ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Former general secretary of Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) and president of Parham Football Club, Paul “Chet” Greene, has voiced concerns with the preparation of the senior national team ahead of the semi-final round in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Greene, during an interview on Tuesday, said that if the current bad run by Antigua Barracuda FC continues leading into the June 8 opener against the USA that it could do more harm than good where confidence is concerned.
“I watch the preparation of the team and I am very concerned. I see the government is also having difficulties making good on their financial promises and so there is need for the ABFA to dig a little deeper into their ability to think and find solutions,” Greene said.
“I think here is where experience would really count. If you take the notion that Barracuda and the national team is one and the same I am concerned because what I am seeing is a not so good run for Barracuda which could demoralise the team by the time they get to the World Cup qualifiers.”
When asked why he is not a member of any committee put in place ahead of the country’s participation in the upcoming round, Greene, who has been appointed Match Commissioner for the Guyana versus Costa Rica semi-final match on June 12 in Guyana, said he is willing to serve but is yet to be “properly asked.”
“Those of you who followed me and my management of sports would realise that for me it is Antigua first, Antigua second, and Antigua last. I will not however go and impose myself on those who have the controlling say of what happens and who does what,” he said.
“I found it rather unfortunate and disrespectful that the ABFA would have written to me a very generic letter asking me to select an area in which I would like to contribute services for this said World Cup qualifiers. For me, (it) was just an insult. I am a professional, I don’t function like that.”
The former commissioner of sports added that he is pleased with his latest appointment which he believes strengthens the notion of a king having no honour in his country.
“I am always thrilled with every new appointment I get, be it CFU, FIFA or CONCACAF. I treat it with the same degree of interest and commitment and so with this being FIFA’s (qualification) competition to World Cup, being appointed to officiate in one of these games is indeed something that is special,” Greene said.
“I have been doing this for a number of years now in terms of match commissioner functions and maybe it fits into the old adage, a king has no real honour in his own country, because you know that in these parts, where Antigua & Barbuda has qualified for the said round of the World Cup competition, the local organisers have seen it fit to isolate and keep at bay persons like myself who, without doubt, is knowledgeable on the sport of football and the international arrangements required,” he added.
Antigua Barracuda broke a three-game losing streak on Monday when they won in the ongoing CFU Club Champions Cup.
The ‘Cudas had previously lost three straight matches in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Pro Division.
The Antiguans are slated to play Haiti’s Victory FC today before tackling W Connection on Thursday. They will then return home on Friday for a USL double at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds on Friday and Sunday nights.