One of Cayman’s most experienced football officials is expecting to get to see the final stages of the World Cup in an official capacity for the region’s Confederation of Central America and Caribbean Association Football.
Alfredo Whittaker, head of the referees department for CONCACAF for the past two years, is likely to be at the quarterfinals and semifinals in Brazil and possibly the final itself.
It all depends on how well the CONCACAF teams do in the knockout rounds. Mexico and Costa Rica are already through and USA and Honduras may qualify depending on their results in their final group games.
Whittaker is half-Costa Rican and half-Caymanian so is really pleased that Costa Rica surprised many and got through the Group D stage, beating Uruguay and Italy in their first two games.
Whittaker was not surprised that Costa Rica defeated Uruguay and fully expected victory, even if Luis Suarez had played because they do not play a defensive, cautious game and love to attack in a free spirited way.
“Costa Rica are attacking and looking for goals and results have been extremely good for them,” Whittaker said. “I believe that a team that plays to win is bound to win.”
He believes Costa Rica stand a chance of making the later stages because of their competitive attitude.
His favorite Costa Rican is goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who Whittaker has known all the youngster’s life because he played professionally with his father.
As for the eventual winner, Whittaker is not impressed with Brazil and actually prefers Holland because of their long history of creative flair and attractive football stemming back from the 1970’s.
Whittaker is a big admirer of Robin van Persie Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben and, with players of that caliber, thinks Holland have a strong chance of being champions.
As for England improving results in major tournaments, Whittaker feels they need to revamp their program.
“When you play internationally, you cannot play like you do in your league,” he said. “The English league is the most beautiful to watch but when it comes to internationals, England give the ball away too much. That’s the biggest problem England has, they don’t have that person who can hold the ball.”
Whittaker feels the England youngsters are good enough to compete with the best at international level because they already do so in club matches.
He said that England manager Roy Hodgson needs to keep exposing them in international matches to the exclusion of the more seasoned players. Whittaker really admires Daniel Sturridge who he feels has more qualities than Wayne Rooney who is only good enough to be in the team but should not be loaded with such high expectations from England fans.