On Tuesday evening I arrived home early and sat down to look at the news and enjoy a relatively quiet night; maybe look at a movie, or better yet just relax. As the news started the murders and accidental crashes filled the headlines but what saddened me even further was the shooting death of a young footballer — Noah Simmons — who was allegedly shot dead by a friend.
Not only was another life lost to gun violence but from all reports, young Simmons was a very promising player with a bright future. Imagine police shooting at police and so many lives being snuffed out to gun violence, we must admit as a society that we have reached the depths of hell.
The lead sports story then had me really thinking: No one in this country involved in sport wants to follow rules and decisions taken — unless of course — it is in their favour. Players and administrators alike just want to do their own thing and then huff and puff to blow down anything that stands in their way.
I am referring here to the story I heard regarding Defence Force and their perceived unfairness to them at not gaining entry into the upcoming Super League season 2018. Now let us examine some facts as people tend to leave out those tiny but important details, which can be relevant to an issue. The Board of the Super League had recommended that the middle of March — the deadline for payment of subscriptions to the League, be on April 13.
However, at a general meeting, the clubs decided to extend the deadline date to April 30 and this was unanimously adopted. On April 30, 2018, only 12 clubs had paid up fully and a further two clubs — Erin FC and San Fernando Giants — had made part payments.
At a board meeting on May 1 2018, it was agreed to extend the deadline to May 4 2018, at which time San Fernando Giants paid off their subscription fully while Erin FC made a further part payment and a letter from their association — the Southern Football Association (SFA) indicating that they had prize money for them and committed to paying the outstanding amount.
If the league was unfair in their dealings they could have given both clubs back their money and said quite categorically that the deadline was not met and you can’t play. However, both these clubs had extenuating circumstances so this “unfair and biased” league showed some compassion by giving all clubs a further deadline of May 4, 2018 to complete the subscription fees.
In the case of Phoenix FC from Tobago, they claimed part payment was made directly into the Super League’s bank account, however, no evidence was given to support this claim and consequently they were given until Monday 7 May 2018 to provide this evidence.
April 30, 2018 was the date which coincided with the deadline given by the TTFA to all clubs to become compliant. In other words, the TTFA board, with ratification from the general meeting suspended all non-compliant members by the said April 30, 2018 in which they would lose all rights within football. The deadline was extended three times.
It really amazes me the thinking of some administrators. There was absolutely no correspondence from the Defence Force indicating at no time that they could not meet the deadline.
If this league has to be professional and organised, then clubs have to become a professional and step up their organisation to meet the demands of the League. The Defence Force representative claims they faced excruciating circumstances where slow Government processes have prevented them from paying the registration fee and quite frankly I could understand this.
However, why was this not communicated to the secretariat of the league?
I completely agree that we are losing our young men in areas to crime, drugs etc. and football is certainly a way out for them but we must have some order and rules to abide by in sport. We as administrators must ensure we stick to the rules and do not break them ourselves as what type of example would we be setting for our youngsters?
We as administrators need to come together and do good for the sport. Look at what is happening to all our major sports in the country. Instead, we spend 95 per cent of the time fighting one another for power when in fact we are wrong and strong.
Come on, let’s all put our heads together and work for the beautiful game!