FPF President Responds to River Plate Accusations
In yesterday’s interview with Primera Hora’s Esteban Pagán, Mr. Eric Labrador, the president of the Puerto Rican Football Federation (FPF), vigorously defended himself and the organization.
Labrador responded to comments made by the president of River Plate-Puerto Rico, Mr. Mike Roca. Roca founded the Puerto Rico Soccer League (PRSL) and currently holds the position of league chairman.
In an interview that Roca granted to Noticel on Friday night, he accused Labrador of a lack of support when it comes to the PRSL. He also accused him of doing nothing to assist the three PRSL clubs competing in USL PRO (River Plate-Puerto Rico, Sevilla-Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico United) that were just expelled by the USL. He continued, stating that Labrador “favors the Puerto Rico Islanders,” that they benefit from Labrador’s preferential treatment.
“If Roca said these things, he is lacking in truth. He is irresponsible.”
Labrador stated that, since he assumed presidency, he and the FPF have provided the PRSL assistance when it was requested. He claimed that the FPF had absolutely no idea how dire the situation had become for the Puerto Rican USL PRO contingency. What information he obtained, came from the media and internet.
Labrador also disclosed that the Federation had helped one (unidentified) Puerto Rican USL PRO team with travel expenses to the States, authorizing the travel agency involved to charge the expense to the federation’s credit account. The club would not have been able to travel to its away match had the FPF not provided the assistance to cover the cost.
(That revelation has already drawn some ire from noted federation critic, Mr. Randy Torres, who argued that given the limited resources and current economic crisis facing the FPF, the funds should have not been spent to subsidize a privately owned club.)
Labrador gave some other examples of assistance that the PRSL had received from the federation during his presidency.
He continued, declaring unequivocally, that Puerto Rico Islanders FC had never received any financial assistance from the FPF.
Labrador returned to Puerto Rico on Sunday night, after attending the CONCACAF Congressional Meeting in New York.
On Friday night, the FPF Executive Committee met. They decided to investigate the situation and have not not ruled out imposing sanctions against the PRSL or the clubs involved in this matter.
Labrador concluded the interview by stating that the FPF will review any claims from players previously contracted with the three clubs who may be owed wages.