MFA Football Programme On Hold

Montserrat’s young football players are currently without their weekly outlet as the grassroots programme has stalled.

Vice Chair of the Montserrat Football Association Ottley Laborde said there are no funds to run the programme, which allows more than 60 boys and girls aged seven to late teens to learn the game.

Laborde declined to respond to the reasons for the funding issue, considering that the MFA receives annual support from FIFA to the tune of US$250,000. The coach is also off island and is said not to be returning until given a green light by the MFA.

Last year, the MFA cancelled the planned summer camp in Guadeloupe due to the absence of a ferry. Since then, other issues including repairs to the road leading to the Blakes football field, the need for waivers for footballs and other equipment and now no money have kept children off the field.

The association also decided in 2016 to temporarily halt the national team training programme, again citing financial reasons as the main issue.

 

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4 Responses

  1. Concerned Parent says:

    Madam Editor you have understated the amount of money now available to the Montserrat Football Association.

    Go to the FIFA Website and see what Montserrat could get if the Montserrat Football Association is managed properly. FIFA Forward Football Development Programme shows that they can get over 3 Million EC$ annually if they follow some simple requirements.
    http://www.fifa.com/development/news/y=2016/m=5/news=fifa-forward-football-development-programme-2790805.html

    For those who don’t like reading you can listen to the official description of the FIFA Development Program here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A35mmHeOkVk

    As a journalist and a parent I hope you can do your best to expose the real issues why the promised funding is not coming to Montserrat and get the MFA back on track.

    The Grassroots football promotion and development strategy, which you refer to as having been stalled for lack of funding; is on its own eligible for US$50,000.00 or EC$135,000.00 per year in direct funding from FIFA. So what is the MFA doing wrong???

    This is what FIFA has committed to:

    More investment
    We are significantly increasing our financial support for member associations and football development to 5 million USD per four-year cycle for each member association from 1.6 million USD per cycle.

    This means each association has access to 750,000 US dollars per year for football projects such as pitches, competitions and women’s football.

    And every association also receives up to 500,000 US dollars per year for running costs in areas including administration and governance.

    We are increasing our financial support for the six confederations so that they can do more to develop football in their regions.

    Confederations now receive 40 million US dollars per four-year cycle for football development, up from 22 million US dollars.

    We are providing extra help to member associations that need it, from football equipment and internship programmes to up to 1 million US dollars to cover travel costs so that women’s and youth teams can compete in international competitions.

    And we will give regional associations up to 1 million dollars per year to reimburse the cost of organising regional youth competitions for young women and men.

    As part of Forward’s annual “running costs” funding per association, members receive basic support of 100,000 US dollars per year. They can then receive additional annual funding of 50,000 US dollars for each of the following criteria they fulfil, up to an additional 400,000 dollars each year:

    • Employing a general secretary
    • Employing a technical director
    • Organising a men’s league
    • Organising a women’s league
    • Organising a men’s youth league
    • Organising a women’s youth league
    • Women’s football promotion and development strategy
    • Good governance/integrity programme
    • Grassroots football promotion and development strategy
    • Refereeing promotion and development strategy

    At least two of the areas that member associations can focus on for this extra funding must cover women’s football.

    • DiscoverMNITeam says:

      Thank you for the research. It has been a challenge to get local people on the record about what is happening.

      • Concerned Parent says:

        Madam Editor,

        As you can see the money is available. But FIFA is no longer going to just hand it out to the old boys to do with as they please.
        They have to be ACCOUNTABLE and they have to have a Plan that can be AUDITED.

        These audited figures from FIFA show that they gave over 6 Million EC$ to the Montserrat Football Association over the last 5 years.
        http://www.fifa.com/development/facts-and-figures/association=msr/financial-assistance-programme.html

        It would appear as though the MFA have underspent on a program approved since 2013; and you would have seen the mad rush to finish the mini football pitches which are yet to be used in any meaningful way.
        http://www.fifa.com/development/facts-and-figures/association=msr/index.html

        FIFA has now committed to, “…increasing our financial support for member associations and football development to 5 million USD per four-year cycle for each member association…” So that will be 13.5 Million EC$ over the next 4 years; or 3.4 Million EC$ per year.

        This is a significant amount of Money by Montserrat standards.

        I suspect that it is poor accounting for prior funding why the funds have not been forthcoming for this year.
        And perhaps the lack of a proper plan to which FIFA can release the funds.
        FIFA is no longer running a little Jack Warner club and the new requirements may be proving to be challenging for the MFA to meet.

        I urge you to read this document.

        FIFA “Forward” Development Programme Regulations
        http://resources.fifa.com/mm/document/footballdevelopment/generic/02/79/08/69/fifaforwarddevelopmentprogrammeregulations_neutral.pdf

        Article 7. Procedure
        The member associations and the confederations must follow the procedure laid down for the Forward Programme according to a well-defined schedule that covers the five phases mentioned below:

        1. Preparation – contract of agreed objectives
        With FIFA’s assistance, the member association or confederation shall determine the specific
        needs and the priorities for football development after conducting an analysis of the current
        footballing situation in its territory. This may include site visits by the FIFA general secretariat in
        the territory. These needs and priorities shall be formally established in a contract of agreed
        objectives drafted with FIFA and covering a period of between two and four years.

        2. Development of the proposal

        a. Financial support for operational costs (defined in art. 6 par. 1).
        The member association must submit to the FIFA general secretariat a written request to receive
        funds in accordance with the instructions, criteria and forms created by the FIFA Development
        Committee and sent to the member associations by way of a circular letter.

        b. Project proposal
        The project proposal, including the schedule for its implementation and financial conditions,
        shall be drawn up by the member association or confederation in conjunction with FIFA
        (compulsory submission of the standard form, contract of agreed objectives, and supporting
        documents).

        We know that the Montserrat Football Association is not properly constituted and staffed, so requirements like these would be hard for them to adhere to.

        Article 14. Reporting
        1. The member associations and confederations must report annually on the use of all funds allocated by FIFA as part of the Forward Programme, which they must do in a report to be submitted to FIFA’s general secretariat by 30 June of the year following the year under review in the report. The following documents must be included in the report:
        a. All reporting forms;
        b. The local FIFA programme audit report (cf. art. 15);
        c. The latest annual financial statements and the corresponding audit report compiled by the
        statutory auditor.

        2. If it is deemed necessary, the FIFA general secretariat may, during the year, request the supporting reports and audits regarding the use of the allocated funds as part of the programme.

        3. In the event of non-compliance with paragraph 1 of this article, the competent bodies of FIFA (such as the Finance Committee or the Audit and Compliance Committee) shall take the appropriate measures (such as the suspension of payments to the member association or confederation concerned).

        So Madam Editor. The MFA just needs to get their act together and follow the FIFA rules and the funds will flow.
        I suggest you call the parents together for a meeting and demand some answers from the MFA management. They can be given a reasonable grace period to sort things out; after which you may have to consider a new management team.
        I am not calling for anybody’s head at this point; but by the same token we cannot afford to leave 3+ million on the table and not have a meaningful football program in Montserrat.

        • DiscoverMNITeam says:

          Well it would be nice to see other parents call for this meeting including yourself. I would be happy to cover the story.

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