It’s a big disappointment for the Antigua & Barbuda Benna Boys due to the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) pulling the plug on their planned friendly matches carded for May 29 and 31 here at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground (SVRCG).
The matches were organised as the senior national team’s only warm-up encounters leading into their opening round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against St Lucia next month.
Media Officer within the Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) Troy Gibson said they learnt of the cancellation on Tuesday morning.
“The TTFA called the ABFA this morning (Tuesday), indicating that due to unfortunate circumstances with travel arrangements, they are unable to come to the matches and would have to reschedule for another time later in the summer. They weren’t really clear, only to say they ran into an unfortunate situation with travelling to Antigua,” he said.
The ABFA, on Sunday, confirmed the two matches against the T&T Under-23s after the games were said to be in doubt due to the unavailability of both the SVRCG and the Antigua Recreation Ground (ARG).
Gibson said the FA’s technical committee will decide on the way forward where it regards the team’s preparations leading into the opening round of the Qualifiers.
“The technical director and the technical committee will review the situation as soon as possible to see if we can get something done as a replacement for the practice matches. Although we know it’s short notice, the technical director knows what he is looking for, so I am sure that if he really wants a game and we have to go to a close neighbour for a match, we will get something worked out,” the media officer said.
Antigua & Barbuda will host their home game on June 10 while the St Lucia leg will be played on June 14.
The Antigua & Barbuda Football Association was asked to also host the St Lucia leg after the Beausejour Cricket Ground became unavailable due to the hosting of a Test Match between West Indies and the touring Australia.
The World Cup Qualifiers carries an admission fee of $30 per adult and $15 per child 12 years old and younger.