BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 21st August 2020)- In an effort to ensure that football clubs can resume training sessions in a safe manner amidst the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, the St.Kitts-Nevis Football Association (SKNFA), has donated equipment and safety supplies to clubs at a collective value of $10,000.
On Sunday 16th August 2020, a presentation ceremony was held at the Jam Rock restaurant located in Frigate Bay located in the vicinity of ‘The Strip’. The packages contained bag of footballs, hand sanitizer, spray bottle, temperature gun and personal use water bottles.
Team representatives in attendance included Rams Village Superstars, Saddlers FC, Dieppe Bay, Conaree FC, Security Forces, Old Road, Newtown, Cayon, Molineux, Sandy Point, Newton Ground, Garden Hotspurs, SL Horsford St. Paul’s and Challengers.
General Secretary Stanley Jacobs pointed out that the SKNFA had suspended its football activities around the end of March 2020 due to the impact of COVD-19 and has been without any football activities since then. He noted that COVID-19 has also impacted the entire world and has significantly impacted sports, and in particular football.
Jacobs touched on the approach taken to address the topic.
The St.Kitts-Nevis Football Association, led by our global partners CONCACAF and FIFA, over the months have not been relaxing and resting but we have been putting together a plan as to how we can move forward in the new norm; how can we restart football safely for everyone. At the heart of everything we do with COVID-19, the safety of everyone is paramount and so we cannot lose focus of that, and so working with FIFA and working with CONCACAF and working with the local health authorities, we began the process of putting together our return to football, and important to that is ensuring that we had the necessary equipment, safety supplies to restart football…which took a significant amount of resources but working with FIFA and CONCACAF, we were able to secure those resources.”
We know that we cannot restart football without you our member clubs and so we’re here to distribute items to the member clubs that will put you in a better position, a safe position to play very safely
According to him: “The intention is once you get the equipment, we want to see all the clubs begin training. From our last count, out of the twenty one (21) clubs, seven (7) member clubs that were actively training. I think that number is way too low if we are looking to restart football. Now bearing in mind that the COVID-19 Task Force, these regulations that are currently in place expires on the 29th of August and effective 29th August midnight, the new regulations kick in. hoping that when the next regulations kicks in [such] would allow competitions.”
He said the current regulations allow for practice matches whilst noting “and so one of the things that we want to do beginning early next week is to begin to have a series of practice.”
SKNFA Technical Director Jeffrey ‘Pedro’ Hazel shared that: “The regulations that we are currently under indicate that there can be interclub matches so you can play amongst yourself in the various clubs and we can have clubs versus clubs so we’re moving towards that. We’ll be making an application to the Ministry of Sports, that is the protocol that was set up by the COVID-19 Task Force we go through sports to get to them, and so we’re making that application so that we can have those practice matches beginning next weekend. We know that quite a number of teams have started practicing and so we’re going to be using those teams first and then we jump start to the other teams but this is an indication for all of us to get ready so that we can get the league restarted hopefully with the new regulations as the General Secretary indicated…”
Hazel disclosed that information such as who the teams are, play location and the entire set-up would be required “so that if the task force personnel show up then we have all the proper things in place so that we can move football forward.”
Pertaining to temperature record keeping, he told that players, coaches and technical staff will have to be documented.