Impact of FIFA funding for women must be felt for many years, says Hector

Players take the field during a match in the ABFA’s Invitational League held at the ABFA’s technical centre in Paynters in February.
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By Neto Baptiste

Having received the US $500,000 earmarked by FIFA for the development of women’s football, General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), Rohan Hector, said the body will move to ensure that the funds are used in a prudent and effective manner.

Speaking on Observer Radio’s Connecting with Dave programme, Hector was adamant that the funds will be used to further develop the women’s version of the game here and that its impact must be felt for years to come.

“We had a very exciting women’s league that was going on at the same time and so if anyone thinks that the $500,000 that came for women’s football is just going to be spent on women’s football, is just going to be spent on that league then they have another think coming. This must fix our women’s programme for years to come. The impact of this $500,000 must be felt 10 years down the road,” he said.

Hector went on to stress that just as FIFA has decided to withhold some of the funds allocated for Covid relief in the event of future hardship, so also must the ABFA manage all funds received in light of the current pandemic.

“FIFA made available 1.5 billion dollars for the overall Covid relief for all 211 members of FIFA and if you do the simple math, they made 1.5 million available for each member association. If you multiply 1.5 million by 211 then you get $316,500,000. Where is the next $1.2 billion? They must hold that so that when the time comes and the impact of Covid stretches on, you hold those funds because you’re not so sure where this is going to end,” he said. 

Seven teams were competing in the FA’s 2020 Women’s Invitational League which was halted due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Cutting Edge and Ottos Tigers led the pack with 12 points each while Lady Hoppers lay third with 10 points. Trendsetters were fourth with six points while Players Fort Road, Wadadli United and Lady Grenades were fifth, sixth and seventh with five, four and one point respectively.

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