Political football


by Kimberley Cummins

A soccer tournament intended to uplift the community has become a political football involving two opponents in the upcoming general election.

Well outfitted in “Abrahams” tee-shirts.
Well outfitted in “Abrahams” tee-shirts.

Yesterday’s climax of the Denis Lowe Football Tournament was marred by controversy and disagreement over the highly visible presence of the name of the Christ Church East MP’s Barbados Labour Party rival Wilfred Abrahams on the jerseys of the competing finalists.

While the attorney-at-law said he was prepared to see “the bigger picture” and saw nothing wrong with sponsoring three of the seven teams in the tournament, Lowe was having none of it, calling the issue “hard politics” and claimed Abrahams tried “to impose on something that was not his”.

Both sides gave their version of events today during separate interviews with Barbados TODAY.

“It is not about me or him [Lowe] …., our aim is the bigger picture — the promotion of sports, unity and helping the youth in the community,” the BLP first time candidate said.

“I encourage participation in all community activities. Whenever they come to me for sponsorship I have no problem with assisting, I don’t let those things bother me because they appreciate the sponsorship. The organisers set rules and our fellows will play by those rules with the same heart. They just drew attention to us more because everyone there knew who sponsored the guy.”

MP Dennis Lowe watches as a footballer changes his “Abrahams” shirt, as instructed.
MP Dennis Lowe watches as a footballer changes his “Abrahams” shirt, as instructed.

But Lowe, who did not go into detail about yesterday’s contention, suggested his opponent was out place.

“It is not a community event, this is hard politics. It wasn’t his event it was mine and as far as I’m concerned no incident occurred,” he said.

“I’m not going to give you a sound bite or two lines, the only person that can speak reliably on this event is me. If someone is hosting an event sponsoring an event you think that his opponent should be allowed, to come and push his way in? The folks were not happy when he came to try to impose on something that was not his,” he added.

The controversy took place at Sayes Court playing field in an Errol Barrow Day event eventually won by Abrahams Red Ballers.

The contention began when the three teams sponsored by Abrahams were asked to turn their shirts inside out.

Abrahams deputy campaign manager, Lorenzo Harewood, said members of the three teams were asked to change their names because they included “Abrahams”.

“When the MP [Lowe] arrived he was slightly disgusted that his opponent not only had teams in his tournament but that they had promotional material bearing his name. They were asked to turn the shirts inside out and they complied,” he said.

Two of Abrahams teams ultimately reached the final but it was not completed because there was a collision on the field which left one of the players unconscious. The two teams in the end decided to split the $1,500 prize money equally.

In spite of the discord, Abrahams said he felt great that one of his teams came out victorious

Victor Ward, who was also sponsored by Abrahams, won the Denis Lowe Road Tennis Tournament, which was also held yesterday. kimberleycummins@barbadostoday.bb

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