Fri, Sep

Harlem Strikers in action against Police FC on May 27th 2023.

Cunupia-based football team, Harlem Strikers, which has been locked in a battle for the sixth-place finish in Tier 2 of the T&T Premier Football League (TTPFL), is now protesting the eligibility of Guaya striker Derron John.

John played on Saturday for Guaya United FC and was among the scorers in a 4-2 victory over Bethel FC in Tobago, a result that earned them (Guaya) the sixth position on the Tier 2 standings.

Both Guaya and the Strikers are locked on 13 points with the same goal difference of zero, but the southeast team got the edge based on a head-to-head comparison.

Yesterday, however, Harlem manager Gregory Mc Sween sent a letter to the football association's general secretary Amiel Mohammed, informing him of Guaya's use of John who was not transferred from Tier 1 outfit San Juan Jabloteh in time to play.

Guaya is scheduled to face the Police today at the Police Barracks in St James in the play-off, but Mc Sween is calling for the match to be stopped.

"We have to report for information that Derron John played for Guaya United FC against Bethel on Saturday 9th September 2023 and he also scored a goal," said Mc Sween in his letter.

"Mr John played with San Juan Jabloteh for the whole season in Tier 1 as a professional player. Mr John transferred from San Juan Jabloteh on 13th August 2023 to Guaya United. There was no transfer window opened on 13/08/2023. The TTFA (T&T Football Association) opened a transfer window from the 17th of July 2023 to the 27th of July 2023 to facilitate clubs that have to play in Concacaf Competitions. Mr John was not supposed to play because the window was closed," Mc Sween explained.

Mohammed could not be contacted yesterday when Guardian Media reached out to him.

However, Guaya coach Travis Mulraine said he is almost certain the player was eligible to play.

He said they sent in a request for the player among other players, yet there was a period of more than three weeks before the request could be sealed.

He explained further that in the case of Bethel, that match was originally scheduled to be played on August 3, which meant that they would have sent in the request within the stipulated period of between July 17 and July 27, this year.

He noted also that he is leaving the matter in the hands of the parent TTFA but said he feels safe that his team will be the sixth-placed team in Tier 2.

Guaya manager Randy Hagley said according to the system being used for the registration of players, once a player does not get approval, he cannot be put on the roster of a team. Hagley noted that the new FIFA system that is being used now, is nothing like it was in the past.

"So once a player takes the field for a team, it means that the TTFA would have given the okay for him, or else it would raise a red flag," Hagley said.