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Blackheart Football Tournament Starts This Friday

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This year’s Blackheart Football Tournament is set to begin this Friday (September 8, 2023) at the Dennery Playing Field for what’s gearing up to be the best season ever.

From 7:00 p.m. on Friday, La Clery will face Central Castries, while from 9:00 p.m. Mabouya will take on Vieux Fort North.

Other fixtures decided at the official press launch of the tournament which was held at Olympic House in La Clery on Wednesday evening are as follows:

  • Saturday, September 9th, 2023, 6:00 p.m. Dennery Playing Field: Match 1 – Gros Islet vs. Laborie
  • Saturday, September 9th, 2023, 8:00 p.m. Dennery Playing Field: Match 2 – Dennery vs. South Castries
  • Wednesday, September 13th, 2023, 6:00 p.m. Philip Marcellin Ground: Match 1 – Desruisseaux vs. Roseau
  • Wednesday, September 13th, 2023, 8:00 p.m. Philip Marcellin Ground: Match 2 – Micoud vs. Vieux Fort South
  • Saturday, September 16th, 2023, 6:00 p.m. Soufriere Stadium: Match 1 – Marchand vs. Canaries
  • Saturday, September 16th, 2023, 8:00 p.m. Soufriere Stadium: Match 2 – Soufriere vs. Babonneau

Blackheart Productions CEO, David “Shakes” Christopher, said the tournament has united Saint Lucian communities over the years.While he thanked the few sponsors that have come on board this year, Christopher lamented the dismal support that sports in general continues to grapple with.

“Why isn’t sports getting its fair share of the pie in Saint Lucia?” he asked. “We need the media to send this message out. We need to look after our sportswomen and sportsmen of Saint Lucia. Because when the elephant gets caged in the room, the elephant will break down the room by any means necessary.”

Meanwhile, President of the St. Lucia Football Association (SLFA), Lyndon Cooper, said the SLFA looks forward to its cordial partnership with the Blackheart Football Tournament. He added that this year’s Blackheart theme, “Shoot Goals, Not Bullets”, is part of the message that the SLFA is also promoting in its own campaign against violence.

Cooper said the SLFA remains committed to the growth and development of the sport in Saint Lucia, and has made the necessary investments in its programmes, including in officiating. However, he added, the SLFA will not condone disrespect for match officials from players and technical staff, including issuing threats.

“Football is a unifying sport and we must continue to maintain this,” Cooper said. “So I want to make it abundantly clear that the referees are going to be instructed to deal with dissent. Once it gets to the SLFA, the SLFA is going to deal with the issue in conformity with the rules.”

Following an incident between a match official and team head coach during the Final of this year’s Blackheart Big 8 Tournament at Dennery Playing Field on Sunday, September 3, 2023, the Anse La Raye team was replaced by Roseau in this year’s Blackheart Football Tournament.

Former national footballer, Earl “Ball Hog” Jean, who was also present at Wednesday’s press launch and draw, said match officials need to be respected even when emotions get the better of coaches and players.

“There’s a certain amount of respect in the game that the officials (are due), and players have to understand their boundaries when they’re playing,” Jean said.

“Fair play comes into it, that’s the role of FIFA which has mandated such to all organizations, we’re supposed to respect that. I’m hoping that in the next couple of weeks with the Blackheart Tournament that we see a big improvement in our discipline. We hope that the players, administrators and coaching staff of the other teams will realize the importance of the role in bringing a corporate sponsors to the forefront.”

SOURCE: Blackheart Productions

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