Its official: CIFA has killed youth football

| 23/11/2016 | 108 Comments

Cayman News ServiceFootball Guy writes: The cheapest sport to play is dying in Cayman. Fewer and fewer young persons in Cayman are participating in the most popular sport in the world. RIP Football? This current football season there are only 3 teams in CIFA’s U15 football league. There are only 3 teams in the U17 league, and apparently two of those teams might be from a single club.

The U13 boys’ league has not yet started and has been postponed to early 2017. There is no girls’ league yet and it is not known when, or if, it will ever begin. Last year there were ten U13 teams, six U15 teams and in the past there have been between six and eight U17 teams.

CIFA, Cayman’s governing body for football, has failed in a most epic manner. The election of a new president has counted for zero. No change. No improvement. And no sign of any in the near future. Several local coaches have said that this is the worse situation they have ever witnessed in our national sport.

The clubs are not blameless. Several major clubs with a team in the Cayman Premier League do not have a single youth team. They have refused to invest in youth football. CIFA requires clubs to have at least 2 youth teams, and despite the fact that half of the existing premier league clubs have no youth teams, CIFA has permitted them to remain as full members and play in the Premier League.

So these adults continue to prance about on Sunday night in front of dwindling crowds while our youth football suffers.

Clubs that do not have a youth team should be made to pack it up. They should not be permitted to play in any other local (or international) competitions until they participate in the development of our young players.

Sunset, Cayman Athletic and Academy Sports Club are the only local clubs which have consistently showed their support for youth football (Elite has also made an effort in the past but its youth programme is now in serious decline). But the youth league cannot survive on the efforts of three or four clubs.

Local football clubs have also failed over and over again to hold CIFA accountable. As the voting members they have the power to make changes within CIFA. They have the power to call a special congress to demand answers or resignations. Their apathy and continued cowardly stance towards CIFA has also contributed to the sport’s decline.

The only thing worse than the clubs’ lack of effort is CIFA’s governance and enforcement on this issue that can only be described as embarrassing. The clubs know how to play the deception game; they enter their premier league or first division team in the league and pretend that they have or are working on the required youth teams. They then reveal much later on that in fact they do not have a youth team. At that stage CIFA shrugs its shoulders and everyone happily moves on, except the youth of Cayman. The clubs know this and repeat the same process the following season.

Furthermore, CIFA has not made any efforts to provide the local clubs with the resources they need to help them invest in youth programmes, namely funding or administrative support.

Each member of the CIFA board should offer to resign now and let others rescue Cayman’s youth football. At this stage the only way is up because unfortunately football is not even on the operating table with a chance to survive. The patient is dead, and CIFA is responsible for that.


Category: Viewpoint

Comments (108)

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  1. Veritas says:

    The CIAA has also had a lot of problems. Why is it that rugby, squash, tennis, swimming amongst others are so successful, could there be a common theme here?.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There used to be plenty of smart and generous people, willing to put their time and/or money and/or expertise into the administration of a local sport, to facilitate its ongoing performance, and hopefully its growth. And in most cases, this with done without expectation of reward or recognition.

    In senior football, this volunteering spirit has all but died, because elected members and officials have mis-used the generosity of others, and broken the trust that should exist with volunteers. Why would any outsiders offer their time or money to help now, when elected officials conduct shady deals, and siphon off FIFA grants & donations ? Integrity and transparency are non-existent, and good governance is a dream. Whatever happened to CIFA’s post-Jeff/Canover investigation that was promised ?

    So while senior football continues to wear rose-tinted glasses and has no intention of addressing the cancer of its membership, youth football has no future. There are still people who want to help CIFA (at all age levels), but not with the current executive committee in place, and not with the clubs somehow complicit in all of the mis-management. New broom please !

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Great post but how is it fixed. A new association would attract the same clubs with the same officials and total lack of integrity. Where did it all go wrong after Byrite, Scotia, Saprissa and Macalpines in the seventies? In those days I do not even remember a football association. Just the old game played with dash and enthusiasm with a lots of crowds. West Bay had a concrete cricket wicket in the centre of the pitch but no one complained. The problem can be remedied but it will take a large new broom and money to get football back on the road. Only then will the Government support it. Somewhere there is a leader out there. We just need identify him.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Please refer to the sports pages of the Cayman Compass today, Friday Nov 25, 2016 you will see football news regarding the Sunday Pub league, basically a loosely organized bar league. However, you WILL NOT find any information regarding the Local Premier League or any other CIFA sponsored league. That tells you about the credibility of the association running football and therefore the reasons why football is DYING.!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    The sadness I feel that football can get a whole bunch of comments over more important things like the dump, a sad death, a fire, the unemployed I suspect is a reflection on the society we live in, where important things are no longer important and shallow things are. Don’t get me wrong, sport is needed, but when it attracts more attention than the rest, you got to wonder where we are going…

    • Anonymous says:

      I do not understand why you feel sad about the population concerns about football. Sports in general and football in particular are are essential in the development of we as a nation, all the other things you mention are important, however, we have a revolving door when it comes to sports. Much of our population is young and need to be occupied in a useful way. Just see the latest news regarding gang violence.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It speaks volumes of the class backgrounds of the posters here that the term “football” is prevalent over “soccer”, the preferred term of the upper strata.

