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JFF needs roughly $1b to get to Brazil

Published:Saturday | January 30, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Jamaica Football Federation president, Captain Horace Burrell (second right), shakes hands with new Reggae Boyz, striker Ryan Johnson (second left), while captain Tyrone Marshall (left) and coach Theodore Whitmore look on.

Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer

It is being estimated that the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) will need close to a billion dollars to sustain the national football programme over the next four years while the country aims to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

This was revealed by JFF chief accountant, Frederick Sutherland, on Thursday as the JFF announced the launch of that campaign, which basically will begin with the match against the Canadian national team at the National Stadium tomorrow.

"I think we are looking at a budget figure of roughly seven to eight hundred million dollars," Sutherland said, explaining that they are currently crunching the actual numbers to come up with a more precise figure.

JFF President, Captain Horace Burrell, in acknowledging that a lot of money will be required to sustain a successful campaign, said there were several ways in which the JFF will approach raising the funds.

One international each month

"First of all it is our intention to have at least one international each month and we intend to garner some amount of funding from that. In addition, I will be speaking with the honourable Prime Minister because as I understand it, the government is very, very interested in seeing sports move to a higher level."

Burrell explained that the JFF currently receives a subvention from the Sports Development Foundation (SDF), but that is not nearly enough to fill the huge hole in the budget required.

Last year, the JFF received a total of $31 million from the SDF.

"The amount that football receives, in comparison to the magnitude of the responsibilities, is very small. I do think that the SDF and the Government are willing to review this with a view to giving us an increase in subvention," he said.

According to the SDF, the value of the subvention varies from year to year.

Meantime, Captain Burrell is hoping for a good turnout at the National Stadium tomorrow, even with bleacher tickets going for $1,000 dollars, and grand stand tickets fetching between $2,500 and $3,000.

Sources say that the JFF is hoping to raise about $12 million from tomorrow's match, from gate receipts and sky boxes, most of which have already been rented. Cuddyz Sports Bar will be catering to the users of those skyboxes, the JFF president said.

The JFF also have for sale replica shirts that range in price between $2,700 for t-shirts and about $4,500 for polo shirts.

Gates open at 3 p.m. at the National Stadium and there will be changes made to the flow of traffic to accommodate spectators. Arthur Wint Drive and Roosevelt Avenue, will, from 4 p.m., be converted to one-way streets leading towards the National Stadium. At the end of the match those same roadways will be one-way leading away from the stadium.