Senior members of the BVI Football Association will be holding a meeting with players from the BVI National Women’s Football team to address several concerns which were raised by the team following the recently concluded CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers games.

Members from the women’s team penned a letter to the Association on April 24th citing several concerns they had after suffering heavy defeats during the Qualifiers.

They warned that they will not be representing the territory any longer “as long as the current coaching and management staff remain.”

The letter read, “The majority of the players who joined us from the United Kingdom and the local BVI members have agreed on this statement as we seek to have our concerns addressed.”

Areas of concern raised

According to the letter, the team believes that the women’s football team is not taken as seriously as the men’s, in terms of having professional coaches, physiotherapists, medical physicians, managers, and goalkeeper coaches.

As it pertains to a physiotherapist, the women said that they were never provided one and felt that several injuries on the team would have been properly treated during the tournament had one been made available.

The players also felt that the time management of the managers was very poor, stating that they portrayed poor communication and lacked professionalism.

They said, “We say this because there were moments during and immediately after games when players made mistakes/had errors and we were terribly criticized instead of advancing constructive criticism and strategizing for a better outcome. We felt discouraged and unmotivated as we were so harshly criticized that we did not want to participate in any further activities.”

“When players approached the coaches about their treatment of them, our concerns were summarily dismissed. Players felt emotionally distraught and belittled,” the statement added.

The women also expressed a preference for having a female medical practitioner as opposed to a male.

Major improvements needed for Head Coach and Assistant

The team also pointed out their concerns about the Head Coach and Assistant, stating that they either needed vast improvements or to be replaced.

“After-game revision was never conducted. We never watched a replay of our games as a team. There were no lessons learned from the coaches’ points of view of what could have been done better or strategy revisions,” the women stated.

They added, “Following immediate post-game scolding, coaches, technical director, and management avoided players after games… Players would train in one position for months with the expectation to play in that position, only to be told on game day, to play a completely different position for which they had not been trained.”

Drastically improve or replace management

The team also expressed concerns regarding management, stating that management either needed drastic improvements or to be replaced.

They said communication between management and coaches was poor and as a result players had to suffer from the confusion.

The women stated, “The players have suffered emotional distress and tension between the players as a team and with the coaches. We deserve a better community of respectful management and coaches to grow ourselves as players representing the BVI.”

BVIFA President aware of the letter

Following receipt of the letter, 284News reached out to the President of the BVI Football Association Mr. Andy Bickerton who at the time was out of the territory and unaware of the letter.

However, after following up with President Bickerton at a subsequent date, he confirmed that he was later made aware of the letter and that the association had scheduled a time period in early June to have a meeting with the women’s team to address the concerns.

That meeting has been set for June 2, 2022.