By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) and former national striker, Everton Gonsalves, said that although the body has seen a recent increase in the number of applicants for the national head coach position and also for the post of technical director, there is no need for hasty decisions.
During an interview with Observer media, Gonsalves said that with no regional or international competitions on the horizon, the FA will not be forced into a decision to immediately fill the vacant slots but would, instead continue to watch the situation as it develops.
“We are still receiving and accepting applications for all openings or vacancies within the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association [and] as soon as we see the potential restart of football and the potential time for us to start preparing for a definite World Cup qualifying, then we are still looking down the road in terms of Concacaf and you can also see what is going on in the United States and in the UK,” he said.
Questions have been rife as to who would replace former technical director, Rolston “Debu” Williams, since his passing in October. At the time of Williams’ passing, the FA was on the hunt for a senior national head coach as they sought to replace former coach Michel Dinzy who left the post in November of 2019.
According to Gonsalves, the ABFA is focused on finalizing and presenting its protocols to the relevant authorities as the country moves towards the reopening of competition.
“Our health protocols committee is meeting this week and possibly then we would have a chat with the Minister of Sports [Daryll Matthew] and the Minister of Health (Sir Molwyn Joseph] and those are the next steps in terms of getting ready for any return to football and any hiring of any personnel that deals with the national programme in those areas,” he said.
The government, in late October, granted permission to the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) to resume competition. The announcement came eight months after competitions were stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic.