Players and officials untie in support against violence at the final of the BFA's Capelli SuperCup
President of the Barbados Football Association (BFA) Randy Harris is calling on all Barbadians to join forces with the local football fraternity and take a stance against the continued violence plaguing the island.
He was speaking following the successful staging of the inaugural out of season Capelli SuperCup, which climaxed at the Wildey Turf on Sunday night. The final match-up entitled “Final Against Violence” saw Weymouth Wales and Ellerton FC locked in a 90-minute battle. One minute before the final whistle was blown, Wales pocketed the lone goal of the encounter to walk away with the grand prize of $50,000.
To date, the island has recorded 47 murders, the last a triple-murder which occurred on Independence Day as the island celebrated its 53rd anniversary as an independent nation.
However, Harris said the one that hit home the most was the death of 16-year-old Temario Holder which happened on November 8 at the Trents, St James Frederick Smith Secondary School. A 15-year-old student has since been charged in connection with the matter.
“When we look at the recent death in one of our secondary schools, it really touched a chord. This is the age group that we are developing at the Turf through our Future Tridents Program, headed by the Technical Director Ahmed Mohamed and of course it touched a nerve,” he explained.
Harris said after some discussion, the executive body of the local football governing body decided to play their part in getting the message out there.
“It is time to stop the violence against each other. We had a big final and we knew there would be some attention towards it. We thought we should try to do something to bring awareness to what is going on, especially in this time when as a people we should be really supporting each other rather than be looking to destroy each other,” he said.
On April 1, 2017, the BFA adopted a zero-tolerance approach to violence in football and in general, with the launch of their "Stop the Violence" campaign which was aimed at sensitizing the society at large about the unnecessary violence being exhibited.
They also warned players, officials, clubs and supporters if found guilty of exhibiting such behavior, they could be subject to extreme disciplinary measures, including expulsion from the BFA.