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.
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.
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.