By Neto Baptiste
The Liberta Blackhawks, for the second straight week, failed to turn out for their scheduled Premier Division fixture as they continue to agitate for answers surrounding concerns over the league’s insurance policy, the absence of ABFA president, Everton Gonsalves, and other issues raised by the club.
Blackhawks were slated to take on Ottos Rangers in the second game of a triple-header at the FA’s technical center on Sunday, but were not present when referee Bryan Willett blew the first whistle.
Last week, the 2019/20 champions also failed to show up for their match against All Saints United after President of the Liberta Sports Club, Kenneth Benjamin, said the body will not take part in the competition until its concerns were addressed.
It is unclear as to whether or not Liberta will be penalised for boycotting the matches.
The coach of the Liberta Blackhawks, Rowan Benjamin, said the matter is a serious one and goes much deeper than an assurance of reimbursement without proper documentation.
“It’s not only that a young man gets injured on the field but that young man is probably employed with someone, so how are we going to deal with that situation? It’s okay to go and pay the doctor’s fees … but when someone is out for three weeks or a month or maybe two months, then how does someone deal with that?” he said.
Benjamin also thanked his players for staying the course and realising that the decision was made in their best interest.
“The first thing that we did is we informed them every step of the way in terms of what is happening and what is going on, and we have a responsibility as a club to make sure the safety and the health of our players is priority, so we are not going to play with that. The boys still come out for training so again, I must really thank them because it is not easy to try to motivate these guys because the boys want to play,” he said.
In Sunday’s opening contest, Willikies FC stunned Greenbay Hoppers 2-0. D’Jarie Sheppard scored both goals with strikes in the eighth and 65th minutes.
In the feature match, Swetes FC and Blue Jays played to a 1-1 draw. Lyndon Goodwin put Blue Jays ahead in the opening minute while Roy Gregory drew Swetes levelled in the 45th minute.