COVID-19 corners T&T sports too - EntornoInteligente
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TTFA can­cels in­ter­na­tion­al friend­lies

With the best in­ter­est of the safe­ty of play­ers, staff mem­bers, of­fi­cials and fans among all stake­hold­ers the T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (TTFA) and Cana­da Soc­cer As­so­ci­a­tion have de­cid­ed on Fri­day to can­cel the two up­com­ing in­ter­na­tion­al friend­lies be­tween both coun­tries sched­uled to take place Lang­ford, British Co­lum­bia, Cana­da on March 27 and March 31 as the world con­tin­ues to grap­ple with the spread of COVID-19.

“Due to the un­cer­tain­ty of the coro­n­avirus and the im­pact it is hav­ing on coun­tries, ma­jor events both sport­ing and oth­er forms across the globe, we have de­cid­ed, along with Cana­da Soc­cer, to can­cel the up­com­ing in­ter­na­tion­al friend­lies against Cana­da which were sched­uled for Lang­ford, British Co­lum­bia,” said TTFA pres­i­dent William Wal­lace.

“As ma­jor or­gan­i­sa­tions are mak­ing dif­fi­cult and com­plex health and risk man­age­ment de­ci­sions about host­ing or par­tak­ing in sport­ing events which in­volves trav­el and as­sem­bly of large crowds it be­came ap­par­ent to us that this was the most pru­dent course of ac­tion.”

The first of the two match­es sched­uled for West­hills Sta­di­um was re­port­ed to be sold out ac­cord­ing to that Cana­da Soc­cer As­so­ci­a­tion.

“It is, of course, dis­ap­point­ing to us as we were an­tic­i­pat­ing both games, the first for our re­cent­ly ap­point­ed head coach Ter­ry Fen­wick and crit­i­cal to­wards our prepa­ra­tions for the Con­ca­caf Gold Cup play­off in June. With that said, we are in the process of an­oth­er plan of ac­tion to at least give our men’s team some form of prepa­ra­tion dur­ing the up­com­ing win­dow. Of course, this is sub­ject to the con­di­tions due to COVID-19.”

TTFA shared that sev­er­al over­seas-based play­ers have in­di­cat­ed that they will not be avail­able to trav­el for the match­es due to trav­el re­stric­tions re­lat­ed to COVID-19 in­clud­ing Sau­di Ara­bia-based mid­field­er Khaleem Hy­land and Is­rael-based winger Levi Gar­cia.

T&T head coach Ter­ry Fen­wick said, “Ob­vi­ous­ly it’s dis­ap­point­ing that we will not be able to play these two match­es but it is un­der­stand­able un­der the cir­cum­stances as the safe­ty of every­one in­volved is of ut­most im­por­tance. We will con­tin­ue to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion and work to­wards a plan that can see our team hav­ing an op­por­tu­ni­ty to work to­wards the qual­i­fiers com­ing up.”

Foot­ball’s gov­ern­ing body, FI­FA, has de­cid­ed to can­cel the next FI­FA Con­gress in Ad­dis Aba­ba, Ethiopia sched­uled for June 5 – Sep­tem­ber 18. It has al­so pushed back the com­ing FI­FA Coun­cil meet­ing in Zurich, due to be on March 20, un­til June or Ju­ly.

FI­FA said in a state­ment: “Nu­mer­ous in­ter­na­tion­al bod­ies and pub­lic health au­thor­i­ties have ad­vised against the or­gan­i­sa­tion of in­ter­na­tion­al events.”

Con­ca­caf has al­so sus­pend­ed match­es in the Cham­pi­ons League.

The TTFA ear­li­er to­day sus­pend­ed all na­tion­al eams train­ing ses­sions un­til March 27 and have al­so can­celled all screen­ing ses­sions for the Boys Un­der-14 and U-16 teams un­til fur­ther no­tice.

TTFA ad­vised that it will con­tin­ue to close­ly mon­i­tor all COVID-19 de­vel­op­ments in con­sul­ta­tion with the Min­istry of Health and all rel­e­vant gov­ern­ing bod­ies through its med­ical com­mit­tee.

<Pro League halts match­es>

T&T Pro League has de­cid­ed to can­cel all match­es as of this week­end un­til fur­ther no­tice. This comes on the heels of what is tak­ing place na­tion­al­ly with COVID-19 (Coro­n­avirus).

