KINGSTON, Jamaica 20 February 2002 (www.TEAMtalk.com
The Jamaica Football Federation is in serious trouble after its funding was cut by 64 per cent lopping nearly USD $400,000 out of its budget.
Jamaica's Sports Development Foundation (SDF), the biggest sponsor of the federation on Tuesday drastically cut its financial assistance, leaving the country's football in an uncomfortable position.
The SDF, which is primarily responsible for helping sporting bodies in Jamaica, is funded by Jamaica Lottery company. A percentage-- 7.5%--of the revenue earned from the lottery goes to the foundation which previously gave a grant of US$576,000 ($27 million) to the JFF. This represents a decrease in funding for the JFF of 64 per cent.
On Tuesday, the SDF, citing a significant drop in revenues since the advent of a rival lottery company, advised the JFF that they would only receive US$207,360 ($9.7 million) per annum.
According to president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Captain Horace Burrell, the huge decrease in the Federation's grants has serious implications for Jamaica's football.
"This could be a very big blow for Jamaica's football. We have a lot of programmes that we are embarking on and we need money," said Burrell.
"This year we have the Under-17s preparing for their World Cup and we have the women's football team on the brink of qualification for the women's World Cup. How then can we tell them that they cannot get enough preparation for their final qualifier because of lack of funds," Burrell questioned.
"I am not going to give up," said Burrell.
"I will be trying to have dialogue with the Prime Minister and see how best he can help because without the necessary financil assistance it will be impossible a number of our programmes.
In 1997, The SDF was the JFF's major sponsor and the increase in financial assistance to the federation compared to years gone by, was far greater, resulting in Jamaica's historic qualication for the 1998 World Cup finals in France.