By Neto Baptiste
Sports minister, Daryll Matthew, said that following talks with general secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), Rohan Hector, he now has a better understanding and, in fact, agrees with the body’s decision to indefinitely suspend all competitions rather than cancel altogether.
“We spoke, and he outlined to me the rational for doing that as opposed to cancelling the season altogether at this point, and I understand it, and as a matter of a fact, I agree with their position about why they have to do things and why they have to make decisions in a particular way. Cancelling the season now would have some repercussions that would affect football and the clubs going forward and so I believe it’s a sensible decision they have made,” he said.
In late April, the FA suspended all competitions indefinitely, adding that the possibilities of hosting the remaining matches in all leagues will be reviewed between the period of July 2020 to November 2020.
The decision was heavily criticised by some clubs and even fans, stating that the FA should cancel the coronavirus-affected leagues.
Matthew believes the cancelling of the competitions is however inevitable but hinted that the FA is following a footpath mapped out by higher authorities.
“They may end up very well having to cancel the season or calling it off, but in life everything is about timing, and so from the football standpoint, what was explained to me and I suppose that the long and short of it is at this point, and perhaps for the next few months, there is no football being played and we will see what happens in October if that position is maintained or if the world comes up with a viable solution for this Covid virus,” the minister said.
Grenades (31 points) holds a two-point advantage in the top flight with their closest rival, Greenbay Hoppers FC, on 29 points. Ottos Rangers lie third with 24 points but could only get to 30 points and a possible second place finish. All teams have played 16 matches.