The body cit­ed that it has a re­spon­si­bil­i­ty to pro­tect its play­ers, tech­ni­cal staff, match com­mis­sion­ers, ref­er­ees, ded­i­cat­ed me­dia of­fi­cers and the gen­er­al pub­lic from any con­tin­u­ous spread of the virus.

The TT Pro League chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (CEO) Ju­lia Bap­tiste said: “We must be re­spon­si­ble as a league. While we are not go­ing to be in a state of pan­ic or pan­de­mo­ni­um, we have to be mind­ful of the mul­ti­pli­er ef­fect of the virus and act in the best in­ter­est of all stake­hold­ers and lim­it its spread as much as pos­si­ble.”

De­fence Force leads the 11-team stand­ings with 42 points af­ter 17 match­es. The sol­dier/sailor com­bi­na­tion unit en­joys a com­fort­able sev­en-point ad­van­tage on its clos­est ri­val Ter­minix La Hor­quet­ta Rangers on 35 points in 17 games, with Point Fortin Civic, mul­ti­ple-times win­ner W Con­nec­tion and Mor­vant Cale­do­nia Unit­ed se­cur­ing third, fourth and fifth on the ta­ble, re­spec­tive­ly.

<TTCB to con­tin­ue with lo­cal crick­et>

T&T Crick­et Board (TTCB) will con­tin­ue to host its lo­cal match­es this week­end and will then as­sess the coro­n­avirus sit­u­a­tion this com­ing week be­fore sus­pend­ing crick­et.

This state­ment was made by the pres­i­dent of the TTCB Az­im Bas­sarath on Fri­day at the Bri­an Lara Crick­et Acad­e­my in Tarou­ba, San Fer­nan­do.

Bas­sarath said: “We at the TTCB is very con­cerned with what is go­ing on in the coun­try at the mo­ment. We are go­ing to keep a close eye on the week­end. We have re­gion­al crick­et go­ing on this week­end with T&T play­ing the Wind­wards and how then can we sus­pend lo­cal crick­et. We want to con­tin­ue this week­end and on Mon­day or Tues­day, we will make a fur­ther as­sess­ment.”

To­day, there will be match­es in the TTCB Pre­mier­ship Di­vi­sion I and TTCB Pre­mier­ship Di­vi­sion II, as well as Zon­al crick­et.

Bas­sarath said: “A num­ber of clubs have been call­ing to find out what’s the sit­u­a­tion and we are try­ing to keep things calm, so we are go­ing to care­ful­ly con­tin­ue to play the crick­et and look at the sit­u­a­tion here in Trinidad be­fore we make a def­i­nite de­ci­sion.”

There is al­so the TTCB Un­der-17 In­ter­zone se­ries on this com­ing Wednes­day and Bas­sarath said that he would con­tin­ue to urge the In­ter­zone teams to con­tin­ue their work but a de­ci­sion as to whether they play the next round will be made in a cou­ple of days.

“We are mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion and we are be­ing guid­ed by the gov­ern­ment and the min­is­ter of health and we will make a de­ci­sion af­ter care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion.”

Guardian Me­dia un­der­stands that Crick­et West In­dies (CWI) may sus­pend all four-day crick­et af­ter this cur­rent round. They are al­so ex­pect­ed to post­pone the re­gion­al U-15 tour­na­ment card­ed for An­tigua and al­so the re­gion­al women’s crick­et se­ries.

<T&T vol­ley­ball put on hold>

Late on Fri­day, the T&T Vol­ley­ball Fed­er­a­tion (TTVF), due to the dead­ly virus, al­so halt­ed all na­tion­al team train­ing ses­sions.

To en­sure that no one from the vol­ley­ball fra­ter­ni­ty is neg­a­tive­ly af­fect­ed by its events, ac­tions and de­ci­sions, the ex­ec­u­tive has al­so sus­pend­ed all de­vel­op­men­tal train­ing ses­sions and all events planned by the TTVF and its af­fil­i­ate clubs

The re­lease added: “Please note that this is to be ac­tioned with im­me­di­ate ef­fect un­til fur­ther no­tice.”

LINK ORIGINAL: The Trinidad Guardian

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