The New Today

Commentary

The GFA saga

The Grenada Football Association (GFA) is celebrating its centennial this year, though the celebration feels more like a tentative first anniversary, marked by relief at reaching this milestone.

The highlight of the festivities was a legends’ celebrity match, inspired by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association.

However, the event’s benefits remain ambiguous, with substantial sums spent on promoting former world superstars on social media, many of whom did not attend.

Within football circles, including some board members, there is growing concern about the transparency of the funding and financial outcomes of what was a poorly attended game.

Is the GFA operating as a ‘secret society’? Which is being misled, and why has the council lost its previously robust voice? These questions linger, with some ardent football observers suggesting that the council has been subdued by the local organisation.

The council’s debates were once fruitful; what has changed? Have they lost their passion for the game, or have they been consumed by distractions that few find palatable?

As of June 11, the current executive marks two years in office.

Let’s review their achievements thus far. Their strong social media presence is commendable, with local soca artist Runi Jay actively encouraging match attendance.

However, despite a promise of $100,000.00 for the Premier League champion, it remains unclear if the full amount has been distributed.

Attendance at local matches has dwindled, with games often played at venues lacking basic amenities.

Recently, the GFA announced on social media that “history was made” with three match officials traveling to Barbados to officiate.

This was quickly retracted, as the GFA had consistently sent four FIFA match officials under the previous administration. Credit is due for their quick correction.

Clubs are silently suffering and remain disorganised. A local fan remarked, “We get what we wanted,” suggesting a loss of advocacy for their needs and beliefs.

The ongoing grassroots program is a mere replication of initiatives by former technical director Vin Blaine, yet to achieve its intended impact.

Allegedly, one of the senior coaches, identified as a Grassroots Consultant, is dissatisfied with the current state of affairs and even complained about not receiving a ticket for the recent Grenada vs. Costa Rica match.

Reflecting on their accomplishments, it is disappointing to note the lack of significant progress. Youth football development is languishing, and competitions are poorly managed. Proper women’s football development programmes are absent, and clubs receive less funding for development.

The current executive committee has disbanded the Club Development Fund program, replacing it with a GFA subvention fund, reduced by fifty percent.

The association’s 2025 budget review allocates $50,000 for women’s football development, yet there is no visible progress apart from a delayed women’s league.

The senior women’s team remains inactive despite a strong performance in the Concacaf Women’s Road to the Gold Cup.

Additionally, US$4,000,000.00 sits unused in FIFA accounts due to delays in establishing a technical centre.

The previous executive had identified twenty acres of land in St. David, but the new executive deemed this excessive.

Efforts to secure alternative land are unclear, raising questions about the association’s project management and use of FIFA Forward funds.

A recently appointed project consultant with expertise in road paving adds to the intrigue.

Under the FIFA Forward 2.0 and 3.0 programs, USD$174,000.00 lies idle due to the GFA’s failure to initiate projects.

After two years, the GFA executive members still serve in the conference, disregarding the association’s statutes, which are no longer available online.

The previous website has been replaced with one offering little information about the association’s mission, vision, or strategic plan.

For the past two years, the association has failed to provide annual reports, and meetings are dominated by updates from a single person.

The days of accountability and transparency seem over, as the current administration appears content with the status quo.

The gravy train is satisfying those who once demanded to know how many meals were bought for an executive meeting. They are content that their bowls are filled after a belly full and couldn’t care less.

NB: In our next segment, we will discuss the Senior Men’s National Team, alleged reports of financial constraints, the association’s failure to submit nominations for the National Sports Awards, and other concerns

Sport Enthusiast