Matthew: I was not aware it wasn’t an indoor facility

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Minister of Sports, Festivals and the Arts, Daryll Matthew expressed his shock and disappointment on the revelation that the multiplex facility being constructed in the Grays Green area is not an indoor basketball arena.
Speaking on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show, Matthew, who was the former President of the Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) before venturing into politics, said he was aware of other details of the project but not the indoor aspect.
“I am even more flabbergasted than the public because, well, prior to the elections and when the construction started I kept saying that this facility will not be able to host a National game because of the seating capacity. At no time was it ever brought to my attention that this facility was not an indoor facility but it was a covered facility.
“In fact, I would say there were persons at public works who are managing this project has said to me personally it is an indoor facility.”
He also added that other members of the government were not aware of that aspect of the complex and faulted the local stakeholders for negotiating for a covered complex.
“Now I am tremendously grateful for the Chinese government in providing the grant to construct the facility, overall it is a fantastic complex, I have done a walk through and the Chinese built what was negotiated. I really and truly fault our people and the persons tasked with dealing with this and negotiating this for negotiating a covered facility as opposed to indoor facility, that’s one.
“I will go on record and say that at no point was it ever disclosed to myself, to anyone that I have spoken with so far in the government that it was covered and not indoor because the message has always been Antigua will finally have an indoor basketball court.”
In closing, the newly appointed minister noted that there is still much to be done to finish the project.
“I am a bit disappointed over the revelation that has come but it is what it is. I am very grateful to the Chinese for building that entire complex but I think that while we may have taken a few steps forward, we still have a long way to go in terms of constructing and having an indoor multi-sport facility developed for this country.”
Negotiations on the complex began back in 2014.

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