The Concept of a Pan-Caribbean Soccer League

 

The Caribbean is an exciting region full of fascinating islands, beaches, with a rich history and culture. It should be noted that the term ‘Caribbean’ is used more so to describe a cultural region stretching from the Bahamas to Guyana. Technically the term should only describe the area within the Caribbean Sea, but not many people bother with such semantics. As such the term is used loosely, to the consternation of some.

Caribbean League

Figure 1. A Pan-Caribbean soccer league with teams in population centers.

Out of this region have emerged many talented athletes, and most notably many talented footballers. Players such as Joe Gaetjens, Emmanuel Sanon, Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy and Raheem Sterling emerged directly from the region. Meanwhile players like Brian Deane, John Barnes, Thierry Henry and Lilian Thuram have Caribbean heritage and have been stars in Europe.

If one were to look at the football talent that has emerged directly or indirectly out of the region, you would see a who's who of stars that have generated millions and millions of dollars for professional leagues, teams and sponsors.

With the talent present in the Caribbean region, one would think it would make sense for there to be a Pan-Caribbean Soccer League to commercialize this local talent and promote the game of football at a high level with in the region. This was tried during the period of 1992 to 1995 in the form of the Caribbean Professional Football League, but that league failed spectacularly. One could argue that the troubles of that league in the mid-90s can be extrapolated all the way back to the demise of the West Indies Federation that once existed in the 1960s.

While culturally harmonious, the Caribbean region is a region of strict border controls, anachronistic citizenship laws in some countries and cultural rivalry matrix that could confound mathematical combinatorial experts. “The World Bank’s Doing Business 2014 report revealed that all Caribbean countries assessed saw a deterioration in their Ease of Doing Business 2014 ranking”, CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC REPORT, Royal Bank of Canada, 2013.

Recently there has been renewed interest in the creation of a Pan-Caribbean Soccer League. Concorde Sports Agency looks at the concept of such a league and some of the obstacles that would make the formation of a league like this difficult. The presentation also looks at some of the enabling infrastructure that could strongly support a professional soccer league in the Caribbean region.

The presentation argues that if these obstacles are tackled and removed, a Caribbean Professional league could thrive and stimulate the economy by promoting a real natural resource - sports talent.

Read the report here: A Caribbean Professional Soccer League – A Case Study, by Concorde Sports Agency.

References:

 [1] Royal Bank of Canada, CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC REPORT, October 2013

[2] Doing Business 2012, CARIBBEAN STATES

[3] Central America & Caribbean Regional Outlook

[4] CARIBBEAN SMALL STATES: CHALLENGES OF HIGH DEBT AND LOW GROWTH

[5] Vulnerability, Debt and Growth in the Caribbean

[6] CARIBBEAN FORUM: SHAPING A SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA TO ADDRESS THE CARIBBEAN REALITY IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY