NORTH EAST STARS have been confirmed as 2015 FA Trophy champions, after the Disciplinary Committee of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) dismissed a protest lodged by defeated finalist DIRECTV W Connection.
The teams played to a goalless draw on March 29, before 10-man Stars came away winners, 5-4 on penalty kicks, in the process dethroning DIRECTV W Connection, winners the previous season.
W Connection had played the final “under protest” over Stars’ use of striker Gorean “Ratty” Highley, signed after the close of the January transfer window. After the final, W Connection owner David John Williams made an official protest.
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) had not issued an official decision up to yesterday, although several sources confirmed that a decision was made.
Contacted yesterday, Neville Ferguson, the TTFA’s Director of Tournaments, confirmed that a decision had been made, but directed further enquiry to the TTFA general secretary.
“Yes,” Fergsuon stated, when asked if a decision was made.“Call Sheldon (Phillips), he has the decision.”
Contacted, TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips declined making a pronouncement, until further consultation with both teams and the TTFA.
Late yesterday, however, Stars owner Darryl Mahabir told the Express that on Monday he was informed that W Connection’s protest was thrown out.
“I hear yesterday (Monday),” said Mahabir. “It was my team manager (Maurice Eligon) who informed me yesterday. “As far as I gather, we were on the right page in the sense of the player being allowed to play,” added Mahabir. “I didn’t think we did anything wrong, so from my stand point, I believed that we would have come out a winner.”