Here is a rather interesting story regarding the treatment of the Jamaica’s Olympic football team in Aruba. For what is supposed to be an island paradise with all the accommodations in the world, how could it have been so desperately lacking?
- The other visiting teams – Antigua and Barbados – made the dormitory-styled Blue Village their home and they too had complained of the overall hospitality in Aruba.
- Barbados, Sporting World was reliably informed, had gone as far as to contact the CFU in Trinidad and Tobago to air their dissatisfaction.
- There was also concerns regarding the quality of accommodation and ground transportation that fell woefully below what the FIFA regulations stipulate for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games qualifying tournaments.
The writer for the Jamaican Observer hardly made any friends in Aruba or the Dutch Kingdom by merely reporting the truth. Doesn’t that seem to be a trend when confronting their almighty tourism.
Arubans are edgy and fiercely protective of their bread and butter – tourism. This reporter became Enemy Number One to the people of this Dutch Kingdom when he highlighted the plight of Jamaica’s Olympic football team.
One headline in this newspaper screamed: “Under-23s face food crisis in Aruba”. This sent the nation into a panic. So much so that a meeting of the ministries of sports and tourism and AVB officials was called. They claim a headline like that was damaging to the image of the tourism-dependent island.
The Jamaican team, participating in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Group B qualifying tournament for the Beijing Olympics, met hardships in their first couple of days in the week-long tournament.