Minister of State in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Reem Al Hashimy, left, and president of the SVG Football Federation (SVGFF) Venold Coombs, right.

By E. Glenford Prescott

Minister of State in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Reem Al Hashimy and president of the SVG Football Federation (SVGFF) Venold Coombs held discussions on Tuesday at the Federation’s office in Kingstown where a number of issues relating to football development were discussed.

The meeting, which was described as “excellent” by both parties, explored ways in which the Gulf state can help the SVGFF in realising some of its programmes. Among these are a home for football, expansion of a grassroots programme and the possibility of Vincentian footballers securing contracts in the UAE.

Al Hashimy assured the SVGFF head that efforts would be made to see what level of assistance can be provided with regards to his needs and requested a proposal in the next few months to begin the process of lending assistance.

“We want to work with you in partnership on a participatory level and not giving you hand-outs, which we know are not what you are looking for,” Al Hashimy said.

She said that her visit to SVG was her maiden trip to the Caribbean, where she also met with officials in Guyana and Grenada.

Al Hashimy said that her government is seeking to have a good relationship with countries in the region as a way of showing their appreciation for their support in helping the UAE win the bid to host EXPO 2020.

She said that her area of interest is youth and sports development and she will be exploring all possibilities with her government in making contributions to regional governments including SVG, with projects that impact these areas.

“If you know what you want and what you need then we can begin to get to work quickly. If you can articulate what you want and show how it aims towards your overall vision then we’re willing to share our support and knowledge,” she said.

Coombs, who was praised highly by the UAE minister, suggested that some level of support in realising a home for football as well as providing technical support as among the most pressing issues facing the Federation.

Al Hashimy, who was elected a minister in 2008, is the managing director for the Dubai World Expo 2020 Bid Committee.

She is also the chairperson of Dubai Cares, a children’s education charity established by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2007, which is looking to expand its charitable portfolio.

3 replies on “Gulf state looking to assist SVG Football Federation”

  1. Mr Coombs take that oil money and run. No seriously coombs, run! The UAE is crappy place to send our young footballers to start a career. First off, there is no footballing pedigree in these places to speak of. Secondly, UAE is a racist and xenophobic place, with an appalling human rights records when dealing with foreign workers.

    It’s all well and good to get financial aid; they certainly have the resources to give us a handout but I will be wary of getting too comfortable too soon. These countries in the middle east have some [email protected]$ed up cultures, that is still in the dark ages. And while the UAE is one of the more liberal in the region; people get flogged and stoned in these parts. Imagine one of our rude arse footballer, act a fool there, next thing you here he getting some bulwood in the public square…and then the NDP will be on the airwaves, saying, we told you these fuc%ers were up to no good and its just a matter of time before gonsalves start flogging people at heritage square…LOL.

    Anyway, we live in a global economy and given our limited resources, it would be foolish to not take advantage of those come bearing gifts;but we must be mindful not to sell our soul for thirty pieces of silver.

  2. I am in agreement with the statement made by Teacher Fang . The Middle Eastern Countries
    are very strict , they do not sell beverages with alcoholic content . It is a common practice to chop off the hands of persons who steal . They are Muslims , and their faith means that women
    their are completely covered , and if our Players go there to play Football , they will have to
    go elsewhere , to satisfy , their physical urges .

    The SVGFA , needs to ensure that the Contracts these Players get are examined by very competent Lawyers in SVG . The SVGFA will also have to ensure that Players are not
    mistreated . The Middle East is notorious for ill treating Workers who go to work there .
    It means that those who go there will always have to be on their gaurd , to not fall afoul
    of the Authorities there .

    In my opinion prior to going there , Players need to be thoroughly briefed regarding the Mores & Customs of the UAE ; doing this will ensure that Players know exactly what they are getting into . I am not stating this to dissuade Players from going to the UAF , but I simply
    want to alert them regarding the sort of life they can expect in the UAE .

    These days Computers are everywhere , I would urge Players who are contemplating going there to Google Living in the UAE , & also the UAE Football Association , those who dont
    have Computers can get the information from the National Public Library in SVG .

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