T20 World Cup causes temporary move for National Parade and Youth Rally

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The National Independence parade and the Youth Rally will both be moved back temporarily to the Antigua Recreation Ground due to the upcoming T20 Women’s World Cup which will see Antigua and Barbuda  host the semi-finals and finals at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
These reports were confirmed by Minister of Sports, Festivals and the Arts, Hon. Daryll Matthew who went into detail on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show last Friday.
“The youth rally will be at the ARG as well, because we will not be able to have access to the use of the field because of our commitments to the World Cup, so the food fair will still take place in the parking lot, but the field will not be accessible for us to use for the parade.”
Matthew shared his concern with the public on the current state of the ARG and went further on to state that discussions are already underway with relevant stakeholders, mainly the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), to upgrade the facility not only for the Independence festivities, but for future use.
“The concern I have is clearly that the grounds is in an increasingly dilapidated state, so for example, there is a team at the ARG trying to do assessments into how we are going to put some plans in place to facilitate the Independence celebrations, and with the ABFA having a lease on the facility I was a bit disappointed that when we went in for Carnival for example, there was so much that needed to be done.”
The newly appointed minister revealed that the ABFA, due to misunderstandings over their tenure at the ARG, were unsure of the rehabilitation methods at the ARG.
“It was expressed by the General Secretary and the President that they have been in a little bit of limbo because of all the uncertainty concerning their tenure and that has brought some uncertainty from them and FIFA about what is to really happen with the ARG.”
Matthew however said those concerns were rectified and that plans will be made in partnership with the ABFA on the upgrade of the facility.
“Once we can put a plan in place for the redevelopment of ARG, I have no issue working along with them. If they are able to show the plans they have and how it can be financed, then I have no issues but it certainly cannot be an open-ended agreement where 12 months from now we are having the same discussion.
“I have assigned someone to work alongside them to develop this plan on behalf of the Ministry.”

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