COVID Funds Still Available To Abstaining Clubs

President of the ABFA and former national striker, Everton Gonsalves. (File Photo)
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By Neto Baptiste

Clubs that have not met the requirements set out by the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) to receive the first tranche of the FIFA Covid-19 funds will be allowed to do so at their leisure.

This is according to head of the organisation and former national striker, Everton Gonsalves, who said that not all eligible clubs completed the necessary paperwork to receive the initial EC $8,000 payout.

“The application was opened to all and sundry and it would be fair to say because it is common knowledge that some clubs, or a particular club might not have been pleased with the amount, and as such they have seen it fit not to apply for their amount as yet. But it sits there because there is no timeframe and it will be handed to them whenever they feel for it and maybe, during the second tranche, if the amount to be disbursed is to their liking, they would then bring in their previous application,” he said.

At least one club, the Liberta Sports Club, publicly objected to the EC $8,000 payout, questioning the method used to arrive at what they believe to be an inadequate figure.

The FA said it would make payments to the 49 clubs that participated in the abandoned 2019/20 season in two or three tranches with the funds intended to aid the clubs in their preparation for a return to competitive football.

Gonsalves reminded clubs of the importance of adhering to the guidelines set out in the FIFA Covid- 19 Relief Funds document.

“These monies, I can guarantee you, will be spent only for the purpose indicated by FIFA and we have never received any slap on the wrist and we don’t get into financial restraints from FIFA [and] it is because of these things that we do why we are able to get our drawdowns from FIFA. FIFA audits us twice per year and then we have our statutory audits so we go through three audits before we present to the clubs,” he said. 

Last week, Gonsalves touted the release of EC $295,000 into the accounts of close to 50 clubs that competed across the three divisions in 2019/20.

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