Premier Division championship hopefuls hoping for speedy resolution

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By Carlena Knight

Officials from the two championship hopefuls, Jennings Grenades and Greenbay Hoppers, remain firm in their stance that the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) has to make a decision on the way forward for the sport before the 30-day ban implemented by the government is up.

General Secretary of Hoppers, Troy Gibson while speaking on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show on Monday is adamant that some sort of plan is needed on the APL’s future for this season as it puts teams in a financial bind.

“A lot of hard work and planning would have gone into these football seasons year after year and to really get at the leg of the race and you are unable to cross that line whether first or second is up in the air so it’s really hard right now.

“We have no problem waiting out the 30 days with what we have and seeing just for the good sportsmanship to finish the season but I think that a decision has to be made sooner than the 30 days on if we are going to go forward pending a review by the government or not. There are salaries, there’s rent, there’s cost, there’s now extra precautions with the virus in keeping the players here.

Gibson in fact revealed that two of their overseas players had to be sent home following the 30-day ban the Ministry of Sports issued last Friday for all domestic sports due to the coronavirus or COVID-19 epidemic.

Another APL team, Old Road FC will later this week determine the route they will take with their overseas players.

Head Coach of Grenades, Derrick “Pretty-boy” Edwards, shared similar sentiments to Gibson and went a step further in suggesting an avenue the ABFA can take to help curb the issue.

“Let me say that I think it’s something that they could look at even before a month because at the end of the day I think everybody is patterned off of everybody, and I think that we are patterned off of the outside world and the bigger countries. It’s only two games, only two more weekends left and if you look at it, we could in my prospective play the two games without spectators because they’ve been doing it all over the world. I am only saying that, but I am not in authority to do it, but that is one of the aspects they can look at.”

Only two rounds of matches remain in the Antigua Premier League. Grenades presently sit at the top of the table two points clear of Hoppers FC.

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