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Arima left disappointed after Central FC protest before kick off against North East Stars

Local football fans left the Arima Velodrome disappointed tonight after defending champions Central FC successfully protested against playing their 2017 Pro League fixture with North East Stars due to ground conditions.

Central officials argued that the lighting was substandard at the Arima venue while they also claimed the downpour made the ground dangerous and had erased some of the field markings.

Photo: Central FC goal scorers Jason Marcano (left) and Johan Peltier celebrate during their 2-0 win over Morvant Caledonia United in Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

There could be little argument that some of the markings were indeed washed away. However, the complaints about the lighting and a puddle less than ankle height near centre field bemused patrons who had braved the inclement weather to see hometown boys and brothers Jason Marcano and Elton John do battle for Central and Stars respectively.

Central’s Carlos Edwards and Stars’ Daneil Cyrus, both fresh from World Cup 2016 duty with the Soca Warriors, were also due to make league debuts for their new employers.

The Pro League must now decide whether to award three points to the “Couva Sharks” or sanction a replay with Stars, who are led by former Warriors and Joe Public coach Derek King. Ex-Central coach Terry Fenwick failed to complete his takeover of Stars in time for the start of the 2017 season.

Elsewhere in the league, Marcus Joseph scored for the second successive game for the W Connection team, which became the first outfit to six points this season with a 2-1 win over Point Fortin Civic.

And another new signing, Julio Noel, got San Juan Jabloteh’s first goal this term as they edged Defence Force 1-0 in a double header at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. Morvant Caledonia also played in Couva and remain unbeaten this season after a 1-1 draw with Police FC.

Arima football fans will get another chance to see some action on Sunday afternoon when FC Santa Rosa host Bethel United from 4pm in the Trinidad and Tobago Super League.

It will be the second competitive fixture at the Velodrome this season after North East Stars edged Point Fortin Civic 1-0 there on Saturday 10 June.

Photo: San Juan Jabloteh attacker Julio Noel (foreground) tries to hold off a challenge from a Racing Club opponent during 2017 Caribbean Club Championship action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 14 May 2017.
Jabloteh won 2-0.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Pro League results

(Friday 16 June)

Police FC 1 (Elijah Belgrave 87), Morvant Caledonia Utd 1 (Taje Commissiong 31) at Ato Boldon Stadium;

San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Julio Noel 69), Defence Force 0 at Ato Boldon Stadium;

Point Fortin Civic 1 (Stephen Joseph 31), W Connection 2 (Briel Thomas 28, Marcus Joseph 43) at Mahaica Oval;

North East Stars v Central FC at Arima Velodrome DNP.

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  1. Santa Rosa played on this very ground Sunday, granted it was not under lights.

  2. Central right for protesting. Its time government and pro league get serious. U bringing football to the communities yes, but ensure the facilities and grounds are on point. Far to long such nonsense going on.

  3. I was at last Friday’s game, the lighting is bad, the corner on the south western side – hope my coordinates are correct – is DARK, the grounds not all that. Why not play games on Saturday’s and Sunday’s 4pm. That’s what they have been doing at the Larry Gomes Stadium.

  4. They recycle 2 old kits to make that one awah?

  5. Arima borough no money league playing on that velodrome field plus north east stars pro league team and Santa Rosa super league team if ground maintenance and ground preparation isn’t constantly being done there may be a lot of other protests to come.

  6. dais because dey ey grow up playing on skinner park second ground…. lol

  7. I fully support Central F C until we realise that this is about world class football we willnot get anywhere.

  8. Lighting was bad for photos, but i was still ready to shoot the game, It had enough to push my camera to the limit. I also thought the lighting was good enough to play football in. I was disappointed, driving up to arima to shoot my first Pro League Game for the season, only to see the players in sneakers. I didn’t even bother to shoot the moment because it I was that disappointed.

  9. Conflict of intrest crystal the refree and central coach saunders were in a relationship since both were players at past club joe public both were seen talking before crystal carried out her field inspection.

  10. My personal take is if lighting is an issue a 4pm game should be considered always. Trinidadian culture show we are not on work till 4pm. There is traffic from 1pm or before and after. Arima velodrome is located in the heart of the city so u are catering to foot trafficking person just like in England. The other alternatives show as after work limes start their specials from 4 to 7 and all filled so football in arima football needs to be bold also. The crowds always start well so those numbers dont hold for the entire season but if every friday someone is sure football in the velodrome at 4pm I think persons may buy into it eventually.

