Basseterre, St. Kitts, 10th November 2015 – As the St. Kitts and Nevis National Football Team moved up 11 points to be ranked currently at 101 in the FIFA Men’s Ranking for all confederations, the St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association (SKNFA) has set its sights on Europe.
This is the highest ever ranking for St. Kitts and Nevis on the FIFA list, and SKNFA President Anthony Johnson was quick to point out there is more to attain. He said recently, “Even though we are happy with that, we are not satisfied, because our aim is to ensure we go much further.”
Moving up the rankings will require more exposure for the team members to help build their skills and game-play strategies. Johnson explained, “We have organized a series of friendly international matches in Europe, against two European countries, Andora and Estonia.” The St. Kitts and Nevis Team (a.k.a. The Sugar Boyz) will play Andora on November 12, in Andora, and November 17, the team plays against Estonia, in Estonia.
The SKNFA president declared, “This is extremely significant, because it will be the first time in the history of football in St. Kitts and Nevis that we would be playing against any European team, and certainly, in Europe.”
Johnson said the exposure of players at that level provides opportunities for the professional development of players who might get professional contracts abroad, but he said, it goes beyond that benefit. He stated, “The national team will get competition. One of the criticisms of the national team over the years, and rightly so, is that we have not been playing enough games in advance of major tournaments. So, the aim is to allow the team to play more games, in a different environment, in advance, for example, of the CFU Men’s Tournament starting in 2016.”
Stanley Jacobs, the general secretary of SKNFA, said that the executive takes the sport seriously. He informed, “Our international friendlies in Europe are coming at significant cost to the SKNFA, all cost borne solely by the St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association. Up to when I checked, the amount was already creeping up to US$100,000, all funded by the Football Association without any government assistance.”
But he said there are significant benefits to be derived from such matches. He explained there is also exposure for the country. He said, “Already, on the Internet, I have come