Wed, May

TTFA boss: US$1.3M will go towards T-League.

A SUM of US$1.3 million will go towards the running of the inaugural T-League, which is set to kick off in either August or September 2019.

This disclosure was made by TTFA (TT Football Association) president David John-Williams, during an online interview at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Wednesday.

John-Williams used the interview to refute claims that the TTFA has been using all its resources towards the Home of Football project, which is situated next to the Ato Boldon Stadium.

According to John-Williams, “FIFA gives money for specific projects that cannot be used for anything else. The funding for the hotel has been provided by FIFA and cannot be used for anything else. FIFA has what is called a FIFA forward programme 2.0 and (TTFA) is beneficial to the sum of US$1 million a year, broken up into two categories – US$500,000 a year for its operations and the (rest) based on KPI.

“You must achieve 10 KPIs to receive that money, and that is based men’s (and) women’s national teams, boys (and) girls leagues, a referees programme etcetra,” John-Williams continued. “What you are guaranteed by FIFA is (money) for operations. Under the programme, you are US$2 million over two years for special projects.

“The TTFA board decided that the outfitting of the hotel will be assigned just around US$700,000 and the other US$1.3 million will go into the new league, in terms of developing club football.”

The T-League was launched last fortnight, but this is the first time that an official figure was announced, regarding how much money was invested into the competition.

John-Williams repeated his recent pronouncements about the financial struggles facing the TTFA.

“It’s well known that the TTFA is in heavy debt and we have to balance the books,” he said. “We cannot continue going into more debts and depend on somebody to bail it out. Those debts have come about as a result of having a football programme going but not addressing those (outstanding) payments. As a result, something has to suffer.

“This current administration has taken a harsh decision to reduce its expenditure and tailor our cloth. While we are developing the infrastructure of the TTFA, the Home of Football and the income-generation project, programmes will suffer. When these projects come on stream, I think it will serve the TTFA in good stead to finance their programmes.”

The TTFA will be focusing a lot of its attention on the elite Under-13 programme. And John-Williams hailed the support of the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) towards the programme.

John-Williams said, “There is renewed interest in T&T football. We look forward to the Home of Football opening and the income generation project because it will add some stability into our finances. We are working feverishly to try to eradicate the debt that the Association is in.

“We have a responsibility to bring expenditure in line with the revenue that we receive. We feel the Association will be in a better place in two to three years.”