    • Anonymous says:

      Go ride your pony. Stick a feather in your cap while you are at it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Class has nothing to do with it. Football is the European name; soccer the north American. If only you were as knowledgeable as you would like to be, you would not be part of the ignorant strata.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh dear, nothing worse than showing ignorance by posting such nonsense. In England “soccer” is known as “football” among the lower classes, if one attended one of the better schools it would always be “soccer”.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hear, hear. I suspect that the poster at 4.06 knew not of the class distinction, the lower classes rarely do know such things. From the tone and attitude of the poster in question it would be fair to conclude they came from “below the stairs”. It is funny when such types seek to correct a properly educated Englishman when they refer to “soccer” on the mistaken basis that the term is an Americanism.

          • PickedFirst says:

            The kind of things you say when you were the last to be chosen for the team… bitter bitter.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mind you 10.33 … All those people who are so ready to criticize the Ex-Pats on the Island every 5 minutes but SO ready to ‘applaud’ their Countries’ Football/Basketball/Soccer teams in UK and USA etc (who willingly accept them with open doors into their training camps etc… – some even on scholarships)…. THEN…. it’s all over the news … how wonderful the Ex-Pat countries and teams are !!! ….. (same with Colleges) until a few days later when they get ready to ‘sock it to them again’ and put them down….btw I am a Caymanian…. I just get tired of hearing all the negatives – Sports is supposed to be a positive thing..!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Like baseball, soccer is inconsistent and disorganised at best. When parents cannot rely on the information provided, why sign your child up to participate. If the so called powers that be are so clearly incompetent and unethical, why would parents be bothered with volunteering? I saw what happened with a couple of baseball volunteers and would never place myself in a position to be affected by anyone involved in most of Cayman youth sports. It is truly disappointing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Football is dead, long live rugby. You want a sport that teaches kids respect, sportsmanship teamwork and ethics send them to the rugby club. If you want to teach them greed, corruption, selfishness and cheating send them to CIFA. Ever heard of a rugby hooligan? Ever seen a rugby player fake an injury or start doing cartwheels on the field or ignore his teammates to celebrate his own awesomeness? NO. They’d be sent straight off the field and given a soccer ball.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a stupid comment. Its not a competition between sports.

      • Anonymous says:

        Football guy! I see where you never mentioned Future Sports Club as one of the clubs who have a vibrant youth football development program in place for the last 15 Years! This program is one of of the few pioneer clubs of local youth football development! Eg: Current 1st division men team 100% Caymanian players who came through our development program from U9, U11, U13, U15, U17, U20, programs. Currently FSC has U7, U9, U11, U13, U19, boys programs, All West Bay youth Footballers!

        Other examples. 10 players plus the two coaches on the current U20 National Team. Leighton Thomas golden boot winner of the first Concacaf U15 boys tournament held here in Cayman who is now at Yeavil Town FC youth Academy in England! Kameron DHUE chosen by Chelsea FC coaches two years ago at the Chelsea Digicel Kickstart Camp in Jamaica as the MVP out of 42 the best U15 players from throughout the carribean and Panama! These are just a few examples of a sustainable football development model not based on winning a local football champioship!

        The truth about local football is a reflection of the broader sense of human resources development in the Cayman Islands! CIFA and the majority of Teams not clubs have had no interest in developing Football! Our football model was and is still based on how many championships can be won at the end of every season! Look around and see how many teams are recycling players because their football structure is not based on development! After primary school football, we don’the have a football culture in Cayman anymore except for the few Latinos and Jamaican supporters that shows up to games where players from their respective countries are playing on teams that compete in the local men’s leagues.

        I would like to say we have in place a institutional foundation for the development of football locally for the future which is the primary schools but until we get the right people in administrative positions with the requisite knowledge of how football should be developed based on the current socioeconomic model of Cayman. Football like other disciplines in Cayman will continue to be weak and dysfunctional.

    • Say wha? says:

      Yo Dumb Dumb, sports do not teach children respect – parents do.

    • Anonymous says:

      ” Ever heard of a rugby hooligan?”

      Yes – they are called rugby players. Here’s an interesting read:

      Penis biting – really?

