By Loshaun Dixon
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts-CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani paid a courtesy call to St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association (SKNFA), last week and made a commitment to the development of the sport among the smaller nations.
Mr. Montagliani, who also serves as a FIFA Vice President, met with members of the SKNFA as well as senior government officials during his visit and had a tour of some of the facilities around the island.
He said in an interview with members of the media that the visit was to ensure that football is first and that they are pushing a football agenda in all the member associations
“I think it is important we live the model I was elected on. Leadership is about service and not about power and we are servants as President Johnson is a servant to football in St. Kitts, I am a servant to football to CONCACAF and that is the way forward as we see football in this region,” he said.
He added that part of his visit involved meetings with government officials and explained the importance of having good relations with governments.
“I think football provides an opportunity for governments to partner with us. So, ours was about that and how we can help each other is those areas. Football has shown it is a partner and a partner that can bring things to a country. Not only events but also a vision for the youth as well as gender equality for both male and female.,” he said.
He noted that majority of their work has been with the smaller nations of the region because they make up the majority of the federation.
“The reality as President of CONCACAF we know that…most of the revenue in generated in North America because that is where business is conducted but the needs of our members are mainly in Central America and the Caribbean… but also I think that is the future of CONCACAF,” he said.
Montagliani highlighted the importance of investment in the smaller nations and invest in the region in general.
“One of the things is facilitating an investment in infrastructure as best as we can through various stakeholders and the other one is providing opportunity for players to play on a more consistent basis,” he said.
The CONCACAF head also spoke to the issue of a possible increase world cup with 48 teams and the possible benefits for CONCACAF.
“I think it is an opportunity. We are obviously going to increase our spots and that gives the opportunity for other nations to dream to try to qualify for a world cup,” he declared.