We want a refund! TTSL asks referees’ body to foot the bill for boycotted games

The Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) has officially requested that the Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees’ Association (TTFRA) refund the body to the tune of TT$19,206 for “unrecoverable expenses” in its maiden 2017 season.

The sum, according to TTSL general secretary Camara David, represents the expenses for three matches which were not played owing to refereeing boycotts.

Photo: FC Santa Rosa head coach and TTSL president Keith Look Loy talks to fourth official Gordon Maloney during TTSL action against UTT at the Larry Gomes Stadium on 10 December 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

The TTSL claimed TT$10,700 for the postponed fixture between Bethel FC and Siparia Spurs at the Mt Gomery Recreation Ground in Tobago and TT$7,206 for the postponed contest between 1976 Phoenix FC and WASA FC at the Canaan and Bon Accord Recreation Grounds in Tobago—both on 12 November 2017. And there was an additional TT$1,300 for the postponed game between Siparia Spurs and FC Santa Rosa at the Palo Seco Velodrome on 19 November.

All three games were deliberately boycotted by referee,s who were unhappy with comments attributed to TTSL president and FC Santa Rosa head coach Keith Look Loy against match officials.

On 27 November, representatives from the TTFRA, the TTSL, the Trinidad and Tobago Referees’ Committee and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) met to hammer out a truce, which saw the referees agree to resume service once all TTSL stakeholders promised not to criticise them in public.

“It was mandated that no segment participating in the League’ operations would further air their discontent in such a manner as to bring the League and/or its Officials into public disrepute or odium,” stated the TTFA release.

The truce lasted until the final whistle of the 2017 TTSL season on 10 December, as Look Loy slammed referee Rodphin Harris for his officiating in their 1-0 loss to UTT at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar.

Photo: FC Santa Rosa head coach and TTSL president Keith Look Loy (left) exchanges pleasantries with referee Rodphin Harris during TTSL action against UTT at the Larry Gomes Stadium on 10 December 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Santa Rosa needed three points in that encounter to win the inaugural TTSL season but saw the title go to Guaya United instead.

Look Loy told Wired868 he did not blame Harris for the loss but he made it clear that he was displeased with the referee’s performance all the same.

“It is little wonder that, as [ex-Trinidad and Tobago Referees’ Department chairman] Ramesh Ramdhan said, two years ago we had 13 FIFA referees and today we have two and none of them are men—they are two women,” said Look Loy. “This referee […] can’t even pass the fitness test but he keeps coming back match after match after match. Now the season is done, I can begin talking again and I can begin posting videos again…

“The referees don’t have a problem with the Super League, they have a problem with Look Loy and with Santa Rosa. And I guarantee you that they will continue having a problem because the footage from the selected incidents from this game will be on Facebook [on Monday]! Let them strike!”

Up to the time of publication, the TTFRA had not responded to the TTSL’s request.

Photo: Referee Rashby McPhie (right) has a word with FC Santa Rosa midfielder Durwin Ross during TTSL One action involving Bethel United at the Arima Velodrome on 18 June 2017.
(Courtesy Annalicia Caruth/Wired868)

(TTSL letter to TTFRA president Joseph Taylor)

Firstly, the TT Super League wishes to thank the members of TTFRA for their services throughout the 2017 TT Super League season. We look forward to working with you for the 2018 season.

With regards to the 2017 season, the following matches were not played as a result of an unannounced boycott by the members of the TTFRA and thus unrecoverable expenses [of TT$19,206] were incurred by the TTSL. […]

As such, the TTSL is officially requesting reimbursement of these expenses from the TTFRA due to the breach in our contractual arrangements made before the start of the 2017 season.

We look forward to your response.

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com 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. ..The figures quoted by Jameson are correct. The initial email from the Secretary to Taylor included a typographical error. The referees have broken a contractual agreement with TTSL for a pre-paid service. Now they must refund lost monies. Further, too many referees are appointed to matches and paid even when they fail to meet TTFA and FIFA requirements and standards. And they keep on receiving match appointments without consequences. The referee who awarded Switzerland the bad penalty to beat N. Ireland in WC qualifying has been dropped from the panel for Russia. That would never happen here. Based on our visible experience he/she would be rewarded with another big match..

  2. ..There are several infractions for which the initial penalty is loss of points or a fine of five hundred dolars that could be increased for non-payment, ultimately resulting in loss of points..

  3. Are there stipulated monetary penalties when a team forfeits a match or the venue is unplayable etc.?

  4. The figures quotes by Jameson are corect. The League Secretary’s initial email to Taylor included a typographical error, which he has since corrected. The referees broke a contractual agreement for a pre-paid service TTSL requires the refund of these wasted monies. Further, all footballTTFA leagues are paying good money for service by referees, many or ost of whom do not meet TTFA requirements and standards but they keep receiving appointments. They also bring biases to the field. Everybody in football – players, coaches, managers – if they are honest will agreeto this assessment.

  5. The Bethel vs Siparia Spurs amount is actually $10,700.00 which brings the total to $19,206.00

  6. The TTSL has a valid point…someone has to pay for all the expenses incurred from planned boycotted matches. You cant have fully teams travelling all over Trinidad and Tobago and just casually cancelling matches wothout repercussions. Hopefully this is a learning lesson for all in 2018.

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