Reports: Benna Boys refuse to train because of outstanding funds

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By Neto Baptiste

Players on the senior national football team are refusing to attend daily training sessions until monies owed to them by the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) have been paid.

Reports are that on Wednesday, the players refused to participate in regular training sessions held at the ABFA’s technical centre located on Factory Road, just east of the Police Recreation Ground (PRG).

One member of the training squad, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said several promises had been made to pay the outstanding funds, all of which have not been met and that some players decided they will not train until the matter has been resolved. The team is in training for their October 11 clash against Guyana here in the CONCACAF Nation’s League (CNL).

When contacted, President of the ABFA and former national striker, Everton Gonsalves, was unaware of any industrial action being taken by the players, but told OBSERVER media that the agreement had always been that the funds would have been paid on or before the end of September.

Gonsalves further committed that all outstanding funds owed to the senior national players will be paid in short order.

Players are owed for two friendly encounters in St Kitts earlier this month along with CNL matches against Jamaica and Aruba. Reports also indicate that some players are also owed “work reimbursement” funds.

Earlier this month, two England-based players, goalkeeper Brentton Muhammad and former captain Joshua Parker, claimed they had not been contacted by the FA ahead of the country’s participation in the CONCACAF Nation’s League matches against Jamaica and Aruba. According to the players, communication has been next to zero between the FA and themselves. The football association had opted for a near 100 per cent home-based squad with Tyrell Rayne, from the Woodbridge Strikers in Ontario, Canada, the only overseas-based player in the squad.

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