Thu, Oct

The Hindu Credit Union (HCU) Financial Group of Companies will sponsor the Futsal football qualifying tournament with an initial injection of $200,000.

FIFA vice-president Austin Jack Warner gave details of the sponsorship and said HCU are also willing to support the World Cup qualifying tournament with contract benefits amounting to $2M. “I must congratulate the Hindu Credit Union today for their historic gesture of sponsoring the first Futsal qualifying tournament. I am very happy indeed for us to forge this relationship with the HCU, as they just as the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) have the best interests of football at heart,” Warner said. The Futsal tournament is a shortened version of the game and includes five players on each team and the use of side walls to assist in the play. The qualifying tournament takes place in Trinidad and Tobago from April 18 and the two top teams will go on to Taiwan next year for the final.

The countries taking part in the qualifying stages are hosts Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Puerto Rico, Netherlands Antilles, Suriname, Guyana, Turks and Caicos Islands and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The tournament will be called the HCU Money Express Futsal Qualifying Tournament. Warner heaped praises on the HCU. “March forward with your dreams and you would achieve all that you set out to. The criticisms will come hard and fast but you just have to stay focus and you would get to your desired goals. We both have one thing in common, we are criticised a lot but we must look at those people and forget them. They will only pelt at the trees with fruits so don’t take them on,” Warner said. Ashvani Mahabir commented that the HCU which was founded in 1985 has been through a lot with people making unfounded allegations against them. FIFA Development Officer, Keith Look Loy, was also on hand and said that Futsal is becoming a very popular sport in the world and will take off very quickly in the Caribbean.

This form of football is a bit different but it has generated a lot of interest. We have had four World Cups already and it has been dominated by Brazil. They have won it three times, while in the last finals in 2000 they lost out to Spain. This is a West Indian-type style of the game with a lot of flair and hence we can expect it to catch on very fast in the region,” said Look Loy. Captain Horace Burrell, Marketing Manager of the CFU advised the HCU that football was a very powerful marketing tool and that they can be assured that their product, the HCU Money Express, will be carried to a lot of potential customers. “Football is the most popular sport in the region and as such we have a great marketing tool. Your invest will go a long way for both parties and we thank you for assisting this venture,” Captain Burrell, a Jamaican, said. HCU Corporate Director of Advertising, Carl Ramdeo said that his company will be looking for a long term association with CFU and expects a successful series. “We are in it for the development of the sport in Trinidad and Tobago and the region by extension. Both parties have goals to achieve, you want to have a lot of goals scored, while we want to be able to provide you with the avenue to get that result,” he said. “At the HCU, we are committed to the development of people and we are very happy to be associated with this tournament,” Mahadeo said.