By Carlena Knight
Antiguan athletes based overseas who need help in returning home can expect to receive assistance from the government, by way of the Ministry of Sports.
The Minister responsible for sports in the country, Honourable Daryll Matthew, made the announcement while speaking on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show last week.
“I am not sure or aware that any have [made a request for help], certainly not to me, and the Director [of Sports] has not indicated to me that anyone has reached out to her. If there are athletes abroad who wish to come home, there are certain procedures that I am sure they will have to follow in terms of screening and quarantining and so forth, but at the end of the day, everyone has the right to come home, and if we need to help to bring them home in whatever way, I can’t see us as a caring government saying no your on your own. You are an Antiguan and Barbudan foremost.”
This announcement comes just a week after the same ministry issued a 30-day ban on all domestic sports due to the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. National teams have also been banned from participating in any regional or international competitions.
Due to this ban and also the postponement of major sporting events like CARIFTA, and the Summer Olympics, athletes worldwide have begun returning home, and no athlete has reached out to the Ministry for assistance thus far.