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THE TT Football Association (TTFA) League of Champions tournament was launched yesterday, at the Home of Football, Balmain, Couva.

The inaugural event, which kicks off on Sunday and runs until April 12, will feature a number of teams who either opted out of the 2019 Terminix Super League or were deemed non-compliant, as well as a National XI (T&T Under-17 team).

Defence Force, Police, Matura ReUnited, Guaya United, Miscellaneous Laventille United, Moruga FC, Harlem Strikers, Central Soccer World and Marabella Family Crisis Centre and the Tobago-based pair of Youth Stars United and Tobago Phoenix are the other participating teams.

According to TTFA director of competitions, Sharon O’Brien, each participating club will receive $51,200,which will be split into three parts: $25,600 (which was presented yesterday to the participants); $12,800 (during the midway point of the season); and the remaining sum (minus any fees incurred) at the end of the tournament.

TTFA president David John-Williams has repeatedly claimed that the local governing body is cash-strapped.

Asked if the influx of monies for this tournament came from the FIFA Forward Programme, board member Selby Browne, who chaired the launch, replied, “The FIFA Forward Programme was a condition of the association receiving money from FIFA. That is TTFA’s money.

“When that money gets to the TTFA, it is the TTFA’s money to do what it says it will do. On an annual basis, each association will request from FIFA what its plans are.”

The teams will have to be registered under the FIFA Connect system and matches will be contested on Sundays. “The teams will participate in two rounds of football,” O’Brien said. During the launch, Browne spoke at length about the history of T&T football, the re-establishment of financial stability of T&T football and the restructuring of T&T football.

Among the dignitaries were TTFA officials Anthony Moore (who also serves as president of the Tobago Football Association) and Collin Partap.

Click here for details on the TTFA League of Champions