47 and MSS, 1 hr 38:20. The route this year was slightly changed but last year Fire had clocked 1 hr 36:13, CV at 1hr.43:45 and MSS 1hr 41:50.

The confusion came over a lack of knowledge by the lead police runners of the correct route at the roundabout above the market and below the Cultural Centre. The runners even after learning, like the CV runners after they had gone past the roundabout were advised that they were running the incorrect route. The CV runners back-tracked and naturally would have been in an advantageous position, while it was more than speculation that the Police runners, who were the imports figured they would have been disadvantaged, by then running behind the CV runners.

Some commentators blamed the officials for not having marks on the route, but TMR commenting during the discussion pointed out that competitors will always have problems when they are ignorant of the rules within which they compete. Officials confirmed that the route was officially communicated and explained (at least) to the teams officials. It was in fact the CV manager who had directed his team that they were running the incorrect route.

The end route - marked

The end route – marked

There only two teams in the female race with MSS fielding three teams 1, 2 and 3, and CV. In the men’s there were five teams. MSS, CV 1 and 2, Fire and Police. Last year MSS entered two girls team.

There was no Jamrock team for the ladies and no Gunners for the men.

For more pics visit our Facebook page here: 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152867236240852.1073742024.203080105851&type=3

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Antigua visit (42)

Dr. Lewis proposes Interisland Sports Project

Dr. Lowell Lewis, former Chief Minister, 2006 – 09 and member of the Legislature from 2001-2014, has long had an interest in developing the ferry service to Montserrat, especially as he proposes below. He sends the following proposal to the Minister of Communications and Works urging him to seek the support of his cabinet colleagues.

He begins his latest proposal below by congratulating the Government for upgrading the ferry facility in Antigua.

Antigua visit (42)

Montserrat ferry dock in Antigua

Congratulations to the Government of Montserrat for correcting the unacceptable situation at the Ferry dock in Antigua, which saw handicapped older persons and children crammed, sometimes in pouring rain, within feet of a docking Ferry.

We now also have the opportunity to move ahead with a proposed Inter island sports project, the details of which are shared in the following and attached draft, which is being circulated to potential sponsors and participants.

Let us make this happen, and raise the level of performance of our sportsmen, whilst at the same time giving a boost to our struggling economies.

 Lowell Lewis 

The proposal:

Antigua  Barbuda  Montserrat  St Kitts  and   Nevis

Inter Island  Sports  Project

Objectives

Antigua  Barbuda  Montserrat  St Kitts  and   Nevis  Inter Island  Ferry Service

Objective

 

1        Promote inter island sporting activities

2       Make the ferry service economically sustainable

3    To increase  economic activities in the tourism sector.     Hotels,   Guest,  houses,   Restaurants,   Entertainment and  Island tours

4   Justify the provision of  ferry  terminal facilities in Antigua   and to facilitate its financing

5   Introduce an affordable St Kitts Nevis  Antigua  Barbuda Weekend Ferry Service

6   Facilitate a Five Islands in Five Weeks  Multi-destination Tourism package

This project   seeks to identify and engage   sports teams   that  take part in the following sports.

Cricket       20/20     50 Over       Soft ball      Dominoes

Foot ball    Cycling    Athletics   Road Races  Yachting

Basket Ball     Volley ball   Net ball   Tennis   Table Tennis

All  sporting events  would be expected to take place between 12  noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday afternoons, but may be at other periods between 9 am Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday

Travel for participating teams  will begin after  5 p.m. on Friday  and end before 8 am on Monday, thus ensuring no interference with work or school attendance.

Proposed start date   April 1st   2015 and would be coordinated in such a way to permit sporting activities in all the islands every weekend.

Ferry capacity   of 100,   Minimum  project passenger load of 50  persons for each leg of the ferry   service, plus 50 seats  reserved for use by the general public and tourists.

This proposal  is linked to a  St Kitts , Nevis , Antigua,   Montserrat   Barbuda   Ferry  Service     on Friday,  Saturday,  and Sunday    of each week.

