PRESIDENT of the Saint Lucia Football Association (SLFA) Inc., Lyndon Cooper on Monday said his organization will take no responsibility for any player breaking COVID -19 protocols.
“This New Year has seen a real spike in the number of COVID- 19 cases, 1411 and a total of 15 deaths up until Sunday, 31st January. While we lament that this situation needs to be dealt with, we must be cognizant that our habits can either help us bring this pandemic under control or cause the situation to escalate,” Cooper said.
“Desisting from large crowd gatherings and engaging in contact sports have been two of the restrictions that have been recommended by the health authorities and government. With football being a contact sport, we believe that it is our duty as a responsible Association to make another appeal to all members of the public to adhere to the government’s issued protocols,” he added.
Cooper said it has been brought to his attention that individuals were taking part in the playing of football under the guise of “taking a sweat”.
“The SLFA takes no responsibility for any player breaking the COVID- 19 protocols. In this light, the Saint Lucia Football Association would like to plead to its football family, both affiliates, as well as non-attached individuals, to help in controlling this epidemic. While we are aware that physical activity is necessary for good health, engaging in football activities where we compete against each other, albeit on a friendly nature, is not in keeping with the adherence of the government’s issued protocols,” he said.
Added Cooper, “As President of the SLFA Inc., I would like to remind all clubs and affiliates to follow all the protocols issued by the Government of Saint Lucia, through the Ministry of Health and the Chief Medical Officer. Football administrators need to inform all players to adhere to the established protocols.”
He further went on to remind all SLFA Coaches, staff and football players, not to encourage, facilitate or participate in any practice sessions on any football field on island, as all contact sports have been discontinued under the COVID-19 protocols.
Cooper said, “Given the gravity of the situation it is my duty to appeal to you, the wives, girlfriends, brothers, nephews, nieces, employers, employees, friends, loved ones and all who have someone engaging or participating in a “sweat” to appeal to them to stop and play their part in order to save lives”.
“Let us be pro-active citizens for the health of ourselves, our families and our country. The Saint Lucia Football Association Inc. would like to urge all football loving persons to practice a high level of responsibility and safety and please adhere to the protocols as set out by the authorities,” Cooper said.
The SLFA Chief also expressed sincerest condolences to the families who lost loved ones to COVID-19 and speedy recovery to affected persons.