By Neto Baptiste
The Grenades Football Club has abandoned plans to take its challenge against an October 2020 decision by the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) to the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the sport’s international governing body FIFA.
This is according the club’s General Secretary, Edson Joseph, who said that after hearing the FA’s president Everton Gonsalves in an interview, hinting that the body would not go back on its decision, it became clear that the fight was a futile one.
“I listened to the interview with the president recently and just from that you would recognise that we were fighting an uphill battle, perhaps a losing battle and it would be an exercise in futility to pursue it. We don’t believe there is the desire and the will from the ABFA to be transparent, to be open and to actually be willing to revisit the matter,” he said.
The FA, in October last year, issued a statement advising the public that its 2019/20 domestic season had been cancelled but that as part of restructuring efforts six teams will be promoted from the First to the Premier Division while six teams will also be promoted from the Second to the First Division.
The football association, however, decided to not crown champions in the Premier Division while no teams were demoted from any of the eligible divisions.
Joseph said that although they received a notice of receipt from the ABFA regarding their written concerns, the issues at hand were never addressed.
“The General Secretary [Rohan Hector] on receipt of both correspondents have indicated or acknowledged receipt of the letter within 24 hours but it was just to say that he acknowledges receipt but to say that we received a response pertaining to the concerns that we raised from the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association executive which I view differently, we have not received anything and I think that is rather disrespectful,” he said.
A former executive member of the football association, Joseph said Grenades did not seek to rally support from other clubs as they believe the matter to be rather straight forward.
“We thought it was a matter of principle and that if it was looked at fairly and that the processes that are in place by looking at FIFA’s guideline and even our own constitution, if it was applied, we would not have to lobby any clubs for support and we don’t think we will do at this time either. I think the system should work and that’s one of the things you’d recognize that the more and more you live in this small state, systems don’t work,” he said. Grenades, who lead the competition by two points when it was halted back in March last year, argues that they should have been crowned champions on that premise. They further stated that since the FA used the standings from the 2019/20 season to promote teams from both the First and Second Divisions that the said standings should have been used to declare winners.