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$1M In Support For The Semi-Pro Football League

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The Hon. Philip J. Pierre-led Administration is making a life-changing investment in the local football community. For the first time, aspiring footballers are getting paid to play the beautiful game.

Prime Minister Pierre’s leadership has inspired the introduction of the historic Semi-Professional Football League in Saint Lucia (SPFL).

Our nation’s youth and aspiring footballers will gain access to new opportunities to develop their skills and talents and get a legitimate shot at going pro!

The government is investing more than $1 million to support the SPFL.

There are 10 teams in the Tier 1 division of the SPFL. The SPFL season spans seven months. Each Tier 1 team can earn up to $13,190 monthly during the season!

Saint Lucia’s first Semi-Professional Football League will strengthen the local economy by creating new business linkages and employment opportunities in coaching, team management, media and broadcasting and playing field maintenance.

The SPFL was officially launched in January 2024. SPFL matches kicked off in March 2024. The payment of salaries and training allowances to players commenced in May 2024.

The Semi-Professional Football League is a collaboration between the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports and the Saint Lucia Football Association. 

SOURCE: Office of the Prime Minister

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3 COMMENTS

  1. It was a delight to read about the World Cup qualifying game between my two favourite islands in the Caribbean. Haiti played St Lucia in a group match in Barbados yesternight. Both teams are looking to qualify for the 2026 World Cup in the US, Canada and Mexico. Naturally I took a neutral stance due to my admiration of both islands from where my parents originate. My Mum being St Lucian and Dad Haitian. I was not able to watch the game here in Europe as I did NOT have access to a station that was broadcasting it live. It would have been lovely to see these two wonderful teams battle it out.

    To my utter dismay and surprise I was shocked to learn that there are games going on in the newly formed league while the national team is playing and striving to qualify for the World Cup. I have never heard of this happening anywhere. When the national teams here in Europe are playing the various leagues comes to a halt. No play is allowed until a few days after the national teams complete the games whether that be a friendly or a qualifying game. How could the local football authorities allow this to happen? I think that this is total disrespect for the national team. When a national team is playing it is a time for all fans irrespective of the local teams they support to get behind the team.

    While I applaud the government and the Football Association for bringing to fruition this semi-professional league where players are being compensated and renumerated for their efforts and sporting prowess, I think it is unwise to allow play to continue while the National team is engaged in the small matter of World Cup Qualification. A lot of the people involved with the running of the game follow European football and should be aware that clubs do not play football when the national team is playing. That is just one simple rule which should be adhered to by every football league irrespective of wherever they are. There is no way that Arsenal would be playing Liverpool right now with England getting ready to play in the Euros, neither would any German or Italian teams doing the same. That would be a travesty and a perversion of the rules and regulations governing the beautiful game. The powers that be would not allow it under any circumstances. None whatsoever. The national team takes precedence.

    I am very happy to see that the game is being developed on the island. Soon we will have players on the World stage representing our beautiful island. I cannot wait to see them over here in Europe plying their skills and trade representing. But the FA has started on a wrong footing by not exuding much warmth and support for the St Lucia national team. The national team comes first and should always be featured at the top. The players need support from the public so that they can carry on performing to entertain the sporting public. I suspect the Lucian FA has very little respect for the national team. It was not that long ago they pulled the team out of the last group of qualifying games. The decision to do something like this speaks volumes. I think that the entire FA should have been sacked immediately. They should not have been allowed to stay in their jobs.

    Football or soccer like the Americans call it is a game that needs a lot of dedication commitment and application. It can be exhaustive and can easily wear one out. Players should always be properly compensated for their continuous movement on the field of play which lasts for 90 minutes unless of course there is time added on. There are lots of talented and skillful players in St Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean. These players have families to feed and the monies that they are getting goes a long way in ensuring that their loved ones are fully taken care of. The Semi- Professional league is a fantastic, striking and terrific move to help bring the game forward in the country. Well done folks!

    Having said that I am appalled by the decision to have the game played in neighbouring Barbados. Why did they have to do that? The FA offered a lame and witless excuse as to why they had to play the game in Barbados. According to what I heard and read the reason why Barbados had to host the game was due to the unavailability of a FIFA sanctioned stadium on the island. That is pretty pathetic if you ask me. They have ample time to get a stadium prepared for this game and no excuse will suffice at this stage. That is pure and downright incompetence. How can a sovereign nation sink so low? Despite all the troubles and mayhem that is unfolding in Haiti right now the Haitian FA will go out of its way to host matches at home. Why can’t St Lucia do the same? The FA is run by a bunch of amateurish, incompetent, unskilled and unprofessional people who don’t have a clue about the administration of football. They are indolent and apathetic. St Lucia is turning out to be a right laughing stock thanks to the hopeless and bootless FA. The Bajans must have laughed their belly out at this dereliction of duty and wilful neglect on the part of this ‘Not fit for purpose ‘FA.