  8. Anonymous says:

    After 25 years of the current CIFA exco being in charged the Cayman Islands is ranked 200 of 205 national associations. This is due mostly due lack of competition/participation in international tournaments. The senior teams are always dormant, how can the game improved. The membership continues to elect the same people. Sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are only partially right – this is mainly due because CIFA is not being impartial so not necessarily electing the best players to the teams. If coaches speak up, their contract is not extended and the next ones are brought in………

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, due to lack of credibility of cifa and the lack of their support to the national teams many players do make themselves available for national duty. Our players are not even able to receive a small stipend when they travel abroad. Remember many players have to get time off without pay or use vacation time to travel, cifa is not even able to make training facilities available and the team have to travel all over the island to find pitches to train. Players have to purchase their own playing equipment and the uniforms provided for the national teams is second class at best, however they are sponsor by companies close to the current administration and part of JW corruption charges.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes – and the same goes for other sports where coaches were remained employed for decades, without having successfully produced any athletes who can hold their own at overseas competition.

  9. Anonymous says:

    why can’t the government do anything to help cifa? if they need more money to help the kids they should ask government to assist them. that could make things better for everyone. the government gives money to a lot of other things. sports is more important than some of those things. sports can make young people become better citizens in the country and they stay away from trouble most of the time. It makes common sense to put money into sports.

    • Jotnar says:

      They had plenty of money, including millions from FIFA. Thing is, it didn’t get spent on the kids or developing the game….

      • Anonymous says:

        …it went into Ferraris, wristwatches, hooker parties, private jet charters, condos, lavish indulgent parties and gcm-shaped kidney pools.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why should the government give our money to an organization that is clearly corrupt? They had government money for years, every year with nothing to show for it, no proper accounts. If The Government is to give money to sports let it be to some of the successful well-run sports of which there are plenty here on the island; swimming, rugby, squash, hockey etc. Football in Cayman is DEAD and will never recover. in the world rankings we are 200th out of 205 – Eritrea, Somalia and Tonga are below us – perhaps we should play them. Except money would have to be raised to pay for that – and we will all know where the money would end up….

      • Chris Johnson says:

        Accounts were prepared audited and given to Government every year. The problem is that the various firms of auditors missed the fraud. They should be held accountable by CIFA as should be the directors. Problem is no one has the balls, no pun intended, to take action. This of course leaves the current board accountable as well as past boards.

      • Anonymous says:

        I hope it’s not completely dead. It can recover with different people in charge. Football is the worlds most popular sport. Many of our boys and girls love it. We are letting them down. Very sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Government has made their position clearly. They will not support CIFA until meaningful changes in the current administration are done. Everyone in the CIFA EXCO must go. The member clubs must have the balls to stand up and demand new elections, after all the game belongs to them not CIFA.

  10. lo-cal says:

    CIFA is just not doing what it should be regardless of who is in charge.

    As the governing body for football their main focus should be on organizing and recruiting players for the league. This has not been done for a very long time and i don’t think that Lee has the ability to understand this and correct it. From my point of view here are some of the things they should focus on to make the game better from an administration point of view which will help with everything else.

    1. Organize a youth league. Sounds simple enough but the most successful youth league is the PFL which is organized by Neil Smith with sponsorship from CUC. Why not approach him in regards to structuring and running a second league but this time organizing kids by district instead of schools.

    2. Do the same for girls. After Cayman hosted the under 15 championships two years ago there was a huge interest in girls playing football but that opportunity was lost as there was no league organized for them at the primary level.

    3. Do a recruitment drive for all age groups within the schools each year and assign players to a club in their district.

    4. Support the clubs. Some of the clubs have a permanent training facility which they use for free while others have to make due with the smaller primary fields as CIFA has a $40.00 PH rate to use the field in Red Bay.

    5. Work with the government for use of the public field. If you have ever checked the website for the sports office for the use of any of the fields you will note that all dates and time on the site are booked. They are not in use, but always booked.

    6. Organize feeder arrangements with schools in the US. Many schools in the us want and need soccer players with good character and skills and will gladly offer a scholarship to deserving students. Currently it is mostly left to the clubs to source and seek these opportunities.

    6. Train the Trainers. Create a training guideline for all coaches to follow and implement. This includes step by step training resources and standards.

    This is just the start as there are many more things that can be done but i cant take all the space on this forum.

  11. Anonymous says:

    if Caymanians care so much about football why don’t they do a protest about it and speak out? because they don’t have courage to do anything just talk talk talk…

  12. Anonymous says:

    youth football will never get better until we get rid of certain coaches. they are doing more harm than good to the students.

  13. Anonymous says:

    you all have wrong focus. this is caused by corruption in cifa. all of them are very corrupt and that is why kids are not getting the support. think about the field by prospect. it has no bathrooms there. and when sun is hot there is no where to go. where did all the money go that they got from FIFA? thats what we need to investigate. then you get the answer about whats wrong with football.

