Castries, Saint Lucia: Saint Lucia is all set to host Blackheart Football Tournament on Friday (September 8, 2023). The matches will be held at the Dennery Playing Field. The country is gearing up for the best season ever.
The tournament will be held under the theme- “Shoot Goals, Not Bullets”. With the theme, the Saint Lucia Football Association is promoting its campaign against violence. While working for the development, the tournament will also enhance the investment opportunities for the country.
Speaking at the official press launch and draw on Wednesday evening, former national footballer, Earl “Ball Hog” Jean, said match officials need to be respected even when emotions get the better of coaches and players.
“There’s a certain amount of respect in the game that the officials (are due), and players have to understand their boundaries when they’re playing. “Fair play comes into it, that’s the role of FIFA which has mandated such to all organizations, we’re supposed to respect that, ” he said.
According to Jean: ” I’m hoping that in the next couple of weeks during the Blackheart Tournament that we see a big improvement in our discipline. We hope that the players, administrators, and coaching staff of the other teams will realize the importance of the role in bringing a corporate sponsors to the forefront.”
President of the Saint Lucia Football Association (SLFA) Inc, Lyndon Cooper, said the Saint Lucia Football Association looks forward to its cordial partnership with the Blackheart Football Tournament. Cooper made the remark while addressing the audience at the official launch of the 21st edition of the Blackheart Knockout Football Tournament
He added : “Football is a unifying sport and we must continue to maintain this. So I want to make it abundantly clear that the referees are going to be instructed to deal with dissent. Once it gets to the SLFA, the SLFA is going to deal with the issue in conformity with the rules.”
Following an incident between a match official and a team’s head coach during the Final of this year’s Blackheart Big 8 Tournament at Dennery Playing Field on Sunday, September 3 2023, the Anse La Raye team was replaced by Roseau in this year’s Blackheart Football Tournament.
However, the SLFA will not condone disrespect for match officials from players and technical staff, including issuing threats.”