  11. what is the hold up with the Terry Takeover?? I know he got those boys to NE to play under him sooooo???

  12. You see how it comes back down similar to what David Nakhid said about lack of political will and no agenda by the politicians to develop facilities for the masses who put them in power.

  13. For a full hour after patrons were still after the venue, I left at around 9.20

  14. When over 500 fans brave a downpour to see a pro league match and you send them back home without a game for anything but absolutely unplayable conditions…
    Jamaal after watching Pro League response to grounds like Mahaica Oval and especially Barataria, Sangre Grande and Arima… it is hard to think Pro League clubs really want to save their own competition.

  15. I was present, it was sad for all, the supporters were eager to see that game. Spoke to some NE players, they wanted to play real bad.

    The veledrome was the veledrome. As previously said the ground was supposed to be inspected prior, and the MC was supposed to be the decider of it the game should have been played.

    Community grounds like this will bring a much needed spark. Arima will see new life with NE and Santa Rosa playing at the Arima veledrome. I hope that games return to that Stadium.

    • Why? You won’t be able to tell quality of field markings two weeks in advance.

    • Ok my bad, thought was lighting issues

    • They complained about lighting. I haven’t heard from match commissioner yet but I don’t believe it could possibly have been about lights.
      There was a game there last week and the match commissioner then said he loved the venue. It was the same lights. I think the only realistic thing would have to be the markings.
      Not 100 percent sure though.

    • The lighting is horribleeeeeee, Ive already said I’m not going back

    • Shakira the lighting is really poor for photographers. But pretty much ALL community grounds are bad for photographers. Even Point Fortin.
      I doubt Central were thinking about photographers when they protested.

    • Lol true and Some parts of the field are literally dark. I think community football on most clubs’ behalf is just wishful thinking.

    • Yeah. They will have to play in the afternoon–which isn’t as good for fans–or just give up. Because you know the Govt won’t fix those lights anytime soon.
      And since the Larry Gomes Stadium also has no lights, then no football for Arima really. Fans don’t go to Larry Gomes anyway. The Velodrome is the flagship in the city.

    • Lasana Liburd the ground is a good ground lights may not be 100 but it’s very durable and playable I believe football Going bk to the community that is the only way football will ketch bk itself and support from public is tru the community Jamaal and Jeffrey could attest wit cali and jab. Arima is football so it’s a good look for the Ttpro League and it’s a Arima kid doin his thing d ppl will come out

  16. But ent it have a committee that goes and check these grounds?
    Just asking

  17. I think the Pro League Office and some of its clubs are serious about playing at community grounds. While there are others who have a concern for the standard of readiness of the community grounds as it relates to surfaces, dressing room facilities etc. And while those concerns in some quarters are genuine….there also seems to be others who because they can exercise that right to point out flaws in the community facility…..seems to relish such an opportunity. Regarding last night I would need more info to give an opinion. But if I were to be biased or venture a view on emotion my heart feels it for North East Stars and well for now….shut mouth does not catch flies..

  18. Have I missed something in this story and the true reason for the game not being played? Surely, any team has the right of protest for poor lighting and ground conditions, but what is the role of the Match Commissioner and Referee as it relates to those two conditions.

    • Agreed….the MC is impartial and has the interest of the League and players. My understanding is he makes the final decision to say if a game is to be played.

    • Norris I didn’t speak to the match commissioner. But I didn’t suggest that Central FC stormed out either.
      I said they successfully protested. People who know the process will know that process meant a word with the match commissioner.
      Even though I didn’t find the MC myself, I suggested that the complaint about field markings are almost certainly what clinched it.

    • Las I did not rebut your comment either. I was just saying that the Referee and Match Commissioner are required to intercede. For the benefit of Nicholas, the Referee is the person that determines ground condition.

  19. I remember last year Central FC also protested about playing Jabloteh at Barataria Recreation Ground.
    Makes me wonder Jamaal whether the Pro League is serious about community grounds at all.
    Or if they just want to play all the games in the national stadia.

  20. Unfortunately not. Allan V. Crane can talk about the lighting though as he was there.

  21. Kevin Harrison, are Central seeking the three points? Or a replay?