Canadian Premier League (CPL)-based T&T trio of Akeem Garcia and Andre Rampersad, both of HFX Wanderers, and Kareem Moses of Edmonton FC are expected to be allowed to train outdoors with their respective clubs soon.
This is according to an article on sportnet.ca on Tuesday which said the decision to resume training was pending approval from their local authorities.
Both Garcia (23) and Rampersad (25) joined the Wanderers after a title-winning season in T&T Super League with FC Santa Rosa in 2019 while 30-year-old Moses is also in his second year at Edmonton having left Finland's FF Jaro in January 2019.
The league was slated to start its second season on April 11 but postponed the kickoff on March 20, saying it was following Canada Soccer Association’s decision to suspend all sanctioned soccer activities — and COVID-19 directives by governments and health officials banning public gatherings during the global pandemic.
The suspension of the regular-season came one week after the CPL said it was halting pre-season training for all its clubs for 14 days, and since then the league has remained on hiatus. Now the CPL is looking to resume training, although it may be a staggered return.
The league said Tuesday that it and its eight clubs are “actively engaged” with their respective provincial and municipal governments regarding approval required to return to training.
“The CPL’s clubs are expected to commence training shortly that will begin with non-contact individual or small group workouts on a rolling basis pending approval,” it added in a statement.
“All player workouts must be conducted according to the Canadian Premier League’s return-to-training protocols. The priority of these protocols is the safety and well-being of players, technical staff and employees, as well as their families when they return to training.”
Since suspending play, the league has asked the federal government for financial assistance during the global pandemic.
The league has asked Ottawa for “short-term financing” of $15 million, saying it is working “on any and all scenarios” related to playing a season in 2020.
CPL commissioner David Clanachan said the league needed help in the form of bridge financing.
The league moved to control costs last month with players having 25 per cent of their contracts deferred, while coaches, inclusive of former T&T senior team coach Stephen Hart (HFC Halifax Wanderers), technical staff, and club and league employees are taking unspecified pay reductions “during this challenging time in order to keep as many people as possible employed.”
In North America, 22 MLS teams including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, have started voluntary individual outdoor workouts at their training centres.
Looking ahead towards a possible start of the season, the CPL has also approached the Prince Edward Island (PEI) government, one of eastern Canada's maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the Gulf of St Lawrence, about the possibility of holding its 2020 season on the Island.
To mitigate the risk of someone in the league bringing COVID-19 to the province, the league is proposing everyone would quarantine for 14 days before arriving and then a further 14 days after that, for a total of 28 days.
The league would bring significant benefits to its summer season host. The 300 players, coaches and media would be on the Island for 60 days for a 36-game season. The games would be played without a live audience, for television broadcast only.
The league is planning to start the quarantine of participants on June 15, and MacKay the province will probably have to decide in the next few days.