“[…] Are we blind to the fact that there is no vaccine for children under 12, yet, for some reason, they are being kept out of safe zones?
“[…] Could it also be that the national governing body, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, which is being run by a Fifa-appointed normalisation committee, has failed to properly plan for the re-opening of the sport?”
The following Letter to the Editor on the delayed resumption of domestic football in Trinidad and Tobago was submitted to Wired868 anonymously by ‘A Seriously Concerned Football Fan’:
In one week’s time, it will be exactly a month since the Ministry of Sports and Community Development re-opened sports in a ‘safe zone’ environment. We have heard not a single word about starting date for football, the largest spectator sport in the world, and I daresay Trinidad & Tobago. Not a single word.
And why? Could it be that behind the new sporting public health regulations, there seemed to be little information about the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ but lots about the ‘what ifs’—as in, what happens if someone breaks the rules?
And there are a lot of fines, from what I have been told and what I have read myself. Where are the published steps to understand how does one become safe zone certified? How does one get their safe zone protocols approved?
Don’t get me wrong, deterrents are a key element to helping ensure we don’t get another Covid outbreak. But are we not also concerned that the rest of the world’s young and old have gone back out to play, with Covid safety protocols?
Are we not concerned that the next Dwight Yorke or Russell Latapy is perhaps being kept away from overseas opportunities?
Are we blind to the fact that there is no vaccine for children under 12, yet, for some reason, they are being kept out of safe zones? Why not allow them a way back out to enjoy playtime with their friends in youth academies and teams?
Invariably, vaccinated and unvaccinated have been allowed to get back out to schools. There are many positive reasons to allow them on the field, with the requisite safety protocols in place.
So far, lockdowns have not proven to prevent outbreaks, and the data shows a healthier population is better able to fight off illness, including Covid. Additionally, our youngest have been mostly indoors, and most likely have to learn (and re-learn) socialising skills.
On top of that, medical professionals have said that they will also be susceptible to obesity, and the serious health ailments that come with that issue as they get older.
Could it also be that the national governing body, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, which is being run by a Fifa-appointed normalisation committee, has failed to properly plan for the re-opening of the sport?
What meetings were held with footballing stakeholders during the lockdown of the sport? What plans came out of those meetings, assuming there were meetings?
Recently, we would have read or heard about various leagues being ready, and awaiting sanction. What has become of those leagues and the impending sanctions? Is it that the TTFA is ill-equipped to handle the mandates within the Public Health Regulations?
Have they undertaken an internal assessment since the regulations were published, to ensure they have the requisite staffing or the personnel qualifications required?
So many questions and not enough answers.
Who is going to man up and take responsibility?
Someone has to answer to the stakeholders, as we are two years behind the rest of the world.