Benjamin: ABFA erred in changing playing conditions

Rowan Benjamin.
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By Neto Baptiste

Coach of the Liberta Blackhawks, Rowan Benjamin, believes the country’s governing body for football has erred in its decision to indefinitely postpone the stalled 2019/20 competitions and altering the rules and regulations governing the leagues to adjust the stipulated end date.

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Benjamin maintains that the FA’s only option following the elapsing of the original end of July end-date, is to cancel the leagues.

“You cannot, at this time, change the rules and regulations because it’s as if well, two teams that top the First Division at the end of the season are to be promoted and then you decide to let’s bring up three now, but that’s changing the goal post midstream, and as a matter of a fact, it’s towards the end of the season and that clearly is a breach,” he said.

The former national coach went on to add that the head of the FA’s competitions committee, Gwen Salmon, is also an executive member and the president of a club, suggesting that she may not have been the best person to make recommendations to the FA.

“You’re talking about the head of the competitions committee making this recommendation to the football [ABFA] executive so it is the same people who are making the recommendation to the other part who are [making the decision] so it’s confusing. I can remember you had the Honourable Chet Greene on some time ago and he was talking about these things ending up in court and so on, and that’s the way it will be headed because you’re breaking your own rules and regulations that govern the season,” Benjamin said.

Asked if the defending Premier Division champions would be ready and willing to play should restrictions be lifted later this year, Benjamin said they will be guided by the original playing conditions.

“When you look in the rules and regulations and that’s on the very first page, the ABFA executive deems the 2019 season starts from October to July 2020. When July 2020 come and gone then that is it for the 2019/2020 season. It’s finished, it’s over,” the coach said.

In a press release issued Monday, the FA said it will revisit its decision between the period of July 2020 to November 2020 in order to arrive at a final decision “based on fairness, transparency and integrity.”

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