Sports

There are reports of turmoil in the BFA

Foreign technical director steps down; others feel uncomfortable in their positions

It looks like there will be more vacant positions in the administration of soccer in the country as there appears to be turmoil brewing in the Bahamas Football Association (BFA). Not long after being brought in to change the culture and direction of the sport in the country, and bring in some technical expertise, Canadian Marc Bircham stepped aside as the technical director, leaving that vital position vacant.

According to a source who wishes to remain anonymous, it appears that newly appointed Director of Women’s Football Carmelina Moscato, another Canadian, is contemplating resigning as well. Beach soccer head coach Luiz Escobar, of Brazil, is also set to vacate his position, according to the source, stepping aside at the end of May. The source said that others are uncomfortable in their positions as well, and there are issues within the sport of soccer/football in the country.

“There’s definitely issues when it comes to how football should run in the country,” the source said. “They have specialist people coming in and they try to tell them what to do and what not to do. We have never really held on to technical directors since Gary White a number of years ago. He took us to the highest ranking in football. Since Gary White left, technical directors have come and gone like nobody’s business. For the BFA to qualify for the money, they must have a technical director.”

The source continued: “Bircham was a highly qualified technical director who came here last year, and he was trying to do his job and they were interfering in his business and told him what to do, but he was the technical director. He didn’t get a budget to purchase equipment and did not get money to improve the team, so he resigned and left.”

When Guardian Sports contacted BFA Secretary General Fred Lunn regarding the news about Bircham, Moscato and Escobar, he simply stated: “There is no story to tell. That is what you can print in the papers.”

Bircham was hired last year during the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and resigned in March of this year. Guardian Sports reached out to Bircham for a reason as to why he resigned, but he did not respond. The experienced administrator replaced Bahamian Garry Markham, who was hired in 2016, after Scottish national Kevin McGreskin resigned after serving in the post for just one year.

“They lost a technical director (in 2016), so they hired Garry Markham who is Bahamian. He had no experience as a technical director but they put him in and it helped them to get some money. During that stage, they had sent Adam Miller away to a FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) course to specialize and come back and help with football. They put Carl Lynch in his place because Miller was going away for a year. He came back and after a year – when he should have gotten his job back, he doesn’t because Carl (Lynch) had his job. They told Miller that he had to be the technical director now and let Garry Markham go. Miller said he didn’t want to be technical director, so he left the BFA, which was a shame because he went on that FIFA course for a year and only so many people go on it and they basically screwed him, so he left. He had massive potential as a general secretary in the Bahamas Football Association,” the source stated.

Miller left the BFA on February 20 of last year, stepping down as the assistant general secretary. With the technical director title vacant, the anonymous source said they tried to hire Moscato and Escobar for that role but were unsuccessful.

“Moscato was brought in to be the women’s director. When Marc (Bircham) left, they needed a technical director, so they asked her and she said that she is not here to do that. They told her that they need to put a technical director on paper, so they tried to put it on paper so that they can get the money from FIFA. She then says, if you put it on paper, I want the salary to go with it. She did not do it,” the source said.

The source continued: “Then the head coach of beach soccer, Escobar, was asked to be the technical director and he told them he was the beach soccer coach. They told him to put it on paper and he said no. He has been struggling for the past two years with money, equipment and the progress on beach soccer. He said he has had enough and to my knowledge, he has resigned. He is going to take the team to the world cup qualifiers next month and then he is gone. He does not want to leave now because the team has qualifiers next month.”

Escobar and the senior men’s beach soccer team took a trip this past weekend to Hollywood, Florida, in preparation for the 2021 CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) Beach Soccer Championships to be held in Alajuela, Costa Rica, from May 17-23. The tournament will be a qualifier for the 2021 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup to be held in Moscow, Russia, from August 19-29.

In the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings that came out on April 7, The Bahamas’ senior men’s team is ranked at number 201 – dropping five positions from the previous rankings that came out on February 18, 2021.

In their last two matches, the senior men’s national team lost 4-0 to St. Kitts and Nevis on March 27, and 4-0 again to Guyana on March 30. Both games were a part of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers.

The senior women’s national program is not ranked.

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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