SVGFF officials “deeply hurt” by players’ allegations
Officials of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) have expressed “deep hurt” by some of the allegations made against them by members of the senior men’s football team- Vincy Heat.
A 25-point highlight of issues confronting the players, which was released last Tuesday, claimed that “the SVGFF does not have the players’ best interest at heart”.
However, SVGFF president Carl Dickson has refuted this, and instead noted the players have never been treated better.
Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT yesterday, Dickson revealed: “We have spent EC$1.2 million on that senior team only, since January to now”.
“Outside of the Covid monies, those players (overall) have gotten over $200,000 in their hands”, the SVGFF president informed.
During last year, members of the senior national team, along with other national units, received payments to compensate for the fall out from the coronavirus pandemic.
Dickson however underscored that the players should not be complaining as their match fees for players have moved from EC$500 to US$500.
“It is US$500 a player who starts a match is getting,” he expounded.
Furthermore, Dickson disclosed that he made a unilateral decision to make additional funds payable to the players while they were in camp, and “displaced” from their families.
“There were players who left the camp, who did not travel on any of the overseas assignments, but got more that $3000 in their hands, because of the camp fee and displacement allowance,” Dickson related.
Joining Dickson’s rebuttal was second vice-president Wayne Grant who reinforced, “Apart from paying the camp fees, we went ahead and paid them additional money, because we realise that they (the players) were sacrificing a lot of time away from their families”.
Baffled by the accusations, Dickson enquired: “How can they then say, we don’t have their interest at heart?”.
Meanwhile, Grant was also dismayed by the players’ accusation that they were being “used to enable the SVG Football Federation to draw down the funds available, which are not eventually used to provide us with the best possible conditions to prepare”.
In response, Grant explained, “The drawn down we received was only US$50,000 for our senior male national team and they have to play for games, and from our experience, that amount is for players incentives only … The drawn down is not based on only the senior male national team … The drawn down is based on all the national teams and local competitions”.
And, addressing the players complaint that the “SVG Senior Men’s footballers are required to sleep on bunk beds, or mattresses on the floor, in overcrowded rooms with only one fan and no AC while on camp,” General Secretary Devron Poyer related that “sleeping on the ground” was the players’ choice.
“Some players would take the mattress and put them on the floor…. It is more or less their choice, it is not that there are not adequate beds nor mattresses,” Poyer expounded.
Poyer added that at the Technical Centre at Brighton, where the local camps are held, there are extra mattresses.
Speaking to the matter of overcrowding, Poyer said that has never been an issue, as there has not been a cause to house more than the capacity of the facility.
“It (the Technical Centre) was constructed to hold over 60 persons …Given the number persons at camp, there will be no overcrowding and there were about 29 of them at the facility,” Poyer emphasised.
However, Dickson admitted that there would be some structural changes to the facility to accommodate teams who would reside there for an extended period.