No Good News For Team Sports Amidst Planned Lifting Of Restrictions On Bars, Gyms

Football has been suspended indefinitely with hopes of ending the season before the end of the year. (File photo)
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By Neto Baptiste

The planned reopening of some aspects of the entertainment industry and also the country’s ports of entry in early June, will not spill over into the sporting sector with major team sports set to remain under lockdown.

This was confirmed by sports minister, Daryll Matthew, who said the physical nature of some team sports is still not conducive to the protocols that will remain in place even with the reopening of bars.

“That’s not for me to speak to how or what the testing protocol should be nationally, for any sector, but I know it has to be done with particular health considerations in place and we are also going to be guided by what the international sporting bodies are recommending,” he said.

“The discussion has been that it is not time for them to reopen as yet, we are not comfortable with the team sports reopening as yet ad that’s the official decision from the Cabinet,” he added.

Recently, the Cabinet lifted restrictions on tennis and swimming, granted that the governing bodies for both sports here adapt the required medical and social distancing procedures. There is also plans to lift restrictions on gyms.

Matthew also confirmed the cancellation of all school sporting activities for the remainder of 2020.

“Well, the plan is to resume in the next academic year once it is safe to do so but certainly, for the rest of this academic year and that’s an official decision,” he said.

In late April into early May, the government eased restrictions on golf and cycling giving the individual nature of each sport. Major team sports like cricket and basketball have since cancelled their domestic competitions for 2020.

The Antigua and Barbuda Football Association has indefinitely suspended their domestic programmes with homes of completing their leagues before the end of the year.

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