  14. Anonymous says:

    CIFA please step aside. Good viewpoint.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I find that most people making these comments don’t even follow local football or really care about local football.. Its just a hot topic that everyone loves to play the expert on.. I still don’t get how people can blame CIFA for kids not playing football.. Rather than sitting here and point fingers and playing the blame game.. Lets try our best to not be typical Caymanians and move forward.. To get kids involved we need for parents to be involved.. This means motivating our kids and also by helping the team where needed.. A football team is a lot of work with a lot of moving parts involved.. People always have the most to say but never step forward and give a helping hand.. This isn’t a new problem either.. This has ALWAYS been a problem.. When I was younger you know how much games would get cancelled because we didnt have someone to ref the game????? As a matter of fact at one point they made all of the national team players take a referee course.. After that I would get tons of calls for me to come and ref games (at the age of 17) as they could not find anyone to do it.. And let me point out something I only just noticed.. I don’t know of much Caymanian refs! I know Gary and I’m not sure if Mr. Bowen is Caymanian and I don’t think Alfredo is.. Other than that I’m not sure if I know of any other Caymanian football official.. So I wondering to myself how can Caymanians curse now when they never really cared.. Most refs and linesman are the same Jamaicans that una curse about.. If Caymanians did care about football that was before my time.. When I was younger there was a number of people that I could remember helping from primary school straight up to my U-17 team before leaving for school.. Funny enough most of those people I saw then are still involved in football now..

    The point I’m trying to make is rather than blaming people or a group of people.. Why don’t we all come to together and motivate our kids to work hard in school and in sports.. When I was younger there was enough motivation to go around and because of that we did well on the field and in the classrooms.. Thanks to Coach Chung I would say about 75-85% of the guys on my football team all ended up going to college most on a football scholarships.. I’m 30 years old and I’m soooooo tired of this old Caymanian way of blaming someone for everything.. What happened has happened and its time to move on from this! If you really care that much about the kids and about football.. Get off you’re a$$ and get involved.. Your CNS comments isn’t helping anything or anyone.. Best of luck to Mr. Ramoon and whomever may be the leader of CIFA in the future.. We can make football in Cayman great again..

    • Anonymous says:

      I used to ref the youth leagues, it was the abuse from parents that made me give it up. Fred Spiers is greatly missed.

    • Anonymous says:

      mr bowen and Alfredo you are talking about are both Caymanian. but maybe you are talking abut paper caymanians versus real but you should be corrected because they both Caymanians now. at least they help by being referees. I still hear that referees make a lot of very bad decisions. and sometimes players are getting hurt because of that too.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Soccer in Cayman is not inclusive and encouraging. Rather it is run as a pathetic political club. The contrast to how rugby is operated and promoted is very stark.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Football Guy for CIFA President! Can we please have some new credible people running football now…honestly I don’t even care off they used to play cricket or rugby before…please step up!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Whilst I could write several pages on reasons why CIFA sucks, rather than continuing to roll in the same mud, below are a couple of suggestions which may be beneficial once the entire current CIFA board has been sacked and replaced by people who actually love the game of football:

    1. Eliminate the different league divisions. There should be one league for men, one league for women, one league (with different age groups) for girls, one league (with different age groups) for boys. Cayman is not big enough to have different divisions and there is no real difference in the quality of game played in those divisions.

    2. Set a schedule and stick to it no matter what. Aim to have youth games played on the weekend in a central location (Annex, CIFA pitch) to encourage better attendance.

    3. Work with Government to get the fields in the Eastern Districts sorted. Currently some are in dire shape

    4. There should be much higher fees for teams to participate in the women/men leagues if they are not also fielding a youth team in the girls/boys league. Those clubs who are shaping future national team players should be rewarded, not punished

    5. There needs to be a complete separation of national team matters and club matters. Nobody who is affiliated with a club should be in any capacity involved with the national teams, other than the players themselves. If you are holding a CIFA position, you can’t also hold a club committee/board position.

    6. National team training should be conducted throughout the majority of the year and CIFA must find a way to get their national teams exposure to oversea tournaments

    7. Advertise, advertise, advertise!

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a great post. Although I doubt CIFA is listening.

    • 17 yr old footballer says:

      Great post. More focus on international football is the way to go.

      • I wish I was Taller says:

        Wrong. More focus on appropriate level international football is the way to go. Cayman will never qualify for a major international tournament regardless of who is at the helm of CIFA . Fact.

  19. Anonymous says:

    CIFA has a congress coming up this weekend. This should be the focus of their meeting. Actually they should cancel the congress and invite everyone to a forum to discuss a strategy for youth football.

    • Anonymous says:

      The very fact they call it a “congress” is illustrative of how pathetically screwed up CIFA/FIFA are. Their sense of self importance is staggering.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Dey is jus a bunch of gud ole boyz, neve meanen no harm. Dey enjoy demselve like we all wud. Plus I know fur a fact dat dey all luv jesus and goto chruch, so all u evil people makn accusation better back off and resepct when da pastor passes da plate around.

