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BFA shifting to October start

RACHELLE AGARD, [email protected]

BFA shifting to October start

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With all the changes taking place in international football, the Barbados Football Association (BFA) is following suit.

And the first change will see the Premier League moving towards an October start for the 2018-2019 season.

“The reason for this is that we’re trying to get our seasons in line with other associations and FIFA match days, where they finish around May-early June.

“As soon as this season is done, we will be preparing the top leagues for club licensing, so they can begin again in October, as there would be a short turnaround,” said general secretary Edwyn Wood in an exclusive interview.

While acknowledging that players would now have a longer season, he said the association would still maintain the six-week pre-season tournament.

“That tournament is expected to end the middle of October, and Premier League should begin two weeks later, with any out-of-season tournaments being played throughout July and August going forward,” he said.

Wood added that some restrictions on clubs in the top league would be implemented, as the BFA intended to provide football for them out of season.

The Women’s League is scheduled to begin at the end of August, which would be longer than last year. The Youth League, also beginning later this year, would end in December, making it three competitions running simultaneously.

Wood added that along with the changes, the BFA is currently going through a restructuring phase to ensure the association falls “more in line with a lot of what is required in terms of the people”.

“We’re doing a lot more, and with a lot of what is required, we have to put the right people in the right positions, so there will be some specialised appointments going forward,” he said.

Moreover, the association is forging ahead with its Stop The Violence campaign.

“Bottom line is we don’t set out to try to stop people from playing football. As a matter of fact, we do all in our power to ensure that the players can play,” said Wood.

“What we tend to do is speak to the players and speak to the clubs. If there are excessive situations, we deal with them accordingly.

“More importantly, the rules are there to be followed; they are not unreasonable. If we set a policy for clubs to follow and it presents a challenge, we work with them to see how best we can facilitate everyone,” he added. (RA)