St. John’s Antigua- Chairman of the Competitions Committee within Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), Gwen Salmon, has revealed that the FA has been forced to postponed the opening of the 2012/13 season by at least two weeks.
Salmon, during an interview, said that after being approached by a number of clubs taking part in the senior division of the ongoing Warriors’ Cup, she had no choice but to hold off on the planned opening which was slated to start with the prize-giving and awards ceremony on August 18.
“A couple of the clubs had asked me if we could push it back by a week or so because they wanted to be part of the Warriors’ Cup and the week they would be playing would be clashing with the games in the Warriors’ Cup, so we looked at the whole thing and made a decision that we would push it back and put the opening for Saturday 1st September with the Second Division kicking off on September 3 and the First Division on September 4, while the Premier League will kick off on September 15,” she said.
According to Salmon, however, it was the clubs who had requested an earlier than usual season commencement.
“When we had discussions with the clubs at the last meeting we had at the Multipurpose Centre, it was just an open meeting and they wanted us to start immediately after Carnival and that was the consensus of all the clubs that as soon as Carnival was finished we need to start the season because some of them have difficulties with the field in terms of a clash with cricket and football; so as soon as the Carnival was finished that we had to start, so we told them we would have started immediately after Carnival,” Salmon said.
Asked about the readiness of Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG), the Competitions Committee head said inspections on all playing surfaces are slated to commence next week.
“We are hoping that by next week, the Carnival Committee would have started taking down some of the things they have in there so that we could look at getting that ready for September 15. We sent out an email about a week or week and a half ago asking the clubs to indicate to us what field they would be utilising for the season in the First and Second divisions because from next week, we intend to go out and start to inspect those fields and see what condition the fields are in,” she said.
LIME Old Road are the defending champions in the inet Premier Division, while A&R Plumbing & Electrical Services Celtics and Virgin Holidays Fort Road gained promotion to the top flight.
West Ham and Jennings Grenades were promoted to First Division.