Sponsors  would   be asked to provide project funds  for the sporting events,  the  purchase of  Ferry tickets   and  accommodation costs   for team members and officials.

Project success would be guaranteed by a ferry service grant that includes the cost of  40 tickets per journey for participants of the sports project and the financing of the ferry service terminal in Antigua.

Special fares for team fans and  supporters to  be considered and the terminal used  as a  site for events  such as dominoes, table tennis and other  fund raising activities.

Montserrat has in place, team accommodations  for EC$40  per night per person.

Sponsors subsidy  budget estimate       $120,000  per month

Proposed Ferry Schedule for Inter Island Sports Project

Week end    Ferry schedule     St Kitts/Nevis   Montserrat    Antigua  Barbuda

Proposed Ferry Schedule

St Kitts/Nevis   Montserrat   Antigua Barbuda

 

Friday

Ferry 1

1 pm       Nevis   MNI

5 pm       MNI     ANU

7 pm       ANU   MNI

10 pm     MNI   Nevis

 

Saturday

Ferry 1                                                                                     Ferry 2

4 am       St Kitts/Nevis     ANU                                           4 am     Nevis     MNI

7 am       ANU       Barbuda                                                  6 am     MNI       ANU

10 pm   Barbuda ANU                                                       9 am   ANU       MNI

7 pm   MNI       ANU

9 pm   ANU       MNI

Sunday

Ferry 1                                                                                 Ferry 2

6 am     ANU         Nevis                                                     6 am   MNI to ANU

9 am     Nevis       Barbuda                                               9 am     ANU       MNI

4 pm   Barbuda   ANU                                                       5 pm   MNI       ANU

8 pm   ANU           St Kitts/Nevis                                       7 pm   ANU       MNI

10 pm   MNI       Nevis

Proposed Sporting Schedule

 

Weekend 1       Montserrat       Soft Ball Cricket               Football         Yachting

Antigua             Athletics                           Basket ball     Net ball

Barbuda           Soft ball Cricket               Foot ball         Cycling

St Kitts               Tennis                             20/20 Cricket   Dominoes

Nevis                 Football                           Soft ball Cricket

 

Weekend 2         Montserrat       20/20 Cricket                   Tennis

Antigua             Cycling                               Volley ball     Yachting

Barbuda             20/20 Cricket                 Tennis

St Kitts                Athletics                           Basket Ball     Netball

Nevis                   Soft ball cricket               Tennis           Dominoes

 

Weekend 3         Montserrat       Athletics                            Basket ball   Net ball

Antigua             Soft ball Cricket                 Foot ball

Barbuda             Soft ball Cricket                 Foot ball       Yachting

St Kitts             Soft ball Cricket                 Foot ball       Dominoes

Nevis                 Foot ball                             Volley Ball

 

Weekend 4           Montserrat         Cycling                           Volley Ball     Dominoes

Antigua               20/20 Cricket                   Tennis

Barbuda               20/20 Cricket                   Basket ball   Net ball

St Kitts                 Soft ball cricket                 Foot ball       Yachting

Nevis                     Athletics                            Tennis           Yachting

See Facebook for pics of new terminal facility in Antigua: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.441464006012774.1073741852.146846792141165&type=1&pnref=story

Posted in Local, News, Regional, Sports3 Comments

FIFA President Sepp Blatter

They’re off … Blatter submits his candidacy in race for May election

Inside World Football

FIFA news

 

By Andrew Warshaw

FIFA President Sepp Blatter

FIFA President Sepp Blatter

January 29 – FIFA President Sepp Blatter has confirmed that he has submitted his bid to run for re-election a few hours before the deadline for nominations – but has not named the federations backing him.

There was little doubt that the 78-year-old present incumbent would stand again – his candidacy was a mere formality – but Blatter may have wanted to wait and check who else was in the field before posting a message on his Twitter account to say ”I’ve made my submission.”

“Today is a key date in the electoral calendar. Now the electoral committee follow a process.”

