ARTICIPATING clubs of this year’s Ascension Invitational League are in agreement with the committee’s decision to postpone today’s kickoff pending final approval by the Ministry of Health.
Even though coaches Michael De Four (Cunupia FC) and Ron La Forest (Real West Fort United) have been fine-tuning their respective squads in anticipation of today’s return to competition, the pair acknowledges that player and staff safety remains the top priority.
The second edition of the league was scheduled to get underway with a double-header at Phase II Recreation Ground, La Horquetta.
However, on Wednesday, tournament organiser Richard Ferguson was advised by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith that he must attain approval from Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram.
This consent has now been forcibly placed on the backburner pending the swearing-in of the new Cabinet by the re-elected Government.
While in agreement with the league’s decision, all participating teams are raring to go. Today’s matches would have seen San Fernando Giants up against Central FC followed by reigning Ascension Invitational League One champions Defence Force facing 2019 runners-up Terminix La Horquetta Rangers FC.
On Saturday, Cunupia FC and Real West Fort United were scheduled to lock horns in battle.
“Our preparations have been going good for us and we were ready to start on Saturday. The additional time augers well for us to have more time to prepare. We were really looking forward to the start of the league. They said the league would be postponed for one week. It’s a very understandable situation. The entire world is still sceptical to return to normalcy and we should be too,” said La Forest.
Meanwhile, De Four shared similar sentiments and applauded league officials for taking such a bold step to push back the tourney. With the recent spike in covid19 cases, he believes organisers made the right choice to safeguard those involved with the Ascension Invitational.
“Right now, we understand that there’s a spike in covid19 cases and that the Government, who we feel has done a good job up to recently, has to take the necessary precautions. The players will understand. The virus is hitting us head-on and we must take preventative measures. We were and still are excited to come back out to play, in spite of all that is happening,” said De Four.
Even if the tournament gets cancelled due to continued spread of the novel virus, De Four believes teams will turn their attention to the TT Pro League, which is scheduled to start at the end of September.
Likewise, there is a possibility the TT Pro League may also get pushed back or cancelled if local coronavirus spread continued at its current pace.