“We Can Hardly Say We Have A Sport Industry”

209
Cliff Williams, NOC Secretary

Secretary of the National Olympic Committee (NOC), Cliff Williams, is of the view that sports should have already resumed following the suspension of all sport events in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Appearing on Pointe FM’s Touchline programme Williams said, “People are being allowed to train, but not play competitively. You are free to go on the fields, the road and train and play, but not compete. I don’t understand why the authorities have not put the athletes back in the hands of the federations and hold them responsible for managing the protocols.” 

Williams said all sports are suffering the loss of a number of administrators and athletes because some young people in particular have begun to lose interest in participating. 

“I don’t know why sports is the last industry to open and when I read the Cabinet minutes I see no plan or discussions for the handover of sports to the federations and how it will be executed.” 

In light of this, Williams continued, “We can hardly say we have a sports industry presently.”

Williams also noted that during a recently held virtual meeting, the NOC expressed confidence that the next Olympics to be held in Tokyo will take place as the International Olympic Committee has given that assurance. 

According to Williams, most of the athletes who will represent Antigua and Barbuda at the Olympics are presently training abroad.