By Carlena Knight
With the ongoing debate in the public over the installation of an overseas player cap in the Antigua Barbuda Football Association leagues, more so, the Antigua Premier League (APL), President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) E.P. Chet Greene has made his voice heard on the issue.
The former General Secretary of the ABFA believes that there should be a review and addition of the cap as it implicates a number of other issues relating to the development of the sport.
He says the cap should more be focused on the number of players allowed on the field at any given time.
“There needs to be a strategic view or review of this policy. If a policy is all that it is. How is it impacting the selection of national teams? That is the first consideration. With all these imports, how are we facilitating national football development? Whilst persons ponder that question for policy prescription, I want to suggest that there be a cap, not necessarily on how many players you can bring to the country, because if you have deep pockets you can bring all the players you want to bring, but [the number] on the field at any given time, there is where I think the cap should be instituted.”
He then suggested the cap can however be relaxed during the climax of the season.
“However, I would put a carving on that. I would put a cap on the number of players on the field at a time, let’s suppose the third-to-last round of the competition that you can increase that cap because, hey people are now playing for something; so here is where you can maybe have an additional two or three players on the field because we now understand that you are going for glory and the coveted prize of premiership. But we have the concern and be very careful that we are not chasing young prospective footballers away, hampering the development of young footballers to the extent you can’t find a credible national Antigua and Barbuda team to play for the country.
“If those are out into the mix and given consideration, I have no problem with the importation of players; it’s a model that can be developed into something major where football can start to become an earner for persons involved, but I am not in that seat to determine those things I can only [give] my opinion.”
Greene was a guest on the Good Morning Jojo Sports show last Thursday when he spoke.