Sat, Feb

Sport Ministry blanks Central FC.

Caribbean Club Championships in doubt...

IT IS unlikely that Central FC will play any further part in the 2018 Caribbean Club Championships, as the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs has blanked the local football club’s request for funds to travel to Jamaica for the next round of competition from May 9 to 14.

The financially strapped club is in need of $150,000 to travel to Jamaica for the tournament. Central FC owner Brent Sancho said the club was hoping for assistance from the Government and/or corporate TT to get to Jamaica.

“We have requested help from Ministry of Sport, we wanted them to offset the tickets,” Sancho said.

He said Central FC have contacted corporate companies for assistance to travel to Jamaica, but to no avail. “We have written to over 15 to 20 companies. Most people say they can’t help right now,” Sancho said.

Director, physical education and sport (ag) at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, Patrice Charles, wrote a letter on Monday to operations officer at Central FC Kevin Harrison, indicating the Ministry was not able to help.

The letter said, “I am writing you in reference to your letter of April 16, 2018 to the Honourable Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Miss Shamfa Cudjoe on the captioned subject. I regret to inform you that the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs (MSYA) will not be able to assist with funding for your event/activity at this time. This should not discourage you from any further request for assistance from the MSYA. Despite this, we at the MSYA hope that your event is met with success despite the Ministry not being able to extend assistance.”

Sancho told Newsday yesterday if the club does not receive money by today, the trip will be cancelled. The letter to Central FC offered a glimmer of hope, saying if the economic situation at the Ministry improves, they may be able to support. “Should our situation at the Ministry change, and funding becomes available, we will be able to revisit your application, providing that your organisation had produced the normal requirements of no less than three quotations for airfare for the desired participants as well as a list of said participants, as you are aware,” Charles said.

In the Senate yesterday,however, the Sports Minister revealed the Cabinet has approved $11.1 million towards assisting the Pro League, with $4.8 million to be disbursed in 2018. It is not clear whether any of those funds can assist Central Fc.

Sancho, a former national footballer, said it is unfortunate that the Central FC players won’t be able to continue competing in the tournament.

“These players work hard to get here. This impacts a lot of lives,” he said.

Sancho said the Government has the club in another tough situation as they may have to go to court to settle an issue with a travel agency. He revealed Central FC conducted camps with children in Tobago in conjunction with the Sport Company of TT (SporTT). Sancho alleged SporTT was supposed to pay the travel agency but never did, resulting in Central FC being taken to court.