By Neto Baptiste
Coach of the Liberta Blackhawks football team, Rowan Benjamin, has warned that increasing the number of teams in the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association’s Premier Division from 10 to 14, could put further strain on the already stretched football referees’ association.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Benjamin said that although he is not totally against the notion of increasing the amount of teams contesting the top flight, it must be done via careful planning to ensure that all of the necessary mechanisms are in place that would allow the league to function smoothly.
“We can hardly manage 10 teams on the weekends with not enough referees, so we cannot go into something like this, extending the league and then we run into the problem of finishing the league. I believe that we have to look at this thing very seriously,” he said.
The former national coach went on to suggest that instead of taking that route this year, the FA could put plans in place for next season.
“Is it prudent to do it this year or just putting the rules and regulations in place for the next season that at the end of that particular season that we are going to promote four teams from First Division, or we are going to promote eight teams from the Second Division? It is something they will have to look at but first, the league has to be cancelled,” he said.
One of four proposals on the table regarding the stalled competitions, is to promote four teams to the top flight while maintaining the 10 teams currently in the Premier Division. This would increase the league from 10 to 14 teams.