Covid outbreak hits start of football season
The hastily announced start to the football season beat an equally hasty retreat with the recent outbreak of Covid-19 cases on island apparently at the heart of postponements on successive days of the holiday weekend.
The Bermuda Football Association, less than 48 hours after springing the opening matches on the public, confirmed 90 minutes before the scheduled 6.30pm kick-off on Sunday that the Dudley Eve Trophy play-off match between Hamilton Parish and Young Men’s Social Club was off until further notice in the wake of the results of “Covid-19 testing on players and officials on Friday, September 3”.
Hours later, a second release giving no explanation said that the Charity Cup match between Robin Hood and Devonshire Cougars was “cancelled”.
Then yesterday morning, with predictable inevitability, the Labour Day double-header at Bernard Park meant to feature Devonshire Colts versus St George’s and Dandy Town against Somerset Trojans was postponed after an emergency meeting of the BFA’s Executive Council.
It is The Royal Gazette’s understanding that Robin Hood refused to play in the Charity Cup over health and safety reasons.
That is one of a number of queries posed to the BFA, which by time of press had yet to come good on its promise that “additional details will be forthcoming shortly”.
The other questions were:
• “You referenced Covid-19 protocol for the postponement of the Hamilton Parish/YMSC match. Are the reasons for the next two matches being put off the same?”
• “What is the status of the Wednesday night double-header?”
• “In hindsight, do you believe it realistic to schedule a SafeKey event giving the public, especially those who are unvaccinated, less than 48 hours’ notice?”
Subsequent calls to BFA president Mark Wade and general secretary David Sabir went unanswered and unreturned.
As of the time of the last government update on September 3, when 290 active cases were revealed, the country’s Covid-19 status was said by health minister Kim Wilson to be reminiscent of community transmission.
Football has been significantly affected throughout the life of the pandemic, with the 2019-20 season ending in March 2020 with a round of league fixtures to go and the FA Cup Final unplayed, and the 2020-21 programme discontinuing last December and ultimately cancelled three months later.