Local football on the up and up, say officials

| 21/08/2014

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) has enjoyed a very positive year having hosted a number of youth development tournaments, seen investment in football infrastructure and an improvement in its financials which has allowed the association to increase the prize money given in the local football league and tournaments by 30%.   In the past year the Cayman Islands has hosted the inaugural CONCACAF Boys’ U-15, last August the CONCACAF Womens’ U-20 Championships in January. 2014 and the Girls’ U-15 just this month. It hasalso focused on developing grassroots youth football but officials said the programme needs more volunteer coaches to keep it going.

At the recent annual Congress CIFA President Jeffrey Webb, who is also the CONCACAFF president and FIFA Vice president highlighted positive improvements in the association’s financial statements, infrastructure upgrading, hosting of international competitions and player development.

“CIFA has made significant progress in the past twelve months, both on and off the field of play,” Webb said. “We have created several opportunities for our players and officials at every level and we continue to see the benefits from these investments.

“The investments in facilities development by the government has helped CIFA in bidding and successfully hosting CONCACAF competitions,” Webb added. He said, “The Championships have provided us the opportunity to engage new sponsors, solidify our long term relationships with Maples and Calder, DART and Foster’s and expand our revenue streams. As a result CIFA has rebounded from difficult financial times. We must remain on this upward trend.”

The clubs are the immediate beneficiaries from CIFA’s improving financial stature. CIFA has increased the prize money for the premier league by 30 percent and provided an additional bonus to clubs in good standing with the association.

Reigning Men’s Premier League winners Bodden Town FC received the winner’s cheque of seven thousand five hundred ($7,500) dollars. In 2015, the Premiership winners will receive ten thousand ($10,000) dollars.

With the objective of improving club participation and performance CIFA will also implement the CONCACAF Club Licensing program in the next twelve months with an aim of bringing local clubs in line with best practices regionally. The Club Licensing programme helps clubs improve their administrative structure and processes which CIFA hopes will impact the quality of play on the field.

In the past year CIFA has engineered a focus on youth player development through the Grassroots Programme. Programme Director Darrel Rankine reported that over 550 children registered in the programme in the last term February to June. Legal firm Maples and Calder sponsors programme, which targets 6-12 year olds and is centered on creating fun and engaging exercises that will encourage greater participation while introducing fundamental technical skills.

“We have made great strides this year, with a steady growth in numbers,” Rankine said, however he warned that the growth would be hampered if more qualified and interested coaches don’t become involved. “We need more young players and coaches interested to usher this next generation of football players into the future. Without good coaching we will not develop good players on the pitch and solid citizens off it.”

The new initiatives reported on at the congress are all part of CIFA’s overall strategic plan.  After months of consultation with stakeholders and the inclusion of recommendations from a task force that reviewed all leagues and competitions; the official strategic plan document was presented to the Congress by Mark Scotland, CIFA’s Youth Development Director.
The main objective of the strategic plan is to provide a road map for the sport’s development at all levels in the Cayman Islands.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How is FIFA FAP GRANT IS being spent for the development of local football; From 1998 to 2013 CIFA has collected four million five hundred thousand US DOLLARS from this grant to help develop the local game. This year 2014 CIFA will be collecting or already collected 750K US dollars from this Grant. Fifa prisident Sepp Blatter made that announcement and financial commitment to FIFA 209 National Associations  this  year at the 64th FIFA CONGRESS in Sao Paulo Brazil. FIFA is giving each Association a bonus of 500k US DOLLARS IN addition to the  250k US DOLLARS  they recieve annualy

    There are many stastistics that highlights the decline of our National Sport, But the one that sums it all up is were Cayman lie in the FIFA COCO COLA RANKINGS. IN 1995 we were semi finalst in the the Shell Carribean Cup and  131 on FIFA RANKINGS. As of today we are about #25 or more out of approximately 33 Members of CFU and 197 on FIFA RANKINGS. In the 90's we did not have any finances even close to what is highlighted above.

    Were and what the money has been spent on. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Jeffrey Webb tore down and destroyed everything in Cayman's football since he was elected in 1991/2 so that he could get where he is today…with the help of those who thinks and acts as he does….

    And now….who is he selling this 'kool-aid' to ?

    Webb stands for election proper on his own merits as CONCACAF president next year; at the moment he is only the interim president seeing out the term of his predecessor, Jack Warner and….

    Many in the football world, including Warner, has questioned the leadership in CONCACAF, the world's largest football confederation, being held by a country that can only offer youth and women's football as any credentials on ' the field of play'.

    The current results of the most recent tournaments that Cayman's teams have entered is the true judge of Mr. Webb's achievements in the country from which he comes, regardless of how the tale is 'spinned' by CIFA's PR people and reported in the local media.

    Cayman's poor results are a direct result of playing against countries whose football associations and federations have done their job of improving  their countries local football standards, something that Webb and CIFA has miserably failed to do in Cayman.

    We will see if the rest of CONCACAF and world football buys Mr. Webb's 'kool-aid' as he expects the Cayman public to do

  3. pmilburn says:

    The days myself and many others used to play back in the 70s and 80s was football at its best.Crowds came out to watch WB play GT and BT play both sides as well  and this is what is missing today.Not enough local support for the fballers of today and in my humble opinion the skill level back then was far more than it is today.We did not have the fancy facilities that are available today and far be it from getting payed to play for ones country and to train hard for the enjoyment of just playing the game.

  4. anonymous says:

    That’s good for Cayman but our domestic league needs attention,the 1970’s thru the early 1990’s was awesome,the standard was good for a small island and the crowds came out in high numbers,we need to raise the standard of our local domestic football then our national sport will truly be on the up and up.

  5. Anonymous says:

    They need to invest in other sports. Footbal is a waste for Cayman.

  6. Dread On Dread says:

    Good talk, we need to see better cayman results on the playing stage. Work on that football peeps.