    The preparation of a stadium where the national team can play important matches like this one on Tuesday should have been uppermost in the minds of these bombastic officials. Yes it should be. That is more than a blunder and a boo-boo. It is and I will say it again downright incompetence and amateurish behaviour. How could these simpletons ever look at the Lucian public again in their eyes with any modicum of confidence and respect? They don’t care about national pride. They only care about themselves and no one else. St Lucia deserves better than this. The country needs people who are pro-active, motivated and enterprising. There are lots of stadiums all over the island that could be put to good use. These stadiums could easily be renovated to meet FIFA’s standards if it is FIFA’s standards that they are worried about.

    All they needed to do was to work the builders and engineers in the country to get a stadium fit and ready for the game. Like I said they had ample time to do just that. If St Lucia is going to qualify for this upcoming World Cup they need the FA to step up or step out. It is as simple as that. What are they doing with the donation that FIFA gives them every year? Into whose pockets is it going?
    How about the minister of sports? What is he doing to help the situation? The FA have yet to release a statement -Instead all we have according to my source on the island are a group of belligerent combative and truculent “officials” from the FA who are ready to jump down people’s throats when you ask pertinent questions about this botched job.

    The FA Headquarters has fallen into ruination and it will take a lot of work to get it sorted out and fit for purpose. I wish both St Lucia and Haiti well. I hope they qualify. Things will have to change from the top if St Lucia is going to get to ‘USA 26’. Now is a good time to qualify- FIFA is allowing more countries to participate and with USA, Canada, and Mexico hosting the games it has also freed up places for our Caribbean teams to be featured in the pinnacle of men’s football. We need Caribbean participation in the World Cup. Oh yes we do!

    Big Up St Lucia, Haiti and the rest of the Caribbean we love.
    Malcolm L’Overture
    Haitian- Lucian
    Berlin Germany

  2. Yeah shame on the FA for hosting the game in neighbouring Barbados instead of St Lucia – Are we not suppose to be an independent nation who can host games on our own soil? The FA time and time again have failed us. They keep doing the same crap over and over again hoping to get better results. Last time St Lucia threw away it’s matches when the silly FA did not allow them to play in the lead up to the 2022 qualifiers. They are a hopeless bunch. Every time you write something you have a so called PRO and a sports writer doing their utmost to defend the actions and inactions of the FA. They know who they are.

    They could have fixed the stadiums in Castries, Soufriere, Dennery and VFort if they really cared about the national team and their home games. They had a lot on time on their hands to do so and they simply cannot offer any excuses. Why are they even playing the current tournament while the national team is engaged elsewhere? Again they have no respect for the national team. No country in the world allows its teams to play one another when their national team is playing. Only in St Lucia will they do that. I remember watching the 1974 World Cup in Germany when Haiti made it and was representing the West Indies. Haiti played well despite losing all three matches to Poland, Argentina and Italy respectively. They acquitted themselves well despite losing. St Lucia can do the same if only they had dedicated and proper officials to run the game on the island.

    The people charged with running the FA are a useless bunch of jealous jokers who don’t want to see their fellow Lucians move forward. That is the only reason why they are doing what they are doing. They have nothing bigger to live for other than to pull the national team down. I remember the same thing happened with cricket where the WICB did not support the team who went on to win the cricket world Cup in 2016. Darren Sammy was right to speak out about the injustice and travesty at the time that was hanging like an albatross around West Indies cricket. Maybe Darren Sammy should speak out against what is happening to our national football team who have to play home games in another island. Can you believe these poisonous joker who are at the helm of the Lucian FA.. Like Lord Get Through would say’ Fire for them’ Fire dem now before further embarrassment. Useless officials.

  3. You could not have said it any better Malcolm. Well written and well said. These useless officials are a waste of space. They are again selling out our national team by hosting home games away. I could have done a better job than these “Anytill Fellars”… Yo any till. How can we as a sports mad country move forward with these loonies? Again why is St Lucia playing home games in Barbados? The team is playing One of the ABC islands next. I hope they get a better result on Tuesday. Home support is always welcomed in home games. The home crowd’s support is crucial in getting the job done. Nothing beats the support of your home crowd. England played Bosnia last Monday and did not play at their home of football which is Wembley for some odd reason, but they still played the game in England at St James’s park. There’s no way they would have played that game in Scotland even if Scotland and England form the same country of Britain. Last night they returned back to Wembley where they played Iceland which they lost to 1 nil. That is what I call national pride. They play at home.Common wake up St Lucia FA wake up before it is too late!

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