  21. T Smith Dallas says:

    As much passion as you have in the comments section I think you can turn that passion into a positive rebuilding your youth program. Someone just needs to step up. It just takes one leader to start rebuilding the youth program. I’m just a yearly visitor to your country but have been involved in football for 40 plus years at all levels. The best level is the youth level as you can watch these kids grow as individuals and athletes and become strong citizens. Come on Cayman football! The game will always be here, you just need someone to organize and direct it. Also, Mr Webb is in the past. No reason to look in that direction any longer. That is wasted energy! I believe Cayman youth football will be stronger then ever. Just need that one leader to step up! I know if I resided in Cayman I would volunteer my time to growing it! Get it done!

    • 17 yr old footballer says:

      Well said!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Webb may be in the past, a lot of his “friends” remain to be involved with CIFA. A total clean up and fresh started is needed. That can’t happen as long as the same board members from previous years are involved and Webb is pulling the strings from his Georgia mansion

  22. Walter says:

    With all due respect to football on the island, but the system is trying to mirror big city operations. All players should register for the league. The league should then divide the players into teams. Set it up like what is called house league. Have members of the football association monitor players to create “all star teams when needed. This will build membership. The clubs cannot be held responsible. The nation needs to be held accountable

  23. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Brac’s U13 team is putting in a good effort this year. The sad group are the adult Cricketters, almost exclusively ex-pats, funded by government for trips to GC, and NO youth team. These guys get so much and give back nothing.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a generational change in interest more then anything. Football just does not seem as popular as it once was as other sports or activities (electronic gaming primarily) have grabbed this generations interest more. I dont see what throwing public money at would cause a significant turn around. Things change.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Youth football is dying for the simple reason that there is not well organized senior football. Young players are young for a very short time. They would play organized football from 11 to 16/17 and then what? Where do they go? Cayman has not had a Senior National Programme since Jeff Webb and his band of thieves took over 25 years ago. Sure a number of teams have been sent to the slaughter house to represent our country during that time, however the idea was to get them eliminated as soon as possible. Once that process was completed the senior programme would be dead for at least 4 years, as it is currently. That must change. There must be a way forward so the youngsters have motivivation to continue.
    The member clubs are fully responsible for this mess, and they elected JW’s hand picked candidate with no plan whatsoever.
    The clubs must demand new elections and replace the current exco as they do not have interest in the development of the game.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Check out the “Field of Dreams” and the way baseball has been organised in Cayman. Cayman could learn a lot from those guys.

    • Anonymous says:

      …and gals.

    • Anonymous says:

      Baseball in Cayman is being strangled by another small minded, lazy set of useless people. Have you not noticed the increasingly smaller number of participants year by year? Have you noticed the previous lack of attention to their fields no equipment or the poor treatment of their volunteers?

      The knuckleheads at CILLA ran off guaranteed off island donor money with their petty foolishness by turning away a few retired MLB players who wanted to do something and running off a volunteer who had secured a donation from an overseas organization. Both would have funded considerable infrastructure improvements including some additional facilities, etc.

      Baseball may not be trending downward as quickly as football but it’s not for lack of trying. People need to stop trying to serve their own interest and consider that youth sports are about the kids not the boneheaded adults.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Whereas the rugby youth numbers are growing steadily.
    Membership will get a new ground in the future.
    I gave up on football many years ago.

  28. Sam says:

    I am surprised that Jeff Webb and Bruce Blake names are the only ones being called out for our failed football league. From memory, there were a lot more people enjoying the lavish trips, the hotel suites, the football games, etc….all at the expense of our children! Where are they today? Are they on any other boards or associations? As a nation, we must hold people accountable for their actions and stop looking the other way.

  29. The Truth is coming says:

    The member on the CIFA Executive Committee, Mr. Peter Campbell who is alleged to have sent USD 250k of GOAL Project funds to Jeff Webb’s Bank account, should resign forthwith.

    • Anonymous says:

      This viewpoint is accurate but the situation is worse. The CIFA decision to link youth football to clubs has been a total disaster…look back and you will see that the demise in youth football to the rise in gangs.

      Gone are the days when district football was so popular that everything shut down in Cayman to watch those games. Scholars against Strikers was epic.

      Jeff you have failed us in so many ways. Lee what are you going to do?

      • Anonymous says:

        You are correct about gangs. Football has helped a lot of our youth to stay out of trouble. I think many of these teenagers are sitting around doing nothing or worse they are getting in trouble. I have a 16 year old son and he just decided to play basketball after playing in the football league for 4 years.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lee is a nice guy and was one of Cayman’s greatest players back in his time. but he doesn’t have the qualities to lead CIFA.

