By Neto Baptiste
The recent hike in Covid-19 cases has forced the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) to stop training sessions for a number of national female teams.
This is according to vice president and chair of the competitions committee, Gwen Salmon, who revealed recently that a number of age-group teams had been training at the body’s technical and training center at Paynters.
“We were in training, we had a number of females in training in terms of the age-groups like the under-17s, under-20s and the seniors, but due to the Covid increase we had to stop that training. We also had the female coaches working alongside them because we are trying to make sure that the female coaches could hold their own with teams because we have to empower them because they are going to be the coaches we want to lead the national teams going forward,” she said.
Salmon, who is also president of the Greenbay Hoppers FC, said the decision left players frustrated but added the association was left with no other choice.
“That gets them a little irritated because they were dying to get back on the field and now that they got out again, they have to stop. They have to understand that because of Covid we have to protect them because they have to go home to their families so we also have to make sure the families are protected so whenever that [Covid] stops, we will continue the programme,” the administrator said.
FIFA had cancelled its U-17 and U-20 women’s World Cups that were originally rescheduled for 2021 in India and Costa Rica but were then cancelled with the nations being awarded the hosting rights for the age group competitions in 2022.