The Cayman Islands Government has resumed its funding support to the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) by recently signing a purchase agreement for CI$150,000.00 with the organization on 2 December 2020 at the CIFA Centre For Excellence before the attendance of the staff, Executive Committee and members of the Cayman Islands Government.
The Government had previously ceased all funding support to CIFA following the global financial scandal in 2015.
“This is a very positive development for football in the Cayman Islands. A lot of hard work has been done to successfully meet all of the FIFA imposed requirements following the incidents of 2015”, said Mr. Alfredo Whitaker, President of CIFA.
“As a direct result of meeting those requirements, we have been receiving support from FIFA and CONCACAF and we are prioritizing the development of the game”, Mr. Whitaker added.
Mr. Whitaker explained that such requirements included several audits which resulted in an improvement of CIFA’s internal systems and controls as well as meeting various ongoing reporting obligations to both FIFA and CONCACAF.
“It’s been a long road back but with the help of the Executive Committee and all CIFA members, we have not only met the requirements, but we have made the organization stronger and more efficient in several areas” explained Mr. Whittaker.
Both Mr. Whittaker and the Hon. Minister of Sports Juliana O’Connor-Connolly signed the purchase agreement on Wednesday. The Hon. O’Connor-Connolly commented that the signing stems from the consistency the Association has shown over the past 3 years.
“Not only do I think this is a historic day, there is a tremendous amount of significance to it,” said the Hon. O’Connor-Connolly. “We’re going through this COVID-19 and quite successfully, thank the Lord. The timing is just perfect because football is up in leaps and bounds under the careful leadership of Alfredo Whittaker and his Executive Team.”
Mr. Whittaker explained that the CIFA youth leagues, which serve as the foundation of football development in the country, was recently restructured to enable a significant increase in the number of players involved and, to increase the number of games played.
Also, in recent years, despite limited funding, CIFA has organized a number of international tournaments which were hosted in the Cayman Islands.
“When I was elected President, I vowed to look forward and to rebuild CIFA. With the help of many within the local football family and now with the full support of the Government we have achieved a lot and will soon announce a number of additional plans to further improve on the successes of the past 3 years”, said Mr. Whittaker.