Three Barbadian football players and one who currently plays in Barbados, have been officially signed and contracted to represent the Barbados Challengers franchise in the 2021 Islands Cup Open (ISCO) tournament.
Ramar Millar, Shakille Belle, Shaquan Phillips and Jairo Lombardo are the first to have signed their contracts as they prepare for the star-studded summer football extravaganza featuring the likes of Nicholas Anelka, Cafu, Samuel Eto’o , Jeleon Lescott and other footballers in player/coach roles.
Barbados TODAY understands the new signees will start with an unprecedented monthly base salary of US$5 000 for four months of football, plus cash shared incentives based on performance and individual awards as the ten franchises seek to win the US$3 million grand prize and trophies.
Noted former Barbados and England cricketer and sports administrator Roland Butcher is the general manager of the Barbados Challengers franchise and will be aided by head coach Sol Campbell (Arsenal/England) and assistant coach Andy Cole (Manchester United/England).
Butcher called the signing a significant achievement for the young men and revealed that the tournament organisers are looking for more Barbadian talent to fill out the rosters of other franchises.
“The opportunity for these young men to be handsomely paid for their skills and play alongside some of the best in the world is priceless. They will be given the opportunity to travel and be coached by the likes of Sol Campbell and Andy Cole [and] if successful during the ISCO players draft to stay with the Challengers franchise. If not, they will still enjoy a home within the ISCO franchise family.
“It will be an experience they will never forget and finally our players will be able to earn a living for the craft they love,” said the franchise general manager.
The Island Cup Open is slated to have a pre-season from July 5th through July 28th 2021 with a scheduled playing season from August 1st, 2021 through October 10th, 2021. Included will be at least two promotional charitable games based on the players’ availability scheduled after the end of the regular ISCO Championship Finals on dates to be announced.
The tournament has received the blessings and endorsements of most Football Associations in the region, with three hub locations in Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda and the United States Virgin Islands.
ISCO parent company Caribbean Football Trust Limited (CFTL), chairman Chris Anderson added: “Let me first emphasize that ISCO was developed to assist underprivileged youth and their families within the Pan-Caribbean, and by extension the global community. What this venture primarily means to our young men in the Pan-Caribbean, Latin America, Africa and Asia, is hope for a brighter future for themselves and families with the holistic support that the Kick Poverty Out programme offers.
“CFTL is taking the lead by securing the region with another major franchising sporting discipline via football. Over the last few years, we have seen the CPLT20 cricket secure great success and we are confident the same can be expected from our vision and brand in football,” Anderson said.