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By Neto Baptiste

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), Everton Gonsalves, said the sport has lost a genuine lover of the game and someone who was always willing to go the extra mile whenever called to serve in whatever capacity necessary to get the job done.

The former national and Villa Lions striker was, as the time, paying tribute to a former member of the fraternity and someone who would have worked within the offices of the association, Rhea Jarvis, who passed away on Sunday, just days after she reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

“That was a heavy loss because she was an outstanding female to football and, as part of my mantra, I made sure I had a fair supply of females being part of the onward journey and further development of football. I can tell you that Rhea never said no and she was always available. Rhea organized our educational courses, she managed teams and she helped to organize the local competitions. She was also a match commissioner and match coordinator at the ARG and she used that as a stepping stone to become one of the top recruits for CFU and CONCACAF,” he said.

Reports are that Jarvis was admitted to the Mount St John’s Medical Center on December 10 with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and was, as a result, tested for the deadly virus. 

Further reports indicate that Jarvis was transferred to the Infectious Disease Center and then to the Intensive Care Unit at Mount St John’s after her condition worsened and she succumbed to the illness on December 13.

Gonsalves said Jarvis was a major part of the association’s team and was making waves not only here in Antigua, but also across the region having earned the right to perform match commissioner duties at the CFU and CONCACAF levels in late 2019. 

He said the ABFA will honour her memory.

“I have started receiving condolence letters from as far as the president of CONCACAF. What we will continue to do is to continue to recruit young ladies who want to become standouts in terms of the administration of football. Certainly, we will have her [Jarvis] photograph displayed [at the ABFA headquarters] and as we look to resume or to restart football, we will find some something befitting to name after her,” Gonsalves said.

Jarvis who was employed at the Mount St John’s Medical Center, was also a member of the Pigotts Sports Club.

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