Eager to get football back on track, the T&T Football Association Members, have agreed unanimously to a collective approach to vaccinating its members for a quick return to the football field.
The decision comes weeks after the government's 'vaccinate to operative' drive which was announced by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley about three weeks ago.
The initiative for a collective approach to having members of the football fraternity vaccinated, came from Keiron Edwards, the Eastern Football Association (EFA) president in a move to have the members lobby with one voice, instead of doing it individually. Only recently the executive of the T&T Pro League called for between 400 to 600 vaccines to be made available to its members, while the organisers of the Ascension Football League also made a similar call.
However, last week the two organisations joined forces at a virtual meeting of the membership, that also included the T&T Super League, the Women's Football League (WoLF), Futsal, the six Regional Associations such as the Eastern Football Association (EFA), Southern FA, Central FA, Northern FA, Tobago FA and the Eastern Counties Football Union (ECFU), among others. Edwards said only the Beach Soccer and the American Youth Soccer Organisation (AYSO) did not attend the meeting due to their unavailability.
Following the meeting, a letter was sent to the Ministry of Health to expand its policy for the vaccine roll-out to include the football fraternity, Edwards told Guardian Media Sports.
A release sent out after the meeting said: "The Administrations of the Member Associations of the TTFA will make concerted efforts to encourage the members of the Football fraternity to immediately avail themselves of the Covid-19 vaccinations in order to restart football in all the Communities in the Country immediately upon receipt of approval to proceed by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.
TTFA Member-Stakeholders consider the restart of football of all Leagues and Competitions in the Country to be essential, with the full vaccination of footballers, coaches, technical staff, referees, and other related personnel, and would welcome working directly with the Ministry of Health to facilitate this exercise in the earliest possible time frame.
The envisaged immunization would have all members of our football fraternity visit the venues of the Ministry of Health to facilitate the exercise, similar to what has been done for the Chamber of Commerce, the TTMA, the Supermarket Association and other such entities."
Edwards said that a quick return to play will serve the mental and physical health of young people in the country.