Princes Town Secondary, favourites to claim the top position in the Championship Division play-off of the Shell/First Citizens Secondary Schools Football League, face their darkest hour today as they are to receive the outcome of a disciplinary hearing that stemmed from Tuesday’s postponed match with Carapichaima East.
Tuesday’s game at the Carapichaima Recreation Ground was not played after referee Anton Gill found that the uniform colours of both teams were too similar. In such a situation, the away team (Princes Town) is expected to facilitate a change of uniform, in accordance with the FIFA rules.
Yesterday Princes Town manager Robert Warner said his team will know its fate today after members of the disciplinary committee of the SSFL that comprised SSFL chairman and ex referee Merere Louis Gonzales, secretary Gerald Elliot and general secretary Phillip Fraser asked for time to deliberate on the matter after meeting with representatives of the schools—Warner (Princes Town) and Karen Ince of Carapichaima at the Carapichaima school, yesterday morning at 11 am.
Gonzales said they are awaiting a report from a significant party in the match which was expected to be received yesterday evening, before a decision can be made.
Warner told the Trinidad Guardian yesterday however that he was confused as his team wore bright yellow tops for the match while Carapichaima wore green.
He said it was also brought to his attention that referee Gill is a past student of Carapichaima, which was also raised at the meeting. Today’s outcome could either lead to the game being replayed or the result being awarded to the home team (Carapichaima) based on the away rule.
The southerners are currently second on the standings on three points from two matches while Carapichaima are in third by virtue of an inferior goal difference, as they also have three points from two games.
Tobago champs Speyside Secondary currently lead the standings with four points from three games, but the Central zone winners would take the top spot if they are awarded the match today. Warner said his team has the option to appeal the decision if it goes against them.
According to Warner: “I expect justice to be served and I am confident that justice will prevail.” He described the issue as totally uncalled for, saying that apart from the uniforms being of different colours, that Carapichaima had another uniform at their disposal which they could have facilitated his team with, in the interest of allowing the game to be played, but they refused to lend it.
“We spoke to the Carapichaima management to get the uniforms to use but we were refused by someone saying that Carapichaima was not obligated to help his team,” Warner explained.
He added: “All we want is for the outcome of the match to be settled on the field and nowhere else. It is a game and the boys from both schools would prefer to play the match than have it being decided at a meeting.” Attempts to contact Carapichaima representatives proved futile.
Action continues today in the championship division play-offs with Princes Town going up against Trinity College East at home from 3.30 pm and Carapichaima facing Malick Secondary on the Patna Recreation Ground, Diego Martin from the same time.