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Thu, Jul

Ascension Football League organisers Richard Piper, left, and Anthony Harford at the launch of the tournament at Gallery 1 of the Hotel Normandie in St Ann’s, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
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A whop­ping $2.3 mil­lion have been put out on the As­cen­sion Foot­ball League, to en­sure foot­ball in T&T gets back on track, cour­tesy an un­known Unit­ed States cloth­ing com­pa­ny that is de­sirous of en­ter­ing the Caribbean mar­ket.

The League is set to kick off on Fri­day with two match­es, one at the Ari­ma Velo­drome be­tween home team FC San­ta Rosa and Queen's Park CC from 8 pm, and an­oth­er at the Guayagua­yare Recre­ation Ground be­tween Guaya Unit­ed and Po­lice FC from 6 pm.

At a launch at Galery 1 of the Ho­tel Nor­mandie in St Ann's yes­ter­day, chief or­gan­is­er Richard Piper said As­cen­sion's in­put has been grand, and it ranges from prize monies to pay­ments for pro­mo­tion and tele­vi­sion cov­er­age, to in­sur­ance for play­ers, and pay­ment of all of­fi­cials.

As re­port­ed in the Guardian yes­ter­day, the League will be played in two di­vi­sions, each com­pris­ing 12 teams. Di­vi­sion I will fea­ture Guaya Unit­ed, Po­lice FC, FC San­ta Rosa, Queen's Park, Ter­minix La Hor­quet­ta Rangers, San Juan Jabloteh, Mor­vant Cale­do­nia Unit­ed, Prison Ser­vice FC, Matu­ra Re-Unit­ed, Club San­do, Cunu­pia FC and De­fence Force, all bat­tling for a win­ner's cheque of $250,000, as well as $125,000 and $75,000 for sec­ond and third, re­spec­tive­ly.

Di­vi­sion II com­pris­es Harlem Strik­ers, UTT, Moru­ga FC, Po­lice FC, Pe­tit Val­ley/Diego Mar­tin Unit­ed, Mara­bel­la Fam­i­ly Cri­sis Cen­tre, RSSR FC, Bethel Unit­ed, Club San­do Up­ris­ing Youths, San Fer­nan­do Gi­ants, Erin FC and De­porti­vo PF, is a com­bined team from the Point Fortin foot­ball com­pe­ti­tion held ear­li­er this year. They will be com­pet­ing for $100,000, $65,000 and $35,000 as the top three prizes.

Har­ford said as or­gan­is­ers they have tak­en out an in­sur­ance pol­i­cy which will cov­er play­ers for in­juries and death in the sum of $5,000 (in­jury) and $10,000 (death) to go to next of kin. The pol­i­cy will al­so cov­er team of­fi­cials.

He al­so lashed out at North East Stars Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Di­rec­tor Michael Awai for claims there is no se­cu­ri­ty for play­ers, say­ing it is stan­dard pro­ce­dure in foot­ball that the home team is re­spon­si­ble for se­cu­ri­ty.

The league is set to be a one-round com­pe­ti­tion but could go for two rounds if monies promised to clubs by the gov­ern­ment for the com­ing T-League lat­er this year, does not come.

"The As­cen­sion League has its birth through this des­per­ate need as you are aware, the promised fund­ing from the gov­ern­ment has not yet ma­te­ri­alised to af­ford the start of the TT Pro League sea­son, and the ex­pect­ed funds from the FI­FA, has al­so not yet ma­te­ri­alised, so we have reached out to the As­cen­sion peo­ple and they have ac­cept­ed," Har­ford said.

Richard Piper, the tour­na­ment di­rec­tor said, "The tour­na­ment will mir­ror the op­er­a­tions of the T-League when it gets start­ed. As part of the sanc­tion of the TTFA we had to have an in­dem­ni­ty clause that says they are not go­ing to be re­spon­si­ble for any­thing per­tain­ing to this tour­na­ment, and we gave them the as­sur­ance that this will not hap­pen."

Ac­cord­ing to Piper, an­oth­er in­no­v­a­tive as­pect of the tour­na­ment is that there is no reg­is­tra­tion fee. Teams will al­so re­ceive ap­pear­ance fees of $2,000 for Di­vi­sion I and $1,000 for Di­vi­sion II for each match, and Flow will pro­vide tele­vi­sion cov­er­age of match­es which will be aired as a pack­age on any giv­en day in the week.

Mean­while, Ter­minix La Hor­quet­ta Rangers, which has spent in ex­cess of $5 mil­lion to up­grade its fa­cil­i­ty at Phase Two La Hor­quet­ta, has re­quest­ed that its match­es played there.

RELATED NEWS

$2.3m for football tournament.
By Joel Bailey (Newsday).


BOOTS of local footballers will no longer be collecting dust as $2.3 million will be pumped into the Ascension Invitational Tournament that will kick off tomorrow featuring 24 teams.

Pro League and Super League teams will be involved in the league with 12 teams playing in division one along with the same number of teams in division two. The announcement was made at The Hotel Normandie in St Ann’s, yesterday. No football has been held locally since December 2018.

Ascension is a group of business people using the league as a test for a new line of sporting apparel, which will be introduced to T&T and the Caribbean later this year.

The tournament will be played in a round robin format from tomorrow until September 21.

Two matches will be held tomorrow in division one with Guaya Utd playing Police FC, at Guaya Recreation Ground, from 4 pm and FC Santa Rosa FC battling QPCC, at Arima Velodrome, from 8 pm.

The division one winners will walk away with $250,000, second place will get $125,000 and the third place finishers will cop $75,000. In division two, the champions will be $100,000 richer, the runner up will earn $65,000 and the third place finishers will get $35,000. An appearance fee of $2,000 would be given to each team for each game that they play in division one and $1,000 in division two.

The teams competing in division one will be Guaya United FC, Police FC, FC Santa Rosa, QPCC, Terminix La Horquetta Rangers FC, San Juan Jabloteh, Caledonia AIA, Prison Service FC, Matura Reunited FC, Club Sando FC, Cunupia FC and Defence Force FC.

Lining up in division two will be Deportivo PF, Harlem Strikers, UTT, Moruga FC, Police FC, Petit Valley/Diego Martin Utd, Marabella Family Crisis Centre, RSSR FC, Bethel Utd, Club Sando Uprising Youths, San Fernando Giants and Erin FC.

W Connection, Central FC and North East Stars are the notable clubs that are not competing in the league.

A 30-minute television programme will be produced which delivers highlights of the tournament every week that will be aired on Flow and as such the tournament would be used to expose T&T football internationally.

The tournament director is Richard Piper and marketing director of All Sports Promotions Anthony Harford, said his company has helped with registration and other administrative matters in the league.

The tournament is sanctioned by the TT Football Association.

Ascension Invitational Tournament

Division One - Round One fixtures

(Fri 12 Jul)

Guaya Utd v Police FC, 6pm, Guaya Recreation Ground;
FC Santa Rosa v QPCC, 8pm, Arima Velodrome;

(Sat 13 Jul)

Morvant Caledonia Utd v Prison Services, 6pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium training ground;
Matura Re-United v Club Sando, 4pm, Matura Recreation Ground;

(Sun 14 Jul)

Cunupia FC v Defence Force FC, 3.30pm, Larry Gomes Stadium.

Videos

Wired868TV: Play Ascension football tournament

SPORT: Ascension Football League Kicks Off On Friday