Sports Minister clarifies reports of upcoming work at the ARG

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By Carlena Knight

Sports Minister Daryll Matthew has sought to clarify a recent report which spoke about work at the historic Antigua Recreation Grounds commencing in short order.

Everton ‘Batow’ Gonsalves, president of the Antigua and Barbud Football Association (ABFA), made the announcement last month but did not go into detail on what exact work would be done.

In recent times, discussions have been held with the ABFA which has a lease on the ARG and government officials on the rehabilitation of the ARG.

These plans that were shared publicly focus mainly on the West Indies Oil double decker stand which, according to earlier reports, will be demolished and a new stand reconstructed. That work was set to begin earlier this year but due to the Covid-19 pandemic had to be put on the back burner.

Matthew has now clarified this matter and explained that the ABFA will be doing some renovations to some areas as its lease stipulates the maintenance of the facility and not necessarily the double decker stand itself.

“While I am not fully aware of the plans that they have at this moment, the public may very well recall that the football association has a 30-year lease on the ARG, a still valid 30-year lease, and a part of their obligation under the lease is to maintain the facility in a particular way and so I very much believe that this is part of where they are seeking to honour their agreement that they signed to upgrade and do work at the Antigua Recreation Grounds,” Matthew explained.

Regarding the condition of the facility overall Matthew admitted that the government does deserve some of the criticism as it is a government facility but indicated that some blame should also be placed on the ABFA as leaseholders.

Matthew was speaking on the Good Morning JoJo sports show.

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