Blackhawks Boycott, Blue Jays Stun Sap, Grenades Score Late Winner As Premier Division Opens

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An 86th minute conversion by Ridel Stanislaus handed Grenades a 1-0 win over Willikies FC. (Grenades FC photo)
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By Neto Baptiste

Liberta Sports Club President, Kenneth Benjamin, stayed true to his word that the Blackhawks team would boycott the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) Premier Division if the club’s requests for a second tranche of the FIFA Covid relief funds and clarity on the FA’s insurance policy, were not met ahead of the league’s start date.

The Blackhawks were a no-show for their scheduled 6pm fixture against All Saints United on Saturday at the ABFA’s technical center in Paynters. United, who were present for the match, is to be awarded three points and three goals.

Speaking on the Good morning Jojo Sports Show last week, Benjamin threatened to pull his team from the competition if his requests were not met. He also called on sitting ABFA president and former national striker, Everton Gonsalves, to resign.

Gonsalves, who is reportedly ill, has been out of office for more than six months. Benjamin also called for clarity regarding the FA’s insurance policy.

In an email to clubs on Friday night, the FA said it has “aggressively overhauled” the insurance coverage for all ABFA teams and that until the information relevant to all covered parties are entered into the new FIFA Connect registration system, the process remains incomplete. The FA asked that until then, all expenses related to injuries sustained by covered individuals be submitted to the body’s secretariat for reimbursement.

A second missive addressing the outstanding second tranche of the FIFA Covid relief funds informed the clubs that funds are ready for disbursement and that all interested parties must first submit a “detailed report” on the expenditure of the first tranche.

Meanwhile, in the night’s feature encounter, an 86th minute conversion by Ridel Stanislaus handed Grenades a 1-0 win over Willikies FC and put them second in the standings behind All Saints United.

There was victory as well for Cedar Grove Blue Jays who stunned SAP 2-1 in the opening fixture.

Keon Greene put Blue Jays ahead in the 18th minute before veteran Peter Byers drew the round south men levelled in the 58th minute. Cassiano Samuel however sealed the win for Blue Jays with a 76th minute conversion.    

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