Sprinter Miguel Francis said he is willing to meet with Sports Minister EP Chet Greene and entertain discussions on his decision to transfer his allegiance to the United Kingdom and more specifically, Great Britain.
The athlete, while speaking on SportsMax this week, said he owes the government that much and if asked, will facilitate the sit-down. His revelation comes just one week after Greene said the athlete’s brother and manager, Kwame Galloway, had turned down an offer by the government for a meeting.
“That part of it I am not sure about because honestly, I didn’t know they were having a meeting until I saw it in the newspaper that my camp declined a meeting. I didn’t know anything about the meeting part, but I guess it’s just the way you talk to people.
“Out of respect, I would meet with the minister because I have no problems with them, so I would meet and hear them out,” Francis said.
The Montserrat-born athlete said that if he decides to stay and run for Antigua & Barbuda, the authorities must first exhibit seriousness in moving the country’s athletics programme forward.
“There would have to be some major improvements within the association and the country to change my mind right now. I can’t really say much until everything is finalised, but it’s just some personal stuff and nothing major with Antigua or the association; just some personal reasons why,” Francis said.
Admitting that his decision to transfer his allegiance was not an overnight one, Francis said he was impressed with what he saw of the British programme.
“Just the way the British handle their athletes, the way they sort them out. For example, [if] they are going to the Olympic Games, they would go to a camp [and] train together; those things influenced the decision. But basically, my whole family is living in England, so that is also a big reason why I am going to switch because everybody for me is in England,” he said.
The Antigua & Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) is slated to discuss Francis’ request at a meeting on Thursday night.
If the ABAA agrees to the transfer, the athlete will only have to miss one year of competition. However, should the association deny his request, he would have to wait three years.