By Carlena Knight
Head Coach of the Antigua Premier League (APL) champions, PIC Liberta Blackhawks, Rowan “Porridge” Benjamin joined a number of fans and coaches who have called upon the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) to make a decision on the 2019-2020 season.
With only two rounds of matches left in the APL and a number of other matches in both the First and Second Divisions, the ABFA was forced to halt the season due to a 30-day ban instituted by the Ministry of Sports last month due to the coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic.
Benjamin, while speaking on the Good Morning JoJo Sports Show last week, said that the ABFA needs to make a decision sooner rather than later as they will find themselves in a rather ticklish situation since a number of the executive members and competition committee members are aligned to a club in the APL or First or Second Divisions.
“The association really should try and make a decision. The longer they stay, it’s going to be more difficult. I listened to an interview on another station where the leader of the Premier Division, the coach of the Jennings [Grenades] team is saying the same thing and he’s calling for it to be null and void, so if he is in that position and is saying that, then I mean everybody to me is basically agreeing with this stand that which can be taken.
“I believe that it is a win-win situation for the ABFA because you have to remember that they are in a very difficult position also — the executive members and the competition committee members — because they are presidents of teams who are vying for these positions,” he added.
He says he is however on board with a suggestion making the rounds to not demote any teams but to promote four teams from the various divisions to sort of build a balance in the numbers of participating teams across the three divisions.
“If the talk is that you promote four teams from the various divisions and probably stagger the prize money, then I think that is the best way to do it and I think that they should move on it to avoid a difficulty down the road because you cannot play the league after July. You don’t know how long this thing will go for but you cannot play it after July because the season runs from October to July.”
To date, only the Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association has made a decision to cancel their 2020 season. Last week, the cricket association’s President Leon “Kuma” Rodney shared that a decision on their league will not be made any time soon.