Wed, Dec

Ascension throws Morvant Caledonia out League.

Mor­vant Cale­do­nia Unit­ed, the T&T Pro League cam­paign­ers which was on the verge of win­ning the As­cen­sion In­vi­ta­tion­al Foot­ball League's $250,000 cash prize, was dis­qual­i­fied from hav­ing any fur­ther part in the tour­na­ment, for its play­er part in an al­leged as­sault of match of­fi­cials fol­low­ing a cru­cial match with De­fence Force on Wednes­day evening at the Lar­ry Gomes Sta­di­um in Mal­abar, Ari­ma.

The ban came from Tour­na­ment Or­ga­niz­er Richard Fer­gu­son, who in a re­lease is­sued on Fri­day night, said the de­ci­sion came af­ter a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the in­ci­dent.

Cir­cu­lat­ing video footage showed play­ers from the Mor­vant-based team al­leged­ly as­sault­ing as­sis­tant ref­er­ee Kirt Charles af­ter the match, which end­ed 1-0 in favour of the Army Coast-Guard Com­bi­na­tion team.

It is un­der­stood the Cale­do­nia play­ers were in­fu­ri­at­ed af­ter the game's on­ly goal scored by Jer­wyn Balt­haz­ar was al­lowed to stand by ref­er­ee Crys­tal Sobers.

Fer­gu­son in his re­lease said- "At match num­ber 51, the home game of Cale­do­nia against De­fence Force, was played at the Lar­ry Gomes Sta­di­um on 18th Sep­tem­ber 2019. At the end of the game, there was an as­sault in­volv­ing Cale­do­nia play­ers, team of­fi­cials, match ref­er­ees and as­sis­tant ref­er­ee. The match com­mis­sion­er sub­se­quent­ly made a re­port re­gard­ing the in­ci­dent and an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was con­duct­ed by the com­pe­ti­tion man­ag­er and oth­er of­fi­cials of the tour­na­ment. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­clud­ed eye­wit­ness ac­counts, video graph­ic ev­i­dence, state­ments from the match com­mis­sion­er, the ref­er­ee and the as­sis­tant ref­er­ee, along with play­ers, coach­es and of­fi­cials of Cale­do­nia. Af­ter seek­ing le­gal ad­vice and con­sult­ing the rules of the com­pe­ti­tion, along with FI­FA rules, a de­ci­sion was tak­en to dis­qual­i­fy Cale­do­nia from the As­cen­sion In­vi­ta­tion­al Tour­na­ment."

Con­tact­ed yes­ter­day for a com­ment, Ja­mal Shabazz, Cale­do­nia's chief cook and bot­tle - wash­er, said he had no com­ment to make. "No­body in Cale­do­nia has any com­ment to make on this mat­ter. Let the Scribes and the Phar­isees have their day. Our time will come," Shabazz ex­plained.

Mean­while, the as­sault on the match of­fi­cial was al­so con­demned by the mem­ber­ship of the T&T Foot­ball Ref­er­ee As­so­ci­a­tion, through its Gen­er­al Sec­re­tary Boni Bish­op.

A re­lease from that or­gan­i­sa­tion which al­so came on Fri­day stat­ed, "The mem­ber­ship of the T&T Foot­ball Ref­er­ees As­so­ci­a­tion con­demns in the strongest terms, the at­tack on the of­fi­cials of­fi­ci­at­ing the Mor­vant-Cale­do­nia AIA vs De­fence Force match played on Wednes­day 18th Sep­tem­ber 2019. Match Of­fi­cials pro­vide a nec­es­sary ser­vice in the con­duct of the game of foot­ball, mak­ing judg­ments on the match, in ac­cor­dance with, the Laws of the Game."

It added, "Play­ers and team of­fi­cials do dam­age when they seek to pro­nounce on sit­u­a­tions, which are pro­vid­ed for in the Laws, and worse when they re­act in ways which di­rect­ly com­pro­mise the safe­ty of our match of­fi­cials. Such ac­tions on­ly help to bring the game in­to dis­re­pute, and must be con­demned by all par­ties which have an in­ter­est in the sport."

"The T&T Foot­ball Ref­er­ees As­so­ci­a­tion will sup­port the strongest dis­ci­pli­nary ac­tion tak­en against the of­fend­ers in the sit­u­a­tion which has been well-doc­u­ment­ed in video ev­i­dence. Fail­ure to take se­ri­ous ac­tion will cre­ate a prece­dent which can con­tribute to even more se­ri­ous in­ci­dents in the fu­ture… this must be avoid­ed at all cost."

The tour­na­ment en­ters its fi­nal round to­day with lead­ers De­fence Force (25 points) set to clinch the ti­tle with a win over Matu­ra Re­Unit­ed at the Ato Boldon Sta­di­um, Cou­va from 4 pm. With Cale­do­nia out, third-place Cunu­pia FC, with 19 points, can on­ly bat­tle for the run­ner-up spot of $125, 000 when they tack­le Po­lice 3:30 pm at the Lar­ry Gomes Sta­di­um. San Juan Jabloteh, who are al­so on 19 points, can wres­tle the sec­ond-place prize if they win to­mor­row against Ter­minix La Hor­quet­ta Rangers at La Hor­quet­ta from 6 pm.


Cunu­pia FC vs Po­lice, 3:30 pm @Lar­ry Gomes Sta­di­um

Prison Ser­vice FC vs Guaya Unit­ed FC, 4 pm @YTC Arou­ca

De­fence Force vs Matu­ra Re­Unit­ed, 4 pm @ Ato Boldon Sta­di­um

QPCC vs Club San­do, 4 pm @ St Mary's Col­lege Grid

1*De­fence Force F.C*10*8*1*1*22*6*16*25
2*Mor­vant Cale­do­nia AIA*10*8*0*2*21*11*10*24
3*Cunu­pia FC*10*6*1*3*23*13*19*22
4*Ter­minix La Hor­quet­ta Rangers F.C*10*6*2*2*36*8*28*20
5*San Juan Jabloteh*9*6*1*2*20*13*7*19
6*Club San­do F.C*10*5*1*4*18*14*4*16
7*Po­lice F.C*10*3*2*5*18*14*4*11
8*F.C. San­ta Rosa*10*3*2*5*14*24*-10*11
10*Guaya Unit­ed F.C*10*2*0*8*7*24*-17*6
11*Prison Ser­vice F.C*10*1*1*8*11*27*-16*4
12*Matu­ra Re­Unit­ed F.C*10*1*1*8*11*41*-30*4