      • Anonymous says:

        I was happy to play in many of these games. I remember the days of Mcalpine vs Scholars when the whole of the WB community will come out and support the teams. You could go to WB and no one was there, everyone was by the football pitch. Times have changed and people have other distractions available to them. If you take these distractions into account and the fact that CIFA has no interest in the development of the game you willfind what we have today, is not that surprising. After what JW has done you now have B Blake, P Campbell and others like them running football as it is clear L Ramoon so far has no imput in the running of CIFA.

    • Anonymous says:

      I met with Ramoon, offered my services bro bono to recover the stolen monies and has been ignored since. As Norman Wisdom said in 1955 God helps them what helps themselves.
      Carpe Diem

  30. Anonymous says:

    Great comment. The problem is this has been developing for years. Back in 2007 it was a crazy system in which there were gaps in the age bands for the youth leagues. I can’t now remember how it worked but effectively we had something like 11-13 (and that may not be the correct ages – I’m just using it as an example) year olds with no organised football programs. The coaches of some of the more proactive clubs were complaining about it (and blaming Webb!) at the time but nothing got done.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Bruce Blake, Martha Godet, Peter Campbell and all the other Jeff Webb appointees he placed on the CIFFA executive need to be removed by the clubs and investigated for their suspected complicit actions in all CIFA scandals. What are they trying to protect?

  32. 17 year old footballer says:

    You have hit a lot of the points, besides one of the most important factors.. “Every player going to two main clubs”. This is also very much a major factor in the decline of youth football. One word. Competition. If the same clubs or teams win every year, how is this promoting youth to play? So many clubs such as Elite, Tigers, Future, Bodden Town, and even GT have tried to have youth teams. But no, everyone just wants to go to Academy or Athletics. If CIFA were to fund teams, the same thing would happen; more youth flooding into two clubs. How can a club have a youth team with no players? They can’t. I’ve personally seen many people quit youth football simply because there is lack of competition, unlike the Premier league here. I’m sure that’s why certain clubs refuse to start youth teams too. Why start a team if the other clubs you will be playing against already has basically all the advanced players that play on the youth national team? Lets get real here. If the clubs start up youth teams, they will have the scrap players that can’t get a play on the bigger teams or beginner players just starting to play football. They will lose. This is way past the development stage. There needs to be some rule to split up the players – like say, only a certain number of players on the National team, can play for a club. Seriously. If everyone wants to go to CASC or Academy, who will play for the other teams? This is coming from a 17 year old footballer who has played for Athletics, Academy and Tigers. I know what goes on. There’s no more competition in the games, if there even was. Everyone knows who will will. And no one is getting paid to play.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would suggest that tearing down the successful youth programmes is not the way to go. Figure out why the successful youth programmes are successful and emulate in other clubs. As you have mentioned with some effort in the past other clubs have had youth teams. With football leadership focused on youth football and support given to the clubs who have been successful in the past with youth programmes a sustainable critical mass could be developed.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry, but you don’t seem to be understanding how politics has worked for years in football. Too much conflict of interest. See who is holding CIFA positions and what clubs they are aligned with. See whether the national coaches actually determine who gets picked for the national team or whether they get pressure from their “employer”.

        • 17 yr old footballer says:

          Are you sure I don’t understand politics? haha. 2013 Concacaf U-15 Tournament.

    • Anonymous says:

      You make a very good point but it’s not the fault of the clubs in George Town. Sunset also has lots of players. Most of the population works in GT. CIFA and the government need to help the other clubs mostly with resources. But… the clubs need to do their part as well. Maybe to address your point we should stick to having only a school league for players your age. That’s one way to keep the players split up.

    • LOGAN SEYMOUR says:

      So many teams have tried? you mean some guy standing up rolling a ball on the field and watching the kids run around while he sits on his phone is trying? its actually funny how distant people are from the reality. I watched many U13 teams warm up last season, i must say i felt sad with the lack of enthusiasms and energy the coaches bring to the field. not to mention majority of the teams you mentioned are coached by yelling at the kids and telling them they are doing foolishness when mistakes are made. no wonder every child wants to leave and go somewhere they feel safe and important. you can blame the two clubs doing it proper or you can copy them and watch your own club grow. Im sure Steve jobs didnt sit back and cry and complain and say Bill Gates is stealing all the IT and Tech people. Im sure he found a solution and made something happen, vs sitting around feeling sorry

      • 17 yr old footballer says:

        Logan, you havent read my full comment have you. The lack of competition all contributes to this, I’m sure all coaches arent the same & have different styles. At the end of the day all the clubs I have mentioned, their coaches have tried at some point, whether they lost the drive or not. You cant look at it from an Academy perspective. The players normally leave for a “winning club” than to stay with a good club that looses. Get real man

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, you hit it on the head. Players from other clubs are lured away with the promise that one stands a much better chance being elected to the national team or being scouted for overseas football if they are playing for certain clubs. Sad thing is that neither the players, nor their parents can see through this nonsense. And the outcome is that now there is no league, hence nobody gets any playing time. A player who can’t get playing time (and I mean time to play a football match in a league) will have his talent and condition fading away. Sad!

