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Political tension over football federation

Political tension over football federation

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General elections are due in less than a year, but the cauldron seems to be reaching simmering proportions.

Signs of the tension surfaced during last sitting of the House of Assembly Wednesday June 8. Newly entrenched Education, Sports and Youth Minister Clayton Burgin raised questions about the financial practices by the Federation in response to a question by Senator Leacock. {{more}}

Senator Gerard Shallow asked the question in Leacock’s absence.

Burgin for his part however, had several concerns of his own in relation to the football federation.

The Education, Youth, Sports Minister used the opportunity to complain about the Football Federation’s lack of payment for use of Arnos Vale Playing Field for qualifying World Cup matches.

Burgin was also concerned about the amount of money collected during a radiothon. He also indicated that Victoria Park was not under the National Sports Council’s jurisdiction.

Last Wednesday’s Football Federation press conference provided the setting for the Federation’s response.

Federation president Leacock hit out on Burgin, referring to it as political response and dismissed Burgin’s remarks.

As far as Leacock was concerned, Minister Burgin “does little for football,” and the president anticipates that the situation would get worse.

Leacock outlined that he presented audited statements to parliament and referred to a foundation fund set up Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves as “secret.”

Leacock took issue with Burgin for holding the Football federation to ransom for $7,000. “They should hang their heads in shame,” Leacock blurted.

In a somewhat fired mood, Leacock chastised the government for not doing anything for football and wondered why the Football Federation was being targeted.