BETHEL United of Tobago plan to fight the decision by the 2019 Terminix Super League to use Prisons officials during their final match against Matura ReUnited, knowing that Bethel and Prisons were fighting for the Super League crown.
The league ended in dramatic fashion at Matura Recreation Ground, on Saturday, as sixth-placed Matura ReUnited converted a stoppage time penalty to earn a 2-2 draw against Bethel to keep the latter in second position on the standings and hand Prisons FC the title.
George Joseph, a coordinator with Bethel, said, “To avoid this situation repeating itself in the future we will file a complaint...the referee himself should have known Prisons could win the league and this match is a delicate one.”
Joseph, who said Super League officials did not give them an explanation as to why Prisons match officials were used, is surprised the league let that happen. “...that was a clear conflict of interest, that should never be allowed.”
Joseph said Bethel will send an official complaint within the next day or two. Newsday attempted to call Super League president Keith Look Loy, but was not successful.
Prisons FC and Bethel United both ended on 29 points after 12 rounds of action, but Prisons FC won the title because of a superior goal difference. Prisons ended the season with a goal difference of +26 compared to +13 by Bethel.
The match between Matura ReUnited and Bethel ended on a sour note, as the Bethel players voiced their frustration at referee Rashby McFie. Bethel players felt the penalty was soft and it should not have been given.
After the match one player was heard saying, “He is a prisons officer, he want Prisons to win.” The match referee also told Newsday that one of the linesmen was also from the prisons service.
There was also some confusion with the standings over the past two weeks. On December 15, the TT Super League competition manager, Richard Piper, issued a media release, at 6.21 pm, announcing Prisons were the 2019 champions after their final game against Police FC, at the YTC Ground in Arouca, ended in a 2-2 draw. It meant Prisons moved to 29 points, four more than nearest challengers Bethel United, who had a match in hand.
However, at 6.50 pm on the same day, the league sent another release, indicating Bethel were successful in appealing the disciplinary committee’s decision to award Police the win in their November 10 clash.
That game between Bethel and Police, which took place at the Mt Gomery Recreation Ground, ended 2-0 in Bethel’s favour. However, Police protested the unfit conditions at the venue and were later awarded a 3-0 win, by default, from the disciplinary committee.
Bethel’s successful appeal put them just one point behind Prisons heading into Saturday’s match against Matura ReUnited.
Prisons FC thought they only needed one point to win the title and earning the 2-2 draw was therefore enough. Prisons claimed they were not aware that Bethel were appealing the result in their Police match, but that appeal would have affected the standings and they should have been informed. Look Loy said a matter involving two clubs is not necessarily the business of the entire league.
“When clubs register a protest or an appeal against a decision, that is not the business of the whole league, that is the business of the league and the two clubs involved. We don’t broadcast to every club in the league, every member, what is happening with disciplinary matters. We let them know if they are involved.”
Look Loy said when a decision is made that affects standings then all the teams are informed, which was done.
SOURCE: T&T Newsday