By Neto Baptiste
Former West Indies fast bowler and president of the Liberta Sports Club Kenneth Benjamin has labelled a decision to relocate the Five Islands Football Club to a still unknown location as a disenfranchisement of the sport in that area.
“Here is it now that you disenfranchise the community again and you’re going to relocate them? Relocate them where? Relocate them when? We all are for the university but, in terms of planning, all of these things should have been taken into consideration because you must have quality sporting [facilities] at any university campus. That is a given and the students will demand [it],” he said.
“It is not just a football field they will be requiring, but basketball [court], gym, and they are going to want tennis courts and so on,” he added.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Benjamin said there are too many questions unanswered where the intended relocation of the successful club is concerned.
“I am just wondering, where are they going to put Five Islands football? Because obviously you have Empire and Hoppers and so on, but Five Islands is one of the rich history communities when it comes to football, so we have to be very careful in terms of disenfranchising them for a period of time. So if it is going to be done, it has to be done quickly and it has to be done properly,” he said.
The former speedster has called for dialogue and consultation ahead of any decision.
“Nothing is wrong with consultation and maybe Five Islands can identify the best place they would like to go rather than you just pushing them somewhere like what happened at Dredgers. Maybe they need to have some serious dialogue with the people in the Five Islands community and especially the people interested in sports in the community,” Benjamin said.
It was announced earlier this week that the field, which is located close to the UWI Five Islands Campus, will be relocated in an effort to further develop the area around the campus. It is however unclear when the move will happen and where the field would be relocated to.