On Target
June 13, 2014

Minoring on a major issue

It seems that the repeated upheavals in the financial management of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) are being slighted by those who matter most.{{more}}

The affiliates, like the executive, appear not to be taking the issues of the governance of the sport seriously.

As is the norm, matters pertaining to financial dealings would forever raise eyebrows as the vulnerability of the human flesh often adds a dimension of impropriety, even though the impropriety may not exist.

One should not think that the past hurts which plagued the CONCACAF region, especially as it pertained to accountability of FIFA funds, would be permitted in this round, as the image of the confederation was in need of a cleansing.

But it seems almost a case of dereliction of duty for such persistence in not adhering to the stipulations and regulations as laid down by the benefactor FIFA.

The facts are that FIFA gives St Vincent and the Grenadines US$250,000 per annum to administer the sport here, through its Football Assistance Programme (FAP).

This is in addition to other disbursements from CONCACAF to fuel other courses and programmes.

Hence, the FAP has been the umbilical cord of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ football for the past decade and a half, and any rupture or severing could spell disaster and a standstill for the sport.

It should not be brushed aside as a simple suspension from FIFA in the worst case scenario, as the bigger issue would suggest that St Vincent and the Grenadines is not capable or is decidedly non-compliant with the adherence to statutes.

So, to have persons suggesting that it is no big deal to have the funds suspended should be treated with concern.

This sort of response is inexcusable, as FIFA has laid down the template of how these monies are to be spent, and the manner in which they should be accounted for.

Pushing the argument further, it may indicate that the SVGFF’s secretariat and those in command, are not up-to-date with FIFA’s corporate governance guidelines, neither are they in sync with the new and emerging trends of reciprocity of grant funds.

Sports administration at the national level today mirrors that of business entities and, in some cases, is treated thus; therefore tighter scrutiny is enforced and policed.

But where are the affiliates in all this?

Did affiliates follow through on their promises to be the guards of the executive, subsequent to the unearthing of discrepancies last November?

Are affiliates just blowing hot, then cold, on matters which only affect them immediately?

As it stands, most administrators are taken up with having the competitions played and pay scant regard to the structures off the field.

Likewise, the executive of the SVGFF is a house divided and can crumble if efforts are not made to restore trust and confidentiality.

Members are not prepared to embrace collective responsibility; thus things are spilled in the open for all to judge and cast aspersions.

Therefore, the transgressions are being numbered one by one, two by two, which go down as black-eyed spots on any administration.

What have these latest developments done for the image of the sport?

Will it be another nine days talk, then intoxication during the Carnival celebrations, following which things go back to square one?

Will affiliates erect their radars of surveillance to minimize re-occurrences?

Critical, though, is for the keepers of the offices to clothe themselves with the tenacity to move the sport forward or take the nearest exit.

Apart from fixing its internal mechanisms, football needs to regain that touch of faith, that we have people here who have the acumen to be efficacious in the dispensing of their duties.