Bajan footballers for Argentina

From left Argentine Ambassador, Gustavo Pandiani; CFU’s Randy Harris; and Minister of Sports, John King, pose with some of the youngsters at the tour announcement.
Photo by George Alleyne

A squad of Barbadian Under-17 footballers is about to embark on a mission and opportunity of a lifetime through a study-tour of world football giant Argentina later this year.

The educational and training trip of this national youth football team is set to begin in December when they study the game and practice with managers of the world-rated Boca Juniors Football Club as the Bajan lads sharpen skills and pursue their dream of making it to the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

This trip is to be the first benefit to the island in a bilateral sporting agreement between Barbados and Argentina, and the deal is being pushed by Argentine Ambassador to Barbados, Gustavo Pandiani.

“Boca Juniors is one of the most recognisable items in Argentina football. It is the home for Diego Maradona, Carlos Tevez and many other internationally known players.

“These kids are not just going to train, they will have classes in Spanish, medical check-ups and other important stuff,” he said.

Caribbean Football Union President and Confederation of North, Central American, Caribbean Association Football [CONCACAF] Vice-President, Barbadian Randy Harris, used the opportunity of the Argentina tour announcement to urge all of Barbados to support the youngsters in their long-term quest to be part of the island’s first ever team to the football world cup.

“I want to appeal with the public to follow the lead of the government and the embassy of Argentina in supporting these young men to achieve their vision and objective of representing Barbados not only at the regional level but hopefully we can play at the FIFA level.

“I believe if we get the support of people at large that this team will make it to the World Cup.”

He told the youthful players, “this is the most significant opportunity that was ever afforded to footballers in Barbados. To get an opportunity to visit a team like Boca Juniors which is recognized universally as one of the top teams in the world.”

Urging them to work hard and take advantage of the opportunity, Harris said that they must push to see “how far they have to go regarding preparation and development if we want to make it to the top.”

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