“[…] 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 Development and Sports or the Office of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has received such a request…”
The following is a press statement by the Saint Lucia Office of the Prime Minister, in response to the withdrawal of the Saint Lucia Men’s National Senior Team from the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying series, which was met by protests from players against SLFA president Lyndon Cooper:
The Government of Saint Lucia is disappointed by reports that Saint Lucia has withdraw from the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers. The Saint Lucia Football Association (SLFA) is an independent organisation that governs football within Saint Lucia.
The Government of Saint Lucia is further concerned about reports that the ‘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 Development and Sports or the Office of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has received such a request.
Despite the fact that high contact sports are not allowed under the current Covid-19 protocols due to the high risk, the government has made special provisions for national teams and this is reflected in the legislation.
The Government of Saint Lucia, through the Ministry of Health, recently facilitated training for Platinum FC from Vieux Fort South who are due to travel in April for a tournament in Curaçao. The government will also be assisting with the vaccination of these footballers and team members.
The Ministry of Health has also facilitated some netballers and other athletes who requested one-on-one training or training with strict protocols.
Hopefully, the Football Association will engage with the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports and local footballers to resolve this matter. We look forward to the full clarification from the Saint Lucia Football Association as to the reasons for Saint Lucia’s withdrawal.
The Government of Saint Lucia has made significant investments in sports in Saint Lucia, including football, with the establishment of the Sports Academy and the upgrading of all our sporting facilities, in order to attract regional and international tournaments.
The government will continue to do all it can to facilitate the advancement of our athletes and Saint Lucia as a leader in sports.