Saturday, April 20, 2024

BFA: Training field by March


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BARBADOS will have an international all-weather training field for its national football teams by the end of March 2011.That assurance was given by president Ronald Jones yesterday.In a characteristically passionate presentation during a press briefing at the Barbados Football Association’s (BFA) headquarters at Welches, he declared that work on training centre,which will be located at Wildey, would commence in October.“The US$250 000 which FIFA had pledged to Barbados and all other nations from the 2010 World Cup was a godsend for us to start the Goal Project at Wildey and to dispel the malicious stupidities that the BFA was hoarding or misusing money from FIFA,” he said.“That pledge from FIFA can only be used for developmental programmes and cannot be broken down and distributed to the clubs, as many detractors of football have been going around the country proclaiming,” Jones pointed out.Jones, who is also the Minister of Education, explained that Phase 1 of the project had been altered from a grass field, due to the dryness of the area, to an all-weather field which would be fenced in.  That phase will cost BDS$1.8 million and the grant from the World Cup has been added to monies that the BFA had been asking FIFA to accumulate on Barbados’ behalf to start the project, which was intended to be completed in five years at a price tag of $5 million.Jones suggested that the prudence of his administration should see the project being completed in three years which should get Barbados back on par with some of the other Caribbean nations which had already reached Phase 4 of their Goal Project.The president added that FIFA had contracted one of five branded companies to lay the field and that local companies would be used to do the foundation work.  “All of the cheques and monies will be handled by FIFA,” he said.Jones touched on the furore which erupted when the residents of the area received the news of the original plans five years ago.  “We do not expect any objections from the residents, as we have scaled down the original plans tremendously,” he said.“The original Goal Project would have seen an international stadium to accommodate thousands of spectators being built in that area where the residents were already under pressure from the various stadia and sporting activities in and around the Garfield Sobers Complex.“What will be built will be a training centre and offices, which means that football still needs a dedicated home where we can stage competition matches at the local, regional, and international levels.”


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