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CIFA struggling with funding woes but help may be coming

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Cayman Islands Football Association Treasurer Armando Ebanks pulls no punches when asked about the Association’s current financial state.

“We’re found to be in a challenging position as an entity to meet our daily operational financial needs,” he said.

Ebanks estimates CIFA has been cut off from nearly a half-million US dollars of annual funding since the start of 2015.
FIFA has withdrawn US $250,000, the Cayman Islands Government $127,000 and CONCACAF US $100,000.  That was had been used for everything from sending national teams overseas to paying local referees.

“It’s crucial that we get that funding back,” Ebanks said.

To get it back, Ebanks says CIFA needs to change public perception as the cuts came after former president Jeff Webb and former treasurer Canover Watson were hung up on corruption charges.

“We need to return integrity not only the office of treasurer, the chief financial officer for the company, but change the negative views that exist currently in society because of the actions of former executive members who obviously are no longer involved in the organisation.”

Ebanks says he’s doing that by splitting up the duties within the treasurer’s office and applying tighter controls over CIFA’s bank accounts.

“There was too much control in that office where you have an individual who’s approving transactions, writing checks also involved in the inputting of information and then the reporting. Now obviously that creates a lot of space for things to go wrong and we’ve seen that’s exactly what’s happened.”

The situation may be improving. After working with FIFA auditors, CIFA may been in line to receive emergency funding from FIFA. CONCACAF may resume its funding as well.

“We’re excited about that prospect going forward,” Ebanks said. “What’ important for us is that we position ourselves so that we are able to not only apply for that funding but be successful in obtaining that funding.”

Those at CIFA hope to reach their goal of getting back to their previous levels of funding by continuing to make what they believe are necessary changes.

Sports Minister Hon. Osbourne Bodden, however, said last week Government will not resume its funding quite yet. He wants to see certain members of the CIFA Executive Committee no longer serving in their respective posts.

About the author

Kevin Morales

Kevin Morales

Cayman 27 News Director Kevin Morales is an award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience. Kevin is a Milwaukee, Wis., native. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2005 from the University of Minnesota. He's a proud father and a loyal fan of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks and U of M Golden Gophers.

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