By Neto Baptiste
The Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) has maintained its stance on the importation of players during its domestic programme, insisting that clubs will not be restricted in the number of players they wish to import.
President of the organisation, Everton Gonsalves while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, said the decision to limit the importation of players is one that should be made by the members of the ABFA and not just the sitting executive.
“The ABFA is adamant that they [the ABFA] are the ones who make that decision because we need to make sure in our minds who is the ABFA and the ABFA is an amalgamation of all the clubs registered with the organisation and so we have to sit down and decide if that is what we want.
History will remind us that they are numerous occasions when this matter was brought to the table and the ABFA, in its wisdom via all the clubs, decided that is not what they wanted,” he said.
The practice of importing players, more so for the FA’s top division, is becoming more prevalent with some clubs importing as much as 15 players in a single season.
The situation has drawn the attention of both fans and lovers of the game and had sparked numerous debates as to whether or not it benefits the development of the game at a national level.
Technical director and a member of the Parham FC coaching staff, Rolston Williams, shared Gonsalves’ view, stating that the clubs should be the ones making the decision.
“I share the view of the members so if that is what they want then so let it be. The last time we had a discussion on it they were in favour of not having a cap. I don’t know if they have changed their minds in thins point in time so if they have changed their minds then they could come to the table once again,” he said.
Grenades, a club also known for the importation of players, leads the Premier Division with 16 points with Hoppers and Bullets closely in tow with 13 points each. Old Road, with imports numbering into the teens this year, has struggled thus far in the competition, losing three, winning two and drawing two of their seven matches.
They currently lay seventh in the standings with eight points.