THE Academy Director of Lisburn League youth side TW Braga has spoken about how a shock FIFA fine of 10,000 Swiss francs for his club has piled pressure, stress and anxiety on to him and his family.
Tim Wareing has been coaching at youth level in Northern Ireland for over two decades. In 2013, he founded TW Braga, a club and football academy offering coaching schemes, including a disability programme, for toddlers to teenagers.
Wareing's plan was for kids to have fun and coach them to be the best they could be. Thoughts of being punished by FIFA were as far away as a trip to the moon.
Earlier this month, the Irish Football Association forwarded Wareing a letter from FIFA, whose Disciplinary Committee "found TW Braga FC responsible for the infringement of the relevant provisions of the Regulations related to the registration of players and the protection of minors".
TW Braga were ordered to pay a fine of £8,419.49 within 30 days and warned about their future conduct.
The case related to one of the most gifted young footballers Wareing (below) has coached - 17-year-old Hassan Ayari, who left TW Braga to join Sheffield United. The teenager from New York is already training with the Premier League side's first team.
Ayari first came to Northern Ireland in 2010 with his parents and so enjoyed a holiday football camp run by Wareing in Dundonald that his dad closely followed the coach's progress when they returned home to America.
Several years later, Hassan's dad asked Wareing if his son could travel over to play in the TW Braga team. The youngster was registered with the Lisburn League and Northern Ireland Boys FA and helped the side win the title.
He went home before returning to inspire TW Braga, under the management of ex-Lisburn Distillery boss Paul Kirk, to a Lisburn League and Lisburn Shield double in the 2017/2018 campaign. Wareing said "the registration process was the same as the first time and all seemed fine".
Ayari landed a scholarship with Sheffield United, leaving Wareing proud to have played a key role in his development.
Things turned sour earlier this season, however, when Wareing heard FIFA were investigating the transfer.
He wrote to FIFA, explaining that TW Braga were a junior club, detailing how the teenager had come to play for the team.
The father of four says: "I thought at worst we might get a slap on the wrist but to be fined 10,000 Swiss francs was devastating.
"My last group session with TW Braga was on March 18. We haven't been able to operate as a business due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"I am self-employed and I am struggling to pay bills and to put food in the house.
"This fine from FIFA has brought unnecessary stress, pressure and anxiety to me, my family and the club and because the fine is not over 15,000 Swiss francs, we can't appeal the decision. I don't know what we will do."
Wareing says in the past his club has received support from IFA but feels let down by what he sees a lack of it this time "when I need it most".