SKNFA Provides Immediate Cash Relief to Clubs in Response to COVID-19
The SKNFA Executive Committee has approved an immediate cash payment of EC$574,000.00 to its member clubs ahead of the restart of the 2019-2020 football season. Under the Plan, all Premier Division Clubs are eligible for a maximum amount of EC$40,000.00 and Division One Clubs a maximum amount of EC$35,000.00, provided that they meet key Club Licensing Criteria milestones for 2019-2020 season. The clubs are eligible for a second tranche of financial assistance in January 2021 following submission of report on the use of the funds in the first tranche in keeping with the supporting regulations.
The SKNFA football leagues have been under suspension since the end of March 2020 due to the global pandemic. With the easing of restrictions on sporting activities, which now allows competitions, the SKNFA is working assiduously to ensure that the football leagues are able to resume in a safe environment for everyone. An application to restart the leagues in September along with a comprehensive plan following strict COVID-19 safety protocols has been submitted to the COVID-19 Task Force for approval.
The payment to the clubs followed disbursement by FIFA of the first tranche of US$500,000.00 COVID-19 Relief Plan Funds to its 211 Member Associations. The amount allocated to the clubs means that 42 % of the FIFA COVID-19 RELIEF PLAN funds will be invested directly in the clubs for their development. The remaining 58 % will be invested in the SKNFA’s efforts to restart football, which will positively impact the clubs indirectly and the overall development of football in St. Kitts and Nevis; specifically in the areas of (a) assistance to national team players, (b) stadium sanitization, (c) purchase of sanitation supplies and equipment to combat the spread of COVID-19, (D) the cost of testing, (e) urgent repairs to Warner Park Stadium and others.
While FIFA is cognizant of the fact that the global pandemic would have affected every member association differently, it is important that those associations with the least impact from COVID-19 invest the funds in the development of football. It is in this regard, that the SKNFA encourages its clubs utilize the funds in development of the clubs and to meet their financial and operational obligations. Specifically, the funds are to be used in accordance with the SKNFA COVID-19 RELIEF GRANT Regulations. FIFA has advised that the standard obligations and responsibilities in relation to the use of COVID-19 Relief funds as outlined in the supporting Regulations remain fully applicable and will be subject to the standard audit and reporting process.
In August this year, the SKNFA distributed to the clubs over EC$100,000.00 worth of COVID-19 safety supplies and equipment to support the clubs in their return to training.
The COVID-19 Relief Grant to the clubs is possible as a result of FIFA and the SKNFA commitment to protect the gains made in football development over the years from the negative impact of the global pandemic, so that football will emerge even stronger post COVID-19.