Referees abandon TTFF FA quarterfinals

An inexplicable no-show from match officials put local football into disrepute once more as Caribbean champions Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA and Super League club Stokely Vale were forced to abandon their TTFF FA Trophy quarterfinal fixture today at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.

On 6 November 2012, referees failed to turn out for a Pro League derby between defending champions DIRECTV W Connection and rookies Central FC at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

At the time, Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene told Wired868 that the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) Referees Committee forgot to assign officials for the game.

Referees Committee president Krishna Kuairsingh, who is also a TTFF vice-president, could not be reached by phone and he did not respond to any messages.

Kuairsingh’s phone was switched off again today while Caledonia and Stokely Vale players fumed at the farcical turn of events.

Photo: There were no match officials today at the Hasely Crawford Stadium as a TTFF FA Trophy quarterfinal match between Caledonia AIA and Stokely Vale was abandoned.
(Courtesy Njisane Best)

FA tournament organiser Sharon O’Brien said the Referees Committee was notified of the fixtures for close to a month while it also received a reminder at the start of this week.

“The referees got the notice since before the New Year,” said O’Brien. “I don’t know the reason for no one turning up and I will have to find out before I say anything more.”

Match commissioner Wayne Cunningham was especially sympathetic towards the Stokely Vale team who travelled to Trinidad by ferry this morning.

“I just heard it was a miscommunication and the referees couldn’t come,” said Cunningham. “I tried to get North Zone referees to do the game but they couldn’t come in time as Stokely Vale had to catch a plane for 9 pm. It is a sad, sad case.

“I suppose we will have to hear from the Referees’ (Committee) now.”

Stokely Vale, an amateur team, travelled to Trinidad with 20 players and officials this morning who all took time off from work. They are due to leave tonight by plane.

If one includes ground transport and meals, the Tobagonians might have easily spent a combined $9,000 today. They will now request reimbursement from the TTFF.

But Stokely Vale coach James Campbell knows that the impact of the abandoned match goes beyond money.

“The last time we came to Trinidad, we only had a bare eleven (players),” said Campbell, “because it can be difficult for the guys to get time off from work.

“Today, we had a full squad to play Caledonia. So it is really disappointing that the game can’t go ahead.”

Photo: Caledonia AIA had much to celebrate in 2012 but Stokely Vale has already defeated the “Eastern Stallions” once this season.
(Courtesy Photos868)

Stokely Vale is undefeated in regulation time after five meetings with Digicel Pro League teams this season. North East Stars needed penalties to eliminate the Tobago giant-killers in the Toyota Classic Cup while Stokely Vale edged Caledonia in a shoot-out at the Classic quarterfinals and already whipped Police, Defence Force and St Ann’s Rangers.

Today should have been a revenge match for the “Eastern Stallions” against the Super League upstarts.

Stokely Vale striker Rundell Winchester and defender Omar Charles were snapped up by Central FC after the team’s impressive Cup run. Perhaps their teammates hoped to use today’s knock out contest to also secure Pro League contracts before the transfer window closes on January 15.

There is no chance of that now thanks to Kuairsingh and his troops.

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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  1. Eligon yuh think brother? Think again with the amount of jokers in this pack anything is possible. God help T&T football oui.

  2. I hope the semi finals show some sort of improvement i mean it carn’t get worse can it?

  3. Is this what the newly installed President of the T.T.F.F want’s to be known for, this is the tip of the iceberg, the most popular tournament in the world where the average joe can dream to play against the Pro’s and no medical personnel at the venues, time to clean house sorry sir but “all” at you office needs to be changed and new blood injected into the T.T.F.F or else, well you do the math.

  4. I tell you it continues to be a sad state of affairs with the referees. Something must be done by the TTFF. I could imagine Gary Andrew and his crew must be laughing all now.The FA Trophy Competition is suppose to be a prestige competition and this is what happens. Well say what, we like it so because we continue to put the same people in power over and over and over again. So good luck to all.

  5. There was also only 2 officials at the Central F.C. vs Shiva Boys quarter final at Ato Boldon. Central F.C. assistant coach, Kevin Jeffrey had to run the line!

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