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Barbados in major sports deal with Argentina

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The footballing link between Barbados and Argentina has been made stronger with a signing of an agreement that should see the two-time World Cup winning South American nation sharing its expertise with the island.

Barbados Football Association (BFA) President, Randy Harris, and Executive Director of the Argentina Football Association (AFA), Gerardo Leon, last week signed on the dotted line for a memorandum of understanding between the two territories.

This signing opened up Barbados footballers to Argentine facilities and equipment, several programmes, training and football management, sports medicine, tutoring in anti-doping policies and the all-important scholarships in football law and sports marketing.

This agreement comes after a squad of Barbadian Under-17 footballers last December benefitted from an Argentina Football Association-sponsored educational and training trip to study the game and practice with managers of the world-rated Boca Juniors Football Club the home for Diego Maradona, Carlos Tevez and many other internationally known players.

That visit was aimed at boosting the Bajan lads’ skillset as they pursue dreams of making it to the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Now this bigger deal will see Argentine assistance spread across the entire Barbados football landscape touching across the spectrum from toddlers to seniors.

“We are going to begin [the programme] as soon as possible,” said Harris as he stressed that players in Barbados have a far way to go and could do so with the type of assistance coming out of this agreement.

“In order for any team in Barbados to have an impact, we need to have the support of everyone. Not only the government but FIFA, CONCACAF and the CFU supports its own and you can see the results of what that support brings to Barbados,” he said.

“We have quality players in Barbados. What we have to do is to have a quality programme to develop those players.”

In signing the agreement, the BFA president was wearing hats of Barbados and the Caribbean as he is also the Caribbean Football Union president, and had in addition signed on to a similar agreement for the rest of CFU’s 25 member countries.

“How many big football nations usually take on people from the Caribbean? We are only usually good for our vote, now we are going to prove that we are good in the game,” Harris said.

AFA’s Leon said of the agreement, “it’s not only an exchange of players, referees, coaches and managers but we would like to also create here an environment in which the Caribbean Football Association could do a regional competition… Where a Caribbean team can play in the South America Cup.”

Updated 10:31 am, March 6, 2019
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