The 2016 schoolboy football season is in full swing with all the spills and thrills that a typical schoolboy football season brings. This season, however, comes into special focus, as it unfolds in the immediate aftermath of yet another failed World Cup-qualifying cycle. As the discussions, debates and analysis continue with added fervour. The age-old proposal of a two-tier system for the Manning and daCosta Cup competitions is back on the front burner. Veteran schoolboy coach Patrick ‘Jackie’ Walters has been for a long time championing of the call for the best teams in the Manning and daCosta Cup to be separated into divisions with an A division comprising the bigger and better teams with the weaker teams to play in a B division with a relegation and promotion process enforced. The idea is that instead of playing so many meaningless games against smaller so-called inferior teams and winning 8-0, 9-0, and 10-0 the top teams should play more often among themselves, thus guaranteeing more competitive games, better football, and more meaningful development of the players. This, to my mind, is trending down the dangerous road of elitism in what are still amateur school competitions. This radical change would effectively be telling smaller, poorer, less-equipped schools like Tarrant High, Edith Dalton James, Papine etc., that they are not good enough’ to rub shoulders with the likes of St George’s College, Kingston College and Jamaica College. The same subliminal message would be sent to the smaller rural schools, such as Green Pond, May Day High or Black River High, that they don’t belong on the same field and are inferior – not just as footballers, but as a school community and as individuals. That they are lesser beings that their counterparts who attend Cornwall College, Munro College or Clarendon College. As the competitions are more even after the first round, the main objectives sought after by this proposal are for the most part achieved as the proverbial sheep are separated from the goats, as the elite teams do emerge and compete against each other for championship honours. The advent of the high-profile ISSA-Flow Super Cup pushes the concept even further providing an even bigger stage for the top teams to strut their stuff against each other, which further diminishes the need to split the competitions into divisions. The Manning and daCosta Cup competitions as they are, are highly successful and hugely popular products that provide a pivotal platform for the exposure of the nation’s best young football talent. It is the skill of meaningfully identifying that talent and what we do with that talent that have been our most significant let down. The Schoolboy football competitions are far from perfect, within an even more imperfect football structure in Jamaica, but we have to keep our feet grounded in reality. The magnitude of improvement and impact being craved by some of these suggested changes to the schoolboy football product are unrealistic. There are more achievable fundamentals such as improving the surfaces and beginning the transformation in the way talented young Jamaican players view themselves in the wider scheme of things. The practice of drilling it into the subconscious of our top 17, 18, 19 year olds that they are “so young” and have so much time to develop, is a crippling and devastating mistake. The career path of a professional footballer is generally clearly defined from as early as fourteen or fifteen years old. When we keep telling our best young players how young they are, we are covertly setting back the psychological development and advancement an average of five usually detrimental years. These are but some of the immediate problems we need to address in our football before we further muddy the waters with another act of classism. No need for split
.Bangladesh’s three private mobile phone operators have spent Tk 87 billion for online advertisements alone, reveals a report submitted to the High Court by the Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC).Mobile phone service providers Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink paid the money to different social media and online platforms like Google, Facebook, YouTube, IMO, Whatsapp, BTRC told the HC bench comprising justice Moinul Islam Chowdhury and justice Md Ashraful Kamal. BTRC’s system and service division’s deputy director engineer Nahidul Hasan submitted the report to the High Court recently.BTRC lawyer AKM Alamgir Parvez told Prothom Alo that Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink paid over Tk 87,441,905,073 over the last five years for the advertisements online.According to the BTRC report, Grameenphone alone spends USD 433,125,629 for online advertisement while Robi spends USD 321,338,000 and Banglalink USD 286,469,967. In total the three companies paid out USD 10,400,900,000.BTRC wrote a letter to the mobile phone operators seeking the expenditure breakdown within 7 August,.On 9 April 2019, six lawyers filed the writ petition with the apex court accusing the Google, Amazon, Facebook, and YouTube of evading taxes.Following the writ, the High Court handed down a rule asking the concerned authorities why Google, Amazon, Facebook and YouTube won’t be placed under the revenue net.The court also asked the authorities concerned to form an expert committee and file a report on the income of the online platforms from Bangladesh.Writ petitioner lawyer Mohamamd Humayun Kabir told Prothom Alo that different social media and online platforms like like Google, Facebook, YouTube, IMO, Whatsapp earned Tk 87 billion from the three phone operators. But the companies have no offices in Bangladesh.BTRC lawyer Alamgir Parvez said BTRC has sent a letter to Google, Facebook and YouTube among five companies to set up their own offices in Bangladesh.This report reveals a partial scenario of how much money the company like Google has taken from Bangladesh for advertisements, he added.Other than the phone companies, many Bangladeshi companies, institutions and individuals are circulating advertisements on various online media. The media is taking huge amouts money from the country, the lawyer added. Deputy attorney general Tushar Kanti Roy, who was state counsellor in writ petition, told Prothom Alo that in another report submitted to the court by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) said the government has earned Tk 1.33 billion from advertisements online.Bangladesh Bank’s lawyer Shamim Khaled, he added, filed a plea seeking extension of time over filing a detailed report in this regard.The report will be submitted on the next hearing to be held on 30 October.“Once the report is submitted, the whole picture of how much money the foreign companies like Google, Facebook has earned from Bangladesh will be revealed,” Tushar said.