The Northern and Eastern Football Associations (NFA, EFA) have been thrown out of the T&T Football Association's (TTFA) Inter Zonal Football Tournament because of their unknown vaccination statuses.
Both zones are yet to play a match after just the first round of action when they were ousted.
The NFA, which is being coached by former national midfielder Travis Mulraine, was set to officially begin their campaign in the tournament with a match against the Eastern Counties Football Union (ECFU) at the Larry Gomes in Malabar, Arima. They were scheduled to play against the Tobago Football Association last Sunday in their opening game but that match was called off.
The EFA, on the other hand, missed a match against the Central FA on March 6 but is scheduled to be on a bye on Sunday.
A letter from the TTFA that was sent to the associations (EFA, NFA) on Wednesday said: "In an effort to finalise and adequately execute the Zonal Screening Teams (ZST) plan, in the interest of time and availability of stadia, we have unfortunately excluded the Eastern Football Association and Northern Football Association as they have not submitted any information regarding their players or vaccination status to date.
"Additionally, in accordance with our communication on 16 January, 2022 and the targeted kickoff of other club competitions such as Ascension Tournament, Tiger Tanks Men’s Under-20 tournament and NLCL (Next Level Consulting Limited) U-19 Community Cup, the fixtures of the ZSTs will be adjusted. The ZST plan was formulated to operate in the absence of club competitions and it was organised with the understanding from all zones that once club competitions resume, the players would return to their clubs."
Yesterday, Mulraine, fuming at the recent development, said: "The rules never declared a deadline for submitting players' vaccine card and ID, so by right the normal 48 hours should have been adhered to.
"Look at the last line, it specifically says U-20 team. Whether special consideration means senior players can play with them, I don't know. It seems the manager was of the opinion that worst-case scenario, players would have walked with their vaccine card to be able to play on Sunday, he miscalculated."
Mulraine noted that if they were told to submit their vaccination status by a certain date then that would have been done.
SOURCE: T&T Guardian