Neither the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports nor the Office of the Chief Medical Officer received a request from the Saint Lucia Football Association (SLFA), to have a team train for World Cup Qualifiers. That’s the word from Senior Communications Officer in the office of the Prime Minister, Nicole Mc Donald, who on Thursday issued a statement on Saint Lucia’s non-participation in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. The national football team was scheduled to kick off its participation in the event on March 24 against Nicaragua.
Mc Donald says that Prime Minister Allen Chastanet (pictured) “feels very passionate” about football.
“The government of Saint Lucia is disappointed by reports that Saint Lucia has withdrawn from the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. The SLFA is an independent organization that governs football clubs and competitions within Saint Lucia,” Mc Donald stated.
“The government of Saint Lucia is further concerned about reports that authorities turned down requests for special training for a national football team. The government can confirm that we have no record of a request being made by the SLFA to have a team train for World Cup Qualifiers. Neither the Ministry of Youth & Sports nor the Office of the Chief Medical Officer have received such a request.”
She continued: “Despite the fact that high contact sports are not allowed under the current COVID-19 protocols because of the sheer high-risk, the government has always made special provisions for national athletes.”
The Senior Communications Officer indicated that through the Ministry of Health, the government recently facilitated training for Vieux Fort’s Platinum FC who are due to compete in Curacao in April. The Ministry of Health has also facilitated netballers and other athletes who have requested one-on-one training or training with strict protocols, she said.
Mc Donald added: “Hopefully the football association will engage with the line ministry, the Youth & Sports Ministry and local footballers to resolve this matter. We look forward to the full clarification from the SLFA as to the reasons for Saint Lucia’s withdrawal.”
The SLFA is scheduled to hold a press conference tomorrow, Friday.