Venue For Upcoming Qualifiers To Be Decided This Week

Benna Boys
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By Carlena Knight

A decision will be made later this week on the location of the Benna Boys’ upcoming CONCACAF qualifiers match versus Montserrat.

This was revealed by Fernando ‘Nando’ Abraham, one of the technical staff associated with the national senior men’s football team.

Abraham explained that the likelihood of the match being played here in Antigua is quite slim as the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, which in recent times has been used as the main venue for international football matches, will be in use for test matches with the West Indies versus Sri Lanka next month.

“I doubt they are going to entertain the ABFA Technical Centre here and with the Viv Richards stadium out of the question, the Antigua Recreation Ground (ARG) is not in good condition to play a match on the 24th, so I would say our chances are very slim,” Abraham explained.

Regarding ongoing preparation, Abraham admitted that there are some challenges with some of the players and the practice time which is now accommodating the 6pm curfew.

“Some of the guys have a problem because when it was 5.30pm practice, they would be here for 5pm. Now it’s a problem because they finish work at 4pm, maybe 4.30pm, and if our training is starting at 3.30pm then they are definitely going to miss some of the training and it’s difficult for us to go later than that at the present time.

“Until we get a situation where we are able to move a little bit later, we will have to continue with the 3.30pm training,” he said.

He noted however that talks are ongoing with government officials to find a solution.

The former national player also touched on the possibility of acquiring the services of overseas-based players, mainly those from the United Kingdom, as the UK has implemented several new protocols for travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“What we are trying to do is touch base with the people in the High Commissioner’s office. We want to know exactly the full protocols over there when they get back.

“We are still looking at how exactly we can go around everything and make sure that the players will be comfortable,” Abraham added.

The Benna Boys are slated to play Montserrat on March 24 and the US Virgin Islands on March 27.

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