It is either players and officials get fully vaccinated or do without any competitive football. That’s the predicament faced by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation’s fraternity, as the proposed Invitational Futsal and female Nine-A-Side -tournaments were forced to be deferred.
At the heart of the decision is correspondence from this country’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Simone Keizer-Beache last Monday, July 26, which informed the General Secretary of the SVGFF, Devron Poyer, of the conditions for hosting the tournaments.
Accordingly, the CMO’s letter advised: “only fully vaccinated (two doses at least two weeks prior to the event) players and officials over 18 years of age may participate”.
With the tournaments set to open this Friday and Saturday, respectively, meant the CMO’s guidelines would have been unable to be followed.
The Futsal tournament was carded for Sion Hill, Arnos Vale, Calliaqua, Gomea, Biabou, as well as Layou and Barrouallie. Matches in this tournament were set for the evenings of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Whereas, in the case of the female tournament, the venues allocated were the Richmond Hill Playing Field, the Sion Hill Playing Field, the Hope Playing Field and Arnos Vale Two, on Saturdays only.
The tournaments were to be guided by some health protocols, which were to be policed by the local constabulary.
Permission for hosting of the tournaments were initially given by Commissioner of Police Colin John.
Caught off-guard and stunned by the subsequent decision of the CMO, President of the SVGF, Carl Dickson, indicated that the matter will have repercussions for future tournaments.
Dickson noted that his organisation will continue to be in conversation with its affiliates as to the way forward in light of the current Covid-19 situation and unfolding developments.
The SVGFF is set to kick off its 2021/2022 National Club Championships in October.