The Daily Observer has reliably gathered that owing to the reported reduction the National County Sports Meet budget from US$500,000 to US$250,000, each county is expected to receive at most US$6,000 instead of the regular US$21,000.
Sources at the Ministry of Youth and Sports said out of the allotment US$90,000 will go towards preparations for the 15 counties, and counties which have outstanding dues in fines for boycotting games or caused the stoppage of a game, would still be affected.
The sources told the Daily Observer that only per diems for match officials, in the four disciplines of football, kickball, basketball and volleyball, would not be reduced.
“Monitors, statisticians, officials among others would also be drastically reduced to 71%,” the sources said.
This means that most of the support or funding of county sports teams would be surely taken either from County Social Development Funds or thorough appeals for funds.
Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, in a recent budget hearing, disclosed that the county spent US$90,000 for last year’s county meet, that was from the preliminary to the grand finals in the four disciplines.
It was further confirmed at the Senate and House of Representatives that National County budget has been slashed from USD500, 000 to USD250,000.
With US$6,000 to each of the 15 counties, Grand Kru, Gbarpolu, Bomi, Rivercess and River Gee may have to seek additional resources to be able to compete successfully.
Deputy Sport Minister Henry Yonton could not speak about the reduction. “I can’t speak to that, until we see the budget.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has released the draw for the 2016/2017 National County Sports Meet.
Group one will feature hosts Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Gbarpolu and defending champions Grand Bassa counties, which will be based in Robertsports.
Group two, which will be based in Voinjama, consists of hosts Lofa, Margibi and Bong counties.
Group three consists of hosts Nimba, Montserrado, Sinoe and River Cess counties and will be based in Sanniquellie.
And Group four will feature hosts Maryland, Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Grand Kru counties and will be based in Harper. The games will kick off on December 3 with two teams qualifying from each zone.
There will be two groups in the quarter finals for a round robin to qualify to the semi-finals and they will be played in Monrovia, Gbarnga and Buchanan.
The Rules and Regulations of the Meet will shortly be circulated to all media institutions.
The tournament is organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and concerned federations and associations (like Liberia Football Association and Liberia Basketball Association).