That panel will undertake a comprehensive vetting procedure before formally publishing the names of the candidates, possibly as late as mid-February.

Last weekend Blatter laid down a challenge to his critics within UEFA to put up a candidate and within two days Dutch FA boss Michael van Praag and Portuguese legend Luis Figo had thrown their names into the race.

The only contender to so far identify his five letters of support in order to make it on to the ballot paper is van Praag, citing Belgium, Faeroe Islands, Romania, Scotland and Sweden.

Figo and FIFA Vice President Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan also claim to have the required backing though Jerome Champagne has yet to announce whether he is still going ahead with his bid for the presidency of an organisation he served for over a decade in a variety of roles.

Blatter, who has been in charge of football’s world governing body since 1998, is running for a fifth mandate and is overwhelming favourite to win the election in Zurich on May 29.

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Posted in International, Local, News, Sports18 Comments

2014-12-09 23.53.11

Montserrat LIBA champ: Elevated after St. Kitts, Antigua ejections

ANU VS skb

Montserrat basketball team emerged from the bottom last year to be the 2014 Leeward Islands basketball champions after they had one hour earlier than the aborted final, beaten last year’s champs British Virgin Islands (BVI) 85 – 75.

2014-12-09 23.53.11The championship emergence came when an evenly hard fought repeat match-up between Antigua and St. Kitts, could not endure beyond the fourth minute into the second quarter. One St. Kitts official said after the teams departed the playing area:  “…tempers flared and that was it and the rest is history.”

He explained and described the circumstances just as we saw it and knew it. “It’s unfortunate that the game turned out like this. These two teams have a serious rivalry for years. At the end of the day for the fans sake really, unfortunately we feel the game got out of control – maybe the referees could have called a little more the packing etc. and nip in the bud…,” he said.

A scuffle ensued just opposite the Antigua bench, as seen in one of the photos, the players landed in the bench, the St. Kitts players followed in and that was the end of the game, as one of the match officials told me, “The game is called off as the players were ejected.”

He explained:  “Once the team clears the bench that is automatic ejection. The players from Antigua and St. Kitts left their bench, and once they do that you don’t have teams to play. So automatically and also for security reasons you can’t continue.”

The match ended, the packed crowd waited as there were many speculations among them as well as the LIBA officials. LIBA President Daniel Mathew president who is also president of the Antigua and Barbuda Association, said: “It’s unfortunate the game ended. Clearly, they are two very tough teams, playing very tough basketball, the rivalry goes back many years – it got reignited two nights ago in the qualifications rounds – just got out of control tonight.” He then offered, ”…We are discussing it now to see what can be the best outcome, that suits everyone.”

Members of his board met and other consultations took place, but the first reported outcome was that the two teams would share the championship. That was met with the deserved treatment, as the crowd expressed their consternation. After another few minutes, this well over an hour later since the final decision, Montserrat was declared the champions, with both Antigua and St. Kitts ‘disqualified’ leaving last year’s champions BVI runner-up and Anguilla in third place.

This was perhaps a great ending for the Montserrat team, but an unfortunate outcome for a very well-run and hosted tournament, in a new complex that one could see was new, with the incompletions hardly noticed. That brought shouts of concurrence when  floor announcer Basil Chambers asked if next year’s tournament should be hosted in Montserrat.

Seven teams participated. Antigua, Anguilla, Barbuda, BVI, Montserrat, Nevis and St. Kitts in the tournament which was hosted in the newly (unfinished) sports complex housing a basketball stadium. The tournament saw full capacity crowds especially when Montserrat played and during the finals.

Acting Premier, Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing and the Environment, had remarked after the ejections, as he too waited for the outcome that he will have to change his speech.  “My speech will be different now. I had nice things to say about St. Kitts and Antigua.” He earlier expressed his disappointment in the way the game ended. “They violated the whole tenor of the game, I don’t think it can continue,” he said.

