PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – FIFA presidential hopeful Gianni Infantino says he will make the Caribbean a priority if he is elected to the organisation’s highest post. Currently UEFA’s general secretary, Infantino is among six candidates set to contest the February 24 election in Switzerland, in a bid to replace the disgraced incumbent Sepp Blatter. “I can bring a lot to this region, to this part of the world. I have seen many presidents who are committed to the game and organising football, sometimes in difficult circumstances and we have to help,” Infantino said during a visit here Thursday to meet with Trinidad and Tobago FA chief David John-Williams. The 46-year-old Infantino is a Swiss and Italian national who has served as UEFA general secretary for the last seven years.
Members of the Standpipe community in Liguanea will be staging a 3-on-3 knockout basketball tournament entitled Standpipe Hoop Dreams Basketball Tournament at the Church of St Margaret community playground in the community this Sunday, April 3, from 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.The competition is open to community teams, corporate teams and universities. Team members must be males aged 16 years and over.Former national player, Althea Byfield and coach, Nicholas Locke, are part of the organising committee.Standpipe resident, and tournament organiser, Lorna Livingstone, told The Gleaner that the idea behind the event was to reawaken interest in the local courts, which were built in 2003.”The sport of basketball is dying in the area. The space is now mainly used to play scrimmage and futsal or host all-night parties,” Livingstone said.”It’s got great flooring and good hoops and because of bad management and people not knowing how to take care of it, how to use it and people just not being able to get on, no organised sport gets played there,” she added.Local area business, Super Valu, recently repainted the court lines for the tournament, Livingstone said.HOME COURTShe noted that the Jamaica Amateur Basketball Association had intended for the court to be used as a home court for local league play when it was first built, but over time the original plan had been eroded.”The idea is to have an event to remind people that basketball can be played here. The tournament is for 12 teams and it is open so if you are over 16 anyone can play. We have some teams that are registering from the existing Open League which include BOJ, Central Village and in Standpipe, the 39ers and the Liguanea Lions,” Livingstone said.”Support from local businesses and sponsors has been excellent so we are really looking forward to an excellent day of basketball, fun, entertainment, prizes and surprises,” she added.Students of the University of Technology’s Faculty of Science & Sport will also be conducting research on the tournament to help make improvements for future projects.”We have learnt a lot from organising this event and we intend to use this knowledge to make subsequent events even better,” Livingstone said.Sponsors for the tournament include INSIGHT Marketing Strategies Ltd, Emkay Sports & Trophies, Liguanea Liquors & Beverage, Hi-Lyte, Livingstone’s Natural Juice, Super Valu, Sign Craft Ltd, KLAS ESPN, Yardie Sports and JayBones Designs.