By Rogelio Adonicán Osorio
Ex world cup players the Panamanian red team sent Thursday a loud and clear message to the candidates competing for the Presidency of Panama that sport should be one of the priorities of the government that will come out of the elections process on May 5, for their social and human benefits.
Last night the seven presidential candidates met in a debate on four topics, none of them sports, which left in the atmosphere the feeling that the sector is not, as now, on the radar of the future ruler.
"The sport must be fundamental in the country, the athlete must be in the hands of the administrative, if not, things happen as the way they are happening", said the Panamanian goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, who precisely on Thursday hung the gloves of professional soccer.
He stressed that sport is a way of preventing crime, and it is an ideal way to keep people healthy.
On this same point, Felipe Baloy, defender of clubs like Santos Laguna and Monterrey in Mexico and also in retirement, was clear in saying "education, health and sports are three very important weapons to be a better society".
"Sport gives you a lot of responsibility, teaches you values, health is important, education is also key for these young people to grow up and be good people in the future", he said.
For his part, Blas Pérez, former striker of the Panamanian team and CF Pachuca of Mexico, was sincere in saying that "I did not see the debate I fell asleep", but he clarified that he realized on Twitter that they had not talked about the sport.
"Sport avoids many things, it prevents diseases, prevents the child from getting into crime, but I imagine that they will have a plan for the sport, everyone knows what they will be, but if they focus on sports they improve things with the theme of youth", he said.
"El Ratón", as Pérez is known, added "we have many experiences, we live what it was to have nothing, to suffer from working with our nails, we still do everything with the minimum".
Gary Stempel, a well-known strategist who has focused on working with minor categories and the first helmsman to take a sub-20 team to the World Cup in 2003, described as "great pity that not yet" has been understood "the importance of sport in the human and social development".
He gave as an example the national reaction to the historic classification of Panama to the World Cup of Russia 2018: "There is no invention in the world, nothing political, social or artistic that can generate so much joy".
"If we cannot use that tool in a positive way, at school, in clinics, in neighborhoods, I think we're going to lose many generations of good people", he said.