For the second year running the CARIFTA Games has been canceled.
The 49th edition of the games that were scheduled to be held in Bermuda in August, was canceled because the host country was not willing to amend its Covid-19 regulations to accommodate athletes arriving for competition.
According to the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC), they arrived at the decision to cancel as the Government of Bermuda maintained that the 14-day quarantine for unvaccinated visitors is non-negotiable, making it highly impractical for there to be an Under-17 category as is the norm and for NACAC to stage the region’s premier junior track and field meet.
In a statement released late on Monday night, general secretary of the North American, Central American, and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Keith Joseph said COVID-19 protocols in Bermuda have significantly impacted on the cancellation.
‘”NACAC understands the impact that another cancellation of our premier annual junior competition will have on our young athletes. Unfortunately, we have carefully taken all factors into consideration and are left with no option but to cancel the CARIFTA Games 2021. The Bermuda authorities have made it clear that the 14-mandotory quarantine for unvaccinated athletes is non-negotiable,” the statement said.
“While Bermuda allows for athletes from 16 years to be vaccinated, the majority of our CARIFTA family members are in countries where the authorities only allow vaccination for persons 18 years and older,” it added.
Joseph said NACAC was not prepared to compromise the quality of the games with the exclusions of several divisions.
“We cannot host the event without the Under 17s, who, from our vantage point are as integral to the event as the Under-20s. We will not agree to having an edition of the CARIFTA Games that does not engage the traditional categories and which disenfranchises a significant number of athletes.”