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Wed, Oct

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Several officials from member associations within the Caribbean Football Union converged on the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association Home of Football facilities on Saturday and following a tour led by TTFA President David John-Williams were all left highly impressed with what they saw with their own eyes.

What is now on display at Bal­main Cou­va is be­ing seen as a form of eco­nom­ic sur­vival for foot­ball in T&T and the larg­er Caribbean coun­tries.

Dur­ing a vis­it of the fa­cil­i­ty on Sat­ur­day by the gen­er­al sec­re­taries of coun­tries in the Caribbean Foot­ball Union (CFU), the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Ja­maican Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion- Dal­ton Wint, An­tigua/Bar­bu­da Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion- Ro­han Hec­tor and Ed­wyn Wood of the Bar­ba­dos Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, said not on­ly are they im­pressed with the fa­cil­i­ty, but it will help them save more mon­ey on trav­el and for camps.

Hec­tor said, “Quite of­ten we find our­selves hav­ing to trav­el to the Unit­ed States and oth­er places to play tour­na­ments, which be­comes oner­ous on our eco­nom­ic po­si­tion, so we think we can play these tour­na­ments in T&T and in the fu­ture An­tigua & Bar­bu­da and oth­er places around the Caribbean.”

He not­ed fur­ther, “This is a very im­por­tant step for foot­ball de­vel­op­ment in the Caribbean. We are go­ing to learn from this. We are go­ing to get some in­for­ma­tion to see what we can do, be­cause we are build­ing our fa­cil­i­ty, and one of the next steps is to build our dor­mi­to­ries and gyms and sev­er­al oth­er things. And from the tech­nol­o­gy be­ing used here, there are things that we can ap­ply in An­tigua & Bar­bu­da.”

Wood told the me­dia that T&T’s Home Of Foot­ball (HOF) is a mod­el for oth­er foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tions through­out the Caribbean.

He be­lieves it will be a spe­cial help eco­nom­i­cal­ly, for the David John-Williams-led foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion- “We’re al­ways spend­ing huge sums on ac­com­mo­da­tion for na­tion­al teams, for camps, so this is an ex­am­ple where, not on­ly can we save mon­ey, but the lo­ca­tion is ide­al for in­come gen­er­a­tion, as we have swim­ming next door, the cy­cling Velo­drome. So it’s a fa­cil­i­ty that can be used as an in­come-gen­er­at­ing fa­cil­i­ty to help sus­tain the as­so­ci­a­tion, for a long time.”

Wint, on the oth­er hand, said the fa­cil­i­ty should be repli­cat­ed through the Caribbean. “It’s a fa­cil­i­ty that takes care of all the needs, as it re­lates to foot­ball. One of the biggest ex­pense we have in foot­ball is to have peo­ple housed at a fa­cil­i­ty, and most of us have to pay huge sums at ho­tels. It is a mon­ey-sav­ing ven­ture, it’s an in­come-gen­er­at­ing ven­ture, and so we are re­al­ly pleased with what has been ex­posed to us to­day.”

The HOF fa­cil­i­ty is equipped with train­ing fields, mi­ni ho­tel, en­ter­tain­ment cen­tre, in­door and out­door pitch­es for fut­sal, beach soc­cer etc.

The vis­it, part of a FI­FA/CIES/UWI football executive pro­gramme for officials from Bar­ba­dos, T&T, Grena­da, Ja­maica, Aru­ba, St Kitts/Nevis, St Lucia and other nations benefiting from a series of courses offered by the CIES. FIFA Development officer Marlon Glean  was been part of the touring party over the past week.