Jeffrey Webb re-elected to CIFA presidency

Jeffrey Webb has been re-elected president of the Cayman Islands Football Association, second vice-president Anthony Ramoon was also returned to the post, and Mark White was elected to the newly created position of deputy general secretary.

These three office bearers were elected unopposed when the Football Association held its Annual General Meeting at the Marriott Resort Saturday.

Some 30 delegates attended the meeting where the audited financial statement for 2004 was presented and accepted, the draft financial statement for 2005 was tabled for discussion, a number of amendments were made to the CIFA constitution, two more clubs were admitted to full membership, and a sub-group was formed for girls aged five to 14. Additionally, Rothstein, Kass and Company was retained as auditors. This auditing service is performed free of cost.

The constitutional amendments were mainly procedural and included adjusting the local organisation’s calendar year to suit that of the world governing body, FIFA, and moving the date for the AGM to July instead of August.

President Jeffrey Webb explained that FIFA provides 75 per cent of the yearly funds for the football association and its financial accounting is run on a calendar year. He added that it was more practical to have the AGM in July because the local season begins in September, a schedule which gives the organisation too limited time to carry out decisions taken at the meeting and begin the new season.

East End Youth Club and Tigers Football Club, who held positions of associate members since last year, were graduated to full members, but a decision on Bodden Town Youth Club was put back because there was also a junior club in the district and CIFA’s executive wanted to meet leadership of those clubs before a decision is made.

‘We deferred the Bodden Town Club’s membership because as an association we prefer members to work together than to be divided,’ Mr Webb said.

A sub-association aimed at developing girls football was also made a member of CIFA, but this organisation is yet to be given a suitable name. Creation of this girls football development group would ensure that the youngsters play more than the eight games per season as is done in the primary schools. Organisers will meet this weekend at the Truman Bodden Stadium to formalise a programme.

CIFA executives will also meet club leaders this weekend at the Truman Bodden Stadium to discuss the teams becoming more independent by managing gate receipts along with the sale of food and beverage during games.

Mr Webb said that this has been talked about for four years but nothing has been done. ‘We want the clubs to begin generating their own gate receipts as of September. We basically want the clubs to grow and believe that if clubs can generate their own receipts, and with the help of volunteers, they can grow. We want clubs to take more responsibility. We have to go in this direction.’

On this issue of financing Mr Webb hit out at the fact that sports organisations were told that no money will be going to them from government this year. ‘I cannot accept that sports is the last to get help,’ he said.

He pointed out that the sports facilities across Grand Cayman that were damaged by Hurricane Ivan had all been insured and asked, ‘If the insurance compensation is being paid, why isn’t the money being injected back into the facilities?’

‘We cannot play girls football with no lights and changing rooms,’ he said.