By Neto Baptiste
Clubs could start receiving their first tranche of the FIFA Covid-19 relief funds as early as next week.
This is according to General Secretary (GS) of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), Rohan Hector, who said that although a small majority of clubs are yet to return the requisite forms, the FA could commence disbursing the EC$8000.00 per clubs in short order.
“All of this is based on and equitable distribution of the funds based on everybody being in the same position, participation, and are members of the association from last year, so we are trying our best to do an equitable distribution including that everybody would also be receiving around the same time, but because we have not received everyone in terms of all 49, but if we do not get all, we will begin the disbursement by Friday or Monday the latest on a first-come, first-serve basis,” he said.
Hector, who revealed that over 95 percent of the 49 clubs that participated in the ABFA’s leagues in 2019/20 have already returned the required forms, said those yet to do so could still benefit from the first payout.
“We have not issued a deadline for the sole purpose that anybody [clubs] that were participating in the competitions which started last year are eligible for the funds, so what we would encourage everybody to do is that if you have particular issues to come and talk to us and we could probably help you through as much as we can,” he said.
“Obviously at some point, if his situation with the pandemic drags on then we would have to review because as it goes longer then it means we may not only need to extend the deadline but also increase the amount of funds we disburse,” he added.
The GS encouraged those clubs with issues to consult with the ABFA on the way forward.
“Many of the clubs who have had several or many types of difficulties have already begun communicating with us and we have been helping them to get all their business in order to receive the funds, so if there is anyone outstanding that thinks there is an issue they might have, we just encourage them to come in because we can assist you as best as we can with whatever issues you may have,” Hector said.
The ABFA is also expected to issue a decision regarding the fate of its stalled competitions in short order.