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$600 000 kick

Ezra Stuart

$600 000 kick

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More than a half-million dollars will be spent on this year’s David Thompson Memorial Constituency Councils Football Classic.
This was revealed by Minister of Constituency Empowerment Steve Blackett yesterday at the launch of the tournament at the Warrens Office Complex.
Blackett said that whereas the overall budget was estimated at $600 000 – an increase of around $100 000 – each council had been asked to provide $20 000 from their annual Government grant.
“Each council gets about $100 000 per year. This money comes from that vote. So it is not like we are giving money in addition to the $100 000 per council. This money comes from the vote of the 30 constituency councils. So it is not money added to the allocation,” Blackett told MIDWEEK?SPORT following the launch.
But there has not been an increase in the prizes for the teams finishing in the top four positions as the winners will again receive $30 000 and runners-up $20 000 with $15 000 for third place and $10 000 for fourth.
Players will also benefit from a small match stipend but with an increase from 18 to 22 players per team, plus three officials, the overall estimate for performance fees has moved from $94 000 to $117 000.   
“Originally, when this whole idea was conceptualized, I directed the [Constituency Empowerment] department that we should get about $10 000 per council.
“Of course, as you will know, when you start to organize tournaments like this, all kinds of incidental costs develop. Therefore, it spiralled from $300 000, which we had initially targeted, to just over $500 000 last year,” Blackett said.
“The difference between last year’s tournament cost and this year’s tournament cost is not much but nevertheless it is all within the allocated budget of the Constituency Council and the Department of Constituency Empowerment.”
The 30 constituencies have been placed in six zones of five teams each.
Following the parade of teams at 4 p.m. and a cultural package, inaugural winners The City of Bridgetown will oppose last year’s losing semi-finalists St Joseph in the opening match on September 30 at the Gall Hill Playing Field in St John at 5:30 p.m.
St John will then play St Andrew in the feature match at 8 p.m.
Former FIFA?referee Mark “Bob” Forde, who is again co-ordinating the tournament, said each constituency would only be allowed to play five players from any team which participated in the Barbados Football Association’s (BFA’s) competitions.
He, however, said there would be exceptions where there was only one BFA?team in a constituency.
Forde also pointed out that according to BFA rules, national footballers or players seeded in the Premier League were only allowed to play in two out-of-season tournaments.
Matches will be contested on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at venues within the constituencies at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.. Entrance to all matches, including the final at Kensington Oval on December 14, is free.
“This is not about making money for Government. We are making a contribution through the Constituency Councils and this was the idea from the very start,” Blackett said.
Zone 1: St Lucy, St Michael South, St Michael West Central, Christ Church West Central, St George North.
Zone 2: St Joseph, St Michael West, City of Bridgetown, Christ Church East Central, St Michael East.
Zone 3: St Michael South East, St Michael North East, St Philip North, Christ Church South, St James South.
Zone 4: St Thomas, St Michael Central, St Philip West, Christ Church East, St James Central.
Zone 5: St Peter, St Michael North West, St Philip South, St Michael North, St James North.
Zone 6: St Andrew, St Michael South Central, St John, Christ Church West, St George South.