  33. Anonymous says:

    ** Academy has helped kill youth football. Their outrageous prices and also recruiting all the players on island how do you expect there to be a league when they have both an A and B team for each age group…Who is there to play against

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry I can see that you are more interested in playing silly club politics than addressing the serious topic at hand but you are way off the mark on this one:

      Academy is the only club that has a grass field to maintain which is costly. We also like other clubs provide equipment, water, uniforms etc. We charge fees to help with those expenses. In addition.

      1. Academy’s growth of a few players does not account for the more than 100 players that have dropped out of football this past year alone.

      2. Academy took the decision 5 years ago to involve kids as young as 4 and up to 8 years ago in football and it is these younger players that have now reached the age where Academy now has two U13 teams and two U11 teams.

      3. Half of Academy’s second U17 team is made up of U15 players. We do this so that our U15 players can get the benefit of playing two matches per week.

      4. Academy puts a lot of effort into keeping players interested in football. Most players either travel once per year or get exposure through playing visiting international teams. We provide free academic tutoring to students that need help. We sponsor trips for players that cannot afford it. We help other clubs whenever we can. We support other schools as well. There’s so much more that Academy does in the community….

      5.Academy also keeps it fun. They work long and hard hours. They recruit volunteers. They fund raise. They sacrifice. They put the younger players first. Every time.

      6. Academy isn’t killing football. If it were not for Academy’s efforts things would very likely be worse.

      7. The 4 new players aged 14 to 16 years old that joined Academy this year would not make any difference to the situation of the other clubs. In some years Academy loses 2 to 4 players to other clubs as well. That’s normal.

      8. So then: where are the players making up the more than 5 teams and close to 100 players that CIFA lost in the U15 and U17 leagues alone last year?

      • Anonymous says:

        @3:44 pm
        I congratulate you on your ethos and the success and opportunities it has brought the kids within your program. Answer me this – do you actively attempt to recruit footballers from other clubs? Have you in the past? My understanding is that you do/have. If this is true, do you think it’s contributed to the state youth football is in now? Some clubs don’t have enough players to register a club, others can’t rouse up enough interest in the kids who have been on the receiving end of 8-0 drubbings for too long.
        I agree with your point #6. But I think you could do a little better if you stopped monopolizing the youth.

        • 17 yr old footballer says:

          Mighty respect to Academy because when I tried join in 2010 they told me they had too many people. I’m guessing after a while there were enough people to let me join later on. Yes they have recruited players from other clubs. Every club does this. By doing this they have created a winning mantra. By doing that, every player now then wants to play for academy. This is what has killed competition.

    • Anonymous says:

      Academy recruited all the kids on the island? how is that possible? Academy is the only team to have U6 U8 combined with having U10 U11 U13…….. If no team had that age group how is possible to steal them? all the kids that were 6-7 and are now 13-15 have been at academy for years. When clubs take care of their players there is no way to recruit them. Who is leaving academy unhappy going to other clubs? No one, because Academy does the right things. Example A south sound beach clean up 5am Academy U13s were there cleaning up. Give me an example of mens team much less a youth team being seen at community event. They simple dont care. Same way they dont care to take the time and coach the kids. No wonder everyone wants to leave other clubs. When you are there you are felt to be a nuisance, rather than feeling wanted.

    • Anonymous says:

      My son attends Academy. He was at another club and he literally begged to go to Academy. They initially said they don’t normally take many players over 13 years old because the spots on the older teams always goes to the younger players moving up within Academy. After 2 years they finally said yes mostly because he kept asking and kept going over there by the field with his cousin who plays there. They didn’t chase him. He just wanted to go there badly. I think there are other sides to the story sometimes too. I prefer him to go back to the other club because its close to our house but he say they are not organized in their training so he doesn’t like it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Same story we live west bay but my son is with coach Gillie at cayman Athletics. He doesn’t want to join west bay clubs because they not organized right now. I think coach Huta and Greg are good but government need to help them so they can get other people to help them.

  34. Girls Rule says:

    There is a very successful girls football league that has started through the schools…it just likely is not CIFA governed. Is that a bad thing? Likely not.

  35. Anonymous says:

    What do you expect? To these morons, Jeff “Cayman’s Teflon Don” Webb, is a bloody hero.

  36. Anonymous says:

    this whole thing started with Jeff Webb a long time ago. If those cifa boys didn’t spend all the money travelling all over the world and giving out contracts to their friends we would not be in this position now. imagine a centre of excellence without a proper bathroom? or even some shade for parents to watch the matches? I only wish someone had the courage to follow the money trial.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, no – the absolute outrage is that clubs (even those who run a youth program and keep feeding players for CIFA’s national teams) have to PAY to use the field!!!!! Imagine that! CIFA got stacks of money from FIFA and the community has now to pay to use the facilities we been robbed of for god knows how many years!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Every year the organisation of the schedule has been appalling – unlike any other sport. Not only do they not know at the start of the season when the games will be, they don’t even know when the season’s going to start until the very week in which they choose to start it. Meantime other sports are up and running. My son plays two other sports but he’s showing less and less interest in football in part because his coaches can’t tell him what’s going on, thanks to CIFA.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, the ever changing schedule has turned off many players and their parents. CIFA has no appreciation for the fact that kids have to study and do homework and need to be able to plan their schedules, and parents work for a living and also have to plan their schedule ahead to facilitate transportation to and from training/games.

      Games are canceled at short notice without any explanation – perhaps CIFA continues to accommodate certain clubs and their coaches schedule?

  38. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Jeffery Webb and all your supporters for ruining thousands of young kids dreams. I you hope spend many, many years in a USA cell thinking about your crime.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Who really needs CIFA? If Bruce Blake is so desperate to hold onto it let him have it and start a new governing body. One that is transparent and set up to actually help develop children and the sport!

  40. Anonymous says:

    Let me put it plain and simple – the kids are frustrated beyond believe, so are their coaches and so are the kids parents.

    CIFA has allowed that football is destroyed because for some people it was more meaningful to win a trophy in a tiny local league, rather than doing what is good for Cayman’s football overall, rather than developing those players with the right amount of talent and work ethics for potential scholarships overseas, or rather than encouraging Clubs to continue development of their youth programs and assisting with participation in competitions overseas.

    It is a joke if you see the amount of player poaching that goes on amongst the youth clubs on Island. The result is now evident – no more leagues – so I guess those Clubs will now play against themselves, their players will now get the same amount of match playing time just as anyone else = zero!

    That’s why Cayman will NEVER get anywhere in football or pretty much in any other sports as indicated with recent headlines regarding the track and field clubs. Self serving individuals have been allowed for decades to bully everyone else, destroying the sport in the process.

  41. Anonymous says:

    That’s the sound of a mic drop. Very well said.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Here’s an idea: all those premier league teams that don’t have a youth team…. just cut them now from the premier league. Or take points away from them. Don’t let them get away with this again . Next time they learn!

    • Anonymous says:

      please – what is “premier” in this league? It’s a joke!

    • Anonymous says:

      Alternatively, let those clubs not interested in youth development continue to play in the premier league and divert focus and funding to those clubs who have demonstrated a commitment to youth football development. In five years there will be a large number of home grown 18 year olds ready to breath new life into the premier league.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Football guy you sound like you know this topic well. Great viewpoint. Time for a good house cleaning.

  44. Anonymous says:

    cifa and Blakey is a joke, hand this thing over to the primary school league let them run it.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Clubs are spineless. bunch of jokers. they just sit there instead of cleaning house with these idiots. the cayman youth is suffering because of them football can save lives if you do it right thats what people don’t realise.

  46. Anonymous says:

    So true. I though Lee was a chance for things to improve but its so sad to see the lack of any progress. this is why we will never get anywhere.

  47. Idiots the bunch of them says:

    Thanks to WEBB and all the other criminals.

    The whole bunch of yoy should be proud of yourselves. Hope all your kids reap what you have sowed.

    I know if I ever get a chance, they gonna get one hell of a beat down from me. The whole bunch of rotten families deserve it.

    One day soon.

  48. Anonymous says:

    welcome to wonderland…..where we have a government that would rather subsidize a barbaric, loss making turtle farm than put money into youth sports…..

    • Shari says:

      To the contrary, Government funds local football clubs and even pays individual ‘district’ coaches a salary. Unfortunately there is no accountability or meritocracy in how funds are allocated. Some of the club’s who receive the most funding from Government don’t have a single youth team, while other that have upwards of 6-7 youth teams recieve a fractiom of the funding!

  49. Ballsto Dewall says:

    Not that it has anything to do with CIFA but the PFL is thriving. Perhaps as a result of having nothing to do with CIFA?

  50. Chris Johnson says:

    A very good article and to the point. The entire board must resign or a new football body replace CIFA which has neither money nor inclination. Money will come from the Government and sponsors if the stable is cleaned out. Moreover action needs to be taken against those who stole the money given by FIFA. Why has the board not completed an investigation? Too many vested interests I guess. And just where were the auditors? There were more red flags in the CIFA books than at the annual meeting of matadors in Madrid.

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