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Forced Shutdown of Provo TCIFA Grassroots Programme

The reopening of the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association (TCIFA) Grassroots programme on Providenciales was short-lived, as three days after announcing a resumption of activities, the administrators said they were forced to shut down again amid what they term as the sudden and burdensome weekly recurring price-tag that government’s COVID regulations would bring to bear.

At a Cabinet Meeting held on April 28, Government gave its blessing for some sporting activities to resume, after more than a year of hiatus caused from the world-wide spreading of COVID-19.

The statement read as follows: “…Approved commencement of Phase 2 “Return to Training-Close Contact” for all sports, and commencement of Phase 3 “Return to Domestic Competition” for selected sports (Track, Field, Swimming and Football) on 1 May, subject to appropriate COVID testing or vaccination requirements.”

The TCIFA argued that after learning of the regulations, believes it would be too much of a financial burden to undertake testing cost for the more than 200 children on Provo that have signed up with the programme. And it would be completely unfair to pass on the costs to parents. And so, it has been forced to shut down the programme until further notice.

The following is the statement from the FA: “On Monday, May 3rd 2021, TCIFA announced the resumption of all football activities following the Turks and Caicos Islands Government’s (TCIG) approval. Since then, TCIG Ministry of Sports implemented new regulations demanding weekly COVID-19 testing of all players in the grassroots programme.

“Given the magnitude of that condition by the Government, the inability of the TCIFA to absorb this cost and equally the obvious unfairness to pass on such costs to parents, the TCIFA has been forced to immediately pause its grassroots programme on the island of Providenciales until further notice.”

The FA pointed out that the programme would reopen as soon as there is an amicable resolution in the matter.

“The TCIFA continues discussions with TCIG to see how best this matter can be resolved to allow a smooth return-to-play for grassroots participants,” the statement concluded.

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