The biggest disappointment of the night fell on about 120 persons who travelled from Antigua by Ferry to see the clash between Antigua and St. Kitts. Some were just in time to see the sad event of occurences. Naturally there were some long faces. Before the final announcement of the game, both teams assembled on mid court and hugged one another. The DJ for that evening must be compliment for playing Bob Marley’s “One Love’ shortly after the fight and before the officials gathered to consider.

A brief presentation was held – Montserrat received the trophy and players medals, along with a few other individual prizes. Vance Tuitt, one of two overseas (UK) Montserrat players received a prize for most baskets and rebounds, while the Montserrat team took honours for scoring the highest score in a match.

Visit our Facebook page to see champioship  pics: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152594875240852.1073741989.203080105851&type=1

 

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Edgar Nkosi White

Reality Reaches Rio

By Edgar Nkosi White

Edgar Nkosi White

Edgar Nkosi White

Fact: Brazil’s football team is not that good. What the team has are some good players and as long as they’re not overly tested they can endure. Unfortunately for them they were severely tested by Germany and minus both their captain and there chief goal scorer and poster boy, Neymar, they were found very wanting.

I’m glad that they were not eliminated early on in the contest because it would have made for a very bloody series since the host country has been experiencing some major civil strife of late and I didn’t want the news to be more about blood in the streets than football. Being awakened from a dream isn’t nice but the bread and circuses period is officially over now and so before they start to audit what exactly was the cost, I’d like to take some time to focus on why the majority of the faces we saw in the stadiums were mostly white. The simple answer is that the majority of Brazil’s black population (which is 60% by the way) is piss-poor. They live mostly in the favelas and are definitely invisible when it comes to the media. Needless to say, there is no political representation and not even the pretence of a black middleclass.

You would be hard put to find a Black Brazilian in either commercial bill boards or television. This nonexistence on television is especially interesting given the enormous popularity of soap opera, which is, after football, Brazil’s greatest obsession. Blacks are nowhere present. Interesting too is the fact that even when it comes to football you find far more dark skinned players on other South American teams than Brazil, a country known to have the largest concentration of blacks outside the African continent. Where are the other Pelés? As a matter of fact, why is it that you never hear Pelé himself mention that subject? He is definitely apolitical and this may be a clue as to why he has lasted so long in the minefield which is Brazilian society. It was Henry Kissinger by the way, who pulled certain strings to make certain that Pelé was able to get permission to leave Brazil and bring his soccer magic to New York City and the Cosmos. In a society rampant with racism he has pretty much achieved the status of honorary white. Neymar, for example, is very clear on the fact that he himself is not black, certainly not with that blonde dyed hair.

For some peculiar reason there is a very colourful myth which tries to present Brazil as a rainbow garden wherein everyone blends so well. The fact is that a favourite phrase in Brazil is: “Hey, you black monkey!” It is not unusual for a child to address a black school teacher that way, with impunity. Who suffer most are the recently arrived black professionals who have come to Brazil in search of the dream, having heard of Brazil’s booming economy only to encounter bitter disappointment. However, before we get totally carried away with the Brazilian situation we have to compare it with the rest of South America.

Note well that Argentina has no black faces running around on its team; it could be described as an Aryan nation (which made it a very handy hiding place for Nazis to hide after the war along with both Brazil and Uruguay). We need to remember that Argentina is famous for the Tango and that the Tango itself came from Africa. The most famous Tango dancers of the 1920s were all black. Question: what happened to the black population of Argentina? The answer is genocide, much like the systematic purging of the Dominican Republic under Trujillo. The first cowboys of Argentina (the Gauchos) who were black were systematically eliminated. There was a very conscious whitening-up process of importing Europeans to the country to save the race. Brazil did the same thing. However, the resistance and the sheer numbers were just too enormous. Besides, Brazil needed its blacks to work those coffee plantations and was in fact the very last to free its slaves (1888). One might argue that Brazil never really did quite free its black population; it merely imprisoned them in favelas. Human trafficking by means of sex has replaced whips and chains.

