LOCAL REFEREE Michael London is currently warded at the San Fernando General Hospital, suffering from a fractured jaw and bruised ribs from a brutal assault, after a match at the La Brea Football League, on Thursday night.
The game, involving Gonzales United and Young Stars, took a turn for the worse when London awarded a penalty to Gonzales United, to the ire of a few Young Stars players, who physically confronted the official.
A video clip, which aired on a local newscast last evening, showed London being attacked by players and fans.
The League is not sanctioned by the TT Football Association (TTFA), but the incident raised questions over the security of officials at such events throughout the twin-island republic.
The TTFA Refereeing Department issued a media release strongly condemning the incident.
“The Refereeing Department is advising that any referee, who officiates in leagues that are not sanctioned by the Refereeing Department and the Referees Committee, are doing so at their own risk,” the media release noted.
“The Refereeing Department is advising that referees should not officiate in the La Brea Football League as this is not a competition sanctioned by either the Refereeing Department or the Referees Committee.”
And the TT Football Referees Association, in a subsequent media release, called for “suitable arrangements (to) be put in place to ensure that registered officials only service sanctioned competitions where organisers have agreed on proper terms of service including that provision be made for the supply of three match officials at least along with security arrangements for said match officials.”
The TT Football Referees Association’s media release added, “We hope for a full and speedy recovery of the referee and trust that the necessary punitive action will be taken by the relevant authorities against the perpetrator/s of this dastardly and criminal act.”
Thursday’s incident came on the heels of a major issue at the 2017 TT Super League, whereby officials boycotted a few games after they were strongly condemned by then FC Santa Rosa coach Keith Look Loy, who is also the president of the League.