The Perfect Point

You know what bothers me? Predictions. These days people have been giving me all kinds of predictions both sport and non-sport related. Why, I don’t really know, but it may or may not have something to do with my job as a sportswriter although as I said some of the predictions really have nothing to do with sport.

I have made quite a few in private discussions over the years, some spot on some light years away, but for the most part have shied away from public predictions given the fickle nature of sports and moreso the individuals involved in sport. You see when you do make predictions and get them right, you feel great and those that ask for and trust your opinion are further convinced that you might actually be a lineal descendant of Nostradamus. Get your picks wrong and your heritage might be linked to the biblical Ananias. But two friends of mine have been having arguments about the merits of the Kashif and Shanghai year end tournament and I have been dragged into that because I have been reporting on the issue. One believes that it is a big enough money maker to stand on its own even in the face of VAT and the GFF levy while the other holds firm to the view that given the spin-offs for Linden and businesses in that community, the tournament needs to be subsidized by way of government and other sponsorship as much as possible.

Their daily arguments are a microcosm of the national debate on the staging of this tournament and the possibility that this year it will not be held.

They have both made their own predictions, one claiming that the government will jump feet first into the sponsorship pool and elevate its level of contribution while the other predicts that there will be no tournament this year. Suffice it to say though they are both friends of mine, one of them I would not trust to predict which high school he attended. I suppose anyone can make a prediction on anything at any given time but in the end it must all be based on some level of history and fact.

With this in mind I will join the fray and hazard a few predictions of my own, given my conversations with different individuals on the subject of the Kashif and Shanghai tournament and what I have been told over the past few days. One, the organizers will eventually meet with President Bharrat Jagdeo but will walk away with no VAT concessions given that pensioners and the ordinary man go to the market every day with no such concessions and continue to feel the squeeze and with this in mind the President will be hard pressed to justify any VAT reduction or concession for a private tournament that, although benefits the Linden community, ultimately rewards two private businessmen. Two, that the Guyana Football Federation General Council will not reduce the levy fee from 900,000 dollars to accommodate the organizers.

The General Council has not seen the financial statements of this tournament in years, that is to say to get a true picture of the net profits that are pocketed, and to accept a reduction when the levy monies must be divided among the various sub-associations would be too much to ask.

Three, that the Ministry of Sport will meet with the duo and offer to chip in with some sponsorship, though not in cash but in some form of providing facilities to the organizing team. The justification, it’s just too late to do any more than that but they have to appear willing to do something. Four, and most importantly, I predict, albeit with crossed fingers, that the tournament will not be held this year.

I believe that we will be given several reasons why, and it will be left to the public to decide whether those are justified. It will be a sad day for Linden but I believe it will happen. I base this on the recent developments surrounding the hosting of this year’s tournament but ultimately on the fact that these two individuals, Kashif Muhammad and Aubrey Major, are two of the most meticulous individuals where planning and organizing are concerned.

They will be victims of their own success as over the years, by now mid- October, they would have been in the media virtually every day receiving sponsorship from a number of companies and individuals but so far this year, nothing. This is just cutting it too close for the tournament to be held to the previous standards and these guys will not want to be going ahead just for the sake of going ahead. There is a name and a reputation to uphold, sponsors to be given adequate mileage, facilities to get on order and so on and so forth. It just does not seem to be on the cards for this year.

You can go right ahead and hold me to those predictions if you want to. I stand by them knowing that in the end, just like Yogi Berra said, Prediction is very hard, especially about the future! Get the Point? The Perfect Point?

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