BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THE St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association (SKNFA) on Friday (Nov. 9) opened the second edition of the Female Football League at Warner Park.
The event saw eight teams that are expected to participate in the tournament and they participated in a Soccerama that followed the opening ceremony.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minster of Sports Hon. Glen Phillip said it is encouraging to know that women in sports are looked upon as serious competitors and that that Federal Government continues to believe in the holistic approach to sports development.
The Minister added that he feels sports should reach into every school and community and also encourages the environment of male and female organisation.
“That is why, as a result of the government’s facilitation and the SKNFA understanding its role as a key sporting and community organisation to promote the sporting enhancement of this nation and its people, female football has steadily advanced,” Phillip said.
He then applauded each teams for the effort they made and also expressed his delight that there are eight football teams participating in the League, which suggest that the League has more than 100 participating athletes.
Phillip also used the opportunity to encourage the direct or indirect involvement of female in all sports.
SKNFA’s General Secretary stated that a female football league has been long in coming and that and it has been a very long process of development.
He added that it will take a while to develop the programme but they have been working on it for some time and knows the young females are anxious to play the sport.
According to Jacobs, the SKNFA had conducted a pilot programme earlier in the year with nine players per side and it indicated that the ladies were indeed ready to have a league.
He noted that the League would be played with 11 players on each team.
Jacobs however warned that the League would contain its share of challenges because throughout the world countries with far more resources than St. Kitts and Nevis have experienced tremendous difficulties in organising successful women’s leagues.
He explained that FIFA has mandated its member countries to develop the game of football so much so that they have ordered that 50 percent of the funds given to member association, totaling about US$40 000 must go to the development of female football.
He added that FIFA has assisted the team by providing uniforms, boots, gloves and footballs, which are the first of its kind for St. Kitts and Nevis because they have proved to FIFA that they could build a successful women’s programme.
Jacobs urged the participants to take this League very seriously and views it as a showpiece for football in the Federation.
The teams were presented with their equipment from the FIFA and they proceeded into the Soccerama, which also showcase the teams in their new uniforms.
The tournament was however won by Conaree F.C which beat Delphic Newtown United in a thrilling final that went into a penalty shootout.