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Referees and Super League call cagey truce; Taylor eyes Look Loy’s Facebook page

The Trinidad and Tobago Referees’ Committee and Referees’ Football Association (TTRFA) and the Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) have agreed a truce until the end of the current domestic season, according to a press statement from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).

All four parties, according to a TTFA release, met on Monday 27 November to “discuss and agree on a plan of action that would facilitate, at a minimum, the maintenance of a cordial working relationship among stakeholders.”

Photo: WASA FC captain Cleveland Cambridge (third from left) and Kevon Henry (centre) lead the complaints to referee CJ O’ Brien after he awarded a penalty to FC Santa Rosa during TTSL One action in St Joseph on 9 July 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

In the past two weeks, referees have boycotted TTSL matches in Trinidad and Tobago after taking exception to criticism—some of it, obscene—from TTSL club FC Santa Rosa in particular.

Santa Rosa head coach Keith Look Loy, who is also the TTSL president, and assistant coach Jovan Rochford both served one-match suspensions and were handed fines of $1,000 each for foul-mouthed comments aimed at referee Cecile Hinds. However, they were not the only club officials to voice displeasure at the performance of referees with Prisons FC coach Gary Prescott offering scathing criticism recently.

The TTFA release suggested the accord is short-term.

“In the interest of “the beautiful game” and despite the lingering of deep concerns by the Referees’ Committee, the stakeholders present agreed to forge ahead with the remaining rounds of the season,” stated the TTFA, “with a commitment to respect the officials as well as the authority and decisions of the League’s integral segments including the TTSL’s Committees and competing Teams…”

The refereeing bodies received an assurance that the TTSL stakeholders would refrain from voicing their discontent with match officials publicly—with emphasis believed to have been placed on Santa Rosa’s Facebook posts.

Photo: FC Santa Rosa coach Keith Look Loy reacts to action during his team’s 1-0 win over Marabella Family Crisis Centre in 2015/16 CNG National Super League action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868

TTRFA president Joseph Taylor, according to informed sources, allegedly insisted that Look Loy should also promise not to criticise referees on his personal social media pages. The TTSL president refused on the grounds that it was a violation of his freedom of speech.

In the end, both parties agreed to wording that, arguably, is open to interpretation either way.

“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.

Santa Rosa and the Central Football Association (CFA) also called for a national consultation on local refereeing. Although the TTFA did not explicitly commit to this proposal, Look Loy is believed to be confident that a formal discussion on refereeing will also follow from Monday’s meeting.

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (right) smiles with fourth official Cecile Hinds before the First Citizens Bank Cup final between Defence Force and Ma Pau Stars at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 2 December 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

The following is the full TTFA press statement:

Representatives of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), Trinidad and Tobago Referees’ Committee and Referees’ Department as well as the Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) met in the boardroom of the TTFA on Monday November 27, 2017, to discuss and agree on a plan of action that would facilitate, at a minimum, the maintenance of a cordial working relationship among stakeholders.

While the opportunity facilitated sober and open discourse among the stakeholders in attendance, it was evident that the matters at hand require deeper introspection as well as further ventilation that was independent of the immediate constraint of ensuring that the TTSL’s inaugural season is completed according to its published fixtures.

Therefore, in the interest of “the beautiful game” and despite the lingering of deep concerns by the Referees’ Committee, the stakeholders present agreed to forge ahead with the remaining rounds of the season with a commitment to respect the officials as well as the authority and decisions of the League’s integral segments including the TTSL’s Committees and competing Teams, and to strictly adhere to the internal laws and/or byelaws that govern the operational systems of the these segments consistent with submitting ones disagreement(s) via the channels established for collating same and adjudicating accordingly.

Photo: Referee Neal Brizan (right) cautions Central FC goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams for dissent during a Pro League encounter against W Connection in the 2014/15 season.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Critically, 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.

Given this resolve, the stakeholders recognize and appreciate that the onus, though ultimately collective, lies with each segment to ensure that this principled agreement remains intact as we aim to reconvene pertinent and progressive discussions that will lead to the sustained delivery of our sporting discipline in a respectful, consistent, professional and enjoyable manner into the future.

Further discussions will be had in an effort for all parties to fully ventilate matters of concern. As such, we look forward to the continued support of our enthusiasts and well-wishers as we remain committed to our contribution to the overall development and delivery of Football in Trinidad and Tobago.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and 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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30 comments

  1. ..Multiple cameras will be in attendance..

  2. ..The club referred to the three referees as “renegades” and “rebels” with profound admiration for their decision to officiate and the balls it took to make it. The world needs rebels..

  3. Never hear more foolishness so…

  4. ..TTFA agreed to call a national consultation on refereeing. This will form part of that debate..

  5. Any “real” discussion on referee performance, performance appraisals, and penalties for poor performance??

  6. .. Well, now the refs have to abide by the agreement we struck on Monday..

  7. I hope you guys sort this out at the end of the season.

  8. ..Correct. But this is politics and compromise was necessary to ensure the league competition is completed. But FIFA statutes guarantee the independence of football’s judicial bodies and members of same..

  9. Specifically, the parties agreed:

    1. Referees will be appointed to, and referee service will be resumed at all remaining matches in the TTSL schedule (Thursday 30 November, 3 and 10 December)

    2. FC Santa Rosa coaches would serve the one match ban handed down by the TTSL Disciplinary Committee on 3 December (although the ban was already served on 26 November)

    3. FC Santa Rosa would cease posting stories and video on referees

    4. TTFA would call a national consultation on refereeing in January 2018

  10. Are referees now negotiating penalties for coaches?

  11. Specifically, the parties agreed:

    1. Referees will be appointed to, and referee service will be resumed at all remaining matches in the TTSL schedule (Thursday 30 November, 3 and 10 December)

    2. FC Santa Rosa coaches would serve the one match ban handed down by the TTSL Disciplinary Committee on 3 December (although the ban was already served on 26 November)

    3. FC Santa Rosa would cease posting stories and video on referees

    4. TTFA would call a national consultation on refereeing in January 2018

  12. Let me say: There are some of these referees who are very biased and very incompetent and should be removed based on that alone. Set up a Committee to review every three games they Officiate. Especially that woman referee; she is the worst

    • Which “woman referee” is that? There are several female football referees at present and they are actually the only ones who have FIFA badges right now.

    • I can’t recall her name but I think it is Cecile. I also looked at the St. Anthony v St. Mary’s game and the referee added about 7mins when it should have been at most 4mins

    • That would be Cecile Hinds I think. She is, as far as I know, one of just two FIFA certified referees in the country though.
      I didn’t watch the St Anthony’s v CIC match so I can’t really comment about why there was so much stoppage time.
      There would have had to be either a serious injury or medical attention for the goalkeeper to have that much stoppages. But I wasn’t there to know if either happened.

    • Lasana Liburd I was amazed though as there were no major incidents.