By E. Glenford Prescott
The next phase of the campaign for the Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifiers will cost the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation over EC$1.5 million, says head of the Local Organising Committee, Nelson Hillocks.
Hillocks told the media that the team is scheduled to travel to the United States and is hoping to go there a week early to acclimatise for the match against that country on Nov. 13.
He said money is needed to take care of this event and though the government has pledged some form of support, there need to be some other fund-raising events.
Hillock said this was the reason for a four-man team going to the United States to meet with Vincentians in the diaspora in an effort to see what can be done to assist the SVGFF in raising some funds.
“This is not a venture to promote they game as may have been said by some people. It is a trip to raise funds with the support of individuals in the USA and we have already had some positive feedback on plans put on a series of events,” he said.
The four-man team was comprised of Hillocks, Dougal James of the National Lotteries Authority, Ken “Kendaddy” John, who will represent the Affiliates, and Dominique Stowe of the SVGFF.
The chairman said that they recognise the enormity of the task ahead but was confident that the Vincentian community in the United States will reach out to the SVGFF.
SVG will oppose the United States, Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago home and away over the next 12 months.
After the away match against the United States on Nov. 13, there will be a home fixture against Guatemala four days later at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.
The SVGFF has also announced that telecommunications provider, FLOW, has decided to fund the “Vincy Heat” kit for the remainder of the World Cup campaign with the world famous Nike brand.
The deal was organised through the efforts of SVGFF president, Venold Coombs, and his counterpart head of the U.S. Soccer Federation Sunil Gulati.
Coombs said that the deal will see the SVGFF benefitting from concessions similar to those enjoyed by the U.S. governing body.
The kit will include home and away uniforms, trainers and other related apparel.
Coombs expressed gratitude to Flow’s Sales, Marketing & Communications Manager, Corey Garret, for the company’s support and urged other businesses to come on board the World Cup campaign.
“Flow is really doing their part and we are thankful for this kind of support and we hope that other companies would come forward and be part of what is not only a football matter but one of national importance,” Coombs said.
He expressed similar gratitude to the St. Vincent Brewery and the National Lotteries for their support over the years.