Sat, Jul

Ascension signs $200,000 agreement with Women's Football.

This year's Women's Football League (WoLF) will be called the TT WoLF Ascension League, following the confirmation of a $200,000 sponsorship deal from Ascension League owner Richard Ferguson on Saturday during a virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The agreement confirms the widening interest in women's football in the country by football's world governing body FIFA, the Robert Hadad-led Normalisation Committee, women's football membership and now corporate T&T.

Christine Rose, the treasurer of WoLF told Guardian Media Sports on Sunday that the sponsorship will ensure a 100-per cent increase in this year's prize structure, and it will also help to off-set expenses for team travel, refreshment for teams during training and matches, and for fees for referees and other officials.

Only recently Hadad said he was told by the FIFA, to place more emphasis on women's football. The NC acted by summoning the women's football director Jinelle James to a meeting to start charting a road forward for the sport.

Since that, an invitation went out to fill the position of women's senior team coach which has so far attracted over 100 application from local and foreign coaches.

The women's football executive of Women's League Football (WoLF) is set to meet with James and the members of the normalisation committee soon to decide on the way forward for the sport.

However, it is unsure when there will be competition due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. "At this point in time, we are adhering to the COVID-19 protocols. The amount of cases in T&T has been on the rise and therefore we just have to wait on when the Ministry of Health gives the go-ahead," Rose explained.

She dismissed claims that other sports have been submitting creative initiatives to ensure that there is action this year and they can do the same, saying the real issue is that football is a contact sport and players are at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

Due to the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, Rose said no decision has been made on a tentative starting date for the League, neither was there any consideration on a structure for the women's tournament, noting: "We are not sure if when we get the opportunity to play if we will run two divisions or one."

The Queen's Park player noted that (WoLF) was able to finally clear a debt that affected women's football since 2018, courtesy donations from corporate T&T last year.

The league will feature two divisions and there would be one round of games with the following Super League teams - Club Sando, St Augustine FC, Trincity, Nationals, QPCC, Police FC, Defense Force, UTT, Jewels FC and Tobago Chicas FC.

The fits division will comprise - St Augustine Juniors, Central Women, Malvern, Diego Martin, UWI, Kamillionare and Legion

Keiron Edwards, the tournament director of the Ascension Football League said: "This partnership with TTWolf will send a strong message that the women in football are not to be treated differently to their male counterparts. The data collected from the previous World Cup has shown that there has been a high attendance and viewership around the world. Because we know that women's football is just as important as men's football, we at Ascension through this partnership hope that we can help build a strong platform that can encourage young women to look at football as a meaningful career in the near future."

Meanwhile, at Saturday's AGM the clubs all accepted the 2019 audited financials that were presented to the membership. The election of officers that was scheduled for December will now take place in March. The term of office is two years.

Susan Joseph-Warrick, who was elected in April 2019 at WoLF president and then as the second vice president of the TTFA in November, resigned as president of WoLF and the TTFA, after FIFA suspended T&T from all forms of football for failing to comply with an order to withdraw all legal matters in the T&T courts which resulted from FIFA's decision to remove the TTFA executive led by William Wallace on March 17, 2020.