Liberta Sports Club president raises concerns, threatens to pull out of FA’s Premier Division

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President of the Liberta Sports Club, Kenneth Benjamin
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By Neto Baptiste

President of the Liberta Sports Club, Kenneth Benjamin, is threatening to pull the Liberta Blackhawks from the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) Premier Division if a number of issues raised by the club are not addressed.

According to the former West Indies fast bowler, the club has raised concerns regarding the promised second tranche of the FIFA Covid relief fund and the noticeable extended absence of ABFA president and former national player, Everton Gonsalves.

“We wish him well; we wish that he comes around, but I think — and I am asking the president before the week is done — he needs to resign. It is going on seven months and he needs to let somebody pen a letter and if he can put his signature, then fine. We don’t know what his issue is and as I said, we wish him all the best, but for football to move on Everton ‘Batow’ Gonsalves needs to resign as soon as possible,” he said.

Gonsalves has reportedly been ill and had travelled overseas for medical attention shortly following the FA’s election held in April this year.

Benjamin went on to highlight that with the Premier Division set to start on Saturday, his club is yet to receive a promised second disbursement of the Covid funds.

“We want our money. The second tranche, we want it because the Liberta Sports Club never neglect paying our registration fees and our insurance. So, you give us our money and tell us what it costs because you don’t know how many players we are registering, so how are you going to deduct money? We want our money and we will write you a cheque [for] the amount we owe you. We want it for our accounting purposes as well and it is our money, so we want it,” he said. 

The Liberta Sports Club head also raised concerns regarding insurance for players and a form issued to players requesting personal information.

“We don’t see an insurance company, we don’t know what the coverage is like, and we don’t have any details about the insurance. It’s just a form with the ABFA logo on it and it’s just asking the players to fill it out with their name, their age, if you’re a student, working, your sex and your signature, and I don’t know what that is for. What are the players signing to? The last time one of our players got badly injured it was about $12,000,” Benjamin said.

The FA’s Premier Division is set to kick off on Saturday with a triple-header at the FA’s Technical Center with the First Division set to start on Friday and the Second Division on Monday.

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