JIS News

The Government is giving further financial assistance to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), to bring the total contribution from the state to the JFF to One Hundred and Fifty Million dollars as Jamaica prepares for the World Cup in South Africa Finals in 2010.
The announcement came today (June 26) from Honourable Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Minister of Information, Culture Youth and Sports (MICYS) at a press conference called by the JFF and the University of the West Indies, Mona, for the signing of a Cooperation Agreement between the two entities for the establishment of the National Football Academy at the Mona Bowl on the Mona Campus.
“The money will in the first year be paid over to the JFF in monthly tranches of more than $40m. Subventions will continue in the second year after the Reggae Boys qualify and up to the Finals,” Miss Grange explained to the audience which comprised the Honourable Andrew Holness, Minister of Education; Senator Ronald Robinson, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; the President of the JFF Captain Horace Burrell and other JFF officials; Professor Gordon Shirley, UWI Principal and other UWI representatives; a representative from FIFA, the media and others from the sports fraternity.
Minister Grange said that the money would come through the Sports Development Foundation (SDF).
As she insisted that, “the Government usually puts it money where its mouth is,” Miss Grange issued an invitation to private sector companies to “get on board and become partners in the development of Jamaica through football and the wider sporting opportunities that now present themselves.”
The Sports Minister said that she expects that the academy that will emerge from the partnership between the JFF and the UWI will help to raise the standard of football and develop viable programmes for the youth, male and female, to enable Jamaica to become perennial qualifier from CONCACAF for all tournaments.
“I look forward to the Academy becoming fully operational within a reasonable time frame and I know that we can depend on the ‘Captain’ for that kind of commitment and leadership. Let me also thank the administration of the University led by Professor Gordon Shirley for having the foresight to realize the importance of a partnership such as this.”
For their part, the JFF President and the University Principal spoke of the profound impact that the partnership will have on the development of football in Jamaica. Captain Burrell said that a better thing could not have happened for football in Jamaica at this time while for Professor Shirley, “the collaboration between the Mona Campus and the Jamaica Football Federation signals to Jamaica and the Caribbean, this university’s commitment to developing the athletic talent, replete in Jamaica in order to promote our nation’s international competitiveness.”
The football academy will be part of a complex to be known as the Mona Bowl Centre for Sporting Excellence which will provide training in additional sporting disciplines. There will be a Mondo running track in a multi-purpose sports field; a multi-purpose sports complex including a gymnasium; a hockey field; a walking trail; beach volley ball courts in addition to the existing basketball courts, expansion of the swimming pool and an institute of sports medicine.
The expected time of completion is by the middle of 2011.

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