Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Harris: It’s up to FIFA


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THE?Barbados Football Association (BFA) is hoping it gets the thumbs up and the revenue from FIFA?to provide stands and dormitories at its site in Wildey.
Yesterday, Dutchman Peter van Gend, a consultant for FIFA?with expertise on the construction of stadia, completed a feasibility study here and will report his findings to the world governing body in a few days.
BFA president Randy Harris told the DAILY?NATION it was a significant three-day visit from Van Gend which will have implications for football in this country.
“The BFA wants to develop the project at Wildey into a complex that we can not only have our offices and a training pitch, but also a venue that we can organise matches both local and regional and if possible, international. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for football to have its own facility,” said Harris, who added that the BFA was seeking in excess of $1 million.
The BFA have made this request under FIFA’s income generating programme which has a fund for developing countries in this region.
“We made a request for stands and dormitories and we have to be able to justify that the complex will be used for this purpose and will be a viable operation. Since then we have discussed the possibility of having a sports store there where we can sell football equipment and gear. We believe that the BFA have to look at areas of generating revenue so that it can become self-sufficient.
“We always have to keep that this FIFA assistance programme can stop at any time if we have a new president or a new executive body of FIFA who may believe that it is not worth its while and that it can spend its money in other areas,” he said.
Van Gend, who left here last night after spending three days, interviewed an official in Government and technical personnel in the area of  construction.
“Gend will advise FIFA on whether our request is feasible or a waste of time,” Harris said.
When quizzed at the Barbados hotel where he was staying, Van Gend said the rules of FIFA?prevented him from speaking to the media, but he was expected to make his report to FIFA next week Friday.
Harris made it clear that FIFA was signing off on the administrative building at Wildey but the BFA was going a step further.
“The builder at Island Projects [a local company] and myself have signed off on the FIFA contracts for the start of the administrative building, that is the FIFA?Goal project, but this is a new request for additional assistance up there, for stands,” he said.
Harris said the green light from FIFA would just be the first step as permission must also be granted by Town &?Country Planning.
“Once we get word from FIFA, we will move right away and put in a request to Town &?Country Planning.
“If they okay the project, we will report to the architects and consultants and based on what they come up with, we will submit the proposed costs to FIFA and they will decide if the BFA will get all or part,” he said.


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