The truth is that the only thing available to blacks for escape in Brazil is Carnival and football. Both Carnival and football began as amusement for the white elite. Football came to Brazil in the 1890s by the English expatriate community. It was not long before it was absorbed and transformed by the black population because of the dance-like quality of its movement. It was however a long time before the game itself was integrated.

It was one thing to have blacks playing against each other for the amusement of white businessmen and quite another to have them play against whites. Sports, however, have always been a good distraction from revolution.

Now as to the other glorious distraction, Carnival, the entire year is spent in preparation for its celebration. Carnival is much more than costumes and pageantry. The entire structure of society is forgotten for one brief moment and the king (Momus) is raised high and the roles reversed. The favela is exchanged for the kingdom. From the mass emerges an individual. Suddenly you have a face and are what you fail to be for the rest of the year, a person, an identity. Given the brutality of Brazilian society it is easy to understand why the desire is so overwhelming to both lose and find yourself in the collective madness which is Carnival.

When we look at the everyday reality of the average Brazilian you begin to understand why soccer and Carnival are so important. In Brazil murder and violence is a constant. It is very easy to be disappeared if you’re poor and black and a considered nuisance. The police and military periodically have slum clearance campaigns which consist of early morning raids on the homeless. Children are especially vulnerable targets. The former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, (or Lula as he was popularly known) did much to stop the practice of “rat-hunting” which was what this sport was called whereby children were shot on sight. Bodies were seldom recovered from dumping grounds. It was Lula who introduced affirmative action in schools and universities whereby half of the openings must go to blacks. This was a major shift for Brazil in 2012.

The current president, Dilma Rousseff, on the other hand, believes that racism no longer exists in Brazil and that the street protests which Brazil has been experiencing lately has more to do with misinformation than design. She says the government really cares about all its people and of course, loves all equally. Reality however is about to reach not only the streets of Rio but the presidential palace as well. What maybe could be forgiven had Brazil won the world cup will certainly not be now, given the humiliating defeat. It was not just the loss; it was the manner of the loss. This is against a backdrop of an 11 billion dollar outlay which can’t possibly be excused given the fact that homes were raised to the ground to make car-park facilities for tourists, glaring expenditure that went way over budget.

Food, shelter and sanitation are the three things that this government is unable to deal with. Still the people searched to see themselves reflected in the arena and they didn’t. What they saw from outside the stadium where they were forced to stay and watch “the beautiful game” on giant screens, they didn’t like the version of themself they saw. It looked like defeat written large.

I predict that three things will happen now: Firstly, the collapse of the government. Secondly a search for another Pelé, which is to say the opening for a dark skinned superstar which thus far there has been no serious effort or attempt to find. And thirdly, a change also in the television media, which is to say a sudden appearance of a more representative face of Brazil. At present on television blacks don’t exist. If you don’t exist on television you don’t exist. This reality is about to change.

There is at present only one black Supreme Court judge, the first in history: Judge Joaquim Barbosa (he too was appointed by Lula while in office). He has a nasty habit of convicting corruption. I am sure he will have a few questions as to where exactly all that 11 billion dollars went and why. For the first time in a long time, Brazil will take a very long look at itself as a society. I think that it will improve the game because the society itself isthe game. The football field is itself merely a mirror of all that is good and bad in the society. For example, of the 23 players available for the Brazil team, only 4 even play in Brazil. Everyone else plays in Europe or like Hulk, in Russia. The local teams don’t pay and so players are sold off in a new form of modern slavery to raise the coffers of local sides. In other words, born and raised for export, just like Brazil nuts. Is it any wonder then why the national team looks good on paper and yet is so weak in reality?

All of this is about to be dealt with for the first time, and why? Because it will be done under the glaring lens of the camera and the reason is that the world is not quite through watching Brazil. There is another little event about to take place in just two years: the Olympics which will also be hosted by Brazil. One can dance just so much Samba. And so reality will reach Rio too.

Pic etc. Edgar Nkosi White is a Montserrat-born playwright and novelist. His novel, The Rising, is available on Amazon.

 

Posted in Features, Local, News, Regional, Regional Sports, Sports2 Comments

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