FIFA Donates $1 Million to Hurricane Victims

By Shaun Fuentes - The FIFA Finance Committee has approved a fund worth $1 million USD to assist in the rebuilding of football in Caribbean countries affected by Hurricane Ivan.

Through the efforts of CONCACAF President Jack Warner who met with other FIFA officials in Zurich last week Grenada Haiti Jamaica Cayman Islands and Bahamas will benefit from the fund which will ensure that football related activities such as travel arrangements for national teams in near coming international tournaments replacement of equipment continuation of courses and other related matters are ensured continuity.

In addition to that FIFA will provide US$400000 to assist with the affected FIFA Goal projects (offices training facilities) as well as a further US$400000 to assist in the second phase which will see the construction of other relevant facilities.

Warner revealed too that the English Football Association has decided to contribute ₤10000 towards the rebuilding of the Grenada National Stadium Complex for the hosting of matches at the 2007 Cricket World Cup while the US Soccer Federation has also agreed to give US$15000.

"All this along with another US $12000 from Jack Warner goes toward the US5 million fund. I am also in the process of mobilizing other companies from the Caribbean as well as my colleagues in Korea Japan and South Africa to assist in the rebuilding of the Stadium. All feedback has been positive to this point and I am extremely optimistic that we shall succeed in getting the Stadium ready for the 2007 Cricket World Cup. The West Indies team gave them the victory to celebrate on the weekend and now we must ensure that these same people can experience something similar come 2007 Warner said from the CONCACAF office Port of Spain on Monday.

Warner who spent last Sunday in Grenada sent four generators to that island on the weekend and is in the process of arranging for another eight generators to be sent over.

He added though: "We had been promised 12 generators from a firm right here in Trinidad but you will be surprise to know how some are trying to exploit people based on their own needs and this is wrong. Sometimes we only look to see how we can benefit from the losses of others. As of this point I have arranged to purchase all the generators from a firm in Miami."

Warner said more basic life supplies will be delivered over this week and FIFA has also approved financial assistance towards this as requested previously.

Meantime Trinidadian Senator Roy Augustus who is also the Human Resource Manager at CONCACAF spent his first week in Grenada working with Grenadian Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell and was in several meetings with other Ministers there as well as officials of the National Employment Relief Organization UNICEF Heads of Sports Bodies and the Red Cross

Augustus stated that the meeting with UNICEF was centered around using sports in particular football to facilitate some schooling for youngsters who are currently out of school. Augustus assisted in the setting up in the supply and proper distribution of tarpaulins and seedlings for replanting among other items. He also advised that Special Works Programmes be designed to get idle youths off the streets and into the clean up programmes. Augustus noted that too many agencies are involved in the distribution of items without proper coordination.

"The resilience though of the Grenadian people is unbelievable and they are bearing up under their troubles with stoicism Augustus stated."