The Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) does not have the authority to get involved in disputes between players and the clubs they are contracted to without invitation.
This is according to General Secretary Gordon “Banks” Derrick, as he addressed questions regarding two national players who recently plied their trade for the Central FC in the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League.
The players, defender Vashami Allen and goalkeeper Prince Walter, refused to renew contracts with the TT Pro League club, claiming they had not been paid salaries in months.
Derrick said the FA is not mandated to vet or monitor private contract.
“I’ve never seen a contract so I don’t know. If they had reached out to us and asked that we look into x, y and z, I wouldn’t have a problem but nobody contacted me or the ABFA on the matter so we wouldn’t know. I didn’t know there was an issue until I heard you guys [The Good Morning Jojo Sports Show] speak about it. The ABFA doesn’t sign contracts with these clubs so we don’t know what it is they
agreed to. We don’t know what is in the contract,” he said.
The players had also complained of subpar living conditions in Trinidad, adding that the situation had become unbearable.
“I suggest you ask the question to the agents because that is the purpose of an agent. I don’t know how the ABFA gets involved with their personal business because remember this is work, this is their job now. I followed them in terms of their football and going online and see how many games they have played and how they are doing and I would pass that on to Debu [Rolston Williams] and stuff like that so that’s what we follow, how well they are doing,” Derrick said.
Allen, who was in Trinidad for five months, said that although he felt welcomed by the other players on the team, he could not have survived being away from home any longer without a monthly income.
Walter, who left Antigua in May, said he tried to hold on for as long as he possibly could, adding that deteriorating living conditions weighed heavily on his decision.
Several other reports of players complaining about the non-payment of salaries in the TT Pro League and how it has impacted their ability to train and play have also surfaced in several Trinidad and Tobago publications.
The non-payment of salaries is being blamed on the suspension of a TT $50,000 subvention from the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago since May of this year.