Football Team From Jamaica For Trinidad

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Likelihood or Unlikelihood Of Such a Visit in The Not Distant Future.
The Question of Cost Is One That Makes Matter Not Easily Solved.

Since the departure of the Trinidad football players from Jamaica, there has been an assumption—not only in football circles, but otherwise—that a Jamaica team will tour Trinidad
sometime this year to return the visit we recently had from Trinidad; and doubtless the article which appeared in Monday's issue of the Gleaner touching the prospective visit of a Jamaican team, might have strengthened this belief.

Now, it should be remembered that immediately after my first visit to Trinidad and British Guiana, in 1932, I made some reference to the possibility of a Jamaican team of footballers visiting Demerara, as a result of an interview I had with Mr. P.C. Cox, the hon. secretary of the British Guiana Football Association. But that year ended and the tour of the Jamaica team
which was mooted did not materialize.

On my return from those Colonies the following year, further mention was made with regard to the same prospective visit but again the effort on the part of Mr. Cox and others in British Guiana, proved futile.

On my return to British Guiana in 1934. I sought information from Mr. Cox as to the outcome of his attempts, and what was the correct position. This Mr. Cox outlined to me fully which revealed the fact that things could not have been otherwise.

The position as regards a Jamaican team visiting any or all of the other Colonies, I say


amalgamated effort of the Football Associations of British Guiana, Trinidad and Barbados. And, if the financial success of such a tour is to be achieved, there must be an incorporation of the three bodies.

Trinidad, I am positive, is as keen in having a Jamaican team of footballers, and especially so because of their decisive victories over an All Jamaica side when they came out here, as any other Colony. Perhaps if the Trinidadians had not come here, this might not have been so.

For a team from any of the Colonies to pay Jamaica a visit, or, on the other hand, for a team to travel from Jamaica to any of the other Colonies, takes a very tidy amount to cover the travelling costs. Neither the Trinidad nor the British Guiana Football Association is, or at least up to 1934 was, in a position to undertake the financing of such a tour. At least this was the information given to me which was primarily responsible for Jamaica not sending a team to
Trinidad and British Guiana between 1933 and 1934.

But either of these Colonies can very easily secure "backers," or a loan from any of the banks—for therein lies the ability of the British Guiana Club to pull off their annual track Olympiads. Any of these Colonies, and Barbados especially, could very easily procure at least, half the amount that it would take for the double transportation of a Jamaica team by
subscriptions. For above all things, I find, that sports in all its branches, are generously supported in those three Colonies.

But while this is so, it does appear as if neither of the Associations is prepared to take the risk of expending any huge amount which will of


even if a substantial sum is raised voluntarily, to finance a tour to any of those Colonies by a Jamaican team.

Trinidad, British Guiana and Barbados are within thirty-six hours' travel, at the most, from one another. The cost of transporting a team from any of these Colonies to the other is but a paltry sum as compared with that to or from Jamaica. And because of this, the repeated effort of having the three Colonies amalgamated in 1933 to finance the Jamaica Football visit failed.

Roughly the costs of a team's going from Jamaica to any of the other Colonies would be between £300 and £400. With the division of this amount between the three Associations the financial difficulties would have been partially solved; and it was from this point of view that a visit of a Jamaica team of footballers to either or all of these Colonies was mooted.

If Trinidad is a bit diffident in sponsoring the tour of a Jamaica team there is at least one reason for her being so for unlike Jamaica, or any of the other Colonies, for that matter, her big games—football primarily, are played at


in her not having a suitable enclosed ground. The big football matches in Trinidad are played on the Savannah—the city's horse racing course. Of course, the section which is allotted for the playing of these football games is mapped out in front of the big grandstand, and for a short distance around the square of the football portion of the grounds, there are the mounted police guards. To an appreciable extent the situation is held well in control, but the fact still remains that if the place was completely fenced, the attendance would certainly be larger.

In both Demerara and Barbados, conditions are similar to those of Jamaica, but because of the practice laid down by the touring teams to those Colonies—those from Surinam and Venezuela—except in the instance of a one-day visit—in making a complete tour of those three islands, it would appear selfish or inconsiderate on the part of the Association of any one of these Colonies, to have the sole enjoyment of a team from Jamaica. Still, in this specific direction these three Associations have, according to information given me, not been able to arrive at a definite understanding since 1932 with regard to the project of having a touring Jamaica team of footballers to those parts.

As Mr. Wilkinson, the captain of the Trinidad team which visited Jamaica three months ago told his Association on his return to Trinidad, Jamaica, extended the usual warm welcome to the personnel of that victorious Trinidad team. Their stay here, could not have been termed otherwise than extremely pleasant, and these factors are the pillars on which a visit to Trinidad, especially, of a Jamaica team, should be built. I personally, am extremely keen is seeing a Jamaica team pay Trinidad or any of the other Colonies, a visit; but at the moment there is absolutely nothing definite or even presumptive as far as the other Colonies are concerned to lead us to the belief that Jamaica will be returning Trinidad's visit during this year; the matter is not even seriously considered, but I do hope that if not this year, then during next year, our desires may be made a reality.