Mon | Dec 17, 2018

Caribbean football on the decline - Yorke

Published:Tuesday | July 24, 2018 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Dwight Yorke, (second right) chats with (from left) Sean Riley, Managing Director FLOW Sports, Gian Franco, FLOW1 executive and Carlo Redwood, vice-president of marketing at FLOW, during a media luncheon at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston yesterday.

Former Trinidad and Tobago and Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke said there is a major decline in football in the Caribbean and believes the governing bodies must move swiftly to address this matter.

The 46-year-old Yorke, who led Trinidad and Tobago to the FIFA World Cup in 2006, said a lot more needs to be done to ensure that this rapid deterioration of the game is halted.

"We have declined in football at the moment and certainly in the Caribbean region. When you look at Trinidad and Tobago, which used to produce quite a lot of players in European football, there are not many (players) now," said Yorke.

"We have seen Jamaica in decline in terms of local players being able to play in the foreign areas and so that is something that we have to look at throughout the Caribbean," he added.

 

LACK OF ORGANISATION

 

"I think it is just the lack of organisation in terms of the quality of football that we are producing ... . (We should) invite people to come here and have a look at the Caribbean players a lot more on a regular basis," Yorke said.

Yorke added that following the qualification of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago to the World Cup in 1998 and 2006, respectively, none of the teams in the Caribbean have come close to qualifying for the football spectacle.

Yoke, who retired from international football in 2007, has a Level B coaching badge in England.

He noted that he would love to play a part in the development of the sport in the region, but has not been approached by any of the regional bodies.

"I was very privileged to play in the English Premier League for 20 years and I have that experience and knowledge to play under the great Sir Alex Ferguson, who is arguably one of the great managers," Yorke said.

"You would feel that with your achievements that somewhere along the line that you would want to contribute something back to football here in the Caribbean and in particular in Trinidad and Tobago. I would love to contribute, but it hasn't happened yet, but I am sure that at some point it may happen," he said.

Yorke, who is an ambassador for Manchester United, was in the island as part of a promotional tour for content on FLOW Sports, which includes the upcoming English Premier League and UEFA Champions League competitions.

Carlo Redwood, vice-president of marketing at FLOW, underlined the value of Yorke's visit.

"We have had a number of legends here and this is really part of our partnership with Manchester United, bringing legends into the market to sort of help us connect with our costumers and connect with our Premier League property that is on FLOW Sports and also kind of build a programme to help the development of football in Jamaica," said Redwood.