The Western India Football Association (WIFA) may not be on par with the region's cricket bodies when it comes to money matters, but they promptly loosened their purse strings when it came to helping ailing former national referee Joe Fernandes yesterday.
After receiving a letter from former national referee Tony Gonsalves last month, informing them of Fernandes' deteriorating medical condition combined with his poor financial status, WIFA honorary secretary Souter Vaz put forward a request for financial aid at WIFA's Executive Committee meeting on August 20. CEO Henry Menezes pushed the case too. "Our members not only agreed to help Joe immediately, but their generosity exceeded my expectations. I was looking at something in the range of Rs 25,000, but we collected
Rs 1,11000," said Vaz.
Fernandes' daughter Janice was grateful to the association. "It's very satisfying to see WIFA help my father, who has spent a good part of his life on the football field. He always said, 'if we ever have a problem, my friends from the football circle will be